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Newtown Supervisors Agree to Draft Anti-discrimination Ordinance to Protect LGBTQ Community

Newtown Supervisors Agree to Draft Anti-discrimination Ordinance to Protect LGBTQ Community | Newtown News of Interest |

The board of supervisors has agreed to expand anti-discrimination protections to the LGBT community for public accommodations, housing and employment within the township.

At the Sept. 26 meeting, the board unanimously voted to give township solicitor David Sander the authority to draft a proposed ordinance after hearing a presentation from Yardley Borough Council Vice President David Bria.

The measure would also establish a township-run human relations commission to handle all discrimination complaints.

Voting for the motion were Chairman Phil Calabro, along with fellow Supervisors, Linda Bobrin, John Mack, Dennis Fisher and Kyle Davis.

Earlier this year, Bria had introduced a similar measure in Yardley which passed in March. It extends legal protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Yardley became the fifth municipality in Bucks County to enact such a law, following the lead of Doylestown, New Hope, Newtown and Bristol Boroughs.

Yardley’s ordinance was modeled after the Doylestown law which enhanced LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights.

Bria told the Newtown supervisors that such an ordinance is needed because LGBT protections are not specifically mentioned in federal and state anti-bias statutes. Because of those statutory exclusions, interpretations are left up to elected officials and the courts.

“Currently there is no federal law which references sexual orientation and gender identity,” he emphasized.

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Newtown News of Interest
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