Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Supporters of a measure to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Pennsylvania residents packed the Capitol yesterday to show support for the measure. Now that the equal rights bill is in front of the full House, advocates say they're optimistic it can be signed into law before the year is done. Supporters lined the Rotunda steps and cheered as lawmakers made the case that Pennsylvania is behind the times, when it comes to guaranteeing equal rights based on sexual preference. Sponsor Dan Frankel of Squirrel Hill dismissed opponents of the measure, noting 20 states have already passed similar legislation. “The sky will not fall. The world will not end if we stop discriminating against gay, lesbian bisexual and transgendered people. It will not happen.” Opponents say the bill would force some religious groups to hire gay employees against their will. A spokesman for House Majority Leader Todd Eachus says there's no set time frame for bringing the measure to a vote. A similar bill died in committee last year.