About six years ago, I say in a PA State Representative’s office as he listened to a few constituents and some activists express their desire for him to sign on as a cosponsor of PA HB 300, a piece of legislation that would add some language to Pennsylvania’s existing non-discrimination protections. His willingness to listen was a major step forward as prior to that time, he had seemed not open to even considering the legislation, but in the end, he still felt reluctant. His concern? That non-discrimination protections would lead to same-sex marriage. A lot can happen in six years, and today there is legal civil marriage for same-sex couples across Pennsylvania. I told him then, that the push for Marriage Equality was independent of the need for non-discrimination protections– that HB 300 wouldn’t load to marriage, although at the time, I had no idea same-sex marriage would happen so quickly.

Today, with Republicans in control of both the PA Senate and PA House, it can look as if HB 300, and the related SB 300 have \little chance to even come to a vote in committee. But the rationale shared six years ago, remains as salient today as it was then. Protections from discrimination is a non-partisan issue which ought to be able to attract supporters on both sides of the political spectrum since the biggest winner from passing such protections is the State of Pennsylvania and the successful companies we are asking to bring to our state. Everyone, Republican and Democrat want an environment conducive to a growing economic stability and wealth in the state, and HB 300 and SB 300 can help make that happen.

Here’s a post I wrote in 2013 about this:
Poll Shows Pennsylvania’s Small Businesses Strongly Support Employment Non-Discrimination Laws Protecting LGBT Workers

Passing non-discrimination protections simply helps create an environment with less fear in the work place which means happier and more successful workers and more successful businesses. That’s a win-win for everyone.

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