Equality Pennsylvania (40 Articles with 73,176 total views)

Equality Pennsylvania is the commonwealth’s leading organization advancing equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians. As the only equality organization based in Harrisburg — we advocate for policy change at the municipal, state, and federal level; we organize grassroots supporters to engage in the political process; we educate the public about the experiences, values, and needs of LGBT people; and we endorse candidates who are committed to being champions for equality.

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December, 2016

Equality PA Commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20, 2016 | #TDOR2016

Equality PA Commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20, 2016 | #TDOR2016
Harrisburg – During Transgender Awareness Week, Equality PA staff, supporters and volunteers will be participating in visibility and awareness events to support and uplift transgender and gender non-conforming people.
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Equality Pennsylvania Renews Commitment to Keep Working for LGBT Equality

Equality Pennsylvania Renews Commitment to Keep Working for LGBT Equality
Harrisburg - November 9. 2016 – Ted Martin, Executive Director, Equality Pennsylvania gave this statement today in response to the presidential election results "Today's election result is a difficult blow to many in the LGBT community, women, and people of color. Many will see this as a backlash against the progress that we have made in the past decades. We know that LGBT Pennsylvanians are now fearful for their futures and their physical safety. Given the intense and often hateful rhetoric of the past several months we cannot blame them. However, the freedom to be who you are or to love whom you love is a fundamental American value and we will continue to work to protect that freedom. We know that we have bipartisan support for that fundamental value. Now is the time for unity, not fear and division.
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LGBT Groups and Allies from Around Pennsylvania Sign on to Unity Pledge to Prevent the Rollback of LGBT Rights

LGBT Groups and Allies from Around Pennsylvania Sign on to Unity Pledge to Prevent the Rollback of LGBT Rights
Harrisburg - November 22, 2016 – Today groups representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and allies released a unity pledge to fight against any rollbacks of LGBT rights in the coming years. After a hard fought election cycle, many groups are concerned that LGBT rights may be on the chopping block in the new administration. These groups are pledging to fight to protect LGBT rights that have been so difficult to gain in recent decades.
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November, 2016

PA Legislature Ends Another Session Without Taking Action on Discrimination Against LGBT People

PA Legislature Ends Another Session Without Taking Action on Discrimination Against LGBT People
Harrisburg - October 27, 2016 – Today the Pennsylvania legislature will close another session without moving legislation to end legal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in spite of two years of intense grassroots lobbying, serious negotiation, and support from both sides of the aisle.
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October, 2016

Equality PA Endorses Equality Champions for November's Election

Equality PA Endorses Equality Champions for November's Election
HarrisburgEquality PA adds to the list of Equality Champions they endorsed in the Spring and announces more state legislative endorsements.
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September, 2016

Pennsylvania: proof of surgery not required to update gender marker on birth certificate

Pennsylvania: proof of surgery not required to update gender marker on birth certificate
Under Pennsylvania's new policy, which is similar to the process for updating gender markers on US passports, proof of sex reassignment surgery is no longer a requirement in changing one's gender on their birth certificate. Individuals with a Pennsylvania birth certificate can update the gender by having their physician submit a letter stating that they have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. Information about specific treatment is not required, but it can include counseling related to gender identity or living in accordance with their gender identity. For those that are not yet 18 years of age, a parent can request a correction to the gender field on their child's birth certificate.
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August, 2016

National TV Ad Depicting Transgender Discrimination to Premiere During Republican National Convention

National TV Ad Depicting Transgender Discrimination to Premiere During Republican National Convention
WASHINGTON -- A groundbreaking ad depicting the challenges faced by transgender people in accessing public restrooms—and highlighting the lack of state and federal nondiscrimination protections for transgender people—will have its national television debut on FOX News Channel next Thursday, July 21, during the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The ad will air nationwide again on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia one week later.
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July, 2016

Equality PA Mourns with Orlando After Horrific Mass Shooting

Equality PA Mourns with Orlando After Horrific Mass Shooting
Harrisburg -  June 12, 2016Equality PA responded to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history that took place at a night club that serves the LGBT community in Orlando.
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PA Legislators Move New Legislation to Secure Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT Pennsylvanians

PA Legislators Move New Legislation to Secure Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT Pennsylvanians
Harrisburg – Earlier this week Sen. Pat Browne (R- 16) introduced three new bills that will update the PA Human Relations Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in discrimination protections in the areas of employment, housing and business and government services.
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Senate Committee Votes On Discrimination Protections, Important Step Forward for the LGBT Community

Senate Committee Votes On Discrimination Protections, Important Step Forward for the LGBT Community
Harrisburg - June 22, 2016 - Today the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing committee passed a bill that would update the Human Relations Act to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination in housing and employment.
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June, 2016

Another win: Federal Government bans anti-trans discrimination in health care and insurance coverage

Another win:  Federal Government bans anti-trans discrimination in health care and insurance coverage
Harrisburg - May 13, 2016 - Earlier this month, Pennsylvania became the 17th state to ban discrimination against gender identity in health insurance practices.  Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took an important step forward by issuing Affordable Care Act regulations banning anti-trans discrimination in health care and insurance coverage.   By issuing the Section 1557 of the ACA final rule, HHS is advancing health equity and reducing healthcare disparities for a number of minority communities. Under the rule, individuals are "protected from discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping."
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Equality PA Thanks Sen. Casey for Co-Sponsoring the Equality Act

Equality PA Thanks Sen. Casey for Co-Sponsoring the Equality Act
Pittsburgh - June 2, 2016 – Equality PA Executive Director, Ted Martin, thanked Sen. Bob Casey today for signing on to co-sponsor the Equality Act (S 1858). The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.
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May, 2016

Equality Pennsylvania and People of Faith Across State Worship for a Fair Commonwealth

Equality Pennsylvania and People of Faith Across State Worship for a Fair Commonwealth
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Eighteen congregations with faith leaders and people of faith from over 10 denominations  including Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Jewish and Episcopalian faith traditions took action this past weekend to run petition drives, share sermons, and celebrate diversity while encouraging law makers in Harrisburg to ban discrimination against gay and transgender Pennsylvanians. Equality PA and Faith Leaders had this to say:
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Erie Transgender Day of Visibility

Erie Transgender Day of Visibility
On Thursday, March 31, Erie observed the International Transgender Day of Visibility for the first time. Transgender community members and their friends and family came together to talk about the discrimination and difficulties faced by transgender people, but also their strength and growth, and to advocate for Pennsylvania to pass the Fairness Act. Currently, there is nothing at the state level that protects people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations on the bases of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. Those categories have been covered by the Erie County Human Relations Commission since March 8, 2002.
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April, 2016

Equality PA Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Equality PA Endorses Hillary Clinton for President
Harrisburg-With sharp divides between presidential candidates in the historic 2016 election, the stakes couldn’t be higher for LGBT people in Pennsylvania and across the country. Faced with the historic gains made toward equality under the Obama administration, it is crucial that the next president protect and advance the fight for equality across all areas of government. With proposals across the country to roll back hard-won protections, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians need champions fighting for them at the state and federal level. Today, Equality PA is proud to announce its full-fledged support for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.
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Equality PA Endorses Shapiro for Attorney General, McGinty for Senate

Equality PA Endorses Shapiro for Attorney General, McGinty for Senate
Harrisburg - March 30, 2016 - With proposals across the country to roll back hard-won protections, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians need champions fighting for them at the state and federal level. Today, Equality PA is proud to announce its support for two important champions for equality: Josh Shapiro for Pennsylvania Attorney General and Katie McGinty for United States Senate. Both candidates have a strong track record of fighting for LGBT Pennsylvanians in the past, and both of them will be much-needed advocates in the state and national Capitols in the future.
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Equality PA Endorses State Legislative Candidates

Equality PA Endorses State Legislative Candidates
Harrisburg - Equality PA is proud to announce the endorsement of 15 outstanding candidates for the Pennsylvania State Assembly. Each endorsed candidate has a strong record of supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and will fight for equal rights for gay and transgender people from seats in the state legislature.
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Equality PA, coalition partners #ShineALightOn Discrimination for the Transgender Day of Visibility

Equality PA, coalition partners #ShineALightOn Discrimination for the Transgender Day of Visibility
Harrisburg, PA. (March 31st, 2016) - In honor of the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) on March 31st, community members came together across Pennsylvania to raise awareness about the discrimination transgender people face. The TDOV was started in 2009 as a way to acknowledge and celebrate transgender people by Rachel Crandall, a transgender advocate in Michigan. Since then, it has been observed in a number of states and countries worldwide.
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Equality Pennsylvania calls out Anti-LGBT Extremists for Bringing Discrimination from NC to PA

Equality Pennsylvania calls out Anti-LGBT Extremists for Bringing Discrimination from NC to PA
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (April 4th, 2016) - Anti-LGBT attacks by the Pennsylvania Family Institute were leveled this weekend to spread disinformation about the Pennsylvania Fairness Act-a bill that would bring jobs to Pennsylvania and expand economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians. Equality PA and fair-minded people across the state had this to say:
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Equality Pennsylvania comments on Gov. Wolf Executive Orders

Equality Pennsylvania comments on Gov. Wolf Executive Orders
HARRISBURG - April 6, 2016 – Below is a statement from Ted Martin, Executive Director of Equality Pennsylvania on Governor Tom Wolf's two executive orders on non-discrimination:
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Erie Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31

Erie Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31
International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual holiday occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. Please join us at the Mental Health Association of NW PA, 1101 Peach St, Erie PA (PLEASE NOTE! Location changed because of weather reports predicting thurnderstorms!) on March 31 at 6:30 PM for this year's theme of #MoreThanVisibility. Visibility is important and it is not enough. We must take action to ensure that all transgender people can live fair, dignified lives. Come with your poems, your stories of discrimination, and any other experiences you want to share with the group as we #ShineALightOn discrimination towards our community. Also, if you're comfortable, come visible with TRANSPRIDE signs, stickers, posters, whatever!
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March, 2016

Equality PA Mourns the Loss of Maya Young

Equality PA Mourns the Loss of Maya Young
This past weekend, another transgender woman was murdered in Philadelphia. Her name was Maya Young. Maya was 25 years old. She grew up in Vineland, NJ and lived in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Maya is the third transgender woman in Philadelphia murdered within a year.
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January, 2016

Equality PA Hosts Inaugural PA Society Awards Reception

Equality PA Hosts Inaugural PA Society Awards Reception
New York, NY – As part of the Pennsylvania Society celebrations, Equality PA hosted an awards reception to present the Bayard Rustin Award & the Pioneering Advocacy award. The reception was hosted at the residence of author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt.
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Will the legislature get anything done next year? Let's hope.

Will the legislature get anything done next year? Let's hope.
The budget isn't the only thing that the legislature didn't get done this year.  Because of the never-ending budget impasse, almost every other issue that Pennsylvanians care about was not addressed. One of those key issues is discrimination. Most Pennsylvanian's are shocked to learn that it is still legal in the commonwealth to be fired from your job, turned away from a business, or denied an apartment just for being gay or transgender.
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December, 2015

Equality PA Commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20, 2015 | #TDoR

Equality PA Commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20, 2015 | #TDoR
HarrisburgEquality PA Executive Director, Ted Martin, released this statement today to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day set aside each year to remember those transgender people who were murdered simply because of who they are and to fight for justice for all transgender people.
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November, 2015

Equality PA Endorsed Candidates Win Big

Equality PA Endorsed Candidates Win Big
Harrisburg - November 4, 2015 – Equality PA congratulates the endorsed candidates who won their important elections yesterday:
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Equality PA Mourns the Loss of Keisha Jenkins, the 18th transgender woman of color to be killed in the US this year

Equality PA Mourns the Loss of Keisha Jenkins, the 18th transgender woman of color to be killed in the US this year
Philadelphia – Earlier this week, it was reported that Keisha Jenkins, 22, is the 18th transgender woman of color to be killed in the United States in 2015. Earlier this year, in May, London Kiki Channel, 21, was also murdered in Philadelphia.
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New Series of Videos Tell Stories of How Lack of Discrimination Protections Affects LGBT People and their Families

New Series of Videos Tell Stories of How Lack of Discrimination Protections Affects LGBT People and their Families
Pittsburgh - October 20, 2015 – Today at Persad Center, Equality PA, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the Center for American Progress released a new series of videos telling the stories of how the lack of discrimination protections in Pennsylvania affects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families in Pennsylvania.
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September, 2015

Equality PA Applauds the Introduction of the PA Fairness Act

Equality PA Applauds the Introduction of the PA Fairness Act
Harrisburg - August 26, 2015 – Today the PA Fairness Act was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to update the Human Relations Act to ensure that no one can be fired from a job, turned away from a business, or evicted from a home just for being gay or transgender.
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August, 2015

What Should Equality PA Focus in the Next Five Years?

What Should Equality PA Focus in the Next Five Years?
In the last five years Equality Pennsylvania has grown and changed thanks to thousands of community supporters. Now we want to know where you think we should go in the next five years.
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May, 2015

Oral Argument Begins on Marriage in the Supreme Court

Oral Argument Begins on Marriage in the Supreme Court
April 28, 2015: Statement from Ted Martin, Executive Director of Equality PA: "Today's oral argument at the Supreme Court is an historic moment that caps a collective decades-long movement for the freedom to marry. The question at issue is whether all people, including same-sex couples, are given the freedom to marry under the constitution. We believe that all loving and committed couples should have the freedom to marry—and we are very hopeful that the court will agree.
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April, 2015

Sen. Toomey Announces Ted Martin to Attend U.S. Army War College National Security Seminar

Sen. Toomey Announces Ted Martin to Attend U.S. Army War College National Security Seminar
WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 2, 2015 – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) announced today the appointment by the U.S. Army War College of Ted Martin to the War College's National Security Seminar (NSS). The NSS, which will take place this spring, is a capstone event for all War College students and faculty.  
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February, 2015

Post Marriage... Campaign to Highlight Need to Update State Nondiscrimination Laws

Post Marriage... Campaign to Highlight Need to Update State Nondiscrimination Laws
Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people (206+ million) and their families live in a state that still needs to update or clarify its laws to include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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April, 2014

Erie Area for Equality Kickoff meeting

Erie Area for Equality Kickoff meeting
On Thursday, March 13th, over 20 people gathered to learn more about PA HB 300/SB300. This proposed legislation would amend Pennsylvania's Human Relations Commission to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.  The event was organized by Shanea Leonard, Western Regional Organizer for Equality PA.
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March, 2014

Local activists met in Erie to focus on pushing PA equality bills Feb 3

Local activists met in Erie to focus on pushing PA equality bills Feb 3
About a dozen Erie area people met with Shanea Leonard from Equality PA on February 3. Shanea is the new western Pennsylvania coordinator for Equality PA, which is a statewide organization focused on LGBT equality. The meeting focused on working for the passage of House Bill 300 and Senate Bill 300, two pieces of legislation that would finally "ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression statewide in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations." Shanea introduced herself and explained some of her own background. Each person attending introduced themselves, and participants were asked to tell a little about themselves and what motivates them to work for LGBT equality.
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March, 2011

Report on Erie Town Hall Meeting & Equality on the Rocks on Jan 26

Report on Erie Town Hall Meeting & Equality on the Rocks on Jan 26
On January 26, Equality Pennsylvania, ACLU PA and Human Rights Campaign (HRC) organized an LGBT Town Hall meeting and social for about 65 area people. This was part of a statewide series of events. Representatives from area groups and individuals attended to learn more about being active in state and federal politics. The event was held at Matthew's Trattoria, 153 E 13th St, Erie. The organizers were pleased with the interest and excitement shown from by the local community and look forward to working more in Erie. They also were thankful to Rich McCarty, Equality PA Board Member & Mercyhurst Professor, for his help in making this event go so successfully. Also in attendance & helping to host was new Equality PA board member, Kevin Bennett. All photos are by Allyson Diane Hamm, Statewide Organizer for Equality Pennsylvania.
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April, 2009

Pennsylvanians Rocked the Dome!

Pennsylvanians Rocked the Dome!
Harrisburg, Pa., March 17, 2009— From start to finish this was a really exciting and educational experience.
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March, 2009

GLBT equality legislation meeting in Erie PA

GLBT equality legislation meeting in Erie PA
On Sunday, February 8, about 30 people attended a meeting in Erie about passing GLBT equality legislation at the state level in Pennsylvania. The meeting had been convened by Steve Glassman, Chair of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; Andy Hoover of the American Civil Liberties Union and Jake Kaskey, outreach coordinator for Equality Advocates of Pennsylvania. Much of the publicity for the meeting was via the GLBT Voter/Activist email list.
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November, 2007

Life Outside Erie

Life Outside Erie
After the amazingly successful House State Government Hearings on House Bill 1400 in Erie, you might be asking what else is left to do? Just about every Erie State Representative is on board as a co-sponsor, weÂ’ve held hearings, and the community has come out in large numbers in support of this important bill.
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August, 2007

Lobbyist Training Workshop Planned

Lobbyist Training Workshop Planned
In an effort to help the LGBT community become a more effective voice for change, Equality Advocates Pennsylvania and the Value All Families Coalition, will be holding a Lobbyist Training Workshop at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Erie on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 1-3 PM.
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