All Philly lawmakers signed onto LGBT nondiscrimination bills

It still hasn’t received a vote or even gotten through committee, but the LGBT nondiscrimination bills in the Pennsylvania House and Senate recently began the fall session in Harrisburg with a record number of co-sponsors—including all members of the Philadelphia delegation. Even the Republicans.

The LGBT nondiscrimination bills in Harrisburg, House Bill 300 and Senate Bill 300, which would add sexual orientation and identity to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, are still a thing you may be interested in knowing about now that the Legislature is back in session. They were announced early last spring to large fanfare, then went live a couple months later. Since then, more than 100 state legislators have signed on as co-sponsors, the most ever for such legislation in this state.

The Senate version of the bill has 25 co-sponsors. This means, if brought up, it will pass, since there are only 50 members of the state Senate. The House’s version has 90 co-sponsors. Passage in the House would not be as certain, since there are 203 members of that legislative chamber.

In the state Senate, all Philly delegation members—Larry Farnese, Christine Tartaglione, Shirley Kitchen, Vincent Hughes, Leanna Washington, Michael Stack, and Anthony Williams; all Democrats—have signed on as co-sponsors. The 28 members in the state House from Philly have signed on, too, including both Republican members John Taylor and Thomas Murt, the latter of whom represents just a small section of northeast Philly in addition to his large majority Montgomery County district.

Bucks County Democratic Rep. John Galloway recently withdrew his support from the bill over concerns about whether it would allow transgender citizens in the bathroom of the sex of which they identify. But it didn’t last long; he signed back on pretty quickly.

The legislation is not high on the Legislature’s list of priorities (because, c’mon people, we need a transportation bill), but it’s now that much closer than it’s ever been to passage in the commonwealth. The bill is currently locked in the state government committee in the House, where an ultra conservative member vehemently against the bill (this is Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), as you know) is essentially refusing to bring it up.

Follow Randy on Twitter: @RandyLoBasso

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