Council today passed by a 14-3 vote an LGBT equality bill that chief sponsor Councilman James F. Kenney called another step on the road to civil rights, and Philadelphia Gay News Publisher Mark Segal hailed as providing the nation's strongest LGBT protections.

Kenney said the most important aspect of the bill was a tax incentive for businesses in the city to expand certain health benefits to members of the LBGT community, but the bill also contained provisions to provide gender neutrality on certain city forms, provided for the right of transgender individuals to request gender changes on records and other measures.

Council members Brian J. O'Neill and David Oh, both Republicans, and Bill Green, a Democrat, voted against the bill.

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