Bucks County Herald

Newtown Township supports anti-discrimination ordinance

The Newtown Township supervisors approved a measure that seeks to add an anti-discrimination ordinance to the Newtown law books. Solicitor David Sander will work toward drafting the legislation and the supervisors will consider making it a law sometime in the near future.

If it is approved, Newtown would be the sixth municipality in Bucks County to enact legislation that would extend protections to the LGBTQ community.

Yardley approved an anti-discrimination bill in March and Doylestown enacted similar legislation in 2010, adding a ban on conversion therapy of minors late last year.

The laws seek to protect people, especially those in the LGBTQ community, from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation.

Currently, those who feel they’ve been discriminated against must take their case to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. However, the state’s Human Relations Act makes no mention of sexual orientation or gender identity, said Yardley Borough Councilman David Bria, who spoke at the Sept. 26 meeting about the proposed bill.

The supervisors also approved a measure that removes a number of provisions from the township’s noise ordinance. The amendment was put forth at the suggestion of former Police Chief Henry Pasqualini and Code Enforcement Officer Martin Vogt, who both believed that certain provisions in the ordinance were unenforceable.
In addition to removing specific sections regarding noise, the revised bill removes a ban on activities that, by way of odors, fumes, vapors, vibration or dust, interfere with a neighbor’s enjoyment of their own property.

The amended bill also strikes down a ban on operating all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and snowmobiles between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. or within 50 feet of a neighbor’s property.

The supervisors voted 4-1 to remove the provisions from the ordinance with Secretary John Mack casting the lone vote against the amendment. They voted unanimously to begin drafting legislation to ban the discharge of firearms on township property.


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