Pennsylvania Governor bans LGBT discrimination via executive orders
Apr 08, 2016 12:39 AM EDT
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced in a statement that he will be signing two executive orders that will prohibit discrimination by state contractors against the LGBT community. The first order prohibits state contractors from discriminating someone's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. The second order will require any company that has a contract with the state to eliminate discrimination when hiring by treating applicants fairly.
In a report by WDTN.com, Wolf said he hopes the legislature will pass the bill that was designed to outlaw discrimination. He added that Pennsylvania needs to be seen as a welcoming place, citing the bill signed by North Carolina's governor as "discriminatory".
Wolf continued to say that future state contracts such as Medicaid reimbursements and highway construction will need to be updated for their nondiscrimination clauses.
Indeed the executive order signed by Wolf and his office stands in stark contrast to the recent laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi. According to Time, the North Carolina law that was recently passed prohibits local governments from enacting anti-discrimination measures that will protect the LGBT community. As for the law in Mississippi, the bill passed recently allows public and private businesses to refuse service to gay couples on religious grounds.
Wolf added during his speech that the executive orders are small steps until Republican lawmakers act. He added that if people want a healthy economy and a strong democracy, such orders should be done, ABC News reported.
More than 20 states in the nation have anti-discrimination laws for the gay and transgender community. Pennsylvania's two largest cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, also have laws regarding this matter.
Senate State Government Committee Chairman Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, said in a statement this week that the bill by the governor will be reviewed by him and his committee to make sure that it does not violate religious liberties or freedom of conscience.