– Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) cast a “no” vote for House Bill 300. Gaydos issued the following statement regarding her vote:
“I support the intent of House Bill 300
to ensure no person should ever be subject to discrimination, but this legislation broadly amends the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to include protection of individuals that are ‘actual or perceived’ members of any protected class. ‘Perceived’ is not included in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its proposed inclusion in the PHRA is a divisive distraction focusing on our differences instead of what brings us together.
“With this increased ambiguity, this legislation fails to recognize the rights of already protected classes such as people with legitimately held religious beliefs, many originated through their First Amendment-ensured free exercise of religion. It also undermines the rights of women to play competitive sports free from biological men on their women’s sports teams.”
In March 2022, Gaydos was a prime sponsor of legislation that would support women’s rights in competitive sports. House Bill 972, or the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, would have protected opportunities for women and girls in athletics by ensuring women are not forced to compete against biological males playing on women’s sports teams.
The legislation passed the General Assembly; however, it was vetoed by former Gov. Tom Wolf.