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.READ MORE: Trial Starts Monday For Gilbert Newton III, Philadelphia Teen Accused Of Killing Ex-Girlfriend Morgan McCaffrey
“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.READ MORE: Philadelphia Seniors Treated To Night Out, Musical At Walnut Street Theatre
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.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Gunmen After Shots Fired Near Chester High School Football Game
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.