A Monroe County borough was the latest to adopt an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance this week.
Stroudsburg’s new ordinance passed in a 4-3 vote April 18, making it the first nondiscrimination ordinance in Monroe County to include LGBT protections. Mayor Tarah D. Probst signed the measure into law the following week.
The ordinance establishes a Human Relations Commission that would ensure opportunities for employment, housing, public accommodations and equal access to postsecondary education “regardless of race, color, sex, height, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, use of guide or support animals or mechanical aids.”
Matt Abell, a borough council member presented the ordinance at a council meeting in February.
“It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and, in light of the political climate right now, I felt it was more important than ever that the rights of all people are protected in the state, or at least in our borough,” Abell said.
“I’ve had a lot of gay friends over the years and they’ve always been a big part of my life. It’s such a basic human right, basically just human decency, that all people should enjoy the same rights and advantages as anybody else,” he added.
Abell noted that the ordinance is a modified version of an ordinance passed in Doylestown. However, he said the Stroudsburg ordinance also explicitly includes bathroom protections for transgender individuals.
“It doesn’t require any special bathroom facilities but it requires that persons who identify as either male or female be allowed to use the bathroom of their identifications, and that will include schools within our borough as well,” he said.