Haverford Nondiscrimination Ordinance
Haverford Township Ordinance No. 2010-P3-2011
Adopted: February 14, 2011
Advocates in Haverford Township began their work following learning of Lower Merion’s move to adopt an ordinance in early 2010. There was significant resistance from a majority of the Haverford Township Commissioners at first. However, Commissioner Larry Holmes championed the effort and introduced the measure. Board of Commissioners meetings were frequently tense, with passionate testimony given by community members.
In the wake of the Lower Merion Township ordinance passage, the American Family Association of Pennsylvania targeted Haverford to stop its advancement – and the potential domino effect of other suburbs following suit. AFA of PA’s Diane Gramely even came personally to a Board meeting from Northwestern Pennsylvania to testify against the ordinance. Before the ordinance was passed, an AFA of PA related group formed called the “Philadelphia Metro Task Force” led by Jim Schneller, who was also a frequent speaker at Haverford Board of Commissioners meetings against the ordinance. When the language of the ordinance was finalized, it was brought to a vote in February 2011 and was adopted in a 5 – 4 vote.
A frivolous lawsuit was filed by a Haverford man in 2011 to have the ordinance repealed. This was used as a claim by some Commissioners to hold off the formation of the Human Relations Commission. The plaintiff passed away in 2012 at 77 years old. The courts have allowed his estate to continue the court case within 1 year or it will be dropped. The Board of Commissioners formed the Human Relations Commission on February 11, 2013, just three days before the two year anniversary of the ordinance’s adoption.
In the News
Anti-discrimination law reviewed in Haverford Main Line Times (November 6, 2010)
Anti-discrimination ordinance back on docket in Haverford Delaware County Times (January 5, 2011)
Anti-discrimination ordinance passes in Haverford Township Main Line Times (February 18, 2011)
Haverford anti-discrimination ordinance: Court battle continues Philadelphia Inquirer (October 10, 2011)
Finding the right candidates The Delaware County Times (January 10, 2013)
Editorial: Antidiscrimination law plagued by delays Delaware County Times (January 11, 2013)
Haverford Commissioners appoint Human Relations Commission Delaware County Times (February 14, 2013)
Spencer: Haverford ordinance needs some work Delaware County Times (January 30, 2011)
Spencer: Clearing up confusion on Haverford ordinance Delaware County Times (February 13, 2011)