Tuesday, April 23, 2013

LGBT Equality Comes to City Hall

Are you in Philadelphia? Do you care about protections for LGBT families? What are you doing this Thursday?

As you may know, Councilman Jim Kenney’s comprehensive LGBT equality legislation recently passed unanimously out of committee and is going up for a final vote this Thursday, April 25th during a regular session of City Council.

Supporters of this bill are encouraged to attend Thursday’s final vote (wearing red) at Philadelphia City Hall, Room 400, 10am-12:30pm! (full details below).

From Kenney's office:

Help Pass the Philadelphia LGBT Equality Bill (No. 130224)Sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney (at-large) Call to Action: Let’s FILL City Council Chambers (please wear red)!
When: FINAL VOTE this Thursday, April 25th – 10:00am-12:30pm
Where: Philadelphia City Hall, Council Chambers (Room 400-North Hallway) – Enter through N.E. Visitors Entrance
Please note: Supporters are asked to refrain from offering repetitive public comment. Wonderful public speakers have already been arranged and we don’t want to belabor the point with an already supportive City Council.

The vote count is very encouraging, but that doesn't mean they don't need us there to support this important bill. We want to make sure every member of City Council feels tremendously supported in their “YES” vote for equality.

Lastly, here are some of the exciting changes the bill will make:
  1. Establishes Philadelphia 1st in the U.S. Equality Health Care Tax Credit -- to proactively close the insane gap in LGBT-friendly workplace health care coverage (Only 42% of jobs in Philadelphia offer domestic partners the same health coverage they offer spouses. Less than 10% of Philadelphia jobs offer full transgender-inclusive health coverage). The credit is optional and the Chamber of Commerce has endorsed. 
  2. Ends health care discrimination for transgender City employees (1st on the East Coast). 
  3. Offers a broad array of new transgender protections to ensure everyday life is increasingly fair. 
  4. Creates equality for life partners and transgender Philadelphians by making all City forms LGBT-inclusive. 
  5. Cements placement of "life partner" language next to spouse throughout the entire City Code. 

I am going to make every effort to get our family there wearing red. (Believe it or not Zoe has a stomach bug - I know it seems like we've been sick forever!  So we won't go if there are any lingering symptoms) I hope you and your families can attend. It's so important to put faces to these issues. I'm so happy that Councilman Kenney put forth this bill that could have such a positive impact on LGBT families - if only he'd had the same commitment to working families when the earned sick time legislation came to a vote.

See you Thursday!

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