Lawmakers call for vote on PA LGBTQ+ civil rights bill
‘We cannot allow this opportunity to pass’
HARRISBURG, June 16 – In the wake of Monday’s historic Supreme Court ruling affirming workplace discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, members of the Pennsylvania House LGBTQ Equality Caucus today requested that H.B. 1404 – the Pennsylvania Fairness Act – be immediately voted upon by the House State Government Committee, where it has languished since being introduced.
“A month ago, we were told we should ‘wait for the Supreme Court’s decision’ before holding a vote to provide basic human rights to LGBTQ+ individuals in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny and co-chair of the Equality caucus. “Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court checked that box, and now we call upon Leader Cutler and committee Chair Garth Everett to move this vital legislation forward for a vote. For almost two decades we – and the people of this state – have waited for this moment. We cannot allow this opportunity to pass.”
Yesterday, in a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled that the nation’s landmark civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. PA House Democrats and members of the LGBTQ Equity Caucus have fought for similar protections for years, but House Republicans – who control what bills are considered and receive a vote – have refused to advance civil rights legislation. That includes H.B. 1404, which would protect employees, customers, students, patients and residents from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Today, members of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus sent a letter requesting a committee vote for H.B 1404, a vote that Republican leadership could schedule for next week’s House session before the body breaks for its summer recess. A copy of that letter is available here.