April 25, 2023

PHRC supports PA Fairness Act

Has been investigating LGBTQ+ discrimination complaints since 2018

Harrisburg, PA- The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) applauds the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee for voting to move the PA Fairness Act (HB 300) to a full House vote.   

The PA Fairness Act would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to prohibit discrimination against individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ in housing, education or access to public accommodations. 

"No one should be discriminated against because of who they are," said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. "The Commission supports the PA Fairness Act and while we will monitor its progress, the Commission would like all LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians to know, PHRC already investigates anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination complaints and will continue protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals regardless of the outcome of this bill." 

The PHRC has considered the LGBTQ+ community a protected class since 2018. In 2022, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved proposed PHRC regulations that would define "sex" as, "pregnancy status, childbirth status, breastfeeding status, sex assigned at birth, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, and differences in sex development." 

These new regulations are currently still in the review process and not yet final, but once published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, they will become effective within 60 days.  

"We want the LGBTQ+ community to know the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission is here to protect them from discrimination," said M. Joel Bolstein, PHRC Chair. "Since 2018, PHRC has made it clear to Complainants and Respondents how the Commission interprets the definition of the protected class 'sex', and the Commission will continue to investigate these discrimination complaints." 

The PHRC, the state's leading social justice enforcement agency, urges anyone who has experienced acts of discrimination or hate to file a complaint with the PHRC by calling 717-787-4410.  Information and resources are also available at



PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media