Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed Bill No. 130224, legislation focused on strengthening and expanding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. The legislation provides the first Equality Tax Credit in the nation, which will provide a credit to employers who offer health benefits to same-sex couples, life partners and transgender employees. It also offers transgender-inclusive healthcare to City of Philadelphia employees.
“For decades, the City of Philadelphia has been a leader on LGBT rights and gender equality with our protections and provisions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and life partnership program. Signing this legislation today continues our long history of equality for every Philadelphian no matter who they love or their gender identity,” said Mayor Nutter. “I am proud that Philadelphia can be the first city in the nation to offer the Equality Tax Credit to employers who offer health benefits to same sex couples, life partners and transgender employees. I want to thank Councilman Kenney for his commitment to the fight for equality and leadership on this Bill.”
Additionally, Bill No. 130244:
- Amends various titles of The Philadelphia Code to provide for equality of treatment of all persons in the City of Philadelphia regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, including by further providing for the definition of “Life Partnership” and “Life Partner,” and for protections, rights, benefits and responsibilities of Life Partners;
- Provides for gender neutrality in certain City forms and online websites;
- Provides for access to public accommodations based upon an individual’s gender identity;
- Provides for gender neutral bathrooms in City-controlled buildings;
- Provides for the right to dress consistently with one’s gender identity; and
- Ensures the right of transgender individuals to request name and gender changes on pertinent records.
“There is rapid progress being made for LGBT rights throughout the federal justice system, state legislatures and ballot boxes, in the workplace, and around the family dinner table. But with the passage of this LGBT Rights Bill, Philadelphia takes the lead nationally in creating a business-friendly, low-cost model for what progressive cities can do to end discrimination of LGBT citizens and their families,” said Councilman James Kenney. “Philadelphia is well on its way to being the most LGBT-friendly city in the U.S. The road to true equality does not end here, however. Over 50 percent of our LGBT residents still go to jobs everyday that do not offer health care to their Life Partners and children, despite the fact they are offered to everyone else. Breaking down iniquities like these will continue to make Philadelphia a welcoming and vibrant place to live, work and play.”