Pennsylvania... HB 300 Sexual Orientation Bill Passes

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 03/13/2009 - 4:13pm.

In its meeting yesterday, the House State Government Committee gave consideration to House Bill (HB) 300, and decided to send the controversial legislation to the full House for a vote. The committee vote was along party lines, with the majority Democrats prevailing 12-11.

HB 300 would protect people who live or work in Pennsylvania from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.

State Government Committee Chairwoman Babette Josephs, D, 182nd, Philadelphia, touted the merits of the bill and labeled the committee vote "historic," stating that "there has never been a positive hearing on a gay and lesbian issue before."

"The Democrats were kept in line (on the committee vote), but unfortunately, we didn't get any Republicans," Ms. Josephs said. "I think we understand about Republicans trying to be obstructionist."

The Philadelphia legislator expressed why she staunchly supports HB 300. "This bill is really important because 80-per cent of the people in Pennsylvania can be kicked out of their apartment, treated badly in public accommodations, lose their job or not get hired for a job based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. That's a lot of people."

Michael Geer, president of the Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Family, strongly opposes the proposed legislation. "It's laws like this in other states, like Massachusetts and California, that paved the way and greased the skids for courts to legalize same-sex marriage.

"And it' s laws like this one that are being used as hammers to force Christian ministries and charities to either operate in ways contrary to their faith and doctrine, face fines and/or prison, or cease the ministry work."

Asked about the prospects of legislative passage, Ms. Josephs was optimistic the bill would pass the House, but cautioned that "we have to do a lot of work in the Senate."

She said Gov. Ed Rendell, D, would "absolutely" sign the bill should it make it to his desk.

According to Ms. Josephs, complaints would be filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. The commission would then address the issue in a way that satisfies the complainant, or, should the aggrieved not feel satisfied, he or she would be free to pursue options in a court of law.

Violations of the proposed law would result in civil rather than criminal action.

Chris Freind - March 13, 2009 - source TheBulletin

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 03/13/2009 - 4:13pm.


Anonymous (not verified) | Fri, 03/13/2009 - 6:44pm

"...80-per cent of the people in Pennsylvania can be kicked out of their apartment, treated badly in public accommodations, lose their job or not get hired for a job based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. That’s a lot of people.”

80% where did they pulled that number out of?

"..Republicans trying to be obstructionist"

Sounds like Reblicans have brains.

JBrig (not verified) | Tue, 03/31/2009 - 10:30am

The 80% number is in relation to where this protection is already in place municipally. 14 municipalities have this protection: Allentown, Easton, Erie County, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lansdowne, New Hope, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Swarthmore, West Chester and York. All 27 Fortune 500 companies in PA also have these non-discrimination policies in place. The issue is, if you live in Harrisburg, but work across the street in Camp Hill, you can be fired for being gay. Cultural and ideological biases can survive privately, our Constitution is primarily an economic document. Housing, public works and employment are all economic factors. This seems like a no brainer.

Anonymous (not verified) | Sun, 03/15/2009 - 3:41am

The old expression that liars figure & figures lie is appropriate in this discussion. Babette Josephs says that 80% of Pennsylvanians could lose their jobs or be kicked out of housing because they are not protected. Hogwash! 80% of localities are not covered by this type of legislation, but we're talking a small minority of the population being LBGT. Being LBGT does not entitle a person to special civil rights. Being LBGT is a choice they make, and nobody is stopping them, but don't force me to accept it as being morally correct. Babette Josephs would give the LBGT lobby special civil rights, but take away my civil & moral rights as a Christian. Babette Josephs and her liberal friends would make Christians second class citizens by elevating LBGT wishes into reality. LBGT citizens don't want Christians to force their moral views on them, so don't try to force your anti-moral views on us through back-door legislation.

Anonymous (not verified) | Wed, 05/20/2009 - 10:22am

The very reason this type of legislation is needed is for the very people like you who live under a rock somewhere and understand nothing. Being LGBT is not a choice and I wouldn't have chosen to be gay if I had that choice. Christianity is a religion and shouldn't be forced on anyone, but making sure you don't fire or treat someone differently for being gay is something that is necessary. I also happen to be a devout Roman Catholic. Even though this is a political situation and religion should be kept out of such decisions, I do get very upset when people adhere to only certain passages of the Bible and ignore the other parts. You can't treat the bible like a cafeteria. If you follow one small part of the Old Testament, you should follow it all. Read it and take notes. I would never use my own personal religion to discriminate against others and neither should anyone else. "BTW, the current divorce rate in this country is 75%. I think you should clean up your own house before you say you are 'preserving the sanctity of marriage!'

Jarod (not verified) | Mon, 03/16/2009 - 2:28pm

You make it sound like you are either LGBT or a Christian. I'm Gay and a Christian and support this bill 110%. By the way its not a choice either.

Anonymous (not verified) | Wed, 04/01/2009 - 3:41pm

God says in His Word that homosexuality is not acceptable. You cannot be "gay" and a Christian.

rj17013 (not verified) | Wed, 03/18/2009 - 12:41pm

Jarod you are correct its not a choice being Homosexual stems from Bi-Polar Disorder just like pedophilia. Should Pedophiles get special rights like LGBT or should LGBT take medication like Pedophiles. Get the help you need we shouldn't have to give special rights to mental disorders.

jlavoy (not verified) | Sat, 03/21/2009 - 11:24pm

Dear rj17013,

Please do not be rude; Jarod was not being rude, he was simply making a comment. The reason there is so much confusion and disarray with this and similar civil rights issues, is because the American public has a hard time talking to our fellow compatriots civilly.

Would you please send me a link to a legitimate study that suggests that gay people are bi-polar? Furthermore, I think you'll find that it's even harder to find a legitimate study that suggests that gay people are the same thing as pedophiles? I've always understood that 9 out of 10 pedophiles are heterosexual, just as 9 out of 10 people are straight! Please guide me - I'm curious.

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made...The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. - Psalm 145: 9,17

Peace & Grace,