• Pennsylvania Expands LGBT Rights--Offering Equality Tax Credit
  • June 5, 2013
  • Law Firm: Breazeale Sachse Wilson L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
  • In a first for the nation, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed legislation May 9, 2013, that provides an "Equality Tax Credit" to employers who offer health benefits to same-sex couples, life partners and transgender employees. Among other things, the legislation also offers transgender-inclusive healthcare to city employees. This legislation reflects growing momentum under the Obama administration to extend protection under various laws to individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

    "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."

    In addition to the Equality Tax Credit, Bill No. 130244 advanced other LGBT rights. For example, the bill 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 defining "Life Partnership" and "Life Partner," and for protections, rights, benefits and responsibilities of Life Partners. Moreover, it provides for the right to dress consistently with one's gender identity.

    "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.