Bathroom Bills in Pennsylvania concern attempts by the state legislature to make “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” allowing men expressing themselves as females to use women’s bathrooms and locker facilities among other things.
The bills attempting to do this during 2015-2016 are SB 974, SB 1306, SB 1307, SB 1316 and HB 1510.
As of August 2016, SB 974 and HB 1510 seem dead with the push being made regarding SB 1306, SB 1307 and SB 1316.
The bills make “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” a protected class prohibiting discrimination in housing (school dorms), public accommodation (rest rooms, locker rooms, showers) and employment.
Advocates of fluid definitions of gender found themselves stymied and flustered by simple questions from the audience and school board at last night’s (Dec. 18) Penn Delco (Pa) School Board meeting.
They were on hand to support a proposed new policy that would add “gender identity” to a student’s accepted identity even if it differs from the birth certificate.
This would effectively give by-right access to traditionally gender-segregated places and athletic teams to all desiring such access regardless of biology.
Testifying for a policy change were Samantha King, who directs the sex and gender clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); counselor Erica Smith; and Quinton Cruise of the Pennsylvania Youth Conference, an LGBTQ advocacy group.
School Superintendent George Steinhoff noted that the district now handles such matters of confusion on a case-by-case basis with the emphasis on protecting the child. He questioned their claim that failing to adopt a general policy would violate federal law as an Obama-era directive had been rescinded. Ms. King said court battles were occurring but conceded that he was correct. School Board Solicitor Mike Puppio would also point out that there are no laws binding on this.
School Director Lisa Esler noted that CHOP’s website suggested that single-room bathrooms as an option for children having difficulty. She said that the school district has those including one in the nurse’s office.
“Single use bathrooms might not be close,” Ms. King responded. “Also kids might get sick using the nurse’s bathroom.”
Mrs. Esler asked Cruise if any research had occurred regarding the impact and emotional distress on the 99.9 percent of the student population in currently segregated areas. He became noticeably flustered and removed himself from the podium. Ms. King stepped in to rescue him.
“Someone not trans can also use single-use bathrooms,” she said which didn’t really answer the question.
Mrs. Esler asked if the policy would extend to adult visitors at the school.
“It doesn’t matter because adults use faculty facilities anyway,” said Ms. King.
Then the audience took over.
“How do you handle mean kids, bullies?” one person asked.
“Bathrooms are just unsafe,” Ms. King answered. “Adding gender identity to the polices helps address bullies.”
“Should there be a security guard in the bathroom now?” one person asked.
“Students can handle this,” said Ms. King. “Friends and going into the bathroom with a buddy. The non-bullies and trans students can use the special bathrooms.”
“We’re already complying, this is a waste of time,” said one person.
“You don’t comply because you have no policy,” said Ms. King. “You don’t comply because you can’t use any bathroom you want.”
The board discussed the matter. Director Georgia Stone pointed out that the district is not in the best position to help students decide who they are.
“This impacts too much, lives, families and friends, future,” she said. “This should be left to the courts on a case-by-case basis.” She noted that the district would of course comply with a court order.
Several residents made public comments. One said “This is a far reach” as there are already unisex bathrooms, the district is accommodating and that there already are bullying policies. One said “getting changed in a locker room is already stressful,” and a new policy should be enacted before it gets worse. Another said “all students need to be given equal rights”. Another who moved into the district a year ago from Chester County said “I know students are bullied and some decide to be home schooled. Students are mean.”
Tom Cotton Backs Paul Mango For Pa. Gov. — Noted truth-teller Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) will be appearing with Paul Mango at a July 28 light-lunch fundraiser at AmVets Post 19 in Lancaster. Mango is among the Republicans seeking to replace Gov. “Big Bad” Wolf in 2018.
Tickets are $50. For information call Savannah at 717-779-3197.
Tom Cotton is the real deal and gives Mango a lot of credibility. Others seeking the nomination might want to reconsider pushing legislation giving strange men the right to share private spaces with little girls.
Bathroom Bill Back Or Scott Wagner How Could You? — An attempt to make “gender identity” and “sexual expression” civil rights is again being made by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, via SB 613.
The bill would allow men to use ladies rooms if they say they are feeling like a woman. It would allow boys to compete on high school girls sports teams and share their locker rooms. It would be one more obstacle for small business owners in dealing with disruptive or unsatisfactory employees.
It’s bad, pointless unnecessary legislation and very bad politics especially for those who want to be governor, Scott Wagner. Wagner, of the 28th Senatorial District, is one of the sponsors.
Target stock is tanking after it loudly instituted an “inclusive” restroom policy. It’s a rather under-reported story. The loss of shoppers is not due, or entirely due, to a boycott by religious people. It’s mostly because people — especially women — don’t want to frequent creepy places where they feel discomfort and tension. If that’s how the vote is being made with pocketbooks how does one expect votes to be made with votes?
The bill’s prime sponsor is Republican Patrick Brown of the 16th District.
Killion Backs Anti-Woman Bathroom Bill — State Sen. Tom Killion’s (R-9) latest newsletter contains implicit support along with a distorted description of one of the three “bathroom bills” being considered by the Pennsylvania legislature.
Killion describes SB 1307 as “providing for right to freedom”.
Sure. It gives the “right to freedom” for a man wearing a dress to follow a woman into a public bathroom without impedance. It gives the “right to freedom” for a disgruntled employee to “express” him or herself as the opposite sex and insist on privileged accommodations and perhaps even escape termination. It gives the “right to freedom” for a male to compete on a girl’s sports team and share the locker room.
We can safely describe the bill as anti-woman and anti-business.
All bills add “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” to the protected class and define “gender identity or expression” as gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, expression or other gender-related characteristics of an individual regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.
SB 1307 provides for a little more protection for religious institutions. SB 1316 emphasizes housing a bit more directly. SB 1306 puts its emphasis on business practices. The differences are basically meaningless. None of the bills are necessary and all should die.
SB 1306 Hearing Ignored Citizen Interests — The Aug. 30 hearing concerning SB 1306 before the Pennsylvania Senate Labor & Industry Committee accepted testimony from many “social justice” advocates seeking a Godless society who supported the proposed law along with testimony from religious opponents to it.
No testimony, however, was taken from school directors or administrators, law enforcement personnel or small business owners who would bear the consequences of this thing if it should pass.
The bill defines sexual orientation” as “heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality” and “gender identity or expression” as “the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, expression or other gender-related characteristics of an individual regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.”
It would prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment against those who define themselves as such.
At the hearing, no testimony was taken regarding bathrooms and housing as those running the hearing insisted it be related solely to business. The senators, however, seemed unable to comprehend that businesses have rest facilities for their employees which are divided by sex.
The wording of the bill clearly indicates that it applies to public accommodations i.e. public restrooms and locker rooms, and housing.
This means that if a woman has to use an interstate rest stop and a guy in a dress follows her in, nobody can stop him.
It means female high school athletes will have to compete with — and share locker rooms with — boys who decide to “express” themselves as females.
It means that a female college student will be forced to share dorm rooms with males calling themselves women.
It means that small business owners will have to walk on eggshells terminating a troublesome employee who decides to start “expressing” him or herself as the opposite sex.
It is a bad, unnecessary bill but the powers-that-be in the state are pushing hard to turn it into law.
Is it a surprise? They backed Graham Spanier and his activities at Penn State for 16 years.
Toilet, roommate and other privacy issues would be addressed at future hearings the senators said.
Penn Delco School Director Lisa Esler submitted testimony but was not invited to speak.
Here’s what she would have said:
My name is Lisa Esler. I am a school board director in Penn Delco School District. As school board directors, we are responsible for approving hires and budgets as well as creating and adopting policies that best represent our district and promote the safety and well-being of our students. State policies and laws that are created and must be enforced by the local district often have unintended consequences that may be overlooked by state level officials making these decisions. I would like the opportunity to shed light on some of the unintended consequences changing the current discrimination laws for employment would have as it relates to a school district and how it would limit our ability to act in the best interest of our district and students.
Once you declare a group of people protected under employment discrimination laws, you must give them access and privileges associated with these protections as you would anyone currently listed under the law. This includes dress code and access to facilities in that district. If SB 1306 is signed into law, school districts will have no recourse but to follow the law. This becomes a significant problem for a school district since we employ many professions including lifeguards, coaches and teachers.
As an employer, school districts ensure dress codes are non-discriminatory and employees comply with sex-specific dress codes according to their gender in the capacity of their job description. A female who now identifies as a male, such as a lifeguard or swim coach, will now be able to wear a male swim suit and use the male changing facility. A male coach, who identifies as a female, will be able to enter the women’s changing area with female athletes. Either we should treat people as they think they are, or we should treat them as biology reveals them to be. It makes no sense to do one sometimes and the other at other times.
Mandating employment policies based on gender identity or expression will undermine and limit common sense school policies and prohibit schools from making decisions about employees.This bill will create a subjective protected class that will expose school districts to unwarranted liability. It will overrule custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety, particularly the right for children in a school setting.
While issues of sex and gender identity are psychologically, morally, and politically controversial, all should agree that children should be protected from having to sort through such questions before they reach an appropriate age as determined by their parents. SB 1306 would prevent schools and parents from protecting children from these adult debates about sex and gender identity by forcing employers, including schools, to yield to the desires of employees in ways that put them in the spotlight. Children would be prematurely exposed to questions about sex and gender if, for example, a male teacher returned to school identifying as a woman. These situations are best handled at the local level, by the parents and teachers closest to the children.
Children, especially teens, love to test the boundaries set by adults. How do we justify these protections for those in a position as a role model and authority and not extend the same privileges and protections to all students?
If SB 1306 were to pass, it would leave school districts to deal with unlimited liability issues as well as other serious unintended consequences.For these reasons, I ask that you vote no on SB1306. Thank you for the opportunity to share my concerns.
What this means ladies is that if you have to use an interstate rest stop and a guy in a dress follows you in, nobody can say he can’t.
What this means parents is that your daughters will have to compete with — and share locker rooms with — boys who decide to “express” themselves as females regarding school sports.
What this means small business owners is that if your troublesome employee decides to start “expressing” him or herself as the opposite sex you have one new, huge headache on your hands in getting rid of him or her.
This is extremely stupid and unnecessary legislation and must die.
Lisa Esler WAEB Guest — Penn Delco School Director Lisa Esler recently appeared on NewsRadio 790 WAEB to discuss extremely stupid legislation pending in Harrisburg that would open up women’s private places in Pennsylvania — whether it be school locker rooms or interstate rest stops — to basically all-comers and make it far more difficult for small business owners to manage employees.
Wagner Two-Faced On Anti-Business Law — Sen. Scott Wagner, who says in the below article, that he is “extremely concerned with how Federal and State Regulations are choking businesses” and “Barack Obama’s anti-business agenda” is pushing legislation to make life harder for small business by adding “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” to the list of “protected classes“. Nobody likes bullies but what Wagner and Sen. Pat Browne (R-16) are ignoring with the laws they are pushing is that bullies exist in government too and especially in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission which would be tasked with enforcing this garbage.
There are employers and supervisors who take pleasure in humiliating employees and prospective employees. Nobody likes them. They are not an iota as dangerous, however, as the government officials with that character trait.
Like those in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
The anti-business bill Wagner is pushing, SB 1307, is advancing and was re-referred to the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee on June 27.
A bill, SB 1316, sponsored by Sen. Browne which would forbid discrimination against men claiming to be women regarding housing such as college dorms moved to the State Government committee June 21.
The Pennsylvania state budget for 2016-17 was finalized July 13. I will be reporting in depth the details in an email next week.
This email is focused on the Presidential election.
I will be traveling to Cleveland next week to attend the Republican National Convention.
It appears that the Presidential race is down to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
I expect that Donald Trump will be nominated as the Republican candidate for the General Election in November.
I would like to share my thoughts and opinion.
As a private sector business owner I am extremely concerned with how Federal and State Regulations are choking businesses.
Case in point – Barack Obama’s war on coal has just about vaporized the coal industry in the US and especially Western Pennsylvania.
Businesses employ people and create jobs – they always have, and always will.
I am very concerned about the thought of Hillary Clinton stepping foot into the White House and doubling-down on Barack Obama’s anti-business agenda.
Americans have witnessed firsthand the last three weeks of events – first when Bill Clinton just by chance happened to be on the same tarmac, at an airport on an airplane, at the same time that the United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch was at the same airport, the same tarmac and on an airplane, and they just happened to meet.
The press reported that Bill Clinton and Ms. Lynch discussed golf, the weather, their children and grandchildren – ironically several days after this chance meeting the FBI announced that they are not going to pursue action against Hillary Clinton over her emails.
Cut me a break – The press, Bill Clinton and Hillary must think that Americans are clueless and stupid – the meeting was preset and a deal was definitely done on an airplane.
I have been watching Donald Trump very closely – I watch what he says and what he does.
Looking back to 2013 when I announced that I was going to run for the Pennsylvania 28th State Senate seat I called a donor in the York community – he told me that he was going to sit on the sidelines with my race – he had concerns that my style wouldn’t work in Harrisburg.
I have worked hard on my style – but at the end of the day – my style is asking questions and continuing to ask questions until I fully understand the issue – demanding accountability – I am pushing the envelope on change and breaking the status-quo mold.
Please allow me to point out – I did not have a lifelong plan to run for a seat in the Pennsylvania State Senate – I was fed up, and when our Senator resigned I decided to roll up my shirt sleeves and get involved to make a difference.
I think Donald Trump is similar in many ways to me – he doesn’t need the job as President and he doesn’t need the money – the guy is seventy years old – I am sure he would be much more happy continuing to operate his businesses – it appears that his children are highly active in the businesses and are smart and intelligent – Donald Trump could spend the rest of his life working with his children and watch them become great business people.
I think that Donald Trump, in his own large ego way, said one day, “I have had enough of America being pounded and run down by career politicians and the crony system.”
I stayed on the sidelines up until a few weeks ago – I made a decision to let the Republican candidates work through the process – at the end of the day I respect each and every Republican candidate who stepped into the ring with their own ideas of how to get America back on track.
Now that Donald Trump is most likely going to be the Republican Candidate I am going to do everything I can to help him get elected.
I put a lot of effort into Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012 – his campaign was not run well in Pennsylvania, and as a result he lost.
This past weekend I reached out to someone in the Pennsylvania State Republican Party to arrange a meeting with the top person or people who are running Donald Trump’s campaign.
I received a call this past Monday afternoon that a meeting had been set up with Trump’s campaign people for that evening.
I traveled to Cleveland and had a forty-five minute private meeting with Paul Manafort, the National Campaign Manager for the Trump campaign and five other high level campaign people.
The conversation was direct and to the point – I expressed that many people in Pennsylvania want to be part of this critical race.
I requested 20,000 yard signs so that any person who wants a “Trump for President” sign for their yard can get one in South Central PA.
I also asked what may be a strange question – Does Mr. Trump have a best friend? – A best friend who can be off stage at an event that Mr. Trump is speaking at, and if he says something stupid that this friend can yell at Mr. Trump for the stupid comment or comments he made.
I am lucky – I have several friends who yell at me if I say something stupid – I am getting better and so will Mr. Trump.
I left the meeting on Monday night with Paul Manafort with an increased level of confidence that Donald Trump has hired Mr. Manafort and a very strong team is being assembled to win the General Election in November and put Donald Trump in the White House.
News releases today are suggesting that Governor Mike Pence from Indiana may be Donald Trump’s pick as his running mate for Vice President.
I had an opportunity to meet and have a conversation with Governor Pence at an Republican Governor’s Association event in Detroit this past October.
Governor Pence has done good things for Indiana since he has been in office – I can tell you he is not a status-quo person and wants to make positive changes – he is very pro-business – remember what I said earlier – businesses employ people and create jobs.
So here is my ask of everyone who cares deeply about our great country – please put aside all of your differences and be supportive of Donald Trump – the bottom line is we cannot – I repeat, we cannot allow Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Please don’t make comments that you are not going to vote for either candidate – your lack of a vote is not acceptable – please remember this great country – the United States of America – please remember the many brave people who fought for, and the people who died for, the freedoms we enjoy each and every day.
Bathroom Bills Back In Pa As SB 1306 And SB 1307 — Public outcry stopped pending Pennsylvania legislation that would open ladies rooms and girls sports teams to men but the termites in Harrisburg never sleep and new bills were quickly introduced to catch the sane occupants of the Keystone State off guard.
So on June 10, SB 1306 and SB 1307 were introduced by Republican zealots that, like SB 974, would prohibit “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” from discrimination in “public accommodations” like, well, public restrooms.
And school showers.
And school sports teams.
And it would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the protected classes making it difficult for businesses to fire or discipline those describing themselves as gay or transgendered or whatever.
The prime sponsor of both bills is Sen. Pat Browne, a Republican who represents the 16th District which is in Lehigh County, and who is also the prime sponsor of SB 974.
Brown is being strongly backed by former conservative hero Scott Wagner, a Republican who represents the 28th district which is York County.
SB 1307 adds to the law the phrasing Public policies, reflecting an open and welcoming environment and ensuring equal opportunity, foster economic growth and prosperity which benefit the inhabitants of this Commonwealth. Conversely, the absence of nondiscrimination protections hinder efforts to recruit and retain the diversity of talented individuals and successful enterprises required for a thriving economy and strong public sector on which the inhabitants of this Commonwealth depend.
Sen. Wagner, are you saying that if a guy wearing fishnet stockings comes to you asking to drive one of your trash trucks, there is policy that now prevents you from hiring him?
This is not true.
The only thing Senator that would now prevent you from hiring such a man is your own prejudices. Please don’t project them on to the rest of us.
Protected classes do not foster economic growth and prosperity. They hurt economic growth and prosperity. The goal should not be to expand them but to eliminate them.
A discussion of Wagner’s and Browne’s bizarre crusade can be found on this archived broadcast of It’s A New Day 1180 AM WFYL below:
Wagner Doubles Down On Open Ladies Rooms — An email has been forwarded to us from Pennsylvania State Sen. Scott Wagner (R-28) in which he doubles down in support of legislation which most feel will mandate opening traditional private places for females in schools and businesses to males claiming to be women.
Sister legislation HB 1510 remains similarly and thankfully entangled in the House.
Wagner in his missive correctly notes that the bills were introduced before the open ladies room controversy happened and insists it won’t change anything with regard to state law.
That’s naive. Just because Wagner couldn’t see what was coming doesn’t mean the powerful interests who lobbied for the bill didn’t. And how, exactly, does a bill “prohibiting discrimination against LGBT individuals as it relates to . . . public accommodations” exempt public restrooms?
And school locker rooms?
Most troubling, though, is that Wagner, who has generally championed the needs of business, supported SB 974 knowing full-well it expanded “protected classes“.
Being in a protected class does not help one find employment. Just consider the employment rates for those in a “protected class” verses those who aren’t.
This is not due to bigotry. This is due to self preservation. A small business-owner will bend over backwards to avoid hiring a person from a “protected class” because it is exponentially harder to fire one in that class if that person turns out to be a bad employee.
Now, if one has a company that has grown big enough to have its own HR department fully able to keep up with the latest in employment law and do the appropriate record keeping of employee failings some of the risk is mitigated but if one is part of a three-man LLC and has to do the hiring and firing face to face along with a thousand other things, this is the type of government interference that causes ulcers.
As someone who has run a business and who has hired gays knowing full well they were gay — really, Scott where do you think gays are more inclined to seek employment, journalism/advertising or trash collection? — employee sex lives are not an issue for the vast majority of business owners. Show up on time and meet deadlines. Everyone is happy. Special protection does not help anybody yet probably hurts everyone.
And one more thing Senator. The “special snowflake” stuff does not become you. If you think you are being “bullied” or “intimidated” when angry constituents contact you, you probably should stick to trash collection.
Here is Sen. Wagner’s email:
Over the past several months, my office has received hundreds of phone calls and emails regarding my co-sponsorship of SB 974, The Pennsylvania Fairness Act. This legislation would add sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, effectively prohibiting discrimination against LGBT individuals as it relates to employment, housing, and public accommodations. I have been asked to remove my name as a co-sponsor of SB 974 because of recent events in the news related to how bathrooms are dealt with in other states, as well as President Obama’s recent directive regarding schools and Title IX funding.
Let me be very clear – I will not be removing my name from this legislation. Allow me to explain why.
As an employer and a Pennsylvanian, I believe that everyone should be treated fairly and with dignity.
As an employer, I do not care what your sexual preference is as long as you perform at or beyond the required expectations of your job. The fact remains that without this legislation there are a group of citizens that can legally be fired or overlooked because of their sexual orientation instead of their job performance. This is a step in the right direction to ensure workers are not being discriminated against.
This is why I put my name on this legislation, and this is what I will continue to work toward. The fact that attempts have been made to intimidate me and other supporters of SB 974 to try to get us to remove our co-sponsorships of this legislation and are trying to change the conversation to make it about men in women’s bathrooms should not deter us from our goal.
Cities all across Pennsylvania have had ordinances similar to SB 974 for well over 20 years without a single issue as it relates to bathrooms. From a very practical perspective, SB 974 changes absolutely nothing about the way that bathrooms are dealt with, in spite of claims to the contrary that are full of legalese and references to court decisions from states with laws that are very different from Pennsylvania’s.
I believe that it is critical that we find a way to treat LGBT people with the dignity and fairness that they deserve – that we all deserve. I am equally committed to work with concerned groups to find ways to improve the legislation. If there are valid concerns related to individuals with deeply held religious convictions, we should work to fix them. If there are real, concrete concerns with the way that bathrooms will be handled, we should listen.
What we should not do, however, is completely abandon all efforts to gain fairness for the LGBT community. What we should not do is use fear as a tool to attempt to bully legislators into just giving up on this important issue.
Those of you that know me, know this – I will not be bullied.
I encourage those of you with serious concerns about this legislation to continue to contact me so that we can continue our work on this issue. My staff and I have spent a great deal of time with interest groups on both sides of this issue attempting to find a way to accomplish everyone’s goals, and we will continue to do so.
I know that fellow Pennsylvanians share my commitment to make our great Commonwealth a state that is open and welcoming to everyone, whether that means changing our Human Relations Act or addressing our oppressive tax and regulatory systems.
I appreciate your support, and look forward to continuing the effort to create a better Pennsylvania with everyone.