Next on the “gay agenda”: full equality under civil law. Check out the entire article at the link after the quote.
“I think what’s happened in the past few days is historic, it’s glorious, remarkable,” says Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, an LGBT-advocacy group. “Pennsylvania went from being one of the most backward states to a marriage-equality state in less than 48 hours.”
But while Pennsylvania has joined 18 other states that afford same-sex couples the same legal rights as straight couples, Martin calls the victory “uneven.”
That’s because, of the states in which same-sex couples can wed, Pennsylvania is the only one where it’s still legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
“It’s really quite a paradox,” says state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Squirrel Hill). “While the judge has affirmed the rights of same-sex couples to marry, we still live in a state where it’s still legal to fire someone [because they’re] in the LGBT community.”
Forty-three municipalities across the state — including Allegheny County, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia — have their own local ordinances barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But with no statewide protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, some 70 percent of Pennsylvanians are living in places where such discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment is perfectly legal.
Local blogger and LGBT activist Sue Kerr says she’s already gotten inquiries from couples who “are weighing the pros and cons and asking about non-discrimination.”
Equality PA’s Martin says he thinks about it this way: “If you go across the border to Beaver [or] Washington County, you can be fired for putting a marriage photo on your desk.”