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Gov. Corbett Backs Gay Anti-Discrimination Law, If Not Gay Marriage

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett is lending public support to a bill that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the state, and LGBT activists say it's a step in the right direction.

Corbett says he supports House and Senate Bills 300, which amend Pennsylvania's Human Relations Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, housing, and in public accommodation.

"I don't think there should be discrimination," the governor said today, "but it doesn't change my position on the definition of marriage or Pennsylvania's law on that."

State representative Brian Simms (D-Phila., in top photo) co-sponsored House Bill 300, as well as the recent bill calling for marriage equality in Pennsylvania.   He says he applauds the governor's announcement -- even if it appears to be a move to gain support for reëlection.

"We're seeing from the top down in the Republican Party in Pennsylvania that you can be supportive of LGBT civil rights and still be a card-carrying Republican," Simms, who is openly gay, said today.

And Simms says there's still major opposition to HB 300, but he hopes Corbett's announcement loosens support.

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