Thursday, the Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, shamed red states for passing anti-LGBT laws in a big way.
Governor Tom Wolf signed two executive orders to provide protections to over 79,000 state employees from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual or gender orientation.
These executive orders were partially in response to the laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi.
Recently, southern Republican-run states have been passing laws that allow businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community under the guise of “religious freedom.” Other states, most recently North Carolina, have passed laws making it illegal for transgendered people to use the bathroom of their choice. Instead, they must use the bathroom of their biological sex. While the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage gave the LGBT community a big step towards equality, these bigoted red states show us there is still a long ways to go.
Gov. Wolf said as he signed the executive orders:
“This is the right thing for us to do. Just as it was the right thing for William Penn to do when he proclaimed that Pennsylvania was a place for everyone, regardless of their religion.”
Wolf acknowledges this is just a first step towards equality because the orders would not cover the majority of people in his state. Wolf said:
“I call on the General Assembly to swiftly put legislation on my desk that ensures that people throughout the commonwealth — regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression or identity — are treated equally under Pennsylvania law.”
The executive orders now protect state employees and applicants from discrimination on the”basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, union membership, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, national origin, AIDS or HIV status, or disability.”
“If we want a just society, we have to do this.”
Wolf became governor in 2014 after defeating Republican incumbent former Governor Tom Corbett who once said compared same-sex marriage to child marriages. Corbett later walked back that remark by saying the better analogy would be comparing same-sex marriage to incest. Corbett rode the Tea Party wave into the governor’s seat in 2010 and was voted out four years later after he slashed taxes on businesses and cut education and various social services to make up for the lost revenue. Corbett was the only Republican governor to lose his seat to a Democrat. And we can see why.
It looks like Pennsylvania is on the right track with Gov. Wolf. With so much hate focused on the LGBT community as of late, it’s nice to see a leader stand up and do right by his people.
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