Last week, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed legislation making his city the first in the country to offer tax credits to companies that extend the same healthcare benefits to LGBT employees’ domestic partners and their children as they provide to heterosexual spouses and their families. The bill also offers tax credits to businesses that provide transgender-inclusive health benefits, and ensures that transgender people have safe and equal access to bathrooms in all city-owned buildings.
After signing the measure, Nutter explained that he hoped Philadelphia would become “the most LGBT-friendly” city in the world.
“My goal is for Philadelphia to be one of, if not the most, LGBT-friendly cities in the world and a leader on equality issues,” Nutter told Philadelphia’s WCAU.
As noted by WCAU, the legislation also outlaws discrimination based on gender identity, changes city forms and websites to be LGBT-inclusive, and extends medical and end-of-life decision-making rights to same-sex partners.
“This is a city that is truly respecting all its citizens,” said state Rep. Brian Sims, a Philadelphia Democrat and the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the Legislature. “It is because of that respect that we are indeed a first-class city and we will continue to shine.”
Marriage equality is still banned in the state, though Sims introduced an equal marriage bill earlier in October.