Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect yet Rep. Kenyatta’s House Bill 300 would harm good people.
(HARRISBURG, PA – April 24, 2023) Today, only days after its introduction and without public hearings, Democrats on the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta’s House Bill 300. This bill would subject Pennsylvania families, businesses and professionals to numerous harms, including allowing men in women-only spaces – like locker rooms and bathrooms – and lead to sanctions against religious entities that adhere to longstanding convictions. Shockingly, in a party-line vote, and reportedly at the behest of the ACLU, the committee voted to remove some of the limited protection language for religious schools included in the original bill.
“With today’s Judiciary Committee partisan vote, House Democrats actually made Rep. Kenyatta’s harmful House Bill 300 even worse by removing religious protections,” stated Tom Shaheen, Vice President for Policy at Pennsylvania Family Institute. “The Democrats on the committee vote gutted the right of churches and religious schools to hire all employees that share their religious beliefs about sexuality and gives a new cause of action to sue churches and schools. Those supporting this bill are listening more to special interests groups over the people of Pennsylvania.”
Laws just like Rep. Kenyatta’s House Bill 300 have been used to erase safety and privacy rights by forcing compliance to allow men into women-only spaces such as restrooms, locker rooms, shelters and athletics. These harmful laws have been used to punish religious ministries and schools who hire based on their shared mission. Additional harms would extend to our healthcare system, such as forcing doctors to perform double mastectomies or hysterectomies on healthy girls, even if it goes against their diagnosis and convictions.
“This bill would force every Pennsylvanian to conform to a political viewpoint that forces women and girls to give up their private spaces to men, as well as removing a safe and equal playing field in school athletics,” states Alexis Sneller with Pennsylvania Family Institute. “No Pennsylvania school district or community should be subjected to the harms that would be caused by Rep. Kenyatta’s intolerant bill.”
This type of law has been used to shut down Christian foster care and adoption agencies when such agencies remain true to their religious convictions about marriage and continue their practice of placing children in homes with a married mother and father. The City of Philadelphia targeted Catholic Charities, ending their foster care and adoption ministry in that city, based on Philadelphia’s SOGI law.
The PA House Judiciary Committee passed Rep. Kenyatta’s House Bill 300 by a party line vote, 12 Democrat yes votes to 9 Republican no votes. It now moves to the full PA House of Representatives for consideration.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, yet this bill would force every individual and organization to conform to the state’s view of marriage and sexuality and punish those with sincerely held beliefs that differ,” added Shaheen. “We should be free to think, work, and live according to our beliefs. It is hypocritical to treat people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman as lawbreakers — in the name of tolerance. In a pluralistic society, we should always preserve space for differences without punishing those with whom we disagree.”
“Anti-discrimination laws are supposed to be shields from invidious discrimination, not swords to do the opposite — hurting good people and ministries.”
Take Action: Contact your State Representative and State Senator to ask for their no vote on Rep. Kenyatta’s House Bill 300. Click here to contact.