HB 300 voted out of committtee; PG little newspaper that could (sorta)

HB 300 is making decent progress.

By the slimmest of margins, a House panel has approved Rep. Dan Frankel's bill to ban discrimination in housing and jobs against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The State Government Committee voted today by a margin of 12 to 11 — Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed — to send House Bill 300 to the full House.

“Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people thank (the committee) for their commitment to basic fairness,'' said Jake Kaskey of Equality Advocates Pennsylvania.

Mr. Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, is trying for a second time to get the bill enacted. This time he has 78 cosponsors in the House, or nine more than it did two years ago. He needs at least 102 votes to win House approval.

The measure would ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs and several other factors is banned.

The bill has support from the state Human Relations Commission and the Value All Families Coalition but is opposed by the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

The institute contends the bill would “put at risk clergy, religious ministries or schools or child care centers, or even employers or business owners with religious beliefs, who may have moral objections to hiring homosexuals or transgendered/cross-dressers in the place of employment.''

The PG still needs to work on the whole religious angle.  They seem determined to sell papers by tapping into a false arguement.  Note the lack of quotes from religious folks who aren't bigots.  Note the lack of quotes from bill opponents who aren't people of faith. 

Still, the forward movement is good news.  Keep paying attention. 

Still no word from Onorato's camp regarding the cyber townhall meeting.  No word from Ravenstahl folks on the LGBT Advisory Committee.  On a good note, the Pirates did call me back. 

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  • I'm not sure I've heard a non-religious argument against passage of HB 300 (or a similar measure) articulated. Certainly not recently.
    I was provided an article from CapitolWire (which is subscription only), and I feel that I can reproduce at least this small bit without violating their copyright, “Prior to the bill's approval by the committee, nearly every Republican member of the committee spoke against the measure, raising concerns that the legislation would pre-empt the constitutionally-guaranteed religious freedom protections all Pennsylvanians currently enjoy. Republican members said many Pennsylvanians do not accept or agree with the gay or transgender lifestyle based on their religious beliefs.”
    Nearly every one of the people voting NO cited a religious reason, or at least a fear of the effect of the law on religious freedom. So I think the P-G is right to make this a rational human vs. the crazy religious argument. You are absolutely right, though, that there are many religious people who do not oppose gay rights, and it would be nice to hear from them every now and again.
    To say the least.
    Good luck on your other projects as well, though I wish you could bring yourself to participate in this issue more. Jaret Gibbons, representative from Butler, Beaver, and Lawrence counties could not be bothered to show up and vote today, as I mentioned on my blog. We clearly have a lot of work to do to lobby local members of the PA State House.
    One way or another, that's going to take the cooperation of the community. And local issues, while important, are not the only thing going on.

  • So let me see if I understand this. Does HB 300 do essentially what 4201-08 would do, only for the entire state?

  • Yes. Sources r telling me that the will possibly make it out of the House this session, creating traction for another attempt in 2010. Hence,the need for equivalent resources on the County level both to actually geta win and bolster the next statewide attempt. Important to note that the state bill amends an existing HRC act while the County ordinance establishes it from scratch

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