In Pennsylvania, municipalities are legally empowered by the state to enact local LGBTQ equality laws and policies. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 allows for cities, townships, boroughs, and counties to pass a non-discrimination ordinance which exceeds the state law (i.e. inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.) With the state having stalled on LGBTQ legal equality for several decades, communities across Pennsylvania have organized to enact local laws and policies. Young people have a great opportunity to get involved and have played critical roles in these efforts.

As of July 2017, 43 of the 2,561 Pennsylvania municipalities have passed local non-discrimination ordinances since 1982. This amounts to approximately 33% of the Pennsylvania population (US Census – 2015 Estimates). Pennsylvania has the most number of LGBT-inclusive local non-discrimination ordinances adopted of any state in the nation (Movement Advancement Project). Below is the list of Pennsylvania municipalities that have adopted non-discrimination ordinances with the dates which sexual orientation and gender identity were added to (or when an ordinance was passed to protect LGBTQ persons, or those perceived to be LGBTQ), with links to the ordinances.

More information on local non-discrimination ordinances in PA can be found at the Suburban and Rural Alliance of PA website.



Abington Township
 (April 12, 2012)

Allegheny County (July 1, 2009)
Ambler Borough (May 17, 2016)
City of Allentown (April 4, 2002)
City of Bethlehem (July 1, 2011)
Bristol Borough (September 9, 2013)
Camp Hill Borough (May 10, 2017)
Carlisle Borough (December 8, 2016)

Cheltenham Township (February 15, 2012)
Conshohocken Borough (April 21, 2011)
Dickson City Borough (June 14, 2016)

Downingtown Borough  (March 19, 2014)
Doylestown Borough (August 16, 2010)
City of Easton (July 12, 2006)
East Norriton Township (July 24, 2012)

Erie County (February 26, 2002)
City of Harrisburg (1983)
Haverford Township (February 14, 2011)
City of Lancaster (November 27, 2001)
Lansdowne Borough (March 15, 2006)
Lower Merion Township (December 8, 2010)
Jenkintown Borough (November 28, 2011)
Kennett Square Borough (March 6, 2017)
Narberth Borough (June 21, 2017)

Newtown Borough (October 11, 2011)
New Hope Borough (September 10, 2002)
City of Philadelphia (SO: August 5, 1982/GI: May 16, 2002)
Phoenixville Borough (March 15, 2017)

City of Pittsburgh (SO: April 3, 1990/GI: February 7, 1997)
City of Pittston (May 28, 2013)
City of Reading (September 28, 2009)
Royersford Borough (March 28, 2017)

City of Scranton (December 8, 2003)
City of Wilkes-Barre (September 15, 2016)
Springfield Township (September 14, 2011)
State College Borough (December 17, 2007)
Stroudsburg Borough (April 18, 2017)

Susquehanna Township (December 8, 2011)
Swarthmore Borough (March 13, 2006)
Upper Merion Township (October 18, 2012)
West Chester Borough (September 20, 2006)
Whitemarsh Township (November 17, 2011)
City of York (September 15, 1998)

School districts can also adopt inclusive non-discrimination policies in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity. Below is a short list of school districts which have LGBTQ friendly equal opportunity policies with links to the documents.

The Lower Merion School District – Policies 103, 104, and 426 (1994: Sexual Orientation, 2016: Gender Identity)

The Philadelphia School District – Policy 102

The State College Area School District – Policy 103 and Policy 104