Pennsylvania borough's LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinance may face repeal by new conservative majority
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A borough in central Pennsylvania will likely repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance that protects LGBTQ citizens in jobs, housing and public accommodations like restaurants, according to a report.
The Chambersburg Borough Council would be the first in the state to take such an action, according to PennLive. com.
“All of us that ran in this election to be on council, we think we got a mandate from the people,” new borough council President Allen Coffman said. “People we talked to when we were campaigning did not like this ordinance at all. I don’t know what the vote will be, but I have a pretty good idea.”
The council in Chambersburg, located about 55 miles southwest of Harrisburg, has a new conservative majority.
“People we talked to when we were campaigning did not like this ordinance at all.”
Coffman argued the ordinance – which would have installed a human-resources commission to deal with discrimination complaints – was redundant because the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission already handles those claims, according to the news outlet.
The vote to repeal the ordinance could happen Monday.
“There are no penalties, no fines,” Coffman said. “There’s nothing that the ordinance can make someone do. The most they can hope for is that the committee request the two parties to sit down with a counselor or mediator and talk about it. Quite frankly there is nothing that compels them to. There’s no teeth in this.”
Downtown Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
(Borough of Chambersburg)
He voted against it last year and said he planned to vote for a repeal on Monday.
“My view of government is to simplify it and not make it more complicated,” he said. “If you have no guarantee that you can get a resolution at the local level, it’s obviously going to go to the state. To me we are stalling. If you have a good case, it’s good enough to go to the state and let them make the decision.”
“My view of government is to simplify it and not make it more complicated.”
The ordinance would protect LGBTQ citizens in applying for jobs, housing and the use of public accommodations.
Alice Elia, the former council president and a Democrat, said she thought the repeal vote was being rushed – not the ordinance as her Republican successors have claimed – because many of them are new to public office.
“My concern is that it’s a big decision to overturn something like this,” Elia said. “It hasn’t happened before and for that to be something that is first on the table for people who have never held a position like this is a big thing to do.”
“My concern is that it’s a big decision to overturn something like this.”
Republican state Rep. Wendi Thomas said she was appalled by the idea an anti-discrimination ordination would be repealed.
“What year are we in?” she said in a statement last week. “We are 22 years into the 21st century. We are past the time we should allow any fellow Pennsylvanians to be treated as second-class citizens whether for their gender identity or sexual orientation. Yet here we are in 2022 having to talk about fairness for all fellow human beings.”
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