RESOLUTION CALLING FOR AN AMENDMENT TO THE
PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS ACT
AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION
TO INCLUDE PROTECTION ON THE BASIS OF
SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY

WHEREAS, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals historically have been and continue to be victims of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation;

WHEREAS, there are eight municipalities in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, that have local ordinances which include "sexual orientation" within its civil fights protections;

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is one of the seven states that have Executive Orders barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for state employees;

WHEREAS, eleven states and the District of Columbia have legal protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations;

WHEREAS, neither the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act nor any federal civil rights act presently includes protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity;

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has an interest in equality of treatment for all citizens of Pennsylvania and the United States and the prohibition of discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment on bases including sexual orientation and gender identity;

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has a long-standing history of supporting the concerns of the lesbian and gay community, including having passed resolutions supporting the inclusion of non-discrimination policies at Philadelphia legal employers (1991), amendment of the state's Ethnic Intimidation Act to include enhanced punishment for crimes motivated by animus based on sexual orientation (1991), calling for domestic partnership legislation for lesbian and gay city employees (1993), and unanimously calling for the American Bar Association to adopt a resolution promoting adoption opportunities, includes those for parental pairs of the same gender (1998);

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports and encourages the amendment of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and the implementation of federal legislation to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor and Board of Governors take any measures in support of this resolution as is deemed appropriate, including communication of this position to the appropriate legislators and legislative bodies.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 30, 1999