News

Lancaster County Prison changes ethics code

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Sep 29, 2015 4:08 AM
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(Lancaster) -- A change to the code of ethics at a midstate prison is leading to intense criticism, as Lancaster County Prison policy no longer prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Lancaster County's prison board recently approved the change, saying its trying to make sure the county's and the prison's policies match up.

Those in favor of removing the sexual orientation phrase say the prison policy is still clear about protecting everyone from abuse and discrimination.

But Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman isn't buying it.

Lehman says the county is opening itself up to questions.

"The fact that we're even discussing this issue makes me sad because I believe it's our responsibility to try and make sure we prevent discrimination in all its forms and that it is simply the right thing to do." Lehman says sexual orientation should be considered the same as sex, age, race, or ethnicity. "If you don't, folks will make their own assumptions about what's appropriate and what's not appropriate and I think like anything else, when you state it clearly, and you enforce it consistently, that's the only way that it has any kind of real impact."

Lehman says he has other concerns, since the county's prison is within Lancaster city limits, and the city does ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

He says he would support the county outlawing discrimination based on sexual preference for all of its operations.

Governor Wolf has pushed for similar legislation statewide.

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