Reform Movement Appalled by Stabbing at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, Calls for Investigation

Washington, D.C., July 30, 2015 – In response to the stabbing of six people at the Jerusalem Pride Parade earlier today, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:
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InterPride condemns attack on the Jerusalem Pride Parade

New York City, NY, USA - Thursday, June 30th, 2015 - InterPride, the International Association of Pride Organizers, condemns the horrific attack that occurred today at the Pride Parade in Jerusalem, where participants were stabbed by a religious extremist as the procession marched peacefully through the streets of the holy city.
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Participants Wanted: DASH Study at Ohio University (IRB Approval #: 14F057)

Participants Wanted: DASH Study at Ohio University (IRB Approval #: 14F057)
Are you a gender or sexual minority between the ages of 18-35? Do you have reliable, regular Internet access? If you answered YES to both questions, you may be eligible to participate in Ohio University’s Daily Activities, Stress & Health (DASH) Study.
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NWPA Pride Alliance Participates In Its First Erie Gives Day

The Northwest PA (NW PA) Pride Alliance is delighted to participate in its first Erie Gives Day on Tuesday, August 11th!  The support of our community has helped us to sponsor and/or host events such as the Pride Rally/Festival, Candidate Forums, and the Pride Picnic.  Alliance members also participate in various community events to promote awareness of LGBTQIA issues, and support the efforts and activities of other groups dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQIA community. 
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American Airlines, Facebook, General Mills, Google & Nike Announce Support for Fed LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections

WASHINGTON - July 28, 2015 – Today, just days after the introduction of the historic Equality Act in Congress, five new major American companies announced their support for comprehensive, federal LGBT non-discrimination protections.  Each of these new leading corporations – American Airlines, Facebook, General Mills, Google and Nike demonstrated their belief that all LGBT Americans should have the protections from discrimination in federal law that they deserve.  These companies join Apple, The Dow Chemical Company, and Levi Strauss, & Co. in supporting comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation.
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Pride Fest to be held in Griswold Park

Because of remodeling to Perry Square, NW PA Pride Alliance will be holding this year's Pride Fest on Saturday, August 29 at 2 PM in Griswold Park, 150 W 14th St, Erie PA. We will still be assembling for the Parade at noon at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, and stepping off at 1 PM. Only the location for Pride Fest is being changed for this year.
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GLAD Calls for End to Conversion Therapy in Massachusetts

July 28, 2015 - Bennett Klein, Senior Attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) testified today in favor of banning the destructive practice of so-called "conversion therapy " in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  His testimony came at a hearing of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. His testimony can be read here.
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TLDEF Challenges Discriminatory Health Insurance Coverage Denial

New York, NY- July 28, 2015 - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) has demanded that Aetna Life Insurance Company reverse its decision to deny coverage for a Colorado transgender woman's medically necessary gender reassignment surgery. The coverage denial violates Colorado law, which requires companies to cover medically necessary care for transgender policyholders on the same terms as all other policyholders.
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As Boy Scouts of America Takes Historic Step, Local Exemptions Will Allow Discrimination To Continue

WASHINGTON - July 27, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to today's historic vote by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to end its blanket national ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual adults serving as employees and volunteers.
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Virginia Federal Court Signals That Transgender Student's Restroom Access Case is Likely to Proceed

NORFOLK, Va. - July 27, 2015 - A federal court in Virginia today heard arguments in the case of a transgender male student at Gloucester High School who seeks to use communal restrooms that match his gender identity. The case challenges a discriminatory policy that segregates transgender students from their peers and requires them to use "alternative private" restroom facilities.
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Invite to Pope Francis to meet U.S. LGBT Catholic families

Many of us in the United States are looking forward to your visit, especially here in Philadelphia, where you will attend the World Meeting of Families. You have told us time and again that the Church isn't a toll house  but the house of God  where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.
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HRC Stands with Kenyan LGBT Activists Who Suffer Violence and Discrimination in Their Country

WASHINGTON - July 25, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, commended President Obama for his comments about the need to respect human rights for all people. At a press conference earlier today in Nairobi, Kenya, President Obama said countries should not discriminate based on sexual orientation, while Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta referred to gay rights as a "non-issue" for Kenyans.
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AHF: FPPC to Investigate Porn Industry Over Foreign Money in Failed 2012 L.A. Campaign Against Condoms

LOS ANGELES (July 24, 2015) Safer sex advocates and individuals affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the primary backer of Measure B, the so-called condoms in porn 2012 ballot measure in Los Angeles County, today cheered the news that California's Fair Political Practices Commission's (FPPC) Enforcement Division will be opening an investigation to look into allegations of foreign donations to the adult film industry's failed 2012 'No on Government Waste, No on Measure B' campaign seeking to block passage of Measure B.
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NCLR Applauds Federal Appeals Court Decision Upholding Washington State Rules Requiring Pharmacies To Fill All Prescript

(San Francisco, CA, July 23, 2015)—Today, in a unanimous decision, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld rules issued by the State of Washington requiring all state-licensed pharmacies to provide timely delivery of all prescription medications to patients. The court rejected claims that requiring pharmacies to sell certain prescription birth control drugs violated the constitutional rights of pharmacy owners who have religious objections to birth control.  The Washington rules that were upheld today require that at least one pharmacist working for the pharmacy provide timely delivery of any validly prescribed medication.
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Meagan Taylor, Black trans woman arrested and held in isolation, is now free

July 22, 2015 - Meagan Taylor, a Black transgender woman whose story made headlines when she was arrested after checking into an Iowa hotel and then held in isolation at the Polk County Jail, has been released after over a week in custody. This news follows advocacy by local groups, national organizations, and a pastor who raised the money for her bail.
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3000+ Faith Leaders and Clergy Call on Congress To Oppose the First Amendment Defense Act

WASHINGTON, D.C—- July 22, 2015 - More than 3,000 faith leaders and clergy sent a letter today to members of Congress urging their opposition to the First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802). The letter (full text below this release), coordinated by Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and Auburn Seminary, was delivered today to Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Elijah Cummings, the Chair and Ranking Member of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is currently considering the bill. The letter was also shared with every member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Calling out Chaput

From Philadelphia Gay News - July 19, 2015- Archbishop Chaput in his actions this week proves to be exactly what our friends in Denver, whose archdiocese he previously led, warned Philadelphia about: a man with little respect for humanity.
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NCLR: Appalling H.R. 3009 Punishes Sanctuary Cities and Harms Immigrant Families

(Washington, DC, July 23, 2015)—Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, a bill that would withhold federal money from sanctuary cities that promote public safety by making it safe for undocumented persons to report crimes to local police without fear of being deported.
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ACLU Comment on Introduction of the Equality Act in Congress

WASHINGTON - July 23, 2015 — Today, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin, and Cory Booker and U.S. Representative David Cicilline introduced the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal bill that will prohibit discrimination against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. This legislation fills gaps in America's civil rights laws, and is fully in keeping with a commitment to equal treatment under the law for all.
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NCLR Welcomes Introduction of Comprehensive LGBT Civil Rights Bill

(Washington, DC, July 23, 2015)— Today Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wi.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.), and Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.) introduced in Congress the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal civil rights bill that would protect LGBT individuals from discrimination in seven critical sectors: credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service, and public accommodations.
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Transgender Law Center statement on Equality Act introduction

July 23, 2015 - Today, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced the Equality Act, which would protect LGBT people from discrimination in many sectors of life, including employment, education, public accommodations, and housing.
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GLAD ED Janson Wu's Statement in Support of the Equality Act

July 23, 2015 - Today the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination bill was introduced in Congress.  Janson Wu, Executive Director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, issued the following statement
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GLSEN Statement on the Introduction of the Equality Act

NEW YORK (July 23, 2015) – GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued the following statement on the introduction of the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, public education, employment, housing, federal funding, jury service, legal protections and credit. The act was introduced today by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in the Senate and by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) in the House of Representatives.
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HRC Endorses Comprehensive New Legislation That Ensures Full Federal Equality for LGBT Americans

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, endorsed the Equality Act, a landmark federal non-discrimination bill that would ensure all LGBT Americans have the protections from discrimination in federal law they deserve.  Its strong endorsement accompanies several other statements of support for federal LGBT non-discrimination protections, including a civil rights icon, major leaders in Corporate America, prominent Republican and Democratic members of the legal community, as well as new polling demonstrating overwhelming bipartisan support among the American public.
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Federal Equality Act Would Protect LGBT People from Discrimination

Charlotte, NC - July 23, 2015 - Today the Equality Act was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the U.S. Senate and Representative Cicilline (D-RI) in the U.S. House of Representatives, including co-sponsors Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and John Lewis (D-GA).
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Introduction of Comprehensive LGBT Civil Rights Bill Long Overdue

Washington, D.C., July 23, 2015 – In response to the introduction of the Equality Act, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
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NCTE Applauds Introduction of Landmark LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill -- The Equality Act

Washington, DC - July 23, 2015 - National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and staff have been working closely with Congress on this comprehensive nondiscrimination bill. Of the introduction, Keisling said:
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Lexington Hosts Kentucky #RuralPride Summit August 12

(Lexington, KY, July 23, 2015)—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) will host the next #RuralPride summit in Lexington, Kentucky on August 12. The day-long event, co-hosted by the True Colors Fund and the Pride Community Services Organization (PCSO) will be held at PCSO's office, 389 Waller Avenue, Suite 100, Lexington, Kentucky, from 1:00 PM to 4:45PM.
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BREAKING: Major Corporations Announce Support for Landmark Federal LGBT Non-Discrimination Legislation

WASHINGTON - July 23, 2015 – In advance of this afternoon's introduction of the historic Equality Act in Congress, today 3 major American companies announced their support for comprehensive federal non-discrimination legislation that would establish full, federal equality for all LGBT Americans.  Each of the leading corporations – which include Apple, The Dow Chemical Company, and Levi Strauss & Co., – released the following statements making clear that they believe all LGBT Americans should have the protections from discrimination in federal law that they deserve.
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Ted Olson and David Boies Support Comprehensive Federal LGBT Non-Discrimination Legislation

WASHINGTON July 22, 2015 – Today, on the eve of the introduction of the Equality Act, Ted Olson and David Boies, the bipartisan legal team that represented the plaintiffs in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case that challenged California's Proposition 8, and was ultimately heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, came out in support of a comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination law.
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Moonlight on the Bay Fundraiser for CVC on Sep 11

Picture yourself in a tuxedo or formal gown at Perry Monument on a beautiful early September evening. Imagine sipping locally produced wine and other beverages and partaking in fabulous food. Be surrounded by extraordinary natural foliage along with exquisite centerpieces, fine music, and first class hospitality. Enjoy meeting and visiting with a select group of Erie dignitaries and socialites including our honorary chair, Michelle Ridge and our chair couples, Mr. & Mrs Terrence and Patricia Cavanaugh and Mr. & Mrs. Michael and Craige Victor.
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JASC Statement on Sen. Cruz Hearing on Supreme Court 'Activism'

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2015- The Justice at Stake Campaign issued the following statement after today's Senate Judiciary committee subcommittee hearing, "With Prejudice: Supreme Court Activism and Possible Solutions, "chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz:
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Yappy Hour on Monday, August 10 at Cloud 9 Wine Bar

Yappy Hour on Monday, August 10 at Cloud 9 Wine Bar
Yappy Hour is a pre-relay get together and fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society's Bark For Life. It will be held on Monday, August 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Cloud 9 Wine Bar's patio, 25 E 10th St, Erie PA 16501. Free admission to the first 50 to reegister. Bark For Life is a relay event that celebrates dogs that have fought or died of cancer as well as K9 Caregivers & Pets that have helped their companions with their fight with cancer.
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New Poll: 59% of Voters Less Likely to Support Candidates Who Oppose Non-Discrimination Protections

WASHINGTON - July 22, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the results of a new Democracy Corps survey from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, demonstrating that 59%  of likely 2016 voters are less likely to support a candidate who opposes non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.  These results come just before a new federal LGBT non-discrimination bill is expected to be introduced in Congress.
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DOJ Declines to Weigh in on Exclusion of Transgender People from ADA Protections

July 22, 2015 - Yesterday in a Statement of Interest filed in the case Blatt v. Cabela's Retail, the Department of Justice (DOJ) declined to weigh in on the constitutionality of an explicit transgender exclusion written into the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today is the 25th anniversary of the passage of the ADA. 
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He Doesn't Get It: Walker Can't Say if Being LGBT Is a Choice

July 19, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement after CNN's Dana Bash reported this morning that Gov. Scott Walker said he doesn't know whether being LGBT is a choice or not.
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HRC: Nation Would Be 'Better Off' Without Rick Perry's Discriminatory Views

July 19, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement after former Texas Governor Rick Perry said on Meet the Press that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) would be "better off " without openly LGB employees and volunteers. Perry's comments came days after the BSA's Executive Committee recommended that the organization end its blanket ban on LGB adults, although the committee's proposal allows certain local exemptions.
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New study finds high adherence to daily pill for HIV prevention among both men and women

July 20, 2015 -New CDC data from Botswana show that both women and men were highly adherent to using daily oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, over the course of a one-year open-label study. Because this study more closely replicated a real-world setting than its preceding clinical trial – since participants received no financial compensation and all were aware they were taking an active drug – the findings may provide a better indication of likely adherence among women and men seeking to use PrEP for HIV prevention.
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Gallup Poll Shows Stable Support for Marriage Post-SCOTUS Ruling

On Friday, Gallup released a poll that shows 58% of Americans support the freedom to marry following the Supreme Court's nationwide ruling in June and full implementation of the ruling. The findings mirror public support prior to the ruling, indicating its widespread acceptance and an absence of "backlash " predicted by opponents.  Read more: http://www.gallup.com/poll/184217/support-gay-marriage-stable-high-court-ruling.aspx
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BREAKING: European Court Rules Same-Sex Partnership a Right

WASHINGTON - July 21, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the historic ruling by the European Court on Human Rights that all signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights - including countries like Turkey and Russia, where discrimination and violence against LGBT people has recently made headlines - should recognize same-sex partnerships. This ruling, which could impact 47 countries, and 800 million people, is a major step in granting greater rights and equality to LGBT people across Europe, and around the world.
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BREAKING: Comprehensive New LGBT Non-Discrimination Legislation To Be Introduced This Week

WASHINGTON - July 21, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, released the following statement following a report from Buzzfeed News late last night that comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation is expected to be introduced in Congress later this week.
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Millcreek 4th of July Parade recap


About 17 people participated in NW PA Pride Alliance's float in the Millcreek 4th of July Parade. This was the 50th anniversary of Millcreek's parade and the 10th year that it has included an LGBT contingent. The theme this year was Launching Bottle Rockets in the Backyard and was designed by NWPAPA Vice-President Season Crannell. Float participants helped build the float. Many thanks to Roxanne of Lake Erie Sisters and Brothers Transgender Support Group for the use of the trailer, to Ginger for the use of the truck, as well as for Candy and Steve for driving the truck.
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2015 Miss Erie Pageant


On Sunday, June 28, 2015, The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA, hosted the 2015 Miss Erie Pageant. The winner was Valerie Valentino, with Britney Shea as runner-up. The event was hosted by Misty Michaels Kall with performances by Michelle Michaels, Taylor Morgan, Lovin Heart, Rhiannon Angelina, Buffy Lynn Hayes, outgoing 2014 Miss Erie Veronica Lace and Jayme Cadell Cox. The event was sponsored by NW PA Pride Alliance. Additionally, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) hosted a reception before the event, GEAE Celebrates! Erie Drag Culture, honoring the contributions of Erie's drag perfomers.
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New name: Erie Sisters is now Erie Sisters and Brothers

The Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group, established in 1991, has undergone a formal change of name. Recognizing the need to welcome and serve the entire transgender community, the name has been changed to the Erie Sisters and Brothers.
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Dr. Rachel Levine to be Pride Fest Keynote Speaker

Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Physician General, will be the Keynote Speaker at 2015 Pride Fest on Saturday, August 29 Dr. Levine is the first openly transgender appointee to be confirmed to state office.
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The New Middle Age

Consider these phrases: "Middle Aged". "Over the Hill". "Past Your Prime." Do they inspire you to live a long, healthy and happy life? Me neither.
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Speaker Boehner Should Remove Hateful Anti-LGBT Lawmaker From Leadership of Powerful Finance Committee

WASHINGTON - July 17, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called on House Speaker John Boehner to remove Representative Scott Garrett (R-NJ) as subcommittee chair in the House Financial Services Committee over his hateful anti-LGBT objections to supporting his party's congressional campaign committee because, according to Politico, it "actively recruited gay candidates and supported homosexuals in primaries." Media reports indicate that Rep. Garrett's office has refused to apologize for the discriminatory remark, and has declined to respond to questions about why he is opposed to LGBT people serving in elected office.
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Anti-LGBT So-Called 'First Amendment Defense Act' Has Dangerous and Far-Reaching Consequences

WASHINGTON - July 17, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, pinpointed the dangerous consequences of the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802), introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Representative Raúl Labrador (R-ID). Going far beyond protecting the rights established in the First Amendment, this anti-LGBT legislation would undermine the rule of law and promote taxpayer-funded discrimination. The legislation is scheduled for a markup in the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee next week.
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AHF Cheers World's 'Astounding' Feat: 15 Million on AIDS Treatment

WASHINGTON (July 14, 2015) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which provides HIV/AIDS medical care and treatment to more than 438,000 people in 36 countries, cheered a statement released earlier today by UNAIDS reporting that the world has reached the goal of 15 million people on lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment worldwide by 2015—nine months ahead of schedule. The number now exceeds the AIDS treatment targets set forth in UN's Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6.
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New EEOC Ruling Protects Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Employees

WASHINGTON - July 16, 2015 - The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today issued a decision that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination that is outlawed by existing federal law.
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HRC Hails Historic EEOC Ruling on Employment Discrimination

July 16, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today praised the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for its ruling affirming that it considers employment discrimination based on sexual orientation to be prohibited under the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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Mobile App for PrideFest for iOs and Android

New for this year's PrideFest is a special app that we are developing that will have updates, info and even photos from YOU! You can install the app onto both iPhones/iOs and Android phones and tablets by browsing to http://my.yapp.us/PRIDEFEST814 on your mobile device.
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Rep. Scott Garrett Shocks Committee With Anti-LGBT Bigotry

WASHINGTON - July 16, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to Representative Scott Garrett's (R-NJ) hateful anti-LGBT objections to supporting his party's congressional campaign committee because, according to Politico, it'actively recruited gay candidates and supported homosexuals in primaries."
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HRC Congratulates Caitlyn Jenner for Receiving ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award at Tonight's ESPYs Ceremony

WASHINGTON - July 15, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, congratulated Caitlyn Jenner for receiving ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award tonight.
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Utah Federal Court Rules Same-Sex Mothers' Parentage Rights Must Be Recognized

SALT LAKE CITY - July 16, 2015 - A Utah federal court ruled Wednesday that the State Office of Vital Records and Statistics must recognize a same-sex married couple as legal parents of their child. The case was argued before U.S. District Judge Dee Benson whose ruling holds that the state must apply Utah's assisted reproduction parentage statute equally to same and different-sex spouses.
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Despite Positive Effect on School Climate, Protections for LGBT Students Lacking in Most District Anti-Bullying Policies

NEW YORK (July 15, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, today released From Statehouse to Schoolhouse: Anti-Bullying Policy Efforts in U.S. States and School Districts, a report that examines anti-bullying policies in all 13,181 school districts across the country, and how state law and guidance affect policies at the district level. The report includes five major findings:
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New Groundbreaking Publication Seeks to Advance Human Rights LGBT Iranians

(NEW YORK - July 15, 2015) – On Tuesday, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) releases a collection of eight articles that offer innovative and provocative approaches to advance acceptance and improve understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community of Iran. With contributions from prominent international activists, lawyers and scholars from IGLHRC's second conference held in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2014, the collection,"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights in Iran: Analysis from Religious, Social, Legal and Cultural Perspectives," examines human rights for LGBT Iranians from legal, religious and socio-political perspectives, analyses and interpretations.
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Freedom to Marry Video Celebrates Victory and the Marriage Movement

New York - July 15, 2015 – Today, as it begins the promised campaign wind-down having achieved its goal of winning marriage nationwide, Freedom to Marry released a video celebrating the victory and featuring some of the many people, milestones, and hard work that paved the way. The video can be viewed here: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/WeDidIt
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OutServe-SLDN announces introduction & support for the Restore Honor to Service Members Act

(Washington, DC - July 15, 2015) Today, United States Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Charles Rangel (D-NY) joined by United States Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will introduce the Restore Honor to Service Members Act. This legislation is being introduced to help service members discharged for no other reason than their sexual orientation correct their military record to reflect their honorable service.
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New WaPo: Walker Campaign Refuses to Say Whether Scott Walker Believes Children Need to be 'Protected' from LGBT America

WASHINGTON - July 15, 2015 – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign refused to answer a question from a Washington Post columnist about whether Walker "thought children needed to be protected from gay men." According to the story, Walker's spokesperson "did not respond."
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Federal Court to Hear Arguments Brought by Same-Sex Mothers Seeking Recognition of Parentage Rights

SALT LAKE CITY - July 15, 2015 - A Utah federal court will hear arguments today in a case filed on behalf of a married same-sex couple seeking recognition as legal parents of their child. The ACLU of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in April 2015 to force the State Office of Vital Records and Statistics to recognize plaintiffs Angie and Kami Roe as parents to their daughter, Lucy.
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Senate Fails to Pass Critical Protections for LGBT Youth

WASHINGTON - July 14, 2015 - Today, in the first major vote on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality since the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision, the Senate failed to pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) - a bill that would prohibit public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, decried the Republican-led defeat of the critical legislation for LGBT youth.
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GLSEN Statement on the U.S. Senate's Vote on the Student Non-Discrimination Act

NEW YORK (June 14, 2015) – GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued a statement following this afternoon's vote by the U.S. Senate on the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) as an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., filed the bill that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students from discrimination in the nation's K-12 public schools by establishing new federal non-discrimination protections modeled after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
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ACLU Comment on Senate Vote on Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT Students

WASHINGTON - July 14, 2015 - The U.S. Senate today voted on an amendment — the Student Non-Discrimination Act — to explicitly protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in public schools across the country. While the amendment, which was offered by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), fell short of the required 60-vote threshold, it garnered the support of 52 senators, including seven Republicans.
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HRC Condemns Scott Walker's Shameful and Offensive Comments on Boy Scouts of America's Ban

WASHINGTON - July 14, 2015 – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement in response to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's assertion that he supports the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)'s discriminatory policy that bars gay, lesbian and bisexual adults from serving as employees and troop leaders. Walker's comments, coming a day after the BSA's Executive Committee recommended that the organization allow LGB adult leaders and volunteers, defended the existing discriminatory ban as one that "protected" children, according to media reports.
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Class Action Lawsuit Charges Walmart with Anti-Gay Discrimination

(Boston, MA, July 14, 2015) Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC) have filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart, charging the retail giant with discriminating against employees who were married to same-sex spouses by denying their spouses health insurance benefits. The Complaint was filed this morning in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and can be read here.
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Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Responds to Pentagon Plan to End Transgender Military Ban

New York, NY -July 14, 2015 - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) today welcomed the Department of Defense's announcement that it is taking steps to lift the ban on open transgender military service. In announcing the formation of a six-month working group to study the "policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged that transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines "are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that's contrary to our value of service and individual merit." In addition to forming the working group, the Secretary has moved to immediately limit discharges by elevating all discharge decisions impacting transgender service members to Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson.
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UPDATED: Pentagon To Lift Transgender Military Ban

WASHINGTON - July 13, 2015 - Today, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the Pentagon will lift the ban on open and honest service by transgender service members.
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Pentagon Announces Plan to Ease Ban on Transgender Service in U.S. Military

WASHINGTON - July 13, 2015 – The Department of Defense today issued two directives that are expected to ease regulations that prohibit transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. military. Under current regulations, transgender people are automatically deemed medically unfit for duty and face separation from their unit if their gender identity is disclosed.
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Palm Center Statement on Pentagon Moratorium on Discharges of Transgender Service Members

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - July 13, 2015 – Following today's Department of Defense announcement of a moratorium on discharges of transgender service members as well as a process to review the Pentagon's ban, Palm Center director Aaron Belkin offered the following statement:
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Pentagon To Lift Ban On Transgender Service Members

WASHINGTON - July 13, 2015 -- Today, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the establishment of a working group to study the "policy and readiness implications" of allowing transgender service members to serve openly. The working group will "start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified." The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, which has long called for an end to the military's ban on transgender service, praised the announcement.
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Federal Government Approves School Policy that Affirms and Respects Transgender Students

(San Francisco, CA, July 13, 2015)–On Friday, July 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice approved the Arcadia Unified School District's long-awaited policy on transgender students. The policy—going into effect immediately—provides strong guidance to school administrators and educators, which will help ensure that all students, including transgender students, can learn in a safe and welcoming school environment.
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Scott Walker Can't Escape His Long History Opposing LGBT Equality

WASHINGTON - July 13, 2015 – Ahead of his expected campaign launch today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
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HRC To Boy Scouts of America: You Can't End Discriminatory Ban with Half Steps

WASHINGTON - July 13, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today responded to a resolution by the Boy Scouts of America and its Executive Committee that would allow gay, lesbian and bisexual adults to serve as employees and volunteers by calling on the organization to also require that all troops adhere to a policy of full LGBT inclusion.
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ACLU of Kentucky Comment on Hearing in Rowan County Marriage Refusals Case

ASHLAND - July 13, 2015 – U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning heard testimony today in the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky's lawsuit against Rowan County and Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to any eligible couple, in an attempt to keep same-gender couples from obtaining them.
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AHF Battles Dallas Over AIDS Funding Process as 7,565 HIV+ People in County Lack Care

DALLAS (July 13, 2015) Dallas County officials are being challenged in court and in public over what AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) asserts are significant failures by County officials in the County's handling of the grant application and request for proposal (RFP) process in Dallas for federal AIDS funding channeled through local Dallas County authorities. After a months-long process during which County officials kept changing the reasons for their rejection of AHF's grant applications, AHF filed a formal grievance with Dallas County on March 10, 2015 and filed—but did not serve—a lawsuit seeking similar relief from the state court. AHF currently operates three outpatient health care centers for people with HIV/AIDS in Texas—two in the Dallas/Forth Worth area, the third in Houston.
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Asexuality Visibility & Community Group (AVCG) meetings in Erie

Asexuality Visibility & Community Group (AVCG) meetings in Erie
AVCG also known as Erie aces is a community group with the purpose of educating the curious and providing visibility to those in the ace (asexual) community. We hope to provide a welcoming environment where people can get together and socialize as well as provide a resource for those who may be questioning or simply wanting to learn more. Our meetings will be held monthly on the 4th Friday from 4-8pm at the Mental Health Association of NW PA, 1101 Peach St, Erie PA.
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The Amazon Trail: Teased To Death

I never put this in words until recently: I'm afraid of children. Crazy, right? Unnatural. Just plain dumb. About a month ago, while still digesting that news flash from my brain, I had a related revelation which was brought on by all the recent talk about bullying. Here goes: I'm afraid of children because of the incessant bullying I got as a kid. So obvious. I kinda understood it, but kinda didn't want to look at it.
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AHF: Colorado's Success With Long-Term Birth Control Suggests Similar Path for More Effective HIV Prevention

LOS ANGELES (July 10, 2015) — On the heels of news that scientists have created the first subdermal implant to deliver antiretroviral drugs to prevent or treat HIV, Colorado health officials recently reported that making free intrauterine devices and implants available to women has drastically reduced teenage pregnancy and abortion rates in the state.  According to a July 5th New York Times article, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that after launching its Colorado Family Planning Initiative in 2009 to offer free, long-acting contraception to residents, the abortion rate fell by 42% and the teenage birth rate fell by 40% from 2009 to 2013.
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Not so Fast: Sen. Rubio Telegraphs Intent to Overturn Obergefell v. Hodges

WASHINGTON - July 10, 2015 – Sen. Marco Rubio has made headlines in recent days for saying he opposes a constitutional amendment that would allow states to re-ban marriage equality. But he's made clear that rather than use a constitutional amendment, he's willing to change the makeup of the court to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges.
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#31Reasons: In Wake of SCOTUS Ruling, HRC Releases New Map Showing States Still Lacking Non-Discrimination Protections

WASHINGTON - July 10, 2015 – Following the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v Hodges, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today released a new map explaining the need for non-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people at the federal level. The map shows that the Supreme Court's ruling has brought marriage equality to a number of states that still lack clear, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, meaning that despite the ruling, LGBT Americans can get legally married but still be at risk of being denied services for who they are or risk being fired simply for getting married and wearing their wedding ring to the office the next day.
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New Infographic Details the Reality of Being Transgender in America

DENVER - July 9, 2015  — Although recent polling indicates that only 11-22% of Americans personally know someone who is transgender, the public transitions of Caitlyn Jenner and, previously, Laverne Cox, mean more people are becoming familiar with transgender people. Few people, however, understand the myriad issues facing transgender people, including legal discrimination; limited job opportunities; high rates of poverty, harassment, and violence; health disparities; challenges updating identity documents needed for daily living, and more. The Movement Advancement Project's (MAP) new infographic, "Snapshot: Transgender in America," gives a quick look at state-level laws and policies that impact the lives of transgender people and provides some key statistics on the challenges transgender people face.
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Obama Administration Confirms Married Same-Sex Couples Will Have Access To Full Federal Benefits

WASHINGTON - July 9, 2015 – Today, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed that married same-sex couples will finally have access to full federal benefits thanks to the Supreme Court's decision affirming a Constitutional right to nationwide marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges. Now that marriage equality is the law of the land in every state, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration – which before the decision had continued to deny full benefits due to statutory language forcing them to look to the state of residence for the purpose of some benefits – will finally extend full benefits to married same-sex couples. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization praised the long awaited announcement.
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North by Northwest Progressive Summit on August 30

I am thrilled to announce that Keystone Progress will host the North by Northwest Progressive Summit in Erie on Sunday, August 30th, at the Avalon Hotel, 16 W 10th St, Erie PA. This event will be an opportunity for leaders, activists and community members to learn, speak and share ways to make real improvements in our community.
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Parade Units and Info & Vendor Tables at 2015 Pride on August 29

The NW PA Pride Alliance invites you to march as a parade unit for the Erie Pride Fest on Saturday, August 29, 2015. We will start assembling at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA at noon, with and step off at 1 PM. All are welcome to march, even if you don't have a float. There is no charge to march or have a float in the parade. The Parade Unit agreement is available as a PDF and as a Word document. Perry Square is currently being remodled. The festival will take place in Griswold Park, 150 W 14th St, Erie PA starting at 2 PM. We invite organizations to participate with information tables. We also invite handmade crafters, direct sales, and other vendor types to participate. The cost of one table and 2 chairs is $15 for both info tables and vendors. The Info Table agreement is available as a PDF and as a Word document.
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US Premiere of Bette and Joan: The Final Curtain at Buffalo United Artists

Buffalo United Artists proudly presents the United States premiere of BETTE & JOAN: THE FINAL CURTAIN originally created by Foursight Theatre Co. UK, devised by Sarah Thom, Sarah Toogood & James Greaves, with script by James Greaves. The play is part of Buffalo Summer Camp 2015 and runs from July 24 through August 16.
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Needs Assessment Survey for the Greater Erie LGBT Community

In conjunction with the Edinboro University Social Work Department, we are conducting a Needs Assessment Survey for the greater Erie LGBT community. Your opinion and experiences (whether you identify as LGBT or are a valued ally) are needed to help us have an accurate understanding of what it is really like for the LGBT community in the greater Erie area. Please take 10 minutes to complete this survey. You can find it online at here or at one of the many LGBT events taking place in our area throughout the summer! Survey results will be used to address the needs and service gaps identified in the survey. For further information, you can contact Dr. Hilary Copp at hcopp@edinboro.edu or Will Koehler, LCSW at wkoehler@edinboro.edu.
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Erie Pride Fest on Sat, August 29

NW PA Pride Alliance will be presenting Erie Pride Fest on Saturday, August 29. The event will begin with the Pride Parade. Assembly for the parade begins at noon at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, and step off is at 1 PM. The parade will proceed to the Pride Fest, which will be in Griswold Park, 150 W 14th St. If your group or organization would like to have a unit in the Parade, please let us know by August 21 by emailling mmahler@nwpapride.org ]

Individuals are very much welcome to be in the parade as well!

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