A small army of Harrisburg legislators gathered in the Capitol this afternoon to announce that they’re ready to fight for the passage of House Bill 300 and Senate Bill 300, two pieces of legislation that would finally “ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression statewide in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.”
I can’t believe I just had to type that.
In the press conference, Rep. Dan Frankel, lead sponsor of HB 300, said, “More and more people inside the Capitol – from both parties — agree with the vast majority of people outside the building on this. Being gay or transgender has nothing to do with your ability to do a good job or to be a good neighbor or tenant. This is just commonsense legislation. Many people think it’s the law already, and it should be.”
Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin was there to backup Frankel’s claims, sharing results from a recent poll that shows that 72 percent of state voters agree that Pennsylvania needs to catch up to the 21st century. “Currently, our state is the only one in the Northeast where gay and transgender citizens can be fired, denied a mortgage, or refused a hotel room simply because of who they are or who they love. … HB 300 and SB 300 are good for Pennsylvania. They have broad-based, widespread support. … They affirm our core values of fairness, liberty and equality. And they’re long overdue.”
Currently, there are 102 legislators on board to support the bills — 77 in the House and 25 in the Senate. Those numbers include seven Republicans in the House and two in the Senate. Repping Philly in the sponsor pool is Senator Larry Farnese and State Representative Brian Sims, who offered these remarks in an interview held after the press conference.
G Philly will be following developments on both bills. Stay tuned for firstname.lastname@example.org.