|Brian Sims is the first openly LGBT person|
elected to the Pennsylvania legislature
In fact, despite what "fact-checker" Politifact says, it is absolutely true that in 29 states you can be fired if your employer learns that you are GLB or if they even think that you might be GLB. In 34 states you can be fired due to your gender identity or gender expression. That's because as of today, there are only 21 states that laws on the books banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and 16 states that ban employment discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
The federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would ban employment discrimination against LGBT people nationwide if passed by Congress. Amazingly, even though we now know that there is a majority of Senators that support marriage equality, we do not know for sure that a majority of Senators supports employment non-discrimination for LGBT Americans.
Openly gay Democrat Brian Sims is one of 200 members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. In fact, Brian is the first person to be elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, although Republican state Representative Mike Fleck came out last year as well.
Sims was one of the most prominent speakers at a press conference the introduction of two bills this week. Pennsylvania has famously been described by Democratic politico James Carville as "Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between."
LGBT Think Progress reports:
It's well past time that Pennsylvania, the nation's 5th largest state, had statewide LGBT protections!
Actually, of the top 10 states by population (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia) only three have laws banning sexual orientation employment discrimination by private entities (California, New York, Illinois) and only two (California, Illinois) have laws banning gender identity discrimination by private entities.
The time to pass a federal non-discrimination law (ENDA) is now!