Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed two anti-discrimination executive orders related to the rights of transgender people on Thursday, contrasting recent high-profile laws in other states that been criticized for discriminating against the LGBT community.
One of the Pennsylvania orders bans discrimination against employees or job applicants based on gender expression or identity, in addition to other criteria, including race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, Reuters reported. The second order requires any company that has a contract with the state to eliminate discrimination in hiring employees and requires the companies to treat them fairly.
“What happened in North Carolina, and what is going on in other states, should be a call to pass non-discrimination legislation in Pennsylvania now,” the governor’s office said in a statement on Wednesday. “The governor wants to make clear that Pennsylvania is inclusive, welcoming, and open for business for everyone.”
A recent North Carolina law prohibits local governments from enacting anti-discrimination measures to protect the LGBT community and has drawn criticism from businesses and elected leaders in other states. In Mississippi, a new law allows public and private businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on religious beliefs.