UPDATE: Susquehanna Twp. Hopes to Adopt Anti-discrimination Law Dec. 8

Susquehanna Twp. resident Steve Dorko proposes anti-discrimination ordinance.

Susquehanna Twp. Commissioners last night (Nov. 10) moved to formally
“advertise” a non-discrimination ordinance initially proposed last July by township resident Steve Dorko. Advertising the ordinance is the next required procedural step in order for commissioners to formally vote on adopting the measure Dec. 8., 7:30 p.m.

Dorko now calls on all interested parties to contact Susquehanna Twp. Commissioners to express their support of the measure.

At last night’s regular commissioner meeting, Dorko and about 15 supporters of the measure, and Equality PA’s Ted Martin, spoke in favor of the measure.

In the ordinance, Dauphin County’s Susquehanna Township bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and discrimination based on genetic information, as explained to Central Voice by board of commissioners president Diane Bowman.

Upon initially proposing the ordinance, Dorko cited inaction by the Pa. General Assembly in enacting statewide anti-discrimination protections, even though 22 municipalities in the state already have such protections. Dorko now calls for interested parties to contact commissioners regarding the proposed ordinance.

“We need people who live, work, visit, or otherwise spend dollars in the township to contact Susquehanna Twp. Commissioners,” Dorko said. To show support for such ordinances, Equality PA commissioned Susquehanna Polling and Research in February and learned that state residents support anti-discrimination legislation by more than a two to one margin, or 69% in favor to 24% opposed. Martin said Pennsylvanians “have shown overwhelming support for comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.”

Twenty-three Pennsylvania municipalities have ordinance protections in place, although the state’s three largest cities – Altoona, Wilkes-Barre, and Williamsport – do not. Most recently, Springfield Township in Montgomery County passed a protective ordinance, preceded by Bethlehem.

The complete list includes: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie (County), Allegheny (County), Reading, Scranton, Bethlehem, Lancaster (City), Harrisburg, York, State College, Easton, Newton Borough, Swarthmore, Lower Merion Township, West Chester, New Hope, Landsdown, Doylestown, Conshohocken, Haverford, Springfield Township, and Montgomery County.

IF YOU COMMENT:
Comments on the proposed ordinance can be made by phone, email, or US mail.
One letter sent to “The Susquehanna Township Board of Commissioners” gets copied to all nine commissioners. Send to: Susquehanna Township Board of Commissioners, 1900 Linglestown Rd., Harrisburg, PA 17110. If you’d like to make public comments Dec. 8, contact Gary Myers, Township Manager (gmyers@susquehannatwp.com, 909-9222) in advance of the meeting. More info: Steve Dorko, 717-657-2683; steve.dorko@gmail.com

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