After more than 100 people spoke at the meeting held simultaneously in-person and over zoom with over 200 people in attendance– the majority speaking against the change– the Chambersburg council members voted 7 to 3 to repeal the ordinance which had only been enacted in the fall of 2021.
The previous council was majority Democratic party members and the recently sworn in one is majority Republican.
Exactly 71 of Pennsylvania’s 2,562 municipalities have passed LGBTQ+ inclusive local nondiscrimination ordinances as of Jan. 2022, according to Pennsylvania’s Youth Congress, but Chambersburg is the first to repeal one.
The move is not surprising as it follows a pattern of Republicans repealing more socially conscious changes made by previous Democratic leadership between 2020-21 in the wake of movements like MeToo and Black Lives Matter.
For example the Bellefonte Area School District of Centre County recently voted to return to being known as the “Red Raiders” repealing a previous school board’s vote to remove the racist imagery in April 2021.
During the meeting council President Allen Coffman repeated that repealing this ordinance is something he believes voters elected him to accomplish.
“It’s not that they’re being discriminatory against people. I know that may sound crazy to some... that’s not (as) if we don’t think this is a good thing to have. It doesn’t accomplish anything for our citizens,” Coffman said.
There are no protections for LGBTQ+ people issued by the state of Pennsylvania at the time of this publication, despite the fact that Pennsylvania is the only state with an LGBTQ+ Commission, which was formed in Aug. 2018.
More information on LGTQ+ Equality in Pennsylvania is available on the state's Attorney General's website.
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