November 25, 2015 - Yesterday, the Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner released a bulletin Regarding Prohibited Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Expression. The bulletin is a significant step toward increasing access to critical health care for transgender residents of Rhode Island, who have long been arbitrarily denied coverage for medical treatments related to gender transition. Insurance companies will have 90 days to implement the changes.
In Advance of Black Friday, HRC Releases 2016 Buyer's Guide to Businesses Supporting LGBT Workplace Inclusion
WASHINGTON- Just in time for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has released its popular consumer guide to hundreds of American companies rated on their LGBT-inclusive policies and practices.
WASHINGTON - November 23, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, filed a formal complaint with the IRS against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for violating federal law by refusing to disclose their 2014 Form 990s. Following their November 16 deadline, NOM is required by law to provide a copy of the organization's Form 990s for the previous fiscal year on the same day any in-person request is made. For the third year in a row, HRC has made such a request at NOM offices and the organization has failed to comply, prompting HRC to file a complaint with the IRS in order to compel the disclosure of the documents.
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 - State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today praised members of Philadelphia City Council and the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women for calling on District Attorney Seth Williams to remove three prosecutors in his office for their involvement in the state "Porngate" email scandal.
ERIE, Pa., Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Erie Insurance has received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmark on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality. The index is administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Who wants $100 and a free shirt? You do! But how? All you have to do is get creative: We're looking for a new T-shirt design for 2016, and we want to see what you've got. The NW PA Pride Alliance will be accepting your design entries from Dec. 1 through Feb. 29. The design we select will receive a free shirt and a $100 Visa gift card. But first, there are a few rules. Your design must be on the front of the shirt, in the area indicated on the little shirt template we'll provide. You can download the template as a PDF (here), as a PSD (here), or as a TIF (here for Windows or here for Mac). We will also be glad to provide you with our logo to use (or not, it's up to you) (logo is here in color or here in black and white), but you do have to use the colors in the logo in your design. The preferred format is an Adobe Illustrator Vector File (or something we can convert to that format), 300 dpi, with the canvas size being a maximum of 9 1/2" wide by 15" tall. Please note! The theme for 2016 Pride is "Invite. Unite. Ignite!" Bonus points for including the theme in your design!
On October 14th, the Greater Erie Alliance for Equality hosted our last GEAE Gives Back! event of 2015. About 35 people came out to give back to PACA - the Performing Artists Collective Alliance at 1501 State Street. PACA will soon be opening a performing arts program for youth. To help out with this, those who attended were able to donate about $600 and a ton of art supplies. GEAE provided some great food from the Zodiac Diner, and PACA staff and volunteers opened the facility to the public, gave a tour of the amazing space they've created, and provided some special performances of Rocky Horror numbers.
The annual Lake Erie Gala, moved up this year from its traditional date, was held at the Avalon Hotel Wednesday Oct. 28 through Sunday Nov. 1 with 78 attendees. Events began Wednesday evening with dinner at Molly Brannigan's, followed by a night of bowling at Green Garden Lanes. Tours began Thursday morning. First stop on the tour was Fuhrman's Cider Mill. After leaving Fuhrman's, the tour proceeded to The Brewerie, where we had lunch and a guided tour of the spooky catacombs beneath Union Station. We were the very first group several years back on a Gala tour to be able to see what was under Union Station, and it's every bit as spooky now as it was then. Among other things, still in storage there from the Cold War era were canisters of crackers from when the building was designated as a fallout shelter. Paranormal investigators have frequented the site over the years, and it doesn't disappoint. We then continued the tours with stops at Arundel Cellars & Brewing, and Arrowhead Winery before returning to the Avalon. Thursday Evening saw our only scheduled entertainer at the Avalon, Cliff Hopkins, who amazed the audience with his talents.
For over twenty years, Erie Gay News has maintained a resource directory for the local LGBT community. We are presently updating that directory. You can see the online directory if you browse to http://www.eriegaynews.com/resources.php. We are working to make sure that we have complete and accurate info, so we ask that if you are an area resource that is relevant to the GLBT community and are currently listed or would like to be listed, that you verify/add your info by Saturday, Dec. 19. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a currently listed resource with a valid email address, you should have already received a request to verify/update your info. For any questions, contact me at (814)456-9833 or email@example.com .
LGBT Roundtable Project: Over the past year, a steering committee from the Northwest PA Pride Alliance (NWPAPA), the Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), and Transfamily Support of Erie have organized and held three LGBT Roundtable discussions. The committee invited leaders from various LGBT organizations from Erie and the surrounding counties. The roundtable project is off to a great start with about 15 different groups participating!
(New York, NY) Oct. 22, 2015— Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations to protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination in basic needs including housing, employment, credit, education, and public accommodations.
Delegates from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) on Nov. 5 passed a historic resolution calling on the U.S. and Canadian governments to do more to ensure full equality and protections for people of all gender identities and expressions. The resolution also encouraged Reform institutions to take practical steps to ensure the dignity and safety of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Please consider the opportunities to attend the various events that are free and open to the public. You can also purchase a World AIDS Day T-SHIRT and/or make a Donation to contribute to us receiving five Quilts. You can make a monetary donation to support the NAMES Project Foundation in Atlanta, GA, where Several AIDS Quilts come from to go on display in ERIE for awareness and knowledge opportunities. One of the Quilts that we will be receiving has two panels that were created in Erie by family and friends.
Of all the problems in life, how much we weigh seems to be a concern for everyone I've ever met, myself included. In my work as a psychotherapist, clients typically don't bring this up in the beginning of our work together. They usually wait until we've gotten to know each other better before they feel comfortable enough to talk about their weight.
HRC Slams Martin Shkreli's Ridiculous Announcement that Turing Pharmaceuticals will 'Roll Back' Price on Daraprim
WASHINGTON - November 21, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, slammed Turing Pharmaceuticals for announcing they will continue their outrageous price hike on Daraprim – a crucial and often lifesaving treatment for people living with HIV. Public outrage followed Shkreli's reckless decision to raise the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent overnight back in September. According to news reports overnight, Shkreli's Turing Pharmaceuticals now plans to drop the cost of the lifesaving drug by "as much as 50 percent" which is still more than $375 – far above the drug's original $13.50 price.
Rowan County Couples Point to Governor's Admission He Lacks Authority To Declare Altered Licenses Valid
NEW YORK - November 20, 2015 – Couples from Rowan County, Kentucky today filed a brief in U.S. District Court supporting their prior assertion that the Rowan County clerk's office failed to comply with orders directing deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses without interference by Clerk Kim Davis.
WASHINGTON - November 19, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised a proposed new rule change from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requiring all programs that receive funding from the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) to give equal access to transgender people.
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 19 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., said today he stands not only with the Philadelphia International Airport workers who are striking today but also all the workers in this nation who are struggling to survive on low wages.
November 19, 2015 - The Massachusetts Legislature will not hold a vote before its recess on An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination (SB 735 and HB 1577), which would fully protect transgender citizens of the Commonwealth from discrimination. The legislature will reconvene in January, when it will have an opportunity again to take up the bill.
November 18, 2015 - Equality Federation is concerned Indiana's Senate Bill 100, introduced by Senate Republicans, would not cover many Hoosiers from discrimination. While the authors are framing the bill as nondiscrimination legislation, it includes broad exemptions allowing discrimination by a host of organizations and businesses. The bill discourages people from filing discrimination complaints and would preempt many towns and counties from passing their own local nondiscrimination ordinances.
New Report: Without Accurate Identity Documents, Transgender People Face Harassment and Discrimination
Denver, November 17, 2015 — A new brief released today by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) reports that transgender people are often denied access to essential identity documents that reflect the gender that they live every day, exposing them to a range of discrimination and harms, including harassment, denial of employment, and more.
(Washington, DC, November 20, 2015)–Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a proposed rule that would ensure that transgender individuals seeking accommodations in emergency shelters are housed according to their gender identity. Today's rule amends the groundbreaking LGBT Equal Access Rule issued by HUD in 2012 that prohibits discrimination in public housing and HUD's core housing programs based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.
WASHINGTON - November 20, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, joined in commemorating the 17th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) – a day set aside in solemn tribute to transgender people across the globe who have lost their lives to violence, and to raise awareness of the constant threat of brutality faced by many in the transgender community.
Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration: 'U.S. Can't Turn its Back on Vulnerable Refugee Populations'
ANKARA, TURKEY - November 17, 2015 – Releasing a statement today from a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sponsored training in Ankara, Turkey, Neil Grungras, Executive Director of the Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration (ORAM), called on the U.S. government not to turn its back on the most vulnerable and most faithful of Syrian refugees.
Reported cases of three nationally notifiable STDs – chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis – have increased for the first time since 2006, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the 2014 STD Surveillance Report.
(Johannesburg) -- OutRight Action International, the global human rights organization, is releasing a video series starting Tuesday, Nov. 17th, that explores how LGBTIQ Africans are excluded from mainstream social, political and economic participation in most countries—in violation of their basic human rights.
AL Mother Asks Supreme Court to Review AL Refusal to Recognize a Same-Sex Parent Adoption from Another State
(Birmingham, AL, November 16, 2015)—Today, a lesbian mother in Alabama asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Alabama Supreme Court decision refusing to recognize her as an adoptive parent of her three children and holding that Alabama does not have to recognize second-parent adoptions granted by Georgia courts. The mother also asked the Supreme Court for an emergency order permitting her to visit her children while her appeal is pending. As a result of an earlier Alabama order, she has not had visitation with her children—ages 12, 10, and 10—for nearly seven months, even though she has raised them from their birth.
LOS ANGELES (November 16, 2015) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released statistics in its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showing congenital syphilis (CS) cases increased 38% nationwide from 2012 to 2014, a sharp reversal in national rates that steadily declined during the previous four-year period. The report states that the rate of reported CS decreased from 10.5 to 8.4 cases per 100,000 live births during 2008–2012, and then increased to 11.6 cases per 100,000 live births in 2014, the highest CS rate reported since 2001.
PHILADELPHIA - November 13, 2015 - The ACLU of Pennsylvania today launched Mobile Justice PA, a free smart phone app that allows Pennsylvanians to automatically record and upload cell phone videos of public interactions with law enforcement to the ACLU-PA. The same app is simultaneously being launched in 9 other states, including: Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington DC. The Mobile Justice App is already in use in California, Colorado, Missouri, New York, and Oregon.
Chelsea Manning Responds to US Government Move to Dismiss Lawsuit Seeking Health Care for Gender Dysphoria
November 13, 2015 - The Department of Justice has filed a brief In Chelsea Manning's case against the United States government challenging her request to grow her hair beyond the two inches allowed by military regulation. The government's brief argues, among others things, that withholding this treatment is for Chelsea's own good to protect her from alleged assaults if she is permitted to further feminize in accordance with her medical needs.
NAMI of Erie County support groups take place in an intimate, confidential setting to allow peers and families to share with each other their experiences. This type of group lets you know that you are not alone. There is no registration required, the support groups are free and open to the public. Please call the NAMI of Erie County office if you have any questions about the session at 814-456-1773 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 11, 2015 - Statement from Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director, Equality Federation: We applaud President Obama for his support of the Equality Act, an important piece of legislation that would help ensure all Americans, including LGBTQ people and their families, are fully and clearly protected from discrimination. The announcement builds upon seven years of this administration's support. They have extended hospital visitation to LGBTQ families, ended discrimination among federal employees and contractors, supported marriage equality, opposed conversion therapy, and so much more.
November 10, 2015 - Today in Barnstable Superior Court, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod (ASGCC) filed suit against Barnstable for preventing the group from providing free sterile needles to intravenous drug users at its Hyannis offices. ASGCC is being represented by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and AIDS Action Committee (AAC). The legal documents can be read here.
November 9, 2015, Erie, Pennsylvania – The Erie Art Museum is pleased to present a new Main Gallery exhibition, Assembled Visions: Shelle Barron, Geoff Beadle, Fred Scruton, Terry McKelvey, on view in November 28 through March 26, 2016. Assembled Visions explores the creative process by bringing together the varied work of four regional artists: Shelle Barron, Geoffrey Beadle, Terry McKelvey and Fred Scruton. Rather than having a single 'Moment of Inspiration,' artists typically engage in a complex open-ended process, where a series of experiments and the aggregation of choices made produce an unexpected outcome.
I've spent the last four years at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (HBFF), the nation's largest nonprofit addiction treatment organization, with these last two years spent as our organization's LGBTQ Program Director.
We are nearly into the Christmas Season, and me being filled with Christmas Cheer, I have decided to show Scrooge "how it's done" and reach out to those in need (well, a few of you, anyway). This is an offer which will not result in you receiving any additional presents (that's Santa's job, not mine), but if you are selected as one of the beneficiaries of my Christmas generosity, you will be grateful, nonetheless.
(San Francisco, CA, November 9, 2015)—Tonight the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow the Deferred Action for Parent of American and Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs to take effect. The federal court's ruling will negatively affect the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants and their family, many of whom are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.