HARRISBURG, Pa., April 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine today at Philadelphia City Hall lauded the efforts by Governor Wolf and the city of Philadelphia to protect LGBT residents from discrimination and also urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would help protect members of the LGBT community.
"The Wolf Administration and the Department of Health want to ensure that Pennsylvania is a welcoming place regardless of who you are or who you love," said Dr. Levine. "Non-discrimination protections are about fairness. Our economy doesn't work if some people feel the deck is stacked against them. What we need now is to pass non-discrimination legislation to ensure all Pennsylvanians have equal protection under the law."
Governor Tom Wolf earlier this month signed two executive orders that expanded protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression or identity for state employees and, for the first time, employees of contractors doing business with the commonwealth.
The first executive order says that no agency under the governor's jurisdiction shall discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, union membership, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, and identity, national origin, AIDS or HIV status, or disability.
The second executive order will ensure that all contracting processes of commonwealth agencies will be nondiscriminatory and that all businesses contracting with the commonwealth, as well as all grantees, should use nondiscriminatory practices in subcontracting, hiring, promoting, and other labor matters.
It is estimated that the American workforce loses over $64 billion annually due to the estimated cost of losing and replacing more than 2 million American workers who leave their jobs each year due to unfairness and discrimination.
"We are proud to continue to be a beacon of independence as we work to create a more equitable and just city for Philadelphians, and we look to our founding mission to support our fellow LGBT people throughout this country," said Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs. "I am grateful for Governor Wolf's use of his executive power to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the commonwealth and his unwavering commitment to advancing and passing statewide nondiscrimination legislation. I also thank Dr. Levine for her shared commitment with the commonwealth and the City of Philadelphia."
Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast United States that does not have legislation to prohibit LGBT discrimination.
Go to www.health.pa.gov to learn more about the department's outreach on more.
MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Worden, DOH, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health