Brian Sims | Discrimination | News | Pennsylvania

100 Pennsylvania Lawmakers Introduce Sweeping LGBT Nondiscrimination Bills: VIDEO


A group of 100 Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced two bills yesterday in Harrisburg that would offer sweeping protections to LGBT citizens across the state.

PGH City Paper reports:

A broad group of state lawmakers today introduced bills HB 300/SB300, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression statewide in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations. And they cited a record high level of support for the measures.

"These identical proposals have a common goal — to end, once and for all, the last vestige of legal discrimination in Pennsylvania based on an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression," said state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Squirrel Hill), a co-sponsor of HB300 with Republican state Rep. Chris Ross, and sponsor of the bill in previous years.

Frankel noted that its the first time the bills have had such broad, bipartisan support, with 77 sponsors in the House and 25 in the Senate.

Pennsylvania's first openly gay elected lawmaker Brian Sims (pictured) was at the introduction, Newsworks reports. Said Sims:

"On days like today — with the type of equality advocates, activists and warriors that I am joined by on stage — we show once again that the American spirit, the American dream and, most importantly, the American values demand that we as a commonwealth finally evolve."

Watch Sims speak about protecting the rights of all citizens, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Good on PA. Hope they all get passed.

    (And, sorry for being so surface-y, but Sims has to be the hottest-looking lawmaker EVER.)

    Posted by: johnny | May 8, 2013 10:02:11 AM

  2. As someone who has lived in PA, it amazes me how long this has taken. Once you step-foot outside of Pittsburgh (Allegheny County) and the City of Philadelphia into suburban Montgomery County, PA you can all-but be burned at the stake legally if you're G/L. No protections what-so-ever; employment, public accommodation, housing...and forget adoption or family-issues unless you get a friendly Judge.

    Pennsylvania has long been described as "Philly and Pittsburgh, with Alabama in the middle"...and that's probably unfair to Alabama.

    I figure there's been little pressure politically since Philly has had G/L protections for decades now, and so has NJ with the South Jersey suburbs just across the River. And NJ has "supposed to be the same as marriage---but aren't quite" Civil Unions.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | May 8, 2013 10:24:51 AM

  3. what about marriage legislation?
    Pennsylvania is now the only eastern state north of DC without marriage equality (if u count civil unions in NJ)

    Posted by: keating | May 8, 2013 10:27:22 AM

  4. Both Pennsylvania chambers are Republican-controlled. Does this have any legitimate chance of passing?

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 8, 2013 10:53:19 AM

  5. Johnny, I agree. I'm glad you said it first. And since you brought up his looks, I'd like to add that I want to ride him six ways to Sunday. Now, that's out of my system. Keep up the good work Mr. Sims.

    Posted by: Joe | May 8, 2013 11:28:05 AM

  6. Pennsylvania doesn't have a constitutional marriage amendment (yet) although it's possible it could appear on the 2014 ballot. So this would be a good time to get this legislation passed.

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | May 8, 2013 11:29:19 AM

  7. Don't praise Sims yet. If the bill actually passes this time (which I have my doubts), then we can pat him on the back.

    Sims unseated a 25 year veteran of the PA legislature who spent her entire tenure championing LGBT initiatives and who sat on every major panel and committee in the state. He didn't face a Republican challenger in the general election; his only battle was a primary struggle against Josephs in a district centered over the gayborhood in Philly -- hardly an electoral victory for Democrats or the LGBT community.

    The only people who voted for him were the politically ignorant gays who were only driven to vote because there was a candidate with a rainbow flag next to his name.

    Posted by: SDS | May 8, 2013 11:41:50 AM

  8. SDS, Brian has done a ton for the community already in Philadelphia. They have the most expansive LGBT-inclusive health bill in the country along with San Fran. He's done an awesome job bringing a gay perspective as a rep. and really fights for our rights in Pennsylvania. He should be praised and supported completely.

    Does anyone in Pennsylvania know if this bill has any chance of passing or not?

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 8, 2013 3:07:37 PM

  9. Yay, Pennsylvania! Welcome to the '90s!

    Maybe it'll pass this time.

    Posted by: Rich F. | May 8, 2013 10:05:53 PM

  10. So gays in the PA democratic primary were able to influence the outcome? Maybe we are more powerful than we thought, like Justice John Roberts said. It's to PA's credit that both challengers in the primary are LGBT supportive, with one with an out gay man with his own credentials. Let's not be snipey and sour-grapey.

    Posted by: andrew | May 9, 2013 7:52:40 AM

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