Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter today signed into law the most extensive civil rights protections and benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the nation.
“Mayor Michael Nutter and gay rights advocates say it makes Philadelphia the first big city in the U.S. to offer tax credits to companies that extend the same health care coverage to LGBT employees’ life partners and their children as they already provide to heterosexual spouses and their children,” the Greenwich Time reports:
Councilman James Kenney sponsored the bill. He says it also makes Philadelphia the first city to give businesses tax credits for offering transgender-specific health benefits.
Among other things, the measure also requires gender-neutral bathrooms in city-owned buildings and revises Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination law to include transgender people.
The bill revamps “the city’s health-care plan to ban discrimination against non-union transgender city employees, and would instate a Transgender Health Tax Credit that would encourage companies to offer transgender-specific health-insurance coverage to the transgender community,” South Florida Gay News reported last month:
City buildings would also be required to provide gender-neutral bathrooms, and the measure would clarify what constitutes employment discrimination in the city’s nondiscrimination law.
The bill won with a near-sweeping victory, with Councilman-at-Large Bill Green being the only Democrat to vote against it. Republican Councilmen-at-Large David Oh and Brian O’Neill voted against the bill.
Nutter is also the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
Image: Mayor Nutter signing the LGBT protections bill, by Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs, via Twitter
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