Pennsylvania Youth Congress (28 Articles with 47,568 total views)

Founded in April 2011 by Pennsylvania students, the Pennsylvania Youth Congress is Pennsylvania’s first and only statewide LGBTQ youth advocacy organization. As young Pennsylvania leaders, we work to empower ourselves through meaningful community engagement and effective advocacy. The Pennsylvania Youth Congress was initially established as The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition. Our name was changed in May 2015 to better reflect our work on state-level public policy. Our framework and values come directly from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the leading youth arm of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. PYC explicitly works to support an inclusive and affirming youth community for all young leaders to efficiently communicate and collaborate.

May, 2023

PA House Judiciary Committee Vote to Approve LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Legislation

PA House Judiciary Committee Vote to Approve LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Legislation
HARRISBURG, Pa. - April 24, 2023 - This afternoon the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 300, which is legislation that would provide nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. PYC leaders were present for the vote and had helped organize LGBTQ Pennsylvanians from across the state to attend the committee meeting.
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PA House Votes to Approve LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Legislation

PA House Votes to Approve LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Legislation
HARRISBURG, Pa. - May 2, 2023 - In a 102-98 vote this afternoon, the Pennsylvania House voted to advance HB 300, which is legislation that would provide nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. PYC manages the leading public support campaign backing the bill, Pennsylvania Values, and has been in the state Capitol working with legislators towards the vote. HB 300 now heads to the Senate.
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August, 2022

PA General Assembly Adopts Bill to Remove "Homosexuality" from Crimes Code

PA General Assembly Adopts Bill to Remove
HARRISBURG, Pa.- July 8, 2022 - Yesterday the Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously passed House Bill 2125 which will remove 'homosexuality' from the definition of prohibited sexual acts in the state's Crimes Code. The bill now heads to Governor Wolf for his signature.
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May, 2022

PA House Passes Bill Excluding Transgender Girls From School Sports Programs

PA House Passes Bill Excluding Transgender Girls From School Sports Programs
HARRISBURG, Pa. - April 12, 2022 - This afternoon the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 972, a bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in girls' and women's school sports. After nearly two hours of debate the roll call vote was 115-84. Four Democratic Representatives voted in favor of the ban against transgender students: Rep. Frank Burns (D-Cambria), Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), and Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Lawrence). Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) was the sole Republican House member to vote against the ban.
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April, 2022

Urgent: Trans Youth & Allies Day of Action - Monday, April 11th, 9:00am - 2:00pm, Pennsylvania State Capitol / Harrisburg, PA

Urgent: Trans Youth & Allies Day of Action - Monday, April 11th, 9:00am - 2:00pm, Pennsylvania State Capitol / Harrisburg, PA
The battle against trans youth is heating up in Pennsylvania. We need you - all supporters of trans women and girls - to come to Harrisburg on Monday, April 11 at 9 AM to fight this destructive legislation. We must make sure our lawmakers know how much support there is for trans youth in Pennsylvania so that they vote down this bill on the House floor. We will meet at 9:00am in the Main Capitol Rotunda and coordinate outreach with your legislators so you can visit their offices either to personally share information with them or their staff. At 12pm, we will meet back in the Main Capitol Rotunda and head to the gallery to watch the House vote on the bill. Please note that floor votes are unpredictable. HB 972 could be brought up toward the beginning of the session proceedings, or hours later toward the end, so plan accordingly as possible. Please register ASAP here and the Pennsylvania Youth Congress will follow up with the logistics for the day.
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February, 2022

PYC Statement on Former LGBTQ Nonprofit Leader John Dawe's Sentencing for Sexual Abuse

PYC Statement on Former LGBTQ Nonprofit Leader John Dawe's Sentencing for Sexual Abuse
There is no room for sexual assault in LGBTQ communities. On January 6, 2022, John Dawe, former leader of LGBTQ organizations including the NEPA Rainbow Alliance and Equality Pennsylvania, was sentenced following guilty pleas for child pornography, criminal solicitation to receive child pornography, and three separate counts of unlawful contact with a minor to commit sexual abuse. In April 2021, Dawe was arrested after a sting operation by local police posing as a young boy.
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October, 2021

Chambersburg Adopts LGBTQ-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Chambersburg Adopts LGBTQ-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Ordinance
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress is thrilled to share that at their September 20, 2021 meeting, Chambersburg Town Council voted to adopt an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Chambersburg becomes at least the 70th municipality in Pennsylvania to enact local protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Chambersburg follows the recent enactment of protections in other small Pennsylvania towns in rural areas including Huntingdon, Gettysburg, Shippensburg, and Bloomsburg.
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August, 2021

PYC Releases Rankings of Top Pro-LGBTQ Companies and Corporate Shame List for Pride Month

PYC Releases Rankings of Top Pro-LGBTQ Companies and Corporate Shame List for Pride Month
HARRISBURG, Pa.- June 24, 2021 - This Pride Month the Pennsylvania Youth Congress is sharing heartfelt appreciation to the major Pennsylvania businesses that fully endorse LGBTQ inclusion, as well as encouraging public pressure on purported corporate "allies" to come forward to finally do the same.
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April, 2021

State LGBTQ Youth Organization Responds to Planned Press Conference Attacking Transgender Children and Youth

State LGBTQ Youth Organization Responds to Planned Press Conference Attacking Transgender Children and Youth
HARRISBURG, Pa. - On Monday, April 5, 2021, five state Representatives will lead a press conference promoting their introduction of a dangerous bill targeting transgender children. The Pennsylvania Youth Congress unequivocally opposes this legislation, which would ban trans children from school sports. While we are confident this bill will not pass, its introduction in our state sends a devastating message to trans children and youth.
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February, 2021

PYC Statement on Historic Nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine for Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services

PYC Statement on Historic Nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine for Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress congratulates Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine on her historic nomination to become Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden Administration. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the highest-ranking out transgender official in the United States government. Dr. Levine was first the Physician General of Pennsylvania when Governor Tom Wolf took office in 2015, and became Secretary of Health in 2018. She was unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate for both posts.
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January, 2021

Communities React: Midwood Investment & Development Whitewashes Gayborhood Mural to Gloria Casarez

Communities React: Midwood Investment & Development Whitewashes Gayborhood Mural to Gloria Casarez
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - In a shocking reversal to months of good faith negotiations, workers for Midwood Investment & Development painted over the mural honoring the memory of LGBTQ Latinx activist Gloria Casarez in the morning hours of Wednesday, December 23rd. The mural, entitled A Tribute to Gloria Casarez, was created by artists Michelle Angela Ortiz and Briana Dawkins in collaboration with Gloria's family and friends. It was erected in 2015 at the site of the former 12th Street Gym at 204 South 12th Street in Center City Philadelphia. The mural was whitewashed with no warning to the community or Gloria's family and friends.
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First-Ever Pennsylvania LGBTQ Legislative Agenda Released by Pennsylvania Youth Congress

First-Ever Pennsylvania LGBTQ Legislative Agenda Released by Pennsylvania Youth Congress
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress has released a first-ever statewide LGBTQ legislative agenda that calls for the enactment of over a dozen laws by the General Assembly. The organization will support the introduction and advocacy behind these efforts in the 2021-2022 session of the state legislature.
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Gettysburg Unanimously Adopts LGBTQ-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Gettysburg Unanimously Adopts LGBTQ-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Ordinance
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - December 14, 2020 - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress is thrilled to share that at their December 14, 2020 meeting, Gettysburg Borough Council unanimously voted to adopt an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Gettysburg becomes the fourth small town PA community and 63rd municipality in Pennsylvania to enact local protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
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November, 2020

Bloomsburg Makes History: Third Small Town PA Community to Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Bloomsburg Makes History: Third Small Town PA Community to Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - At their October 26, 2020 meeting, the Bloomsburg Town Council unanimously voted to adopt an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Bloomsburg becomes the third small town PA community and 60th municipality in Pennsylvania to enact local protections for LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
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October, 2020

Shippensburg Makes History: Second Small Town Community To Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance In PA

Shippensburg Makes History: Second Small Town Community To Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance In PA
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - At their September 1, 2020 meeting, Shippensburg Borough Council voted to adopt an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Shippensburg becomes the first in Franklin County, second small town community, and 59th municipality overall in Pennsylvania to enact local protections for LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The Pennsylvania Youth Congress commends Shippensburg Borough Council for making the right decision to protect LGBT people from discrimination in their community.
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August, 2020

Over 50 LGBTQ Organizations Across Pennsylvania Send Demand Letter To The Bloomsburg Fair; Governor Releases Statement

Over 50 LGBTQ Organizations Across Pennsylvania Send Demand Letter To The Bloomsburg Fair; Governor Releases Statement
BLOOMSBURG, Pa - July 22, 2020. - This afternoon over 50 LGBTQ community organizations throughout the commonwealth sent a demand letter to the Bloomsburg Fair. The correspondence is below.
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January, 2020

Huntingdon Makes History: First Rural Community in Pennsylvania to Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Huntingdon Makes History: First Rural Community in Pennsylvania to Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance
HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress is thrilled to share that at their December 17, 2019 meeting, Huntingdon Borough Council voted to adopt an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Huntingdon becomes the first rural community and 58th municipality in Pennsylvania to enact local protections for LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
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June, 2019

Supreme Court Allows School District Restroom Policies Supporting Transgender Students to Stand

Supreme Court Allows School District Restroom Policies Supporting Transgender Students to Stand
WASHINGTON - May 28, 2019 - The Supreme Court today declined to hear Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, allowing school districts to continue to support transgender students by allowing them to use restrooms that match their gender.
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December, 2017

PA LGBTQ Youth Commend House Passage of Discrimination-Free CHIP Reauthorization

PA LGBTQ Youth Commend House Passage of Discrimination-Free CHIP Reauthorization

April, 2017

Announcing the Sixth Annual Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference!

Announcing the Sixth Annual Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference!
We are proud to announce that the Sixth Annual Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference will take place May 19-22, 2017 in Downtown Harrisburg! This year, the YAC will be dedicated to "Securing Economic Opportunity for Young LGBTQ Pennsylvanians." The conference will focus on issues around economic justice for LGBTQ youth including: access to quality jobs, non-discrimination in employment, poverty (across rural, suburban, and urban communities), housing instability, and LGBTQ youth homelessness.
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March, 2017

Pennsylvania Youth Congress Condemns the Rescinding of Federal Transgender Student Guidance

Pennsylvania Youth Congress Condemns the Rescinding of Federal Transgender Student Guidance
HARRISBURG, Pa. - February 23, 2017 - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress condemns the actions of the US Departments of Education and Justice in rescinding their transgender student guidance. The May 2016 "Dear Colleague" was a crucial letter that provided a national declaration of inclusion and respect for vulnerable students. 
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December, 2016

LGBTQ Students Targeted Across Pennsylvania

LGBTQ Students Targeted Across Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. - November 12, 2016 - In response to a spike in hate-motivated attacks and intimidation, the Pennsylvania Youth Congress reaffirms their solidarity with LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, indigenous people, those with disabilities, women, Muslims, Jews, and all those specifically targeted for hatred and violence this week throughout the commonwealth.
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July, 2016

Advance Our Dignity: LGBTQ Pennsylvanians Rally for Freedom and Justice on June 28 in Harrisburg

Advance Our Dignity: LGBTQ Pennsylvanians Rally for Freedom and Justice on June 28 in Harrisburg
LGBTQ communities from across the commonwealth will come together at the State Capitol in Harrisburg on June 28 to demand that our human dignity be given under the law. Community leaders will call for comprehensive LGBTQ civil rights, including non-discrimination, hate crimes, education protections; access to adequate healthcare and HIV/AIDS resources; and support for LGBTQ youth and elders living in poverty and rejection. For updated and additional info, check the Facebook event page for Advance Our Dignity.
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June, 2016

Transgender Student Resource Launched for Pennsylvania Schools

Transgender Student Resource Launched for Pennsylvania Schools
HARRISBURG, Pa. - May 20, 2016 - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC) has launched the Dignity for All project as an online resource for school districts in supporting transgender students. The statewide LGBT youth organization has additionally released a model policy for supporting transgender and gender expansive students. The model policy is being sent today to the fifty largest school districts in the commonwealth for their consideration to adopt. The resource and model policy can be accessed at http://dignityforall.payouthcongress.org
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May, 2016

Springfield Adopts First Transgender Student Policy in Pennsylvania; Additional Policies Move Ahead

Springfield Adopts First Transgender Student Policy in Pennsylvania; Additional Policies Move Ahead
ORELAND, Pa. April 20, 2016 — The Pennsylvania Youth Congress congratulates the Springfield Township School Board on adopting the first formal, recognized, comprehensive transgender student district policy in Pennsylvania. The suburban Philadelphia school board introduced Policy 253 on March 15, 2016 and unanimously adopted the regulation at their meeting last night, April 19, 2016.
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November, 2015

October 27, 2015: Pennsylvania Comes Out for Freedom

October 27, 2015: Pennsylvania Comes Out for Freedom
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress is proud to announce Pennsylvania Comes Out for Freedom:  A National Coming Out Day Celebration will be held in the Main Capitol Rotunda on October 27, 2015, at 10:00 AM. This event will be the first-ever LGBT community celebration to take place inside the State Capitol Building.
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July, 2015

Statement from the Pennsylvania Youth Congress on the General Assembly's Passage of HB 229

Statement from the Pennsylvania Youth Congress on the General Assembly's Passage of HB 229
HARRISBURG, Pa.- July 1, 2015 - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress expresses its concern with the unanimous passage on Monday of HB 229 from the State Senate. The legislation, championed by Rep. Ron Marsico (R-105), was approved by the State House of Representatives in a 193-5 vote in February 2015, and now awaits approval from Governor Wolf. The cyber-harassment bill provides for the specific criminalization of sexual-based cyberbullying - by both adults toward minors, and minors toward other minors.
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June, 2015

The Pennsylvania Youth Congress Established

The Pennsylvania Youth Congress Established
HARRISBURG, Pa. May 18, 2015 — The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC), Pennsylvania's first and only youth-led statewide LGBT advocacy organization, is announcing today that it is changing its name to the Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC) and refocusing its mission on statewide policy work:
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