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Penn State Pledges Support for LGBT Nondiscrimination Law

Pennsylvania State University has pledged its support to a campaign to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pennsylvanians.

The university pledged its support to the Pennsylvania Values campaign, which is seeking to update the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 which currently outlaws discrimination against 11 protected classes, including race and religion, but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

Pennsylvania Values is a nonprofit organization created by the statewide LGBTQ youth advocacy group Pennsylvania Youth Congress.

“I’m pleased that Penn State is part of this important campaign designed to protect LGBT rights,” Eric J. Barron, Penn State president, said. “Diversity and inclusion make us stronger as a commonwealth, and will encourage talented workers and innovative businesses to make their homes here.”

Last year, President Donald Trump announced his plans to make changes to the definition of gender, to be determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”

Various groups voiced concerns over this definition change, claiming that it could have a drastic impact on federal protections offered to transgender people. Many universities, including Pennsylvania State University, criticized the move and reassured their LGBTQ community members of ongoing protections.

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