Frankel: Trump should scrap anti-LGBT 'right to discriminate' order

PITTSBURGH, May 3 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus, said President Donald Trump should permanently scrap reported plans to sign an anti-LGBT "right to discriminate" executive order, as he's expected to do Thursday.

"Under the guise of 'religious liberty,' President Trump could try to create a right to discriminate against LGBT people in the workplace, in housing and public accommodations such as being able to eat in a restaurant or to get a hotel room like everyone else. Our Constitution already protects freedom of religion, under the First Amendment the president recently said he wants to alter. But our Constitution and our federal and Pennsylvania laws don't yet protect LGBT Americans in the workplace, housing or public accommodations.

"The president should get on the right side of history, drop the proposed executive order and instead support the bipartisan Equality Act that was reintroduced this week in Congress. Pennsylvania polls for the past eight years have shown consistent 70 percent support for providing our LGBT relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers with the same protections as the rest of us. When Vice President Pence was governor of Indiana, public and business backlash forced him to backtrack quickly on a 'right to discriminate' law there – a lesson the Trump-Pence administration should learn from.

"I'll soon be reintroducing the bipartisan Fairness Act, which would provide those protections statewide in Pennsylvania."