Welcome to Absence of Equality

A few months ago, the media made so much noise over the proposed legislation in Arizona. As the story goes, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, could be denied services in restaurants, hotels, and other forms of public accommodation. Governor Jan Brewer decided at the last possible moment to veto the legislation. When it returned to the legislature for a veto override, the bill died in committee.

For a brief moment, it appeared that Arizona would be one of the first states in the nation to write discrimination into law. However, it would not be the only state to have such a law, whether through a piece of legislation, or omission of the terms "sexual and/or gender identity" encoded in a list of reasons why it is illegal to discriminate. Pennsylvania has no law barring discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual identity.

If a person is gay in Pennsylvania, he can be denied a job or fired from one. In Pennsylvania, if a person is a lesbian, she and her partner could be denied a home or an apartment solely because she and her partner are of the same gender. If a person is transgender, that person can be thrown out of a restaurant or hotel without any recourse. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast US to allow marriage equality, but not ban discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual identity. Until this law changes, Pennsylvanians will suffer from an absence of equality. -- David from ME4PA