Gays and other sexual orientations, sexual identity, etc., are individuals who can still be discriminated against in many areas in Pennsylvania.

Seventy percent of those who desperately need legal equal protection in the workplace, to rent an apartment, or to get a mortgage, etc., do not have any legal recourse.

However, the cities of Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and 30 other municipalities in PA do have anti-discrimination laws for sexual orientation now in effect and enforced. However, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not have an anti-discrimination law in effect.

So, yes, gays can now be legally married all over the United States, but in many, many parts of the country they still do not have legal protections from discrimination.

Pennsylvania does have protected classes of people and groups, like race, religion, etc., but sexual orientation is not included in those laws.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast that does not have an anti-discrimination law against gays, transgender, sexual identity or sexual orientation.

Just as an example, Altoona, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport have no anti-discrimination laws on their books.

We now have gay marriages on the books and legal in every state, but, as it should be, religious groups or clergy, do not have to perform these marriages.

Anti-discrimination laws will not affect religious freedom in our country, and that is the way it should be under our separation of church and state.

They are working on legislation in Pennsylvania, which will include gays, etc., from any discrimination, but that is still a long way off.

So, if you are working somewhere in PA, and you place a picture of your spouse on your desk, in many areas of our state, and in many other states, you can be fired and there is no legal recourse.

This is different from hate crimes, where a group or an individual assaults a gay person because they are gay. That is a hate crime. And besides, being arrested for the assault, you can be arrested under our “hate crimes” legislation.

I think it is certainly way past the time when gays, etc., like all other people in America, should have the exact same legal protections that everyone else has under our laws.

I certainly realize that there are those individuals, elected officials, and some even running for President of The United States, who are against gay marriages, dislike gay people, feel that gay people are abnormal or mentally sick, feel that being gay is a learned trait or a choice, not a sexual orientation of how one is born, or they have strong religious convictions against gays, but our laws in America are based on equality, and equal protection for all people.

We are all created by God. Let’s finally protect all people and move on in our lives. We truly have major issues and very scary concerns that are facing this country and this entire world, and this is not one of them.

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Attorney Corky Goldstein has been a radio and TV commentator on all issues in the law for many years on his own shows. He also frequently appeared on Court TV, “It’s Your Call With Lynn Doyle,” produced in Philadelphia and shown nationally, and on “Comcast Newsmakers” for the PA Bar Association. One client put it best, “If I have any legal concern on any issue at all, I sit down and talk to Corky and get his input. His experience and competency in the law cannot be matched.” Another client said,: “Corky knows everybody, particularly all of the people involved in the criminal justice system.”

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