CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Tonight, the Chambersburg Town Council is scheduled to vote on repealing its nondiscrimination ordinance. That law, which was passed last year, provides legal protection from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation for people in the borough on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), religion, religious creed or belief, ancestry, national origin, familial status, marital status, age (except in public accommodations), veteran status, mental or physical disability.
Chambersburg is one of more than 70 municipalities in Pennsylvania with some form of this law on the books.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania responded to the debate in Chambersburg in a statement released today. The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“For decades, governments at all levels in this country have passed and enforced nondiscrimination laws. These laws are necessary to guarantee that people have equal access to the basics of life without worrying that they can be denied these essentials simply because of who they are. And these laws have benefitted historically marginalized people, including Black Americans, women, disabled people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender people.
“The council members who support repeal are resisting the progress that we’ve made as a country and engaged in the worst kind of backlash politics. They are sending the message that, in Chambersburg, certain people don’t matter and that discrimination will be tolerated. The ACLU of Pennsylvania stands with the good people of Chambersburg who believe their town should be welcoming to all.”
The following can be attributed to Naiymah Sanchez, trans rights organizer for the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“Unfortunately, discrimination is still prevalent against LGBQ and transgender people in 2022. Legal protections like those in Chambersburg’s ordinance provide important safeguards for anyone who faces unfair treatment because of who they are. The ordinance sets the tone for the business community, putting business owners, landlords, and realtors on notice that they are to be open to all. And it reflects how people can expect to be treated generally.
“Repealing this ordinance takes Chambersburg in the wrong direction.”