The Three Rivers Business Alliance, Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, joined by the Keystone Business Alliance (Philadelphia) and Independence Business Alliance (Harrisburg), representing the three Pennsylvania affiliated chambers of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, expressed their disappointment with the decision of the Chambersburg Council in repealing its LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in a statement released Monday.
In repealing the ordinance, Chambersburg became the first among 70 Pennsylvania municipalities that have enacted LGBTQ-inclusive laws to revoke it.
“By repealing the ordinance without implementing any further protections for the LGBTQ+ community and other community members who have historically faced discrimination, the Chambersburg Council has sent a clear message that LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies are not welcome in their town”, the statement read.
“Nondiscrimination protections ensure those basic freedoms to earn a living, rent or own a home, and participate fully in the community. LGBTQ+ people currently do not have these express, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections nationwide, and continue to lack clarity and consistency here in our state. It’s essential to our local and state economy that all employees, customers, and visitors – and their families – feel safe and welcome in all towns in Pennsylvania, including Chambersburg”.
In the release, Keystone Business Alliance, Independence Business Alliance, and Three Rivers Business Alliance called upon the Chambersburg Council to reconsider its decision and demanded that the Pennsylvania General Assembly join the rest of the states in the Northeast by enacting a non-discrimination statute that protects the LGBTQ+ community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, regardless of where they live.
“Otherwise, Pennsylvania will continue to be viewed as an unwelcoming state for LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies,” the statement concluded.