PHILADELPHIA PA - The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) released a report, “Inform Monitor Enforce: Addressing Racism and Discrimination in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Community.” This report was compiled from testimony provided during an October 25, 2016 public hearing hosted by the PCHR.
The Commission and the Mayor’s Office received a number informal complaints from members of the LGBTQ community, particularly people of color, expressing their concern about racist and discriminatory practices at the bars in the gayborhood throughout 2016.
The report identifies common issues expressed during the public meeting as well as submitted to the Commission, including a noticeable lack on inclusion in the Philadelphia's Gayborhood for women, people of color and transgender persons, and questionable employment practices at social service agencies that serve and employ LGBT persons of color.
“I attended the hearings that PCHR held on October 25 last year, and I was able to hear about some particularly troubling experiences. Racism in the LGBT community is a real issue, we all need to do more to address it,” said Mayor Kenney. “So I’d like to thank Rue and the Commissioners for creating this report and this formal record so that government can take action.”
Following the findings, the Commission provided a series of recommendations for institutions that serve the LGBT community. These recommendations include trainings on the city’s Fair Practice Ordinance and implicit bias for LGBT public accommodations and places of employment.
“In every movement, change starts from the community,” said Rue Landau, PCHR Executive Director. “Our report reflects those community concerns. We hope these recommendations will bring about systemic change so that all people in the LGBTQ community can feel safe and be free from discrimination.”
The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR), established under the Home Rule Charter in 1951, enforces all laws prohibiting discrimination, promotes equal rights and opportunities for all Philadelphians, and resolves conflicts and advances community relations throughout Philadelphia’s diverse neighborhoods.
PCHR is an independent City commission which enforces the nondiscrimination laws. As part of that mission, they investigate allegations of discrimination and hold hearings in order to recommend specific changes. They also work to resolve neighborhood disputes through conflict mediation. The Executive Director of the PCHR and all its Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor.