Schlossberg opposes LGBTQ discrimination bill

HARRISBURG, April 12 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg said he voted against an LGBTQ discrimination bill today that, unfortunately, passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

He noted that conservative Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox offered a powerful statement in his veto message of similar legislation in that state, saying: “Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live. And all the research shows that even a little acceptance and connection can reduce suicidality significantly. For that reason, as much as any other, I have taken this action in the hope that we can continue to work together and find a better way.”

Schlossberg said that strong and emotional argument resonated with him before today’s vote.

“When legislators in Utah passed legislation banning transgender students from athletic competition, Governor Cox vetoed the legislation and issued a statement. He concluded his statement with a call to find ways to show love to transgender students, so they have a place to belong in Utah. Governor Cox should help open our eyes to the realities transgender students face: 86% of trans youth reporting having considered suicide; 56% saying they have attempted suicide. His thoughtfulness shows leadership, compassion, and a desire to understand. We should all be so thoughtful,” Schlossberg said.

“Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed the same type of legislation vetoed in Utah. It seeks to ban transgender students from athletic competition in Pennsylvania and reflects terrible priorities. First, the legislation would do nothing to fix any real problems in Pennsylvania. The sponsor of the legislation admits he cannot name a single transgender athlete in Pennsylvania. Second, the legislation would do nothing to fund our schools, allocate money to support health care, mental health, support small businesses recovering from the pandemic or facing supply chain cost constraints, increase wages for Pennsylvania’s workers, create more jobs, reduce child care costs, put more money in the pockets of Pennsylvanians, or deliver property tax relief to overburdened homeowners and small business owners. Nothing.

“Transgender youth are more likely to die by suicide, experience addiction, mental health challenges, homelessness and be victims of violence. As Governor Cox challenged his fellow Republicans in Utah, Pennsylvania should be working to show love to transgender students, so they have a place to belong. Instead, proponents of this legislation show transgender students nothing more than vile hatred.

“Across Pennsylvania, faithful people of Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths are observing religious holidays, grounded in their individual yet collective belief that a better day is ahead of us, filled with love, understanding, peace, justice and a sense of community that protects the dignity of each and every beloved person who calls this world home. We cannot lose sight of the tragedy of this legislation, seeking to codify discrimination and justify hate, being brought to Pennsylvanians as we are called to be better. Such a tragedy will cost us human lives for no gain, material or otherwise,” Schlossberg said.

The legislation (H.B. 972) moves to the state Senate for consideration.