It was good news to see the recent Supreme Court ruling that agreed with Pennsylvania’s decision to accept and allow same sex marriage, it ended an era of separate but not equal, and it defined all as all. The Court decided that love wins and all people have the same right to marry who they love. That was good news, but it also pointed out that the work against legalized discrimination in Pennsylvania is not yet done. Many people are unaware that in the majority of communities in Pennsylvania someone can be denied a job or fired from a job just because of who they are. They can be denied a house or apartment, a mortgage or loan, or even a seat at a restaurant, simply based on their private lives. This is wrong and is time to end legalized discrimination in Pennsylvania.
This country was founded on the belief that all are created equal, 51 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act which took us a step closer to fulfilling the promise originally made by the Declaration of Independence. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or age, illegal in the United States. Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in this nation and it’s time that we clarify that all means all, and equal means equal in this state. It is time for Pennsylvania to ensure that all people are treated equally under the law; black, white, or brown, man or woman, young or old, gay, straight or transgendered. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast region that doesn’t have laws on the books that give LGBT people the same protections as minorities, people who have disabilities and other groups that face discrimination. The people of Pennsylvania are better than this and they deserve better than this. We have a long history of standing up for what is right and fighting against discrimination in all of its forms. It is past time to tell our state legislature to outlaw discrimination. It is simply the right thing to do.
-Susan Rzucidlo