Allentown, Pa., antidiscrimination law end legal challenge
Opponents of a
city ordinance in Allentown, Pa., that prohibits
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity have decided not to take their legal
challenge to the state supreme court.
Their decision means an August 11 ruling by a
commonwealth court will stand. A three-judge panel
said the city could legally broaden its
antidiscrimination ordinance. That ruling reversed a
decision by a Lehigh County judge, who initially
struck down the antibias protections, saying the city
exceeded its authority under state law.
In 2002, Allentown amended its Human Relations
Commission act—a law that prohibited employment
and housing discrimination based on such things as
race, religion, and country of origin—to include
sexual orientation and gender identity. The legal
challenge was later filed by landlords Gerry S.
Hartman, John Lapinski, and Robert and Debbie Roycroft.
Their lawyer, Randall L. Wenger, said Friday
that he discussed a possible appeal to the state's
highest court but that the landlords decided against
it. "Ultimately, it's the clients' decision not to," he
said. "I advised them of my thoughts, and we, as a group,
decided not to." (AP)