State Rep. Frankel Urges Action to End LGBT Discrimination in PA

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today (Aug. 19, 2013) released the following statement in regard to H.B. 300, his bipartisan bill to amend Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Act to ban discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression:

PA House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny

PA House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny

“Today, I sent a letter to Representative Daryl Metcalfe, chair of the House State Government Committee, urging him to schedule hearings, and ultimately a vote, on House Bill 300. In light of Chairman Metcalfe’s comment last week where he appeared to support continued legalized discrimination against workers and renters, it is more clear than ever that all Pennsylvanians do indeed need protection against discrimination. Too many Pennsylvanians have the misfortune of working for a boss with a discriminatory bias like Chairman Metcalfe — a boss who believes the person you go home to is more important than the quality of your work.

“Pennsylvania’s citizens have spoken clearly – 72 percent of us agree that we need to protect our LGBT relatives, friends and neighbors from discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. House Bill 300 – sponsored by 91 members of the House – would provide these protections and I am urging the chairman of the State Government Committee to move the bill forward. In the 1960s, opponents of interracial marriage argued that it violated their religious beliefs. That argument didn’t hold water for couples from different backgrounds, and it doesn’t hold water for gay and lesbian employees and couples either.”

“Governor Corbett is on record stating that better enforcement of existing laws is the answer. Unfortunately, as Representative Metcalfe freely admitted last week, there is no existing state law offering the statewide protections for LGBT Pennsylvanians that House Bill 300 would provide.

“The time is now, governor. The time is now, Chairman Metcalfe. Let’s move House Bill 300 forward. The 72 percent of Pennsylvanians – more than 9 million citizens, including 115 members of the General Assembly – who support this deserve a hearing and a vote.”

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