All 17 members of Council pose with rainbow flags to show their support for gay commu|Provided1/2 All 17 members of Council pose with rainbow flags to show their support for gay commu|Provided
Squilla's open letter to affected gay communities.|Provided2/2 Squilla's open letter to affected gay communities.|Provided
City Councilman Mark Squilla issued an open letter Thursday to the gay residents of Indiana and Arkansas, saying that if they experienced discrimination due to new religious freedom laws in their home states that they are welcome to move to Philadelphia.
“We’re all equal here," Squilla wrote. "Philadelphia was built on that."
The letter, written by Squilla, whose district includes the Gayborhood in Center City, was signed by Mayor Michael Nutter and the other 16 members of Council.
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Pennsylvania itself has a law on the books which is similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but Squilla said those attitudes aren’t held in the City of Brotherly Love.
“Philadelphia has long been a welcoming destination for LGBTQ people despite a less progressive environment elsewhere in the Commonwealth,” Squilla said in a statement. “The national outcry over RFRA in Indiana and Arizona make it clearer than ever that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification is 100 percent un-American.”
Read the full text of Squilla’s letter above.