(HARRISBURG – May 2, 2023) — Today, the PA House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill 300 by a narrow 102-98 vote, a bill that would cause significant harm to Pennsylvanians across our Commonwealth, particularly in areas of religious freedom and privacy rights. The bill now moves to the PA State Senate.

“It’s troubling to see the PA House prioritize a bill like Rep. Kenyatta’s HB300 because it would hurt good people and ministries in Pennsylvania,” says Alexis Sneller, Policy Analyst at Pennsylvania Family Council. “This one bill, passed by a narrow margin, would force conformity to a single government viewpoint on issues like marriage and sexuality; a viewpoint that would punish religious schools and ministries for hiring based on their religious mission, and would force women and girls to give up their private spaces to men who self-identify as women. That’s unfair, unjust and contrary to Pennsylvania values.”

The roll call for today’s vote was nearly all by party-line. Two Republicans voted for it: Rep. Aaron Kaufer and Rep. Alec Ryncavage, both representing districts in Luzerne County. One Democrat voted against the bill, Rep. Frank Burns (Cambria).

Laws like Rep. Kenyatta’s House Bill 300 have been used in other states to erase privacy rights, opening women-only spaces such as restrooms, locker rooms, shelters and athletics to biological men who identify as women. These types of harmful laws have also been used to punish religious ministries and schools who hire based on their shared mission. Catholic hospitals are also at risk, as this law would force doctors to perform double mastectomies or hysterectomies on healthy women who want to appear more masculine, even if doing so violates a doctor’s beliefs about what best serves his or her patient.

“We ask members of the State Senate to recognize the harm HB300 would cause and oppose the bill. Pennsylvania should remain a place where religious freedom is celebrated, not suppressed,” says Thomas Shaheen, Vice President of Policy at Pennsylvania Family Council.