PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Phoenixville, Chester County became the 40th municipality in Pennsylvania to extend anti-discrimination protections to the LGBT community.
Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin says, for 14 years, they’ve been trying to get a state law to outlaw discrimination against the LGBT community.
“Pennsylvania remains the only state in the northeast where you can still be fired for being gay. You can be evicted, you can be denied a public accommodation,” said Martin.
But under an ordinance passed Wednesday in Phoenixville, a five-person volunteer board would handle discrimination claims through mediation.
Kennett Square passed a similar ordinance a week prior.
Phoenixville resident Bill Davidson welcomes the new ordinance, but adds this should not fall to the local level.
“Hopefully this will encourage the state to pass a statewide anti-discrimination ordinance that includes the LGBTQ community,” he said.
There are now 21 municipalities with anti-discrimination ordinances in the four suburban counties. Philadelphia passed its law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1982.