Philadelphia – Today Mayor Jim Kenney and members of Philadelphia City Council responded to Governor Tom Wolf issuing two anti-discrimination executive orders.
Mayor Jim Kenney said: “I am proud to stand with Governor Wolf in his fight to end discrimination against Pennsylvania’s LGBT individuals, families and businesses. While the executive orders signed today are an important step, there is still a great deal more to be done before all state residents are afforded the same protections of LGBT Philadelphians. I urge the state legislature to pass comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.”
Following the Governor’s example, Mayor Kenney today joined Mayors Against Discrimination, a coalition formed recently in the wake of discriminatory laws enacted against LGBT individuals. Initiated by San Francisco Mayor, Edwin M. Lee, the coalition will work together to examine prohibitions on contracting and purchasing from companies in states passing LGBT discriminatory legislation, develop model resolutions that can be adopted by city councils and other legislative bodies, and other develop additional measures that Mayors and cities can take individually and collectively.
Council President Darrell L. Clarke said: “It is appalling to see lawmakers old enough to remember the time of separate restrooms and water fountains for black Americans now promoting legalized discrimination against LGBTQ persons. So-called bathroom bills that promote transphobia and violence against trans people are particularly insidious in light of alarmingly high rates of violence committed against trans people of color. I urge the General Assembly to set Pennsylvania apart from states like North Carolina and Mississippi and pass comprehensive non-discrimination legislation immediately.”
Last week, Mayor Kenney also issued a welcome call to businesses that are considering leaving states, like North Carolina, that are passing LGBT discriminatory legislation. And, today, City Councilman Mark Squilla formally introduced a City Council resolution echoing that call.
Councilman Mark Squilla said: “I am pleased and proud to have introduced this resolution today and hope this legislation will encourage companies to set up shop in Philadelphia. As an elected representative in a City that embraces diversity, I welcome all businesses who share our views on equality.”