It's considered a milestone for gay rights in Pennsylvania: on Tuesday, lawmakers announced that over 100 members of the general assembly, both Democrats and Republicans, signed a measure that would ban discrimination based
on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Other bills like it have failed before but have a record number of supporters this time around. Lawmakers say the law (now known as House and Senate Bill 300) would prohibit employers, landlords and even creditors from discrimination.
"It's long passed time that we stand up and say enough is enough," said Brian Sims (D–Philadelphia). Sims is also the first member of the state legislature elected as an openly gay candidate.
Up till now, its been up to local governments to pass a similar rule. Susquehanna Township passed a similar measure back in 2011. It went into effect last year.
"We figured if we can't get the state to do what is right, we, as a township, can still do it," said former Susquehanna Township Commissioner Diane Bowman.
However, not everyone agrees with the proposed legislation.
"We do not support this bill because we think it takes non-discrimination and civil rights as a whole, off in the wrong direction," said Randall Wenger with the Pennsylvania Family Institute.
A house amendment banning same sex marriage in Pennsylvania was re-introduced on Tuesday and received the lowest numbers of co-sponsors ever with 27 lawmakers on board.