Press Pause? Pennsylvania’s Bipartisan LGBT Anti-Discrimination Legislation Stalls

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

PA Capitol by Flickr User Doug Hoffman

By Alexis Hamilton

Bipartisan legislation in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly that will ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment, and public spaces is not likely to pass any time before 2015. Pittsburgh’s NPR news station reports:

[Ted] Martin [head of Equality PA] said the measure just picked up its 97th supporter in the 203-member House. As of June, it was backed by 25 of the 50 state senators. Gov. Tom Corbett voiced support for the measure last December.

But Senate momentum on the discrimination ban dwindled earlier this year. In the House, the bill’s fate has been in the control of the House’s State Government Committee, a panel stacked with staunch conservatives and chaired by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), who has been adamantly against bringing the bill up for a vote at all.

Metcalfe’s stance is hardly a surprise. Metcalfe is the prime sponsor of Pennsylvania’s Marriage Protection Amendment, which would define marriage as the union between one man and one woman only.

Fortunately, plenty of Republicans do support the LGBT anti-discrimination legislation. Republican House co-sponsors include: L. Chris Ross, Mike Fleck, Thomas P. Murt, Michael Peifer, Mario M. Scavello, John Taylor, Rosemary M. Brown, Scott A. Petri, Thomas H. Killion, Marguerite Quinn, Kate Harper, Todd Stephens, Katharine M. Watson, and Warren Kampf.

Republican Governor Tom Corbett plans to sign the legislation once it passes.

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