Blogger’s note: I received the following press release and want to pass it along. I have bolded some content for emphasis:

For Immediate Release

P R E S S R E L E A S E:
Sims, Frankel, other Pa. leaders welcome historic marriage equality ruling,
call for ending ‘fired for getting married,’ related discrimination

HARRISBURG, June 26 – State Reps. Brian Sims and Dan Frankel, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, former Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Executive Director Rue Landau welcomed today’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. However, they warned that new state and federal laws are still needed to address the significant anti-LGBT discrimination that remains.

Sims, D-Phila., a civil rights attorney and the first out LGBT member of the legislature, said, “I am thrilled for our country that the Supreme Court has come down on the side of equality. At the same time, I am concerned for people who are at risk of getting fired for getting married. In most of Pennsylvania and many other states, it is still legal to fire someone or deny them an apartment, a hotel room or a table in a restaurant because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chair of the legislature’s LGBT Equality Caucus, said, “Today is a day for celebration as marriage equality is firmly enshrined in law. But we must not lose sight that it remains legal to deny our family, friends and neighbors jobs, housing or a public accommodation such as a restaurant table because of who they are. That is wrong, is un-American and about 70 percent of Pennsylvanians have agreed for years that we need laws against that type of discrimination.”

Frankel is the lead House sponsor of pending bipartisan legislation (H.B. 300/S.B. 300), which Sims is co-sponsoring, that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in employment, housing or public accommodations. The proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act in Congress would ban such discrimination in the workplace across the country.

Kenney, who steered several pro-LGBT civil rights bills to passage in Philadelphia, said, “This is a great moment for our country, but the fight is not over. Philadelphians must rally together and demand a statewide non-discrimination law that protects on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. We have come a long way but we cannot rest until complete equality is a reality in every corner of this nation.”

Shapiro said, “Love is the law! Today’s ruling marks a great step forward for our democracy and our gay friends and family. It’s also a reminder that the work of democracy belongs to the people and we have more steps to take to ensure all Americans are protected from discrimination in their workplaces and in their homes.

“In Montgomery County we stepped up and issued the first marriage licenses to gay Pennsylvanians two years ago. That decision opened hearts and minds and was one part of the broader effort that helped overturn state marriage laws.

“Today we should celebrate, and then keep marching forward so that LGBT Pennsylvanians can’t be fired from their job or kicked out of their home simply for who they love or how they express themselves.”

Landau said, “In Philadelphia, wise minds settled the matter of equality decades ago, making it illegal to fire people or deny them public accommodations and everyday rights simply based on who they love or how they identify themselves. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today on marriage equality now makes it clear that Pennsylvania and other states must catch up to such thinking, and make equality and nondiscrimination the law of the land.”

The time for full non-discrimination protection for all Pennsylvanians is now.It is time to end the insecurity Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ residents experience as they travel across the state from localities where they have protections to those where they do not.  The time to pass HB 300 and SB 300 is now so that everyone across Pennsylvania benefits.

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