Earlier in the week, Essential Pittsburgh spoke with State Representative Dan Frankel about HB 300 which would amend the state non-discrimination law to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
22 states currently have protections for individuals based upon their sexual orientation, including most of the states surrounding Pennsylvania. Frankel says this makes the state stand out against the accomplishments of Pennsylvania’s neighbors.
The plight of LGBT Pennsylvanians is well-illustrated by Tiffany Wilkins, a doctoral student at Duquesne University who, following an incident involving her sexual orientation, was terminated from her place of employment.
Frankel believes that Wilkins’ experience is a type of hostile political culture that ends up encouraging offensive and hateful responses to LGBT individuals.
Discrimination is real. I’ve experienced it. I suspect you have as well, or perhaps you’ve witnessed it.
So what can we do?
Supporters of HB 300 are asking us to put pressure on the House Leadership to bring the bill to a vote. Here’s how you can help.
1. Find your legislator in the State House using this map.
2. Tell your legislator that you want them to advocate with the House Republican leadership to “run the bill” – to let it get a fair hearing and a vote.
3. If you live in Cranberry or anywhere in this green area —
then you live in the district (12) of the man who is literally holding up the whole process. His name is Daryl Metcalfe. If you live in this area, you have a double obligation – you must call his office AND you must find a Republican friend/family member/colleague to do the same thing. If you are gay or queer or trans or a Democrat, he doesn’t care what you think (or if you lose your job), but he does listen to Republicans.
Municipal Building Suite 201
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Fax: (724) 772-2922
144 Main Capitol Building
PO Box 202012
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2012
Fax: (717) 787-4771
Metcalfe loathes us. He loathes immigrants, poor people, black people who want to vote, children and more. He makes Senator Toomey look like a moderate by comparison.
Now, unleashing your hate on Metcalfe won’t help. Being crafty and resourceful, might. Reach out to the Republicans that you know – the one’s who are fair and understand that we do get fired for being gay and think that’s wrong and the one’s who don’t think one elected official should be able to stop a vote on a bill. Fair minded people – and ask them to step up and call.
Or you can do nothing and folks like T will continue to lose their jobs. That’s on you.