Anyone following politics in Pennsylvania would need only one guess to know which legislator is holding up a vote on an LGBT non-discrimination bill. It is the anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, Republican representative from Butler County, Daryl Metcalfe. Openly gay freshman legislator Rep. Brian Sims describes HB 300, which would ban discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations on the basis of sexuality and gender, as having more co-sponsors than any other bill he has voted on. Despite that fact, it cannot come to a House floor vote without first being moved out of committee. That would be the House State Government Committee, chaired by none other than Metcalfe.
Rep. Metcalf, you’ll remember, is the same legislator who blocked Sims from speaking when DOMA was struck down because he believed Sims’ statement would be an “open rebellion against what the word of God has said.”
Representatives Sims and Frankel, who co-sponsored a marriage equality bill — before last month’s PA Supreme Court ruling in favor of equality made it moot — addressed the hold up this week. Sims made a fiery and impassioned case for equality, calling on the media present to tell the stories of those who have been discriminated against without legal recourse. He stated, “It is an embarrassment to us as Pennsylvanians when we look at our neighbors and we see how far they’ve come with civil rights. That it’s not law in Pennsylvnia is disgusting,” humorously adding, “My mom is a retired lieutenant colonel in the army and the words she would use to describe this would make a sailor blush.”
Rep. Frankel noted, “we have marriage equality in Pennsylvania, but we don’t have legislation that prohibits discrimination…[A] loving couple that gets married on a Saturday could be fired on a Monday for displaying their wedding picture on their desk. House Bill 300 and Senate Bill 300 would change that once and for all.” He went on to enumerate the huge amount of bi-partian support in both houses of the General Assembly, and pointed to the fact that even Republican Governor Corbett has agreed to sign the bills should they reach his desk. He closed simply, saying “It is time for us to finally end the last vestige of legal discrimination in Pennsylvania.”
Full video from both Representatives is below.
Image of the LGTT Equality Caucus via Facebook
J. Rudy Flesher is a Philadelphia based performing artist, author, and actor, holds a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from The College of New Jersey, and is an award-winning feminist scholar. Rudy also chairs the Sims4PA PAC, sits on the board of the William Way LGBT Community Center, and is Co-President of The Spruce Foundation. Rudy can also be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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