State Representative Dan Frankel is the lead PA House sponsor of Pennsylvania’s Bathroom Bill – HB1510 – and he’s made some erroneous statements about the bill that we’d like to respond to:
FALSE: “Religious freedom would remain protected under both HB1510/SB974 AND the First Amendment to the US Constitution.”
Was the First Amendment present when florist Barronelle Stutzman was sued for declining to be a part of a same-sex wedding ceremony in Washington State and now faces over $1 million in fines and attorney fees? Or cake baker Melissa Klein in Oregon when she was fined $135,000? Or photographer Elaine Huguenin when she was fined close to $6,000? For each of these fines, the charges point directly to their state law that had placed the special status of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into public accommodation law – which is exactly what HB1510 and SB974 would do.
What about making it illegal for religious schools to require their teachers to follow the teachings of their school’s faith? That’s exactly what your colleague in the Senate – Senator Daylin Leach – said about this type of legislation.
In the Public Accommodations section of the Bathrooms Bills, there are no religious protections whatsoever. Churches and religious schools are public accommodations when they open their doors to the public. This is why, for instance, they couldn’t have separate water fountains or bathrooms on the basis of protected classes, like race.
If HB 1510 passes, because there are no exemptions whatsoever for religious organizations who are also public accommodations, even churches would have to open restrooms and showers to members of the opposite biological sex when they are open for church on Sunday morning, for instance.
FALSE: “Bathroom panic is nonsense.”
It is extremely alarming to permit men to use the women’s restroom, locker room and showers – which is exactly what HB1510 would permit if passed.
After passing this same type of legislation in Maine, a school was fined $75,000 for simply maintaining separate restrooms for boys and girls, and providing a reasonable accommodation of allowing a biologically-male student who identifies as a female to use either the boys or staff restroom. Maine’s State Supreme Court ruled “as it must based on the statutes, that discrimination in the public accommodation of communal bathrooms is prohibited based on sexual orientation.”
Our public accommodation law specifically lists out 56 categories that it covers, including swimming pools, amusement parks and schools. Pennsylvania should protect everyone’s privacy rights and HB1510 / SB974 would do the exact opposite.
FALSE: “PA should pass the Fairness Act (HB 1510/SB 974) to make our state more economically competitive.”
Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom compared the economic ranking of states to whether the state has a HB1510-type of law or not (often referred to as a “sexual orientation and gender identity” – or SOGI law). The numbers just don’t add up to Rep. Frankel’s claim:
HB1510 and SB974 – Governor Wolf’s Bathroom Bills – threaten the privacy rights and religious freedom of every Pennsylvania citizen. Ask your State Senator and State Representative to oppose this legislative proposal.