Fairness Act referred to Metcalfe’s committee

The effort to advance a statewide LGBT nondiscrimination law was dealt a blow last week.

Despite a campaign by the lead sponsor of the Fairness Act in the House to have the bill sent to a committee where it would be considered, PA House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-28th Dist.)has  again assigned the measure to a committee chaired by virulently anti-LGBT lawmaker Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th Dist.).

Metcalfe has refused to allow the bill to come up for a hearing or vote for several consecutive sessions in the State Government Committee. 

Calls to Turzai’s and Metcalfe’s offices were not immediately returned.

Lead sponsor Rep. Dan Frankel (D-23rd Dist.) was not immediately available for comment. The legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of classes protected from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. 

Upon re-introducing the bill last month, with 73 cosponsors, Frankel urged Turzai “to send the Fairness Act to a committee where it can get a fair hearing, and we all know that a committee chaired by Rep. Metcalfe just doesn’t qualify, based on his record and his own words about the bill.”