Office of LGBT Affairs and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Issue Statement in Response to Incidents of Racism and Homophobia within LGBT Community

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) will host a public hearing on October 25 about racism and discrimination in the LGBTQ community, following reports of discriminatory practices by businesses in the Gayborhood, and the use of racist and homophobic slurs against members of the LGBT community in Philadelphia.  The Office of LGBT Affairs will be reaching out to individuals, stakeholders, and community groups to ensure they’re aware of the meeting and encourage them to attend and submit testimony.  The meeting will be held at 6pm, October 25 at Liberty Resources, 112 N. 8th Street, Suite 600. Contact PCHR for more information 215-686-4670.

The Office of LGBT Affairs and the PCHR work in tandem to address and combat racism and discrimination in Philadelphia.  The Office of LGBT Affairs provides services and information to LGBT people through outreach and assistance in accessing government services, creating policy and legislation, and building systems of accountability throughout government. The PCHR enforces the City’s laws prohibiting discrimination, to promote equal rights and opportunities of all Philadelphians, and to advance community relations across differences such as race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

“My Office is committed to combatting systems of oppression based on racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia and all forms of bias and discrimination and I am grateful to have the assistance and leadership of PCHR in these critical efforts,” said Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs.

“The recent incidents in the Gayborhood and South Philadelphia are offensive and appalling,” said Rue Landau, Executive Director of the PCHR.  “Consistent with our authority, we are holding a public hearing to provide members of the LGBTQ community a forum to speak about their experiences with racism and discrimination in the community.  The Commission will gather information on bias incidents and discriminatory practices and make necessary recommendations for improved race relations in the LGBTQ community.”

Landau said “our public hearings are separate and distinct from our daily efforts to eliminate racism and discrimination.  We encourage any and all members of the LGBTQ community to report discriminatory behavior to the PCHR as quickly as possible.”