Pennsylvania Equality Project (39 Articles with 62,271 total views)

The Pennsylvania Equality Project (formerly Marriage Equality for PA) is dedicated to ending discrimination and bullying in Pennsylvania.

August, 2024

FreeShop 2024, Fall Edition

FreeShop 2024, Fall Edition
The Pennsylvania Equality Project will be holding Fall FreeShop at the Meadville Public Library on Friday, September 27 from 12:30 PM 4:30 PM and on Saturday, September 28 from 10 AM 4 PM. We are seeking donations of food, clothing, blankets, non-perishable food items, kitchen items, books, toys, games, etc. both days of the event. Anyone who needs the donated items can take what they like for free during both days of the event. There is no cost for admission to this event. FreeShop 2024, Fall Edition is being held at the Meadville Public Library in the Community Room on the Upper floor, 848 North Main Street, Meadville, PA 16335. For more information, go to our website, https://paequality.com or call (814) 350-6635.
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Poetry Mixer at French Creek Coffee & Tea

Poetry Mixer at French Creek Coffee & Tea
The Pennsylvania Equality Project will be holding a mixer for the LGBTQIA+ community and our allies at French Creek Coffee and Tea, 285 Chestnut Street, Meadville, from 1 to 3 PM on Saturday, August 17. Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be provided. Guests are welcome to bring poetry selections that they would like to share with the group. PA Equality Project President, David Moore said that this event is intended to be a non-alcoholic alternative for bringing together the community in Crawford and surrounding counties.  For more information, go to our website, https://paequality.com or call (814) 350-6635.
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July, 2024

PA Equality Project to Hold Goodwill Fundraising Donation Drive

PA Equality Project to Hold Goodwill Fundraising Donation Drive
Pennsylvania Equality Project will be hosting a fundraising donation drive in cooperation with Goodwill of Northwest Pennsylvania on Saturday, July 13, from 11 AM until 5 PM at Diamond Park in Meadville. The fundraising drive will happen during the Crawford County Pride event.
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May, 2024

Housing Survey 2024

Housing Survey 2024
The Pennsylvania Equality Project is conducting year 2 of a five-year study on housing affordability and sustainability. The survey runs from April 1 until May 31. It is open to all LGBTQ+ people who reside year-round in Pennsylvania or are students attending a post-secondary school in PA and reside either on or off campus. All personal identifying information shared on the survey will remain confidential. Results from the survey will be available in mid-July and shared through our website at https://paequality.com/survey/. The housing survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
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April, 2024

Spring FreeShop 2024

Spring FreeShop 2024
The Pennsylvania Equality Project will hold Spring FreeShop at the Meadville Public Library on Friday, April 19 from 10 AM - 5 PM and Saturday, April 20, from 9 AM - 5 PM. We are seeking donations of food, clothing, blankets, non-perishable food items, kitchen items, books, toys, games, etc. on both days of the event. On Saturday, April 20, anyone who needs the donated items can take what they like for free. There is no cost for admission to this event. Spring FreeShop 2024 is being held at the Meadville Public Library in the Community Room on the Upper floor, 848 North Main Street, Meadville, PA 16335. For more information, visit our website, https://paequality.com, or call (814) 350-6635.
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March, 2024

Pennsylvania Equality Project New Low-Watt FM Radio Station

Pennsylvania Equality Project New Low-Watt FM Radio Station
The Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP) proudly announces that the Federal Communications Commission has granted a permit to launch a low-watt FM radio station. The format for the new station will include talk shows, news blasts about LGBTQ+ relevant stories, and music from artists who are part of the community here in Pennsylvania. PEP has three years to secure a transmission tower and go live on-air, with at least 8 hours of local, live programming per day.
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January, 2024

Community Spotlight #13: Pennsylvania Equality Project

Community Spotlight #13: Pennsylvania Equality Project
On June 20, 2011, David Moore was watching live coverage on C-Span of the New York state legislature voting to enact marriage equality for same-sex couples. He was so moved that he formed a group of like-minded people on Facebook and called it Gay Marriage for Pennsylvania. When enough people in the group expressed to him that the name overlooked far too many people in the LGBTQIA2S+ community, he changed the name to Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania (ME4PA). In 2012, Joshua Szczesny joined ME4PA; together, David and Josh built the organization into a small nonprofit. However, by August 2014, with marriage equality already law in Pennsylvania, he changed the name to Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP). The organization he founded now focuses on surveys related to housing, discrimination, bullying, and mental health. PEP also offers the Meadville FreeShop, held two or three times per year at the Meadville Public Library.
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September, 2023

Mental Health Survey by Pennsylvania Equality Project

Mental Health Survey by Pennsylvania Equality Project
The Pennsylvania Equality Project is conducting two mental health surveys: one intended for youth ages 13 to 21 attending school and the other for adults aged 18 and older who live in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The surveys are designed to determine the number of people facing mental health challenges within the LGBTQIA+ community and our allies. The survey runs through October 31, with results coming in mid-December. For additional information, please see https://paequality.com/survey.html.
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August, 2023

Meadville #FreeShop2023, Summer Edition

Meadville #FreeShop2023, Summer Edition
The Pennsylvania Equality Project, in cooperation with the Meadville Public Library, is hosting #FreeShop2023, Summer Edition. PA Equality Project will gather donated items such as non-perishable canned food, clothing, blankets, books, CDs, DVDs, and small furniture items such as desk lamps, toasters, mixers, and other kitchen items and make them available to the public for free. Item donations are being collected in the Community Room at the Library on August 18. All donated items will be available to the public free of charge on August 19. The event runs from 10 AM until 4 PM on both days.
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Read-In Protest at Blasco Public Library on June 26

Read-In Protest at Blasco Public Library on June 26
The Pennsylvania Equality Project held a Read-In at the Blasco Memorial Library in Erie, PA, between 5:30 and 7:00 PM, on Monday, June 26, 2023. The Read-In protested the library’s decision to remove the LGBTQ+ Pride Month display along with all other displays from the children’s section. Participants were advised at the Erie Pride Festival on Saturday, June 24, to make signs showing their support for the Pride display and keep them visible while at the library. At 5:30, 150 people read books silently while sitting in various seats in the library. Savannah Jakubowski, Pennsylvania Equality Project’s newest Board Member, ran the event and was quite pleased with the turnout. She said, "The goal of the Read-In is to have the displays restored and not removed in future years and to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community of the Greater Erie area."
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Speaking Out Against Removal of Blasco Library Read With Pride Display at Erie County Council Meeting on July 11

Speaking Out Against Removal of Blasco Library Read With Pride Display at Erie County Council Meeting on July 11
On Tuesday, July 11, to raise awareness of the Blasco Memorial Library, approximately 25 people from Democratic Socialists of Erie and the Pennsylvania Equality Project attended the Erie County Council meeting. Ten attendees spoke during the open mic session and shared why Library Director Karen Pierce erred when ordering the moving of the Pride Month display or its ultimate dismantlement. Several speakers demanded that the County Executive, Brenton Davis, and Director Pierce issue public apologies to the LGBTQIA+ community. Others insisted that the Pride display be returned to the Children's section for an additional month as a sign that ongoing discrimination will not occur.
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March, 2023

PA Equality Project Announces Upcoming Events

PA Equality Project Announces Upcoming Events
The Pennsylvania Equality Project is launching the Crawford County Chess Club beginning Saturday, March 11 at the Meadville Public Library, 848 North Main Street, from 12 Noon to 3 PM. Whether you are a novice, an expert, or somewhere in between, all players are welcome. Some chess sets will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own. Although donations to the organization are always welcome, the Chess Club does not have dues, nor does it charge for admission to its events. Also, Meadville FreeShop on March 31 & April !
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PA Equality Project Welcomes Ghanian Nurse Educator

PA Equality Project Welcomes Ghanian Nurse Educator
The Pennsylvania Equality Project is proud to welcome Osuman Yahaya Musah, a nurse educator from Ghana to our facility in Meadville. His work for the LGBTQ+ community in his hometown of Cape Coast where he provides outreach to the LGBTQ+ community about HIV prevention, safe-sex practices, and reproductive health. Due to a sharp increase in discriminatory actions against the LGBTQ+ community, the US Embassy in Accra expedited his Visa application, allowing Osuman to travel to the United States and arrive faster than had been originally planned.
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January, 2023

PA Equality Project Announces Two New Board Members

PA Equality Project Announces Two New Board Members
On December 8, at its end of year board meeting, the Pennsylvania Equality Project added Dylan Altemara and Jay Grandis to the Board of Directors. Dylan, from Allegheny County, will not only serve on the Board, but he has also been named as the new Director of Legislative Affairs. Dylan is a former candidate for the Pennsylvania House 49th Legislative District.
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PA Equality Project's Meadville FreeShop 2022 Results

PA Equality Project's Meadville FreeShop 2022 Results
On Monday, November 28, PA Equality Project held the Meadville FreeShop 2022. Generous donors dropped off 7 totes, 15 boxes and 25 bags of clothing, blankets, books, DVDs and CDs, kitchen items, and other household goods. Once on display, the items were free to the public to collect on November 29. PA Equality Project President David Moore said, "With so many needy people in Meadville and Crawford County, our organization wanted to give back to the public as much as we could. We look forward to working with the Meadville Public Library throughout 2023 providing for greater community outreach."
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December, 2022

Pennsylvania Equality Project and Meadville Public Library #FreeShop2022

Pennsylvania Equality Project and Meadville Public Library #FreeShop2022
The Pennsylvania Equality Project in cooperation with the Meadville Public Library is hosting #FreeShop2022. PA Equality Project will be gathering donated items such as non-perishable canned food items, clothing, blankets, books, CDs, DVDs, and small furniture items such as desk lamps, toasters, mixers, and other kitchen items and making them available to the public for free. While contributions are not required, cash and personal check donations on site are welcome. Checks should be made payable to "Pennsylvania Equality Project." Use of debit and credit cards, and PayPal should be made through our website. The #FreeShop runs from 9 AM until 5 PM, and we will be taking donations until 5 PM on November 28.
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October, 2022

Robert J Dorr Scholarship through Pennsylvania Equality Project goes to Chole Loose

Robert J Dorr Scholarship through Pennsylvania Equality Project goes to Chole Loose
The Pennsylvania Equality Project is proud to announce that Chole Loose, a first-year student at Penn West University in Edinboro, is the first recipient of the Robert J. Dorr Scholarship. Chole is a graduate of the Conneaut School District and earned the award based on his assistance as a host at Pride events in Meadville, PA during the past three years.
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August, 2022

Pennsylvania Equality Project Leadership Change For 2023

Pennsylvania Equality Project Leadership Change For 2023
At its annual meeting, David Moore, President of the Pennsylvania Equality Project announced to the Board that he will not be seeking a new term as President in 2023. The Board agreed to hold a vote that evening, and selected Matt Haslam to be the President-Elect. His term as President will begin on July 1, 2023. David will be changing positions to become the new Western Pennsylvania Vice President, while Michael Martin has become the new Eastern Pennsylvania Vice President. Jennifer Rahal-Moore has decided not to seek another term in office but will remain a Legacy Board member.
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April, 2022

Pennsylvania Equality Project Cofounds Florida Social Justice Project

Pennsylvania Equality Project Cofounds Florida Social Justice Project
The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Equality Project is proud to announce their assistance with the formation of the Florida Social Justice Project, an incorporated non-profit organization in Florida. The two organizations will be working in tandem to address similar issues in both states.
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Pennsylvania Equality Project Signs MOU With STOP the Hate PA

Pennsylvania Equality Project Signs MOU With STOP the Hate PA
Kittanning PA - The President of the Pennsylvania Equality Project, David Moore, has signed a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) to designate STOP the Hate PA as one of its chapters. Founded in Kittanning, STOP the Hate PA started as a chat group on Facebook and has become a much larger organization. Their mission is to work with other local agencies in Armstrong County to reduce the episodes of bullying, intimidation, and harassment.
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February, 2022

PA Equality Project Launches Season 2 of Show and a New Website Design

PA Equality Project Launches Season 2 of Show and a New Website Design
The Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP) program on YouTube and Facebook called "PEP Talks Uncut," will resume with Season 2 beginning Sunday, March 6 at 1 PM. Each episode is unedited, unscripted and lasts about 30 minutes. PEP Talks Uncut features members of the LGBTQ+ community is particularly interested in interviewing married couples in which at least one person is part of the community. We would also like to interview and host episodes featuring polyamorous couples. If you have questions or would like to be on the show, email info@paequality.com.
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PA Equality Project Responds to Chambersburg Borough Council

PA Equality Project Responds to Chambersburg Borough Council
January 26, 2022 - The Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP) is disheartened that the Borough Council for Chambersburg Borough has repealed an ordinance that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The previous council that left office at the end of 2021 had passed this anti-discrimination measure only four months prior to the repeal vote. They had worked tirelessly to pass the ordinance, like the one passed in 70 municipal regions across Pennsylvania.
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September, 2021

Board of Directors of Pennsylvania Equality Project Formally Calls on NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and HRC President Alphonso David to Resign

Board of Directors of Pennsylvania Equality Project Formally Calls on NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and HRC President Alphonso David to Resign
On Tuesday, August 3, President Joe Biden called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign from office in light of the mounting evidence in an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the Governor. The New York Attorney General's report of the investigation released the same day lists as many as 179 different women that Governor Cuomo allegedly sexually harassed during a period spanning from 2015 to 2019. Within that time frame, Alphonso David served as Governor Cuomo's counsel in Albany and worked closely with the Governor. The same Attorney General report indicates that David attempted to cover up some of the inappropriate behavior. His actions occurred during his tenure as President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
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Pennsylvania Equality Project Announces New Initiatives

Pennsylvania Equality Project Announces New Initiatives
The Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP) has launched a new program on YouTube and Facebook called "PEP Talks Uncut." Each episode is unedited, unscripted and lasts about 30 minutes. PEP Talks Uncut features members of the LGBTQ+ community or allies, and is particularly interested in interviewing married couples in which at least one person is part of the community. We are also doing some episodes about polyamorous relationships, and would like to interview people who are in such relationships. Each new episode is published on our YouTube and Facebook channels on Sundays at 1 PM.
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February, 2021

Pennsylvania Equality Project launches petition favoring Dr. Rachel Levine's Nomination to be Assistant Secretary of Health

Pennsylvania Equality Project launches petition favoring Dr. Rachel Levine's Nomination to be Assistant Secretary of Health
President Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health to become the next Assistant Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. Beyond her current position with the Wolf Administration, Secretary Levine also serves as the president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). She previously served as Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. Levine has managed the PA Department of Health's response to numerous crises including the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. She holds degrees from both Harvard College and Tulane University and has practiced medicine at Penn State Hershey Medical Center since 1993. Dr. Levine is eminently qualified to lead at the federal level in this new role.
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June, 2019

Pennsylvania Equality Project President to Speak at Erie County Council Meeting on May 28 about Conversion Therapy Ban

Pennsylvania Equality Project President to Speak at Erie County Council Meeting on May 28 about Conversion Therapy Ban
Pennsylvania Equality Project President, David Moore, will address Erie County Council about the need for a ban on conversion therapy across all of Erie County. He will speak with Council at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
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March, 2018

Pennsylvania Equality Project - Ban Conversion Therapy Efforts

Pennsylvania Equality Project - Ban Conversion Therapy Efforts
Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP) is counting on Erie County, and our US Congress to take action that our General Assembly in Harrisburg has failed to address. We seek a ban on the use of conversion therapy on minors by health care professionals in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Ideally, a ban would exist statewide.
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February, 2018

Pennsylvania Equality Project Announces 2017 Equality Award Winners And Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Pennsylvania Equality Project Announces 2017 Equality Award Winners And Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP) proudly announce the winners of this year's Equality Awards. Jason Landau Goodman, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress; Caitlyn Strohmeyer, Facilitator, Transfamily of NW PA; David Moore, President and Founder of the Pennsylvania Equality Project. Furthermore, the Board proudly announces that Janice Rael is the winner of this year's PEP Lifetime Achievement Award for her advocacy and activism in the LGBTQ community in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 1992.
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December, 2017

Conneaut Area High School GSA Approved By School District

Conneaut Area High School GSA Approved By School District
On Wednesday, November 8, the Conneaut School District School Board voted at its monthly meeting to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance Club to be formed. Mr. David Moore and Mrs. Melissa Flinchbaugh were named as co-advisers to the club. At the meeting, Mr. Moore addressed the school board and said that such a club "would allow the LGBT students of the school to have a safe space to discuss issues relevant to them." He stressed that the LGBT students of the high school are the most underserved segment of the student population.
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August, 2017

Pennsylvania Equality Project Rally Against Conversion Therapy

Pennsylvania Equality Project Rally Against Conversion Therapy
On Sunday, July 9 2017, Pennsylvania Equality Project held a rally on the Erie County Courthouse steps to call for a ban on "conversion therapy." Video of the event on the organization's Facebook page. Photos by Deb Spilko.
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April, 2016

Petition on Banning Conversion Therapy to Governor Wolf's Offices

Petition on Banning Conversion Therapy to Governor Wolf's Offices
On March 24, representatives from the Pennsylvania Equality Project (PEP) will deliver copies of signed petitions that call on the Pennsylvania Legislature to ban the practice of conversion or "ex-gay " therapy. David Moore, President and Founder of PEP, will be delivering over 7,000 signatures to the Governor's representatives to ban what he refers to as a "barbaric practice. " The petition is in support of Pennsylvania House Bill 935 and Senate Bill 45 which were introduced in 2015. In its May 2000 report, the American Psychiatric Association opposed the practice saying it is, "based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation. "
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July, 2015

Pennsylvania Equality Project Candlelight Vigil

Pennsylvania Equality Project Candlelight Vigil
In its first event ever , the Pennsylvania Equality Project held a small candlelight vigil across from the Federal Courthouse at 6th and State St. in Erie, PA on Sunday, April 26 at 7 PM. Although only 12 people braved the cold weather to attend this event, the vigil was the first of many related events throughout the United States. On Tuesday, April 28, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments stemming from various cases in the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld bans against marriage for same-sex couples. The purpose of the evening was to draw attention to the upcoming cases, and to press the issue that marriage for same-sex couples is not legal across the US. A decision from the US Supreme Court is expected by late June and could potentially allow for nationwide marriage equality.
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Pennsylvania Equality Project: Celebrate Marriage Equality and T-shirts

Pennsylvania Equality Project: Celebrate Marriage Equality and T-shirts
It is with a sense of Pride and eagerness that I unveil our newest t-shirt design. We are selling them through http://www.booster.com/paequalityproject. Each shirt sells for $15, plus $5 flat rate for shipping your order. Sizes for these unisex t-shirts range from Youth Small up to 4XL. All other details about the shirts are available from the page.
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May, 2014

ME4PA Candlelight Vigil for Equality

ME4PA Candlelight Vigil for Equality
About 20 people braved the cold to take part in a vigil for Marriage Equality on March 26 Perry Square in Erie. Similar actions took place around the state. (Ed. Note: Marriage Equality for PA became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014.)
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March, 2014

Erie County couple applies for marriage license on Valentine's Day

Erie County couple applies for marriage license on Valentine's Day
On the morning of Valentine's Day, Kathy Czarnecki-Smith and Christina Czarnecki-Smith walked into the Erie County marriage bureau and asked to apply for a license. Tammi Elkin, the Erie County deputy register of wills, apologized but indicated she was bound by state law regarding who could obtain a marriage license. Kathy promised "We'll be back!" and wished them a happy Valentine's Day, as the couple left the office. They knew they would be turned down. The event was part of Marriage Equality for PA's efforts to raise awareness about marriage equality. But even though the couple knew what would happen, it still affected them deeply. [Ed. Note: Marriage Equality for PA became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014.]
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January, 2014

ME4PA Thanks for the Giving Food Drive

ME4PA Thanks for the Giving Food Drive
Erie County Chapter of ME4PA (Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania, which became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014) first statewide "Thanks For The Giving" food drive, Nov 1-25 2013, had drop off locations at Starbucks in Erie and collected 205 pounds for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. The kick off campaign began in Erie. From left to right, Samantha Sherwin, Special Events Coordinator, Jason C Brendel and Hayley Borgia Co Regional Directors, Erie County Chapter of ME4PA. Please check out www.paequality.org for news, updates, how to volunteer and to donate.
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Noodles for Equality

Noodles for Equality
On December 8th, Marriage Equality for PA (which became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014) held its first ever Noodles for Equality event at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 Perry Highway, Erie PA! Authentic Italian food, with homemade sauce was served to guests while a DJ played some classy tunes. Roughly twenty people showed up for the event, which ensured that there was plenty left over for seconds! ME4PA also collected toys for Toys for Tots during the event and received some generous donations at a time of year when they are needed the most. Photos are by Michael Mahler, co-editor for Erie Gay News.
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May, 2013

Marriage Equality for PA Vigil at Gov. Tom Corbett's Erie Office

Marriage Equality for PA Vigil at Gov. Tom Corbett's Erie Office
On Friday, April 26, 2013, a delegation from Marriage Equality for PA (which became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014)delivered their three petitions to the Governor of Pennsylvania's office located in Erie, PA at 100 State Street. From Marriage Equality for PA: The time to break our silence has come. We know the Governor keeps a busy schedule, and probably does not have time to see us personally. Nevertheless, we delivered to his office staff, our petitions to do the following:
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Marriage Equality Rally draws over 100 people locally

Marriage Equality Rally draws over 100 people locally
On Tuesday, March 26, Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania held a vigil in front of the Federal Courthouse at 6th and State, Erie PA in response to the US Supreme Court hearing arguments about the California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
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