The Fairness Act

KAREN MYERS

Wellsboro

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955, amended in 1997, prohibits discrimination against individuals or groups by reason of their race, color, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, in employment, housing and public accommodation.

For years, a group of lawmakers from both parties have tried to further amend this act to include LGBTQ+ protections. This bill is called the Fairness Act. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support, the Fairness Act has never come up for a vote.

This is because the bill must be assigned to the House State Government Committee for initial consideration. From 2011 through 2018, Butler County Republican Representative Daryl Metcalfe, that committee’s chairman, refused to bring the bill to the floor.

Republican Garth Everett of Lycoming County now leads the committee.

He has called the Fairness Act “a big issue,”“one that we will be getting to”.

Right now, our LGBT+ family members and friends can legally be refused housing and jobs for which they are qualified, simply because of who they are. It is past time to change this and the majority of our legislators are willing to act.

Mr. Everett, it is time to vote.

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