February, 2022 News (74 Articles with 56,258 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for February, 2022 Rocking the new Erie Gay News logo at the Erie Maritime Museum are (first row) Kim Conti, Gary Snyder, Andrea Shaffer; (second row) Rex Apps, Patrick Hiller, Michael Mahler, Michael Mongera. Not pictured: Nahtanha Klingensmith. Photo by Andrea Shaffer.

This began publication in December 2002 after a hiatus

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Local and Regional News

Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition Launches to Advance Federal Protections for LGBTQ Americans

(Phoenix, Ariz. January 12th, 2022) - Today, the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition (EQFFAA) launched to advance federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, housing, credit, education, jury service and public accommodations.
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Erie Gay News New Logo and Window Decals for Distributors

Erie Gay News New Logo and Window Decals for Distributors
Erie Gay News is proud to reveal our new logo, which was designed by Patrick Hiller of Whee! Design. The new logo will be on all of our social media, and we are excited by our new look! Also, we are very proud to be making window decals with the new logo and "Erie Gay News Available Here" to all of our distributors at no cost! If you want to become a distributor, please email Michael Mahler at info@eriegaynews.com or call (814) 456-9833.
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Mayor’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council Updates

The Erie City Mayor’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council met on January 12, 2022. Chief of Staff Renee Lamis provided American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding updates. ARP funding application programs are now open and accepting applications.
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Erie's Original Drag Queen Bingo on February 12

Join The Erie Drag Queens Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the Zem Zem Shrine Center for an evening of glitz, glamour, and good times! With over $3000 in cash money given away, this event has always been sold out.
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Winter Coat and Boot Drive 2022

We had an excellent turnout for the coat and boot drive! We collected at Community United Church, 1011 W 38th St, Erie PA on January 19, 2022, over 35 pairs of men’s and women’s boots, and double that amount in winter coats. In addition, we received hats, scarves, gloves, and much-needed cans of ground coffee for Community Shelter Services. Diane Lazette, Executive Director of the shelter, was very grateful for the donation, saying there was an immediate need, especially for the winter boots. After we dropped off the donation, Diane invited us to take a tour of the shelter. It is hard to find the words for the emotions that we experienced that afternoon. Community Shelter Services provides a safe, clean, and warm place for people in need in our city. And there are many opportunities and ways to help support the shelter. Check out their website a communityshelter.org Participating organizations included TransFamily of NW PA, Erie Gay News, Community United Church, NW PA Pride Alliance, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie, and The Zone Dance Club.

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LGBTQ+ Coalition of Ashtabula County Updates

Join LGBTQ+ Coalition of Ashtabula County for our monthly meetings on the second Tuesday at 6 pm at the Ashtabula Public Library, 4335 Park Ave, Ashtabula, OH. The February 8 meeting will be at Briquettes Smokehouse, 405 Morton Dr, Ashtabula OH. All are welcome to attend as we plan and organize PRIDE ASHTABULA COUNTY 2022. Come with your ideas and areas you would like to volunteer for to make this amazing annual event happen! The second annual Pride Ashtabula County 2022 is on June 11 from 11 am - 5 pm at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds. We are currently looking for vendors (food, merchandise, crafters, etc.) for Pride Ashtabula County 2022. To register, visit our NEW website www.lgbtqashtabulaco.org on the Registration tab or email the Board secretary at secretary@lgbtqashtabulaco.org
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NW PA Pride Meadville Happy Hour 4th Wed at Julian's Bar & Grill

The NWPA Pride Alliance hosts a monthly LGBTQ Happy Hour on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Join us at Julian's Bar & Grill, 299 Chestnut Street in Meadville, beginning at 5:30 PM. On February 23, Julian's will feature Meadville's own '50 miles to Empty' playing from 6-9 PM. For more details, see our Facebook page or contact Brett Staskiewicz via Facebook or at (814) 720-1737. All are welcome!
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NWPA Pride’s Drag Bingo At Voodoo Brewing Co. Hosted By Alysin Wonderland on February 2

This isn’t your Great Aunt Gertrude’s Bingo; this is Bingo with a Twist. Alysin Wonderland. NWPA Pride Alliance and Voodoo Brewery will be hosting a bingo every first Wednesday of each month at Voodoo Brewery, 101 Boston Store Place, Erie, PA. February 2 is the next Bingo!
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Erie Sisters and Brothers Transgender Support Group Cabin Fever Weekend Feb 25-27

Join Erie Sisters & Brothers for Cabin Fever Weekend Friday, February 25, 2022, through February 27, 2022! Cabin Fever Weekend will take place at the Hampton Inn & Suites on the Erie Bayfront. The address is 130 E Front St, Erie, PA 16507, located right across the parking lot from where the Lake Erie Gala 2021 was held! This event will have an informal-nonformatted setting that will include lots of laughter, food, and cocktails. (Disclaimer: Participation will solely be at the participant’s expense.) $129 per night and offers a complimentary hot breakfast and parking each day. Rooms also include a refrigerator and microwave. Please use this booking link here. The cutoff date for the group date is February 4, 2022. Reservations taken after the cutoff date will be honored depending on hotel availability
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Warren County Pride Planning 2022

The Warren County Pride team is busy preparing for the third annual Warren County Pride Day titled Pride in the Park, 2022. Pride in the Park will be held on June 18th, 2022, at Bett’s Park. The award-winning Warren County Pride Day 2021 won 'Best Event' in the Warren Times Observer’s readers’ choice voting awards. Warren County Pride Day will feature music, food trucks, vendors, agencies, costume contests for people & pets, and family activities. Parking is free, and accommodations are available at Warren County campgrounds, bed & breakfasts, hotels, and "air bnb" online listings. Warren County Pride day is a family event open to the community. For more information, contact Warrencountypride@gmail.com
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Lake Erie Gala 2021

The Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group hosted their Annual Lake Erie Gala from November 17-21, 2021, at the Courtyard by Marriott - Erie Bayfront and the adjoining Sheraton - Erie Bayfront Hotels. Now in its 22nd year, the Lake Erie Gala attracted crossdressers, transgender persons, and their loved ones from across North America and beyond our borders. Returning to the gala traditions, guests had their choices of informational workshops that included but were not limited to fashion/wardrobe/wigs, professional make-overs, manicures, image consultation, and professional photoshoots for gender identity affirmation. They also featured financial and transitional seminars. This year’s theme was "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride" and featured a Thursday night Murder Mystery Dinner followed by Karaoke with DJ Beth. On Friday night, the formal "Glitter Ball" encouraged guests to live their fantasy in their preferred bridesmaid attire, followed by a talent show and dancing the night away. Saturday’s main event was entertainment at Kellar’s Magic and Comedy Club. Each day was full of wonderful social events and outings, including a Welcome to the Gala meet and greet by the pool-side with a pizza party, fine dining events, a spouse/significant other tea time, a tour of local wineries, and shopping excursions. Finally, our Big Sister/Little Sister program supported first-timers as they stepped out of their comfort zone and into their femme self.
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Erie's MEI Score Increases Again

The Mayor's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council received word that Erie's Municipal Equality Index (MEI) has increased yet again.  In 2017, Erie's score was 29.  After four years of working to implement programs, policies, and initiatives to increase our score, last month, officials from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) notified the City that we are now at an 86.  With this recent scorecard, 2021 marks the fourth year in a row that we have experienced an increase.
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Queer Online Dating Survey

My name is Rowen (they/them), and I am a student at Allegheny College. My focus has been on the emotional and mental impact of social media in my studies, especially regarding marginalized groups like LGBTQ+ folks and people of color. For my senior thesis, I want to ask members of the queer community how they feel about their online dating experiences, as well as how the apps we use influence these feelings to create healthier online spaces in the future. The advertised study focuses on Grindr. The survey (approx. 35 minutes) asks Grindr users to talk about their app experiences. None of the questions are invasive, and your information will remain confidential.
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The City of Erie's DECD ARP Grant & Loan Application is LIVE!

The City of Erie's DECD ARP Grant & Loan Application is LIVE!
City of Erie small business owners, entrepreneurs, and community groups can now apply for funding from seven of the Department of Economic and Community Development's ARP grants/loans.  These programs are designed to support local small businesses and entrepreneurs recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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2022 PA LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment Launched

NWPA Pride Alliance is proud to be part of a coalition of LGBTQIA+ organizations collecting responses for the 2022 PA LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment.
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NWPA Pride Alliance announces 2022 Officers

Erie, Pa, - January 8, 2022--- NWPA Pride Alliance is happy to announce the re-elections of our 2021 Officers for the 2022 term. Alex Sphon will continue to serve as President, Season Crannell as Vice-President, Michael Mahler as Treasurer and Rex Apps as Secretary.
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Deadline for February 2022 print edition (issue #315) of Erie Gay News is Saturday, January 15, comes out Tuesday, January 25

Deadline for February 2022 print edition (issue #315) of Erie Gay News is Saturday, January 15, comes out Tuesday, January 25
For the next Erie Gay News (issue # 315, cover-dated for February 2022), please send in online events, news items, and other info for late January 2021 and beyond by Saturday, January 15. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, January 25. Look for our NEW logo that premieres with this issue!
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Entertainment and Travel

O'Connell & Company presents PUFFS or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

O'Connell & Company presents PUFFS or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
For seven years, a certain boy wizard went to a certain wizardry school and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs, who just happened to be there too. PUFFS: or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic is a hilarious comedy by Matt Cox, that follows a group of well-meaning magical misfits during the times of that certain boy wizard.
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Revry's Black History Month of LGBTQ-First Films and Series Celebrate, Honor and Lift Black Stories

Los Angeles, January 19, 2022 - This Black History Month, Revry is programming LGBTQ-first Black stories with themes from the differently-abled, LGBTQ athletes, activists and the lesbian, trans and the cis-gender lesbian community.
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Pride Journey: Iceland

The only way to describe Iceland is...magical. It truly is. Iceland is like no other place I've visited in the world. It's topography, climate, people, culture, history, and nightlife blended together make Iceland a surreal adventure that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. In my case, this is my second visit to the country, and probably not my last.
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Political, Activism and Legal

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Signs Anti-Trans Sports Bill into Law

Washington D.C - February 3, 2022 - Today Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill 46, becoming the first governor to sign discriminatory anti-transgender legislation into law in 2022. SB 46, which bans trans youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity, was authored and submitted to the legislature by Gov. Noem.
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Human Rights Campaign Responds to USA Swimming's Last-Minute Policy Unfairly Impacting Transgender Swimmers

WASHINGTON - February 2, 2022 -Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemned USA Swimming for its abrupt about-face on inclusion of transgender swimmers. USA Swimming's new policy, released the evening of February 1, 2022, appears to have been done with little consultation with appropriate stakeholders, including transgender athletes, and, among other concerns, would apply adult standards to swimmers as young as thirteen
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Human Rights Campaign Marks National Girls & Women In Sports Day, Urges Acceptance of Trans Athletes

WASHINGTON - February 2, 2022 -Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, marks National Girls & Women in Sports Day.
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ACLU Comments on House Passage of Discriminatory Anti-Trans Bills

February 1, 2022 - Today, House lawmakers voted to pass Senate Bill 46, legislation that prohibits transgender women and girls from playing sports on teams that match their gender identity. The bill now moves to Gov. Kristi Noem's desk for her signature.
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As Biden Vows to Nominate a Black Woman to Supreme Court, New Data Provides Snapshot of Biden's First-Year Efforts to Diversify Federal Judiciary

WASHINGTON, D.C.- February 1, 2022 - As President Biden reiterates his pledge to nominate a Black woman to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a new report released today by Lambda Legal paints a fuller picture of Biden's first-year record to diversify the federal judiciary - finding that despite making historic appointments to the federal bench, the president fell short in appointing LGBTQ+ nominees. The report credits President Biden for confirming more judges in his first year than any president since Reagan - three-fourths of whom are women and nearly two-thirds of whom are people of color - but asserts that the Biden administration fell short with respect to improving LGBTQ+ representation in the federal judiciary, with only five nominated judges that openly identify as LGBTQ+ (or 6% of total nominations).
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Human Rights Campaign Honors Black History Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 1, 2022 - Today, in honor of Black History Month, Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement: "During Black History Month, we honor the contributions that Black people have made throughout U.S. history while we recommit ourselves to doing the necessary work to protect Black futures, including those of Black LGBTQ+ people. It is also a time when we must recognize that all civil rights movements have the same goal in mind - liberation - and that together we can more readily defeat those forces which threaten to oppress us and benefit from division. This year, in addition to celebration, let us also pledge to develop partnerships and intersectional efforts as a means to finally defeat white supremacy and build a society that truly celebrates and includes us all."
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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases 20th Corporate Equality Index & Announces New, Robust Criteria

WASHINGTON - January 27, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released its 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which is celebrating 20 years of being the nation's foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring company policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. This year, a record-breaking 842 businesses employing 14.3 million workers earned the CEI's top score of 100, up from only 13 in its inaugural year-demonstrating the incredible impact the CEI has had on the business world over its 20-year life.
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Oregon Court of Appeals Rules, Again, Against Anti-LGBT Portland-Area Bakery

(Salem, OR - January 26, 2022) - The Oregon Court of Appeals today upheld a 2015 ruling by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that the owners of Gresham-based Sweetcakes By Melissa violated the state's nondiscrimination statutes when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple based on their religious freedom. The court had initially affirmed the BOLI ruling, but the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that ruling in June 2019 and directed the Oregon appeals court to reconsider its decision in light of the Supreme Court's 2018 ruling in favor of a Colorado baker in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
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Statement from Human Rights Campaign on the Retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, a Champion of LGBTQ+ Equality

WASHINGTON - January 26, 2022 - Today, in response to United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announcing his retirement, Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement: "With Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement, the Supreme Court is losing a brilliant legal mind and a champion of liberty and equality. Justice Breyer's tenure on the Court established him as a defender of LGBTQ+ civil rights and his decisions delivered important progress toward our country's founding ideal of a more perfect union that is inclusive and equitable for all. The Human Rights Campaign is deeply grateful for Justice Breyer's impact.
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January 2022 Updates to Equality Maps

MAP's interactive LGBTQ Equality Maps provide a comprehensive look at the current state of laws and policies impacting LGBTQ people across the United States. The Equality Maps offer a state-by-state comparison of the policy landscape and gaps in protections for LGBTQ people across the country.
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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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Afghanistan: Taliban Target LGBT Afghans

January 25, 2022 - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Afghans and people who do not conform to rigid gender norms in Afghanistan have faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety and lives under the Taliban, OutRight Action International and Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
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Lambda Legal Applauds Federal Bureau of Prisons for Revising Manual for Incarcerated Transgender People

(WASHINGTON, DC -- January 25, 2022) -- Lambda Legal today applauded the federal Bureau of Prisons for its revisions to the "Transgender Offender Manual," improving policies relating to the housing and treatment of transgender people in federal custody.
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More than 500 Major U.S. Corporations Join Business Coalition for the Equality Act, Registering Unprecedented Support for Federal Non-Discrimination Protections

WASHINGTON - January 25, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - announced its Business Coalition for the Equality Act has reached a new and unprecedented milestone, growing to include more than 500 major U.S. corporations now calling for the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act - historic federal legislation that would modernize our nation's civil rights laws by including explicit protections for LGBTQ+ people, as well as improve protections for women, people of color, and people of all faiths. The Business Coalition, which includes more than 160 Fortune 500 companies, is the largest business coalition to ever come together in support of legal LGBTQ+ equality.
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ICYMI: NCAA Facilitator Resigns in Protest Over NCAA's Failures to Protect Trans Athletes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 24, 2022 - Today, Dorian Rhea Debussy, Ph.D. (they/them), one of 54 facilitators in the NCAA Division III LGBTQ OneTeam program, resigned in protest of recent actions the NCAA has taken, including a new policy around transgender participation and the lack of nondiscrimination policy language in the NCAA's newly ratified constitution despite widespread urging and advocacy by national organizations. The Human Rights Campaign responded to the NCAA's ratified constitution and policy for transgender participation on Friday. Last year, Rhea led 38 OneTeam members in publishing a letter urging the NCAA to take further action to prevent anti-transgender legislation being introduced and passed in the 2021 state legislative session. Their announcement was posted on Athlete Ally's blog.
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ACLU-PA Statement on Proposed Repeal of Chambersburg Nondiscrimination Ordinance

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.- January 24, 2022 - Tonight, the Chambersburg Town Council is scheduled to vote on repealing its nondiscrimination ordinance. That law, which was passed last year, provides legal protection from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation for people in the borough on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), religion, religious creed or belief, ancestry, national origin, familial status, marital status, age (except in public accommodations), veteran status, mental or physical disability.
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Erie County Democrats LGBTQIA+ Caucus Updates

The Erie County Democratic Party's LGBTQIA+ Caucus continues to meet via Zoom on the second Monday of each month at 7 PM. At the January 10 meeting, Michael Mahler was elected chair, Roger Wolbert was elected vice-chair, and Rex Apps was elected Secretary.
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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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"Creating Change Remixed" Scheduled for March 19-20 With Virtual Format

January 20, 2022….Washington, DC…. The National LGBTQ Task Force's Creating Change conference, which was recently changed to a virtual format due to the on-going impact of the COVID pandemic, will now be held March 19-20, 2022.
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Human Rights Campaign Condemns NCAA For Failure To Take Responsibility, Unresponsiveness In Calls To Protect LGBTQ+ Athletes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 21, 2022 - Late last night, the NCAA ratified its new constitution, which does not include nondiscrimination policy language that had been a part of previous constitutions. The organization took this action despite the urging of 18 national advocacy groups across a wide spectrum of issues, led by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Athlete Ally to reinstate and strengthen previously-existing nondiscrimination policy language protecting LGBTQ+ athletes, women, and athletes of color into their new draft constitution. The NCAA also announced a new policy regarding participation of transgender athletes that raises significant concerns. While the NCAA says it supports a safe environment for all student-athletes, it has repeatedly failed to take responsibility for ensuring that safe environment in fact exists for LGBTQ+ athletes, women, and athletes of color.
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Statement From National LGBTQ Task Force Re: Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act Loss

The following statement can be attributed to Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "The failure to enact the Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act is a profound blow to our Democracy. The inability to ensure voting rights for Black and Brown people and other vulnerable groups like LGBTQ people lays at the feet of those who voted "nay." These are the votes of political extremists, whose fear of losing power has become a justification for carving out LGBTQ+ folks, People of Color, women, poor people and other already marginalized groups from the political process.
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Lambda Legal: Biden Delivered Results for LGBTQ+ and HIV Communities in First Year, But Critical Work Remains

Washington, D.C. January 20, 2022 - Lambda Legal released a new comprehensive report today that assesses the Biden-Harris administration's first year with respect to its impact on the LGBTQ+ community and everyone living with HIV. While the report identifies significant achievements, such as quickly rescinding the transgender military ban and correctly interpreting federal nondiscrimination laws as protecting LGBTQ+ people, much more work is needed, as many promises remain unfulfilled one year into the Biden presidency.
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Pennsylvania's LGBTQ+ Laws Rated in Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2021 State Equality Index

WASHINGTON - January 20, 2022 -Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and the Equality Federation Institute released their 8th annual State Equality Index (SEI). The SEI is a comprehensive report that groups states into several broad categories regarding the type of advocacy that occurs there and details statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ+ people and their families. Pennsylvania falls into the category, "Solidifying Equality."
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Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases State Equality Index After Most Anti-Transgender State Legislative Season in History

WASHINGTON - January 20, 2022 -Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and the Equality Federation Institute released their 8th annual State Equality Index (SEI). The SEI is a comprehensive report that groups states into several broad categories regarding the type of advocacy that occurs there and details statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ+ people and their families.
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LGBTQ and Women's Rights Organizations Urge Eighth Circuit to Affirm District Court Ruling Blocking Arkansas's Trans Health Care Ban

(New York, January 19, 2022) - Today, Lambda Legal and the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) submitted a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth District to affirm a U.S. District Court ruling blocking implementation of Arkansas's trans health care ban. The ban was passed over Gov. Asa Hutchinson's veto in April 2021. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit - Brandt v. Rutledge - in May to block implementation of the plan, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas ruled in the ACLU's favor shortly before the law was to take effect. Arkansas has since appealed that ruling to the Eighth Circuit.
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Human Rights Campaign Celebrates Advances in LGBTQ+ Policies One Year Into Biden-Harris Administration

WASHINGTON, DC - January 19, 2022 -- One day before the one year anniversary of the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) celebrates the advances that have been made in LGBTQ+ rights under the Biden-Harris administration. Since day one, the Biden-Harris White House has taken concrete, meaningful steps to reverse the anti-LGBTQ+ policies of the previous administration, while also working to ensure government agencies don't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, close the gaps in measurable outcomes for marginalized populations and increase LGBTQ+ representation at all levels of government.
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Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases New Data on the LGBTQ+ Wage Gap

WASHINGTON - January 19, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released new data outlining the pay disparities of LGBTQ+ workers with a particular emphasis on the disproportionate wage gap that transgender, non-binary and LGBTQ+ people of color face.
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Victory! U.S. Supreme Court Rejects North Carolina State Health Plan's Effort to Shield Itself from Health Care Discrimination Lawsuits

(WASHINGTON, DC -- January 18, 2022) - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the North Carolina State Health Plan's petition asking the Court to review a lower court ruling that the plan, a state entity, could be sued for denying comprehensive gender-affirming health care coverage to transgender state employees or their transgender dependents. Lambda Legal and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) are suing the health plan, the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, for its blanket exclusion of coverage for gender-affirming health care services.
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Texas Enacts Transgender Youth Sports Ban

(Dallas, TX, January 18, 2022) - Texas House Bill 25, the anti-trans youth law, that bans transgender student athletes from playing on K-12 school sports teams that align with their gender identities, goes into effect today. HB 25 is one of the dozens of bills attacking transgender youth that swept through multiple state legislatures in 2021.
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Lambda Legal to Work to Resolve EEOC Complaint on Behalf of Terminated Employee

(Dallas, TX, January 14, 2022) - Lambda Legal has filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc. on behalf of a former employee who was fired after they and other Dallas Arboretum employees began including their pronouns in their email signatures and wearing pins using their pronouns. Lambda Legal has also filed a Human Relations Discrimination Complaint with the City of Dallas under its "Unlawful Discriminatory Practices" ordinance which prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
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As 2022 State Legislative Sessions Begin, A Review of 2021's Record-Breaking Anti-LGBTQ+ Sessions

Last year was a record-breaking year with more anti-LGBTQ+ - and specifically anti-transgender - laws enacted in modern history. More than 268 anti-LGBTQ+ bills and 147 specifically anti-trans bills were introduced, and a record 26 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were enacted into law across ten states. These bills are the latest iteration of an anti-equality fight that began in opposition to marriage equality before evolving into discriminatory bathroom bills and beyond, and national anti-LGBTQ+ groups are spending millions to spread misinformation in service of this agenda.
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Statement from Kierra Johnson, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Exec Director on Voting Rights Under Attack and Upcoming Actions Related to Democracy Bills

"The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
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South Dakota Senate State Affairs Committee Passes Discriminatory Anti-Transgender Sports Bill

January 14, 2021 - Today, the South Dakota Senate State Affairs Committee voted to advance Senate Bill 46, legislation that would ban transgender women and girls from competing on the sports teams that match their gender identity.
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Human Rights Campaign Honors Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Calls for Passage of Federal Voting Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 17. 2022 - Today, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement: "Martin Luther King Jr. taught us that only love can drive out hate. Every MLK Day, we bring life to his words by spreading love throughout our communities in the form of acts of service. This year, there could be no greater act of love and service than working to pass federal voting legislation to ensure no one is denied the right to vote. This is a crucial way in which we can truly be of service to our communities. Passing this legislation will go a long way towards fulfilling MLK's dream of a world where all people can sit together at the table of democracy as equals."
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To Address National Blood Crisis, Human Rights Campaign Calls for End to Discriminatory Restrictions on Gay and Bisexual Men Donating Blood

WASHINGTON - January 11, 2022 - In the wake of news that the American Red Cross had declared the first "national blood crisis" due to critically low blood supplies, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - on Tuesday once again called for federal authorities to remove unnecessary restrictions on blood donation by men who have sex with men.
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Victim advocates and leaders of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape highlight legislation for passage in support of survivors from sexual violence

Harrisburg, PA - January 10, 2022 -- Today, leaders from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) met to call attention to core issues that need to be addressed to prevent future harm and support the needs of victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. Advocates also shared gratitude for the PA legislature's bi-partisan approach to sexual violence-related issues-matters that all legislative members can agree on and work collectively to address.
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Human Rights Campaign Congratulates Minneapolis City Councilor Andrea Jenkins on Her Election As City Council President

MINNEAPOLIS January 10, 2022 -Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) congratulates Andrea Jenkins, a Minneapolis City Councilor and Human Rights Campaign board member, on her election to the role of City Council President. Jenkins, who became the first openly transgender Black woman elected to public office in 2017, was endorsed for re-election by HRC PAC last year.
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First Victory of Pa. Coalition for Trans Youth

The PA. COALITION FOR TRANS YOUTH ends 2021 on a high note and is proud to announce our first victory in fighting hate, bigotry, and discrimination from legislators, media, and hate groups here in Pennsylvania. We as a coalition vowed to support our defenseless trans kids, their families and to stand up for what is right for "all groups of people" no matter their gender identity, sexual orientation, color, ethnicity, faith, etc. The following is an issue we had addressed with WHP 21 News in Harrisburg, Pa., and Sinclair Broadcasting in relation to the inappropriate, unacceptable article on Lia Thomas the trans swimmer from University of Pennsylvania.
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Health

Red Cross: Safely heat your home as colder weather sets in across Northwestern Pennsylvania

[ERIE, FEB. 1, 2022]- The new year has kicked off with an alarming rate of home fires in northwestern Pennsylvania. American Red Cross data shows the number of home fires we responded to in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren Counties in January has nearly doubled since December.
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Statement of National LGBT Cancer Network on Biden's Moonshot Initiative

The following statement can be attributed to NFN Scout, PhD, Executive Director, National LGBT Cancer Network. "The National LGBT Cancer Network is extremely pleased to see that this Cancer Moonshot initiative prioritizes both health disparities and community input. Often, people think that eliminating cancer is just about biomedical advances. However, those of us working to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ people on their cancer journey know all too well the gains that can be made with proper screening and care.
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Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Announces Departure of Founding Executive Director

ALLENTOWN, PA - February 1, 2022 - Today, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center announces that its founding executive director Adrian Shanker has decided to step down at the end of March 2022.
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Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Launches NEW App Designed to Prevent Sexual Violence & Human Trafficking

Cleveland, OH (January 24, 2021) - Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC) marks this year's Human Trafficking Awareness Month with the launch of a new app that will engage teens, parents and educators, in preventing sexual violence while connecting survivors to services. The app highlights topics such as healthy relationships and boundaries, bystander intervention, and healthy social media use.
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Anonymous Partner Notification

You get the results from your regular HIV and STI screening. This time it's different. You're informed a test came back positive. And while it's treatable, you realize someone passed on their infection. You get treatment at the local clinic and they ask if you have informed your recent partners. Maybe they didn't know. Heck, you had no idea. The staff explain this is called asymptomatic, meaning no symptoms appear. But you're not really sure who was source. That's the rub. You can't tell a specific person. And even if you knew who it might be, maybe they'll judge you. Sure, the staff explain that nearly everyone has exposures to all kinds of infectious diseases. But this is different. You're the one that has to tell them. And while it would have been nice to get a heads up before a routine test, now you're supposed to be the responsible one?
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Ten Ways to Stop Diet Drama & Make Friends with Your Body

Have you ever been unhappy with how your body looks or how much you weigh?
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Adagio Health Offers Cancer Screening at No Cost to Patients During Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Erie, PA (January 21, 2022) -- January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. All month long (and throughout the rest of the year!) - Adagio Health is providing breast and cervical cancer screening services at no cost to patients who qualify.
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New Year's is the time for resolutions; resolve to become a Red Cross volunteer in 2022

ERIE, JANUARY 19, 2022 -The American Red Cross needs your help in 2022 and asks that you to consider making a New Year's resolution to become a volunteer.
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Red Cross: National blood crisis may put patients at risk

ERIE, Pennsylvania (Jan. 11, 2022) - The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis - its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.
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LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Youth Led Study on Youth and Young Adult COVID-19 Vaccination Finds Surprising Results

LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Youth Led Study on Youth and Young Adult COVID-19 Vaccination Finds Surprising Results
BOULDER, CO - January 10, 2022 - Out Boulder County in partnership with El Centro AMISTAD and Unwoven Ventures with the leadership of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth created what may be the nation's first LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth-led survey on COVID-19 vaccination uptake, acceptance, hesitancy, and resistance. A key finding of the survey is that economic disadvantage and race make a meaningful impact on vaccination rates and levels of acceptance.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Cheers to HRC and State Troopers

The Human Rights Campaign's "Municipal Equality Index" is considered the gold standard in measuring how over 500 city governments provide services and welcome their LGBT citizens. One of the simplest questions for a city to gain points is, to me, one of the most important in the whole index: Does your city have an LGBTQ+ liaison or commission?
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Florida HB 1557: How It Impacts LGBTQ Families

Florida HB 1557: How It Impacts LGBTQ Families
Earlier this week, news outlets across the country reported on the advancement of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' controversial "Parental Rights in Education Bill", also known as HB 1557. In case you missed it, the bill was passed by the state House's GOP-controlled Education and Employment Committee on January 20th by a vote of 15-5. While the bill's sponsors claim the legislation aims to "provide parents with greater oversight over what their students learn and discuss at school", the passage of this bill would be detrimental not only to LGBTQ students, but also to LGBTQ families across the State.
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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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NWPA Pride Alliance President Encourages Community to Participate in 2022 PA LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment

NWPA Pride Alliance is proud to be part of a coalition of LGBTQIA+ organizations collecting responses for the 2022 PA LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment.
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Contests

Enter to win Baja Come Down DVD from Ariztical Entertainment!

Enter to win Baja Come Down DVD from Ariztical Entertainment!
Enter to win Baja Come Down DVD from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, January 25, and Tuesday, February 15.
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Miscellaneous

InterPride's Silence to Solidarity Concert on March 19th Seeks to Raise Funds For The Global LGBTQIA+ Community

To support the needs of our LGBTQIA+ community, InterPride will be hosting the Silence to Solidarity Global Concert. This virtual global concert will be streamed live by InterPride to help raise funds on March 19, 2022, at 9:00 PM GMT (2:00 PM PST/ 5:00 PM EST). The 90-minute broadcast will be available worldwide through our social media and other partner platforms and will include a diverse range of global artists, musical performances, drag queens, inspiring community leaders, celebrity champions, comedians and political activists.
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