PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney signed two bills today which replace gendered marital signifiers in the Realty Transfer Tax and Senior Citizen Low Income Special Tax Provisions. The legislation, introduced by Councilman Derek Green, will replace the terms “husband,” “wife,” “widow,” and “widower” on the forms to the non-gendered term “spouse.” Mayor Kenney was joined by Councilman Derek Green (At-Large), Director for the Office of LGBT Affairs Amber Hikes, and Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Rue Landau at the signing.
“The use of gendered language in such ordinances has historically created barriers for members of the LGBTQ community, whose partnership is not always properly reflected by the terms ‘husband and wife,’” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The inclusion of gender neutral language will help to streamline legal proceedings and demonstrates Philadelphia’s status as a city that ensures acceptance and equality for all its citizens, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“We do not live in a one-size-fits-all society and it’s about time – in fact, it’s long overdue – that all our policies reflect that,” said Councilman Green. “It’s imperative that any loopholes that make it easier for any married couple to be taken advantage of or to be disqualified from having any marital benefits, be closed once and for all. That is exactly what this legislation is meant to accomplish.”