Bill barring gay discrimination in Pa. won’t get hearing

    The chairman of a key Pennsylvania House committee has nor plans for a hearing on a bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    The measure was referred to the State Government Committee, which is made up of 15 Republicans and 10 Democrats, and its ranking Democrat has prodded the chairman for a hearing.

    But Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, said he believes the majority of his panel opposes the bill.

    “It’s interesting that when they’re in the majority, they’re not able to pass their priorities,” he said. “But when they’re in the minority, they want us to pass them for them.”

    The measure has been pushed for years by the state’s most prominent advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pennsylvanians.

    Its Democratic sponsor recently indicated a record number of lawmakers have signed on to support it.

    A February Franklin & Marshall College poll showed support for same-sex marriage among surveyed Pennsylvania voters is at 52 percent, compared with 41 percent opposing it.

    Metcalfe made headlines in June when he told NewsWorks/WHYY that he silenced an openly gay member of the Pennsylvania House because that lawmaker, Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia, was rebelling against God’s law.

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