March, 2023 News (74 Articles with 11,876 total views)
On the cover of the print edition for March, 2023 Journey to a Trauma Informed Life co-owners Will Koehler and Angelica Spraggins.
This began publication in December 2002 after a hiatusCategory for this issue
Calendar & Upcoming Events
Calendar of Local GLBT Events
Local and Regional News
Gender-affirming care saves lives
Last Thursday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed into law a total ban on gender-affirming health care for transgender children, including puberty blockers and hormone treatments to treat any underlying gender dysphoria cause. Surgeries, which were rare in Tennessee, are also banned.
SisTers PGH Reflections on Creating Change
As we return home from the Creating Change 2023 Conference, held in San Francisco and organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force, there is a lot for our board and our community to reflect on moving forward.
SisTers PGH to join direct action at Creating Change
February 20, 2023 - We at SisTers PGH are proud to be joining a coalition of trans, nonbinary and intersex activists attending Creating Change in organizing a direct action at tonight's closing plenary.
Community Spotlight #3: TransFamily of NW PA
TransFamily of NW PA was founded in 2012 by Caitlyn Strohmeyer as a support group for transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in Erie and the surrounding area. Group meetings are held every fourth Saturday at the Crime Victim Center, 125 W 18th St Erie, PA, from 2 - 5 pm.
Bears Do Dinner Celebrates #100
Bears Do Dinner celebrated their 100th outing on February 16, 2023, at Bob’s Steakhouse, 1101 Peninsula Drive. Around 15 came out for another month of friendship and food. The next Bears Do Dinner will be on March 16. Find out more at the Facebook group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1475863226069226. The group started in July 2013. Read more about the group in the Community Spotlight article at https://www.eriegaynews.com/news/article.php?recordid=202302bearsdodinner
Warren County Pride Show Some Love Fundraiser
Warren’s Crary Art Gallery came alive with pride on February 11. With about 50 people in attendance, Warren County Pride hosted its second Show Some Love Gala Fundraiser. Live music by Corry’s Kelly Way and A silent auction featuring handcrafted items, fine art pieces, and local business gift certificates brought in approximately $2,500 in donations which will help fund the 2023 Pride in the Park Festival slated for June 17, 2023, at Betts Park. That event has grown steadily since 2020 and has greater financial needs such as security, parking shuttle, and rentals of additional dumpsters and portable toilets due to its growth.
Debbie Does Nationals Fundraiser
The current reigning Miss Erie, Debbie, is set to compete in the National Miss Comedy Queen pageant. This March, the pageant will feature 20 other drag artists competing for the title in Orlando, Florida. To help support her trip, a fundraising benefit will be held at The Zone, 133 W 18th St, Erie, PA. The event will be hosted by Debbie's drag mother, Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire, on Friday, February 24th.
NWPA Pride to Host Erie's First Queer Adult Prom
NWPA Pride Alliance is proud to host Erie's first-ever Queer Adult Prom on Saturday, May 6 at the Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center Garden Atrium and Terrace. The Prom will begin at 7 PM and conclude at 10 pm. This event is open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Appetizers and cash bar (21+ only) will be available. Music will be provided by DJ Dave Rapp. For the safety of those in attendance, security has been hired.
NW PA Pride Alliance Launches Erie Happy Hour March 1
NWPA Pride is proud to launch a new monthly Queer Happy Hour in Erie, PA. We will hold a Happy Hour at Oasis Pub at 3122 W Lake Rd this month. This event will be held in the backroom at Oasis. For more information, please visit NWPAPride.org. Meadville Happy Hour will continue on the fourth Wednesday of each month, and Erie Happy Hour will be on the first Wednesday of each month.
Aging With Pride to reorganize
Aging With Pride, the discussion/social group for LGBTQ+ folks age 55 and older, will have a reorganizing meeting at 1:00pm Sunday, February 26th at Lake Erie Counseling Inc. 1932 West 8th Street, Erie, PA.
Cresco Labs Expands Sunnyside in Pennsylvania with 11th New Store
CHICAGO - February 8, 2023 - Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF) ("Cresco" or "the Company), a vertically integrated multistate cannabis operator and the No. 1 U.S. wholesaler of branded products, today announced its retail footprint grew to 57 locations nationwide with today's Sunnyside opening in Erie, PA. Sunnyside Erie, located at 7851 Peach St., marks the Company's 11th dispensary in the state.
LGBTQ Happy Hour in Meadville for January
On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, NW PA Pride Alliance had their monthly Meadville LGBTQ Happy Hour at Julian's Bar & Grill, 299 Chestnut St. The event is open to LGBTQ people, as well as allies and friends. Meadville LGBTQ Happy Hour is the fourth Wednesday of the month. It alternates between Julian's Bar & Grill in odd-numbered months and Cussewago Creek Distillery, 993 Water St, in even-numbered months.
Warren County Pride Is June 17
The fourth annual Warren County Pride is slated for Saturday, June 17th, 2023. Warren County Pride will run from 11 AM - 4 PM at the grassy & green Betts' Park in Warren County, PA. Shuttle parking will be available. Music by DJ Sabine of Erie and hosted by Warren County Pride, Inc. Spend the weekend in beautiful Warren County and check out all of our rainbow flags!
LGBT+ Community Gives Back Boots and Coat Drive
When a fire broke out at Erie's St. Patrick’s Haven, other local shelters were asked to help take on more to help bridge the gap in meeting the needs of those in our community. One of those shelters is Community Shelter Services, located at 655 W 16th St in Erie. They are currently low on supplies, including bedding, paper products, and coffee.
Journey To A Trauma Informed Life welcomes new Co-Owner - Angelica Spraggins
This 3-year old diverse mental health organization celebrated its newest milestone on January 1, 2023 when Angelica Spraggins, MA LPC CRC obtained an equity stake in the business and joined Dr. Koehler as a partner. Spraggins, a graduate of PennWest Edinboro, joined the workforce at Journey to a Trauma Informed Life in February 2022. Speaking of this personal and professional accomplishment, Spraggins said, "My self assigned goal in Erie, since making it my home in 2015, has been to build a safer, more inclusive space to support those communities that need it most. As a clinician, Journey has allowed me to bring this goal to fruition. Now as a co-owner I have the opportunity to renew my commitment to this community." Journey to a Trauma Informed Life is located at 201 W 11th St, Erie PA.
Registration is open for People's Pride PGH 2023!
SisTers PGH is proud to announce that registration is officially open for this year's People's Pride Parade and Music Festival! The fun-filled event will be held on Sunday, June 25, 2023.
United Way of Erie County Hiring Coordinator of Philanthropic Services
If you have a passion for working collaboratively in a place where crushing poverty and leveraging the power of philanthropy to improve lives align, consider joining our team! We are seeking an administrative partner to join our development team at United Way of Erie County as the Philanthropic Services Coordinator. This position reports to the United Way's chief development officer while working closely with board, staff, fundraising counsel and volunteer leadership. The coordinator will assist with day-to-day development activities necessary to successfully execute the growth of major gifts, the endowment campaign, strengthen donor engagement and expand fundraising capacity.
Deadline for March 2023 print edition (issue #328) of Erie Gay News is Monday, February 13, comes out Tuesday, February 21!
For the next Erie Gay News (issue # 328, cover-dated for March 2023), please send in-person and online events, news items, and other info for late February 2023 and beyond by Monday, February 13. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, February 21.
NWPA Pride Alliance Announces 2023 Officers
Erie, PA, - January 7, 2022 -- NWPA Price Alliance is happy to announce the re-election of our 2022 Officers for the 2023 term. Alex Sphon will enter his 8th term as President and 10th term as an officer; Season Crannell will serve her 12th term as Vice-President; Michael Mahler will serve his 8th term as Treasurer and 12th term as an Officer, and Rex Apps will serve his 3rd term as Secretary.
Entertainment and Travel
Buffalo United Artists proudly presents Mediocre Heterosexual Sex March 17-April 8
Four hours after her girlfriend dumps her, Erin switches her Tinder setting to dudes because she hates herself. She quickly meets Aaron, who is straight, conveniently nearby, and only too happy to indulge her masochistic fantasies. To translate this deeply ambivalent first heterosexual experience, Erin seeks the advice of the only straight people she knows, Violet and Jeremy, a couple in a Dominant/submissive relationship.
"Ole' Say Can WE See?" Exhibition Extended to Saturday, February 25, 2023 with Artist Meet & Greet.
ERIE, Pa. - The Erie Art Museum has extended Dr. Garry Bibbs' exhibition "Ole' Say Can WE See?" until Saturday, February 25, 2023. Bibbs will also attend an artist meet & greet with coffee and doughnuts on Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 11am - 1pm where the public will have a chance to meet him before the exhibition closes. "Ole' Say Can WE See?" is extended thanks to sponsorship by Erie's Black Wall Street.
VisitErie Reports Record Visitor Numbers
Erie, Pa.: Erie's tourism industry bounced back from the pandemic years in a big way in 2022. VisitErie, Erie County's official destination marketing organization, is reporting record numbers for Erie County visitor traffic and trends. The 2022 figures have surpassed 2021 and pre-pandemic 2019 numbers, showing significant increases in hotel occupancy and percentage of overnight visitors.
Political, Activism and Legal
Equality California on the Expansion of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Legislation
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - March 3, 2023 - Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang on HB 1223, a bill filed in Florida by Rep, Adam Anderson (R-Tarpon Springs) that would expand the discriminatory so-called 'Don't Say Gay' legislation passed in early 2022 that seeks to erase LGBTQ+ people from Florida schools: "There seems to be no limit to the cruelty and bigotry that Florida lawmakers, including Governor Ron DeSantis, wish to inflict upon LGBTQ+ students and their families. The mental health consequences that 'Don't Say Gay' causes for LGBTQ+ students and their families are myriad and distressing.
Tennessee Bans Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Youth
NASHVILLE - March 2, 2023 - Taking away the freedom of families of transgender youth to seek critical healthcare, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law a ban on all forms of gender-affirming care for transgender people under 18 - putting the government in charge of making vital decisions traditionally reserved to parents in Tennessee. The law takes effect on July 1, 2023.
"SAVE THE RAINBOW FLAG" Campaign Launched to Fight Dangerous Trend of Banning LGBTQ Pride/ Rainbow Flag in towns across USA
New York City (February 15) - A disturbing new trend is emerging across the US of banning the Rainbow Flag, the global symbol of LGBTQ+ equality, on a community level and in local schools. The Gilbert Baker Foundation has responded with an aggressive multi-part national campaign.
HRC Mpox Data Analysis Finds Only One Tenth of Mpox Vaccine Recipients Are Black, Despite Making Up One Third of All New Mpox Cases
WASHINGTON - March 1, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation - the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - released a report, (In)Equity in the US Mpox Response: Trends and Disparities in National Data. The report analyzes available mpox case, vaccine and treatment data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) throughout the length of the public health emergency from May 2022 to the end of the public health emergency in January 2023. As the mpox public health emergency ends, this report provides vital, up-to-date information to assist public health authorities as they continue the ongoing work of managing the disease
Human Rights Campaign Strongly Condemns the West Virginia Legislature for Hastily Passing Dangerous Religious Refusal Bill, Calls on Gov. Justice to Veto Bill
CHARLESTON, WV - March 1, 2023 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemns the West Virginia Senate for passing House Bill 3042 - a "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA) - yesterday. The religious refusal bill allows religious beliefs to be used as an excuse to violate the rights of others. The bill now heads to Governor Jim Justice's desk for signature.
Mississippi Bans Gender-Affirming Health Care for Transgender Youth
JACKSON - February 28, 2023 - Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed into law today a bill banning health care treatments for gender dysphoria for transgender youth, prohibiting doctors from providing such care and stripping parents of the right to guide medical decisions for their own children.
Statement on Racist Comments Made by Congressman Lance Gooden
WASHINGTON - February 24, 2023 - Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang in response to the racist comments made by Congressman Lance Gooden in an interview on Fox News questioning Congresswoman Judy Chu. "The comments made by Rep. Lance Gooden on Fox News are shameful, dangerous and flat-out racist. The Asian American Pacific Islander community continues to face violent attacks driven by hate and lies spread by far-right conservative extremists like Rep. Gooden. His comments disregard the lives lost in mass shootings earlier this year and feed the fear that AAPI people continue to face due to racism and xenophobia - Rep. Gooden needs to understand his racist remarks lead to detrimental consequences against the AAPI community.
Achebe Betty Powell, Inspiring LGBTQ+ Leader Passes Away
Brooklyn, New York February 24, 2023 - Achebe Betty Powell, 82, an inspiring LGBTQ+ leader and activist passed away on February 21, 2023.
10 New York Times Readers From All 50 States Join Coalition Calling on Times to Stop Irresponsible, Biased Coverage
(Friday, February 24, 2023) Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, are announcing that 10,000+ New York Times readers from all 50 states have joined last week's coalition call to the New York Times, demanding that the Times stop printing irresponsible misinformation about trans people, meet with trans community leaders, and hire trans writers and editors. The coalition plans to spotlight the 10k+ signers by flying an airplane across New York City at 9am with a banner stating "10k NYT readers say: better trans stories!" (Photos will be available via email@example.com and on GLAAD's Twitter @glaad once available.)
LGBTQ Equality Maps and State Bills Updates: February 2023
MAP's Equality Maps provide a detailed snapshot of the current state of LGBTQ laws and policies in the United States. In this regularly changing landscape, these are the state and local policy updates as of February 2023.
Human Rights Campaign Condemns Tennessee House for Passing Discriminatory Anti-Drag Bill and Gender Affirming Care Ban; Urges Governor Lee to Veto
Nashville, Tennessee - February 23, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) condemned the Tennessee House for passing two anti-LGBTQ+ bills in a row. House Bill 9 is an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that would ban many drag performances from taking place on any public property in the state, as well as in any location where people under 18 could be present. House Bill 1 is an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that would ban age appropriate, medically necessary care to transgender youth under the age of 18. Both bills will now be sent to Governor Lee's desk for his signature.
Human Rights Campaign Condemns North Dakota House for Advancing Latest "Slate of Hate" Targeting the Existence of Transgender and Non-Binary People
Bismarck, ND - February 22, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, denounced members of the North Dakota House for passing another round of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that target both transgender youth and adults in the state. The bill that passed today - HB 1522- comes in addition to other anti-transgender bills that advanced yesterday and late last week. Together, these five bills represent an unconscionable, targeted attack on transgender and non-binary North Dakotans, aimed at preventing them from simply living as their authentic selves for no reason at all, other than discrimination.
Human Rights Campaign Congratulates Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island on Groundbreaking Career in Congress as Champion for LGBTQ+ Equality
PROVIDENCE - February 21. 2023 - Following the news that longtime U.S. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island will be stepping down this spring, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - saluted his exemplary support for the LGBTQ+ community during his 12 years in office as an openly gay Member of Congress.
ACLU of Texas Responds to Gov. Greg Abbott's State of the State
HOUSTON - February 16, 2023 - Tonight, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced his highest priorities for the 2023 legislative session in his annual State of the State address. Among his emergency items, he named billions of dollars for anti-immigrant measures, additional mandatory minimum sentences, and policies that would threaten locally elected district attorneys and judges."
Human Rights Campaign Calls Out New York Times for Publishing Transphobic Column One Day After an Open Letter Condemning its Anti-Transgender Coverage
WASHINGTON - February 16, 2023 - This morning, the New York Times published yet another opinion piece attacking the transgender and non-binary community. The piece, "In Defense of J.K. Rowling" was written by Pamela Paul and was published merely one day after 100+ journalists, organizations, community leaders and influencers sent an open letter calling on The Times to improve their coverage of transgender people and issues. Another 200 New York Times contributors also signed an open letter to the paper criticizing their bias in reporting about the transgender community.
As Extremists Push Book Bans Across the Country, 25K Students, Educators and Parents Will Participate in National Day of Reading by HRC's Welcoming Schools Prog
WASHINGTON - February 16, 2023 -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation - the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - hosts its eighth annual "Welcoming Schools National Day of Reading: A Celebration of Stories Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Youth (formerly called Jazz and Friends: National Day of School and Community Readings)," an opportunity for thousands of students, educators, parents, elected officials and allies to join in solidarity with transgender and non-binary students. The readings today are expected to draw over 25,000 participants across more than 300 locations. The Welcoming Schools National Day of Reading is sponsored by the HRC Foundation as well as the National Educational Association (NEA), the country's largest professional employee organization, representing 3 million educators across the U.S and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), representing over 7,000 school librarians in the U.S., Canada and abroad.
Under Fire: A New Report Outlines a War Against LGBTQ People in the U.S.
In a groundbreaking report released today, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) connects the dots on the varied ways that LGBTQ people are under siege from a targeted and coordinated campaign to undermine equality and ultimately erase them from public life.
Human Rights Campaign to North Dakota Lawmakers: "Stop Feigning Concern Over Women's Sports to Justify Yet Another Attack on Trans Kids"
Bismarck, ND - February 15, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemned members of the North Dakota House for passing two bills banning the participation of transgender student-athletes in school sports. If signed into law, HB 1249 will explicitly prohibit transgender students - including kindergarteners - from playing school sports consistent with their gender identity, while HB 1489 extends this discriminatory approach to collegiate sports - contrary to decades of NCAA policy.
Equality California on Senator Dianne Feinstein Not Seeking Reelection
WASHINGTON - February 14, 2023 - Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang after Senator Dianne Feinstein announced on Tuesday that she would not seek reelection in 2024, but would finish out the remainder of her term.
Outright International Publishes Report on the Taliban's Persecution of LGBTIQ Afghans
New York, New York - February 15, 2023 - Outright International today published a report documenting the Taliban's abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people in Afghanistan since the takeover in 2021. The report, "A Mountain on My Shoulders," details first-hand accounts from 22 LGBTIQ Afghans who were interviewed between September and October of last year. Participants shared stories of beatings, sexual assault, or threats because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, 100+ Organizations & Advocates Call Out Biased, Harmful New York Times Coverage of Transgender People in Joint Letter
WASHINGTON - February 15, 2023 -Today The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, joined GLAAD and more than 100 journalists, organizations, community leaders, and notable influencers in calling on the New York Times to improve their coverage of transgender people and issues. These calls come after more than a year of irresponsible, biased news and opinion pieces about the transgender community. A number of these pieces have been cited by politicians banning and criminalizing health care for transgender youth.
Human Rights Campaign, Drag Artists, and Other LGBTQ+ Groups Call Attention to Tennessee Lawmakers' Attempts to Silence LGBTQ+ Culture
Nashville, Tennessee - February 15, 2023 - Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), local drag artists, along with other LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations, hosted a press conference bringing attention to Tennessee lawmakers' discriminatory attempts to restrict drag-related performances. These latest moves out of Nashville are part of greater efforts to ban LGBTQ+ events, spaces, and culture, with the goal of pushing LGBTQ+ people back in the closet. Speakers at today's briefing highlighted the implications of several bills currently moving through the state legislature. Find photos from the event here.
Asm. Low and Sen. Wiener Introduce Constitutional Amendment to Repeal Proposition 8
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - February 15, 2023 - In an effort to combat anti-LGBTQ+ hate and protect marriage equality, Assemblymember Evan Low and Senator Scott Wiener introduced ACA 5 Tuesday. ACA 5 is a constitutional amendment intended to protect same sex-marriage with plans to remove Proposition 8's (2008) discriminatory language from the state's constitution that was approved by voters - Prop. 8 declared "only marriage between a man and a woman" as valid or recognized in California.
South Dakota Bans Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Transgender Youth
SIOUX FALLS - February 13, 2023 - Ignoring the warnings of families, advocates, health care providers, and transgender South Dakotans themselves, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed a law banning gender-affirming health care for any transgender person under 18.
Human Rights Campaign Working to Defeat 340 Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills at State Level Already, 150 of Which Target Transgender People - Highest Number on Record
WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 15, 2023 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted a virtual briefing Tuesday on the unprecedented wave of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced in state legislatures across the country. Less than two months into 2023, HRC is already tracking 340 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 150 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
Thousands of LGBTQ Activists Gather in SF This Weekend at "Creating Change"
SAN FRANCISCO - The National LGBTQ Task Force - the country's oldest LGBTQ advocacy group - is bringing together more than 3,000 LGBTQ activists and organizers to the 2023 Creating Change conference at the Hilton Hotel Union Square Friday February 17 - Tuesday, February 21.
Advocates Promise Legal Action In Defense of Transgender Youth in Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - February 3, 2023 - The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Tennessee, and Lambda Legal are promising the transgender youth of Tennessee they will bring immediate legal action against proposed restrictions on their health care currently being considered by the state legislature.
Victory! Lambda Legal Secures $372k Settlement in California HIV Medical Data Breach Case
(San Francisco, CA, February 10, 2023) - Lambda Legal today announces Final Approval of a $372,000 settlement for 93 low-income Californians living with HIV whose confidential medical records - including their HIV status - may have been compromised by a data breach of A.J. Boggs & Company's online enrollment system for the California AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). ADAP is operated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and 30,000 low-income Californians rely on ADAP for life-saving medication. In 2016, CDPH contracted with A.J. Boggs to administer the enrollment program.
Human Rights Campaign: South Dakota Lawmakers Turn Their Backs on Trans Kids Once Again
Pierre, SD - February 9, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemned members of the South Dakota Senate for passing HB 1080, a bill that would ban age-appropriate, best practice gender-affirming care for transgender youth. The bill was passed by the South Dakota House last week.
Human Rights Campaign Pres Kelley Robinson Joins Lawmakers and Advocates in Michigan to Celebrate Legislation Ensuring LGBTQ+ Protections
Lansing, Michigan - February 9, 2023 - Today, the President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - joined advocates, lawmakers, and press at the Michigan State Senate Office Building to discuss the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) amendments, which would modernize Michigan's civil rights laws by including explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in Michigan law. The bill, introduced by State Senator Jeremy Moss, passed out of committee today and is anticipated to pass the state Senate next week.
Hateful and Abusive Speech Towards LGBTQ+ Community Surging on Twitter Under Elon Musk
WASHINGTON - February 9, 2023 -- Twitter is failing to protect LGBTQ+ organizations and individuals that advocate for members of the LGBTQ+ community from online violence and abuse, according to a new survey from Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Further, harassment of LGBTQ+ activists has intensified since Elon Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022.
SOTU: Human Rights Campaign Condemns Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders for Demonizing Transgender People
WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 7, 2023 - Tonight, shortly after President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union Address, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican response and used her platform to demonize transgender and non-binary people, an already marginalized population under attack in Huckabee Sanders' home state and across the country.
Reaction to SOTU From National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Kierra Johnson
WASHINGTON, DC - February 7, 2023 - The following statement can be attributed to Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force: "It was vital - and appreciated - that President Biden mentioned the urgent need to pass the Equality Act and actions taken to secure marriage equality. What many people may not realize is that LGBTQ people are at the center of all the issues President Biden spoke about throughout his address. Social security. Fair wages. Medicaid expansion. Access to education. Reproductive justice. Police reform. These are all LGBTQ issues. LGBTQ people are often disproportionately impacted because of the discrimination our community faces every single day. LGBTQ people are not fully able to participate or benefit from all that our country has to offer. For too many queer people, the American dream is out of reach. Instead, the nightmare of physical violence, state sanctioned harassment and bullying in the name of religion is the reality.
AIDS Memorial Quilt Heads to New Orleans and Baton Rouge to Change the Pattern and End HIV in Black and Brown Communities
NEW ORLEANS & BATON ROUGE, La., (Feb. 3, 2023) - Louisiana has the fourth highest HIV diagnoses rates in the country, so beginning on Feb. 7, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt honoring Black and Brown lives lost to HIV and AIDS will travel to the state as part of Change the Pattern, a national campaign to end HIV in Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ communities across the Southern United States.
SOTU: Human Rights Campaign President: Biden's Focus on Supporting Transgender Young People Highlights that Anti-Trans Legislative Attacks are 'An Emergency'
WASHINGTON - February 7, 2023 - In tonight's State of the Union address, President Joe Biden made a point to defend transgender and non-binary youth from the wave of attacks they're facing, saying "Let's also pass the bipartisan Equality Act to ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity." In addition to calling for passage of the LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in the Equality Act, he also celebrated the recent passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. After attending the address in person, Kelley Robinson, President of The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - released the following statement: "Tonight, in front of Congress and the nation, President Biden called attention to the campaign of hatred that is driving discriminatory legislation that targets transgender kids in statehouses around the country. Extremist lawmakers are banning best-practice, doctor approved care, kicking kids off sports teams, censoring curriculum and more. None of this is news to the LGBTQ+ community, but too many others don't seem to be getting the message that this is an emergency - families are being driven from their homes, people are being forced back into the closet, because decades-old homophobia, transphobia and discrimination are being resurrected in the form of anti-trans hatred. When marriage equality was under threat from the extreme rhetoric of a Supreme Court justice, Congress and the president took quick action to pass into law the Respect for Marriage Act. Now, as he calls for passage of the Equality Act, we appreciate that President Biden is making a point to focus national attention on this urgent topic and stand up for transgender kids, because we need our nation's leaders to show up and prove that collectively, we are greater than hate."
SOTU: HRC Highlights Biden-Harris Record on Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality, Urges Action as Much More Remains to Be Done
WASHINGTON - February 6, 2023 - As President Biden prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - is calling attention to the administration's unparalleled record on advancing LGBTQ+ equality - from initiating executive actions and rulemakings to signing federal legislation into law. As state legislatures across the country have advanced hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills - with an emphasis on attacking transgender youth - the Biden administration has served as an important and urgent counterweight, prioritizing policies that aim to protect against discrimination.
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 !
Keystone Equality Launches as PA's Statewide LGBTQ Political Organization
HARRISBURG, Pa. - January 26, 2023 - LGBTQ community leaders from throughout Pennsylvania are proud to announce the formation of Keystone Equality today. Recognizing the urgent need for statewide LGBTQ political mobilization, the nonpartisan organization was incorporated in November 2022, met in December to adopt its bylaws, and elected its officers in January 2023.
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.
Red Cross honors local community heroes during Red Cross Month celebration in March
[ERIE, MARCH 1, 2023] - As climate disasters, blood donation needs and other emergencies upend lives, local community heroes are stepping up to care for one another.
NEJM: PrEP4All and Killelea Consulting Make the Case for Investing in National HIV PrEP Preparedness
New York, NY - February 27, 2023 - In a new Perspectives article, "Investing In National HIV PrEP Preparedness ," published on February 25th in the New England Journal of Medicine, PrEP4All's Acting Executive Director Jeremiah Johnson and former Managing Director of Advocacy & Organizing Kenyon Farrow along with Amy Killelea of Killelea Consulting and Johns Hopkins University make the case for the Biden Administration, Congress, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to immediately advance a National PrEP Program as part of a broader effort to improve public health responses for marginalized communities.
Red Cross Home Fire Campaign reaches goal of installing 2.5 million free smoke alarms nationwide
[FEBRUARY 22, 2023] - The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign with the support of community partners has achieved its goal of installing 2.5 million free smoke alarms and making 1 million households safer across the country.
News on HIV Vaccine Trials
Last month we touched on why there hasn't been a vaccine for HIV yet. But work is being done to develop and test potential ways to combat the spread of HIV. A proof of concept found in a recent study could be the first step toward a potential vaccine. This vaccine, named eOD-GT8, is being developed between Scripps Research Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the US Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and others. Moderna is involved with the next stage of the trial due to their mRNA vaccine technology [used in SARS-CoV-2]. With a HIV exposure, this vaccine could kick off a flood of immune cells carrying antibodies to neutralize the virus by blocking a specific part of the HIV envelope protein necessary for entering CD4 cells.
Red Cross: Three reasons to give blood this month
[Feb. 15, 2023] - One in 7 patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion. At the same time, only about 3% of Americans give blood. The American Red Cross needs more people to make and keep appointments to give blood or platelets in February and has three great reasons to do so.
Black HIV Advocates Release "Master Plan for HIV Prevention" and Announce Next PrEP In Black America Summit in New Orleans, LA
Atlanta, GA-On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (Feb. 7), Black HIV Prevention advocates released "For Us By Us: PrEP In Black America: A Master Plan for HIV Prevention In Black America", a roadmap to drastically scale-up use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the Black community. PrEP is a biomedical tool used to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV by over 99%. The report, which covers findings from the PrEP In Black America Summit held in Atlanta, GA on September 13, 2022, was compiled by researchers in the iSTRIVE Lab, with evaluation data compiled by Muse Research, LLC.
2022 PA LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment report
The 2022 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment finds that depression is still the most frequently prioritized community health issue, as it has been since the assessment was first administered in 2015. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, along with a coalition of other LGBTQ+ organizations, Public Health Management Corporation, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health administered the statewide assessment in early 2022. Thousands of LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians shared their experiences and opinions on a range of health topics.
Letters, Columnists and Opinion
Celebrating the Love in our Lives
I'm writing this on Valentine's Day, and for those romantics out there, I think you'll appreciate this column. To all others, be warned you're about to read a column that should be described as full of saccharine.
Enter to win SoulShares Complete Series 7 novel set digital download by Rory Ni Coileain!
Enter to win SoulShares Complete Series 7 novel set digital download by Rory Ni Coileain! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, March 17, and Friday, April 7.
Enter to win Last Call In The Dog House DVD from Ariztical Entertainment!
Enter to win Last Call In The Dog House DVD from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, February 28, and Tuesday, March 21.
Enter to win What We Know DVD from Ariztical Entertainment!
Enter to win What We Know DVD from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form below between Friday, February 24, and Friday, March 17.
Enter to win Nana's Boys DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!
Enter to win Nana's Boys DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, February 21, and Tuesday, March 14.
Enter to win Beyond Worship - Meditations on Queer Worship, Liturgy, & Theology
Enter to win Beyond Worship - Meditations on Queer Worship, Liturgy, & Theology by James Admans. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, February 17, and Friday, March 10.