April 06, 2016
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is signing two executive orders for the commonwealth's LGBT community Thursday in response to two states that have recently passed laws in the name of religious liberty.
Wolf said in a statement he will sign the orders Thursday that prevent state employees and contractors from discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
"The governor wants to make clear that Pennsylvania is inclusive, welcoming, and open for business for everyone," his office said.
Wolf has chided the Republican-controlled legislature for not yet passing an anti-discrimination bill, according to PennLive. Senate State Government Committee Chairman Mike Folmer has said any bill would need to be vetted to make sure it doesn't violate religous freedoms, the Associated Press reports.
In March, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law that bans anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and requires transgender people to use the restrooms the match the gender on their birth certificates in government buildings and public schools, according to The New York Times.
Not long after that, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed off on a bill that allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse services to gay and transgender people.
Wolf, a Democrat, explicitly condemned the North Carolina law and lamented what's going on "in other states." Both McCrory and Bryant are Republicans.
Georgia's Republican governor, Nathan Deal, recently rejected a bill similar to those laws, saying, "I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.