Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong Wednesday signed two administrative notifications enhancing nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community.
The first notification clarified the county’s employment policy, while the second required nondiscrimination compliance from contractors and grantees of the county.
Neither affect private companies that aren’t doing business with the county.
The cities of Allentown and Bethlehem already have similar policies, but to his knowledge Armstrong said this is the first such policy in the region on the county level.
“We are hoping this will encourage other counties,” he said.
Adrian Shanker, executive director of the Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, applauded the move to show that the county will not offer funds to companies that discriminate.
“If you work for Lehigh County, you will be judged on your job performance, your efficiency, your effectiveness at what you do, not your sexual orientation or your gender identity,” he said.
Armstrong said the county already had an anti-discrimination policy in place with regard to issues of race, religion and gender, and this clarifies and expands it.
“We want to make sure that we’re protecting all of these people,” he said.
Armstrong noted that the language was designed to mirror that of what is the policy of the Pennsylvania government.