Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on
Thursday signed an ordinance expanding rights for LGBT people in the
Nutter, president of the U.S.
Conference of Mayors and a member of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,
a group of 300 plus mayors who have pledged to support efforts to
legalize gay marriage in their states, said he hoped the measure
would help Philadelphia become “the most LGBT-friendly” city in
Among its provisions is a
first-in-the-nation tax credit to companies that extend health care
coverage to the domestic partners of LGBT workers and their children.
Officials said that the legislation
also encourages businesses to provide transgender-specific health
benefits through tax credits.
“For decades, the City of
Philadelphia has been a leader on LGBT rights and gender equality
with our protections and provisions on the basis of sexual
orientation and gender identity and life partnership program.
Signing this legislation today continues our long history of equality
for every Philadelphian no matter who they love or their gender
identity,” said Nutter. “I am proud that Philadelphia can be the
first city in the nation to offer the Equality Tax Credit to
employers who offer health benefits to same sex couples, life
partners and transgender employees.”
The law also adds additional
protections for transgender people, including adding gender identity
to the city's anti-discrimination law and offering
transgender-inclusive healthcare to city workers.
Councilman James Kenney sponsored the
legislation, which the City Council easily approved last month.
“Equal protection under the law means
equal protection under the law,” he
told the AP.
Pennsylvania currently does not
recognize the relationships of gay and lesbian couples with either marriage
or civil unions.