LGBT/T civil rights bill filed in Pennsylvania

From 365 Gay

(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) Legislation prohibiting discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in housing, employment, and public accommodations has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

It would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as protected classes. The bill, introduced by Rep. Dan Frankel (D) has 79 co-sponsors from both parties and from across the commonwealth.

“This legislation is critical to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pennsylvanians who are trying to work and have a roof over their heads, and it enjoys substantial support from Pennsylvanians from every corner of the Commonwealth,” said Jake Kaskey, policy and outreach coordinator of Equality Advocates Pennsylvania.

“At a time when more and more people across the state find themselves unemployed, we need to make sure every Pennsylvanian who wants to work has a fair chance at work,” Kaskey added.

The bill is expected to go to the House State Government Committee, where it has been assigned in the past.

“We are very encouraged by the record number of legislators who have signed on as co-sponsors of this bill and we think it is a good sign for future progress,” added Andy Hoover, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

Current Pennsylvania law provides basic legal protection against discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, handicap or disability, education and the use of a guide dog.

Thirteen Pennsylvania municipalities have already enacted civil rights laws including protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. State College also has an ordinance that only covers sexual orientation discrimination in housing and employment.

But nearly 80  percent of the state’s 12 million residents live or work in communities that do not provide these protections.

Twenty states in the country have similar laws, including Pennsylvania’s neighboring states of New Jersey, Maryland and New York.

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Why Do We Need an Umbrella Term?

I’ve never gotten why Transgender gets to be some sort of umbrella term other than it was put forth as such by the followers of Virginia Prince who went beyond Prince’s strange self hating homophobic anti transsexual ideology to found IFGE and Tapestry.

I’m sort of directing this to Sarah’s comment so bear with me…

I suggested TS/TG Community would be more accurate.  When I list the queer initials I list them as LGBT/T and have been doing so for about a year now.  I too once thought there was such a thing as THE Transgender Community.  Then I was invited to and attended an F to M Conference (Forward Motion) in Burbank.  I went to it thinking I was going to a gathering of the tribe.  I came away realizing I had attended a gathering of the tribes.

Transsexual and Transgender were both necessary to describe the men I met and they have the same SRS vs secondary sex characteristics changing arguments we have.

Trying to treat us as all having everything in common is a joke.  It is like saying African Americans and Latinos are both people of color therefore let’s call everyone African American and pretend the needs of both groups are identical.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs aside I think the idea of a hierarchy with one group on top is an act of horizontal hostility that keeps this stupid war going.  Does it make a freaking difference to the homeless trannie dying of exposure whether she is ranked above or below some other group?  Or to the kid who is murdered because she has never learned the survival skills to avoid that danger?

As for Intersex.  I believe transsexual and transgender (the 24/7 variety) are both probably an intersex condition.  I also consider a person with a diagnosed intersex condition who wants to change their assigned sex to be the same as every other person given the label transsexual.  Over the last 15 years I have been lied to by enough leaders of the so called intersex movement ( ISNA) as to think the whole ISNA is nothing but a fraud.

Many issues like non-discrimination go far beyont trans prefixed labels.  What difference does it make if the discrimination is due to a trans prefixed word or because you are female and over 50, or the wrong color or ethnicity?

I don’t know how a WBT or anyone associated with any minority group can be a conservative.  It is like being the slave who brings the master the whip for the master to beat them.  It is stupid.  Therefore an even larger umbrella would probably be progressive.

Over the years I have seen the importance of ad hoc committees for certain basic issues.  Monica Helms gets knocked a lot. (perhaps justly so as she is pretty damned abrasive) yet she works for the rights of transveterans and I would be willing to bet there are WBTs who could work with her on these issues were we to look at the greater common good rather than arguing hierarchies and umbrellas.