Target: Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter
Goal: Commend Mayor of Philadelphia for groundbreaking commitment to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) and human rights
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter recently approved a bill offering protections and benefits for LGBT citizens. Pink News has called it “the most comprehensive legislation for strengthening LGBT rights in any U.S. city.” The legislation offers tax credit incentives to businesses that allow the families of LGBT employees to enroll for family health benefits and for employers who offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits. According to the Associated Press, this legislation will be the first of its kind to promote transgender-specific health benefits.
The bill revises parts of the Philadelphia city code to guarantee equal treatment of all city residents, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Examples include making city forms gender neutral, allowing employees to dress in accordance with their gender identity, and requiring gender-neutral bathrooms in city-controlled buildings. It will also address healthcare discrimination by guaranteeing spouse-equivalent treatment in hospitals and medical decision-making. Finally, the bill secures protections for LGBT city employees with life partners, such as pension, retirement, and survivor benefits.
Councilman Kenney, who sponsored the bill, described its appeal as a “business-friendly, low-cost model for what progressive cities can do to end discrimination of LGBT citizens and their families.”
“The spirit of the bill acknowledges people’s humanity, acknowledges their citizenship and their full rights to participate in everything the law has to offer everyone else,” said Councilman Kenney. Commend Mayor Nutter for making significant strides in ending discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in Philadelphia.
Dear Mayor Nutter,
We are thankful for Philadelphia’s new bill to offer protection and benefits to LGBT citizens. This comprehensive legislation based on policies of inclusion and equality is a triumph for LGBT rights. LGBT citizens and their families continue to be marginalized in the workplace and all facets of society. By offering tax incentives for companies that offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits and benefits for families of LGBT employees, and by accommodating the rights of transgendered individuals to use gender-neutral facilities, this bill strives to ban healthcare and workplace discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.
Your commitment to equality and the protection of human rights is admirable and will inspire other cities to follow in your lead to create a more inclusive and tolerant society. Thank you for making Philadelphia a leader in promoting gender equality and protection for LGBT citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron via Wikimedia Commons