“Your rights in Philadelphia as it pertains to anti-discrimination in your employment are solid”


There’s something about catching up on a newspaper or magazine when you’ve fallen behind in your reading.

This past weekend, I read both last week’s and this week’s editions of PGN, Philadelphia Gay News. (Yes, it’s the same paper I freelanced for in the beginning of this year.)

In the Oct. 18-24 edition, it was mentioned,

“The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in three groundbreaking cases that will determine whether civil rights protections against job discrimination extend to the queer community.”

Then, the paper got reaction from the deputy director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs.

(There is no director at the moment. The last one, who showed no respect to at least one constituent, failed to return repeated questions to her work email, and became even more controversial for mixing her open personal social media accounts with her official city job [see article and editorial]…

and literally tried to force change on the city based on demographics rather than qualifications…

resigned and has not yet been replaced.)

So in that same article in PGN’s Oct. 18-24 edition, right after the jump, the deputy director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs was quoted as saying,

“No matter what happens, your rights in Philadelphia as it pertains to anti-discrimination in your employment are solid,”


“No matter what, you can not experience discrimination for being LGBTQ at work in Philadelphia.”

That would be nice if it was true, but sadly, it can’t be.

First, Philadelphia is too big of a city to make blanket statements like that.

Second, in the very same issue of PGN, an article entitled Lesbian sues St. Joseph’s University was teased (for lack of a better word) just below!

Furthermore, in the next week’s edition (Oct. 25-31), PGN has a front page article entitled Gay man sues Comcast. (Credit to owner/publisher Mark Segal for running it, since he has ties to Comcast.)

I don’t know either party, or the details of their cases except for what I read, but both are making discrimination claims. I will say St. Joe’s is religious and the woman suing held the title of Assistant Director for Music and Worship. She eventually quit.

The man suing Philadelphia-based Comcast, owner of NBC, continues to work there after more than 18 years and holds the title of senior vice president of government affairs and principal for LGBTQ External Affairs. (Say that in one breath! It’s very revealing about corporations, these days.)

I’m not going to go into the details in this blog post, and there are many in both cases, but you can read what a great reporter I know wrote about them by clicking the links above. The details don’t matter for my purpose; just the fact discrimination probably exists in the city of Philadelphia is enough.

(I write probably just by knowing major lawsuits have been filed over the past few weeks, probably by lawyers who think they’re going to win, since that seems to be how employment cases work. And the plaintiffs don’t have to prove all of their many accusations to show discrimination took place. Remember the blanket statement above.)

I wonder what the city of Philadelphia, and specifically its Office of LGBT Affairs has been doing to prevent employment discrimination, or anything that’s close enough, considering these lawsuits are against a university and corporation that are certainly not mom-and-pop operations. They employ many people and should be familiar with the city’s employment laws and other anti-discrimination rules.

Maybe it should look at the big picture and stop micromanaging minorities among minorities.


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