More than 60,000 Philadelphia residents identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer, and are affected by policies, legislation, and systems that may be biased or discriminatory. The Office of LGBT Affairs works closely with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) to make sure your rights are protected. 

The City of Philadelphia has a strong anti-discrimination law—the Fair Practices Ordinance—that protects people from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. There is no statewide anti-discrimination law in Pennsylvania.

What are your civil rights?

The Fair Practices Ordinance (Chapter 9-100 of the City Code) prohibits employers, housing providers, businesses, providers of public accommodations, and City services from treating individuals differently because of:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Ancestry
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Age 
  • Marital Status
  • Genetic Information
  • Sources of Income
  • Domestic/Sexual  
  • Violence Victim Status

What should you do when you have experienced discrimination?

The PCHR is the City’s civil rights agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws and promotes inter-group relations.

If you have experienced discrimination based on any of the protected categories mentioned above, you should:

  1. Contact PCHR’s Intake Unit (215-686-4670) to begin the process.
  2. Fill out the Intake Form. 
  3. PCHR staff will then schedule a meeting to discuss the information provided on the intake form.

What happens next in the process?

PCHR staff will review all supplied information. If PCHR determines there is not sufficient information, resources may be provided. If PCHR determines there is sufficient information, your complaint will be investigated.

How can I reach the PCHR?

You can contact the PCHR in person, by phone, or via email using the information provided below. 

601 Walnut Street, Suite 300 South

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone: 215-686-4670


The Office of LGBT Affairs can also assist with advocacy and education. You can contact our office at 215-686-0330.