HARRISBURG, Pa. — In a 102-98 vote this afternoon, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to advance HB 300, which is legislation that would provide nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HB 300 now heads to the Senate.
This is the first time comprehensive LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination legislation has advanced through a chamber of the General Assembly. In 2009, the House State Government Committee voted to advance the bill, also then HB 300. In 2016, the Senate Urban Affairs Committee moved a bill for LGBTQ-inclusive housing protections. Comprehensive LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation has been introduced every legislative session since 2003, although the first bill which only included protections on the basis of sexual orientation was introduced in 1976. LGBTQ nondiscrimination bills have been introduced by both Republicans and Democrats but have languished without floor votes until today.
Preston Heldibridle, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, said “Today a majority of the Pennsylvania House recognized the urgent need to enact LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections. Over half a million LGBTQ Pennsylvanians live without the most basic protections from discrimination explicitly under state law. We thank the legislators and community advocates who have fought hard to advance this bill for nearly 50 years. The time is now for the Senate to advance HB 300 to ensure vulnerable LGBTQ Pennsylvanians are safeguarded from the cruelty and harm of discrimination.”
The Pennsylvania Youth Congress launched the Pennsylvania Values campaign in 2020 to coalesce public support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in Pennsylvania. Over 30 regional chambers of commerce, dozens of Pennsylvania’s major employers, nearly 50 colleges and universities, and numerous faith leaders have shared their strong support for legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to a PRRI survey in 2022, 77% of Pennsylvanians support LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.
HB 300 will be referred to a Senate committee for consideration.