The Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension is a part of the Pennsylvanian Human Relations Commission and it welcomes and encourages reports of all Bias-Related Incidents in Pennsylvania. A "bias-related incident" is any incident in which an action taken by a person or group is perceived to be malicious or discriminatory toward another person or group based on bias or prejudice relating to such characteristics as race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity OR any situation in which intergroup tensions exist based on such group characteristics. CLICK HERE
Need Legal Representation?
Equality Pennsylvania is the only organization in the Commonwealth advocating in Harrisburg exclusively for the rights of LGBT Pennsylvanians. We are a political operation, and that means we no longer offer legal services. However, if you feel that you need a lawyer who understands LGBT issues then we highly suggest you get in touch with The Mazzoni Center at 1-866-LGBT-LAW (toll free) / EMAIL HERE OR Lambda Legal at 1-866-542-8336 (toll free) / CLICK HERE
SPONSORS OF EQUALITY PENNSYLVANIA
Equality Pennsylvania applauds bipartisan introduction of non-discrimination bill
Bill boasts widespread public support, according to polls
HARRISBURG – Today, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania legislators introduced critical legislation to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination. The bills would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression statewide in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations.
A historic number of lawmakers have signed on as sponsors of the bill. H.B. 300 and S.B. 300 have a combined 100 sponsors — 77 in the House and 23 in the Senate, including seven House Republicans and two Senate Republicans.
“Our laws today fall short of protecting all our citizens, and the stories I hear nearly every day from our members affirm the need for H.B. 300 and S.B. 300. Currently, our state is the only one in the Northeast where gay and transgender citizens can be fired, denied a mortgage, or refused a hotel room simply because of who they are or who they love. These bills provide critical protections for gay and transgender Pennsylvanians,” said Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania.
A recent poll showed the bills have 72 percent support statewide, consistent with Pennsylvania polling results on the issue over the past decade. The poll was conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, a firm with many Republican and business clients. Regional results of the poll are available at http://is.gd/hb300poll.
In addition to overwhelming public support, a strong coalition has formed to advance the bills, including Equality Pennsylvania, the commonwealth’s leading advocacy organization for LGBT Pennsylvanians, as well as SEIU and AARP of Pennsylvania.
A major private-sector supporter, the Pittsburgh-based UPMC health system, has also endorsed the bills. One of the largest employers in the region and statewide, support from the UPMC demonstrates their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Although nearly all of the state’s largest companies have enacted policies that protect and support LGBT workers, none have publicly advocated for statewide legislation — until this month’s strong endorsement from the UPMC.
“This legislation is good for Pennsylvania. It has broad-based, widespread support. It facilitates the development of a strong economy. It affirms our core values of fairness, liberty, and equality. And it’s long overdue,” said Martin.
Sponsors of the House bill include: Reps. Frankel, Ross, Bishop, Bizzarro, B. Boyle, K. Boyle, Bradford, Briggs, R. Brown, V. Brown, Brownlee, Caltagirone, Carroll, Clay, Cohen, D. Costa, P. Costa, Cruz, M. Daley, P. Daley, Davis, Dean, DeLissio, DeLuca, Dermody, Donatucci, D. Evans, Fabrizio, Farina, Fleck, Flynn, Freeman, Gainey, Galloway, Gergely, Harkins, J. Harris, Kavulich, W. Keller, Kim, Kinsey, Kirkland, Mahoney, Markosek, McCarter, McGeehan, McNeill, Miranda, Molchany, Mullery, Mundy, Murt, Neilson, Neuman, O'Brien, Painter, Parker, Pashinski, Peifer, Ravenstahl, Readshaw, Roebuck, Rozzi, Sabatina, Samuelson, Santarsiero, Scavello, Schlossberg, Sims, Snyder, Sturla, Taylor, Thomas, Vitali, Waters, Wheatley and Youngblood.
Sponsors of the Senate bill include: Sens. Farnese, Browne, Ferlo, Washington, Stack, Teplitz, Fontana, Costa, Smith, Blake, Schwank, Williams, Wozniak, Hughes, Leach, Tartaglione, Dinniman, Kitchen, Wiley, Boscola, Yudichak, McIlhinney and Brewster.
Equality Pennsylvania Applauds U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s Leadership
Harrisburg 4/1/2013– Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced his support for extending the freedom to marry to all loving, committed couples. His announcement follows weeks of pressure from Equality Pennsylvania and its partners, including Keystone Progress and Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania.
“We applaud Senator Casey’s courage and leadership,” said Adrian Shanker, President of Equality Pennsylvania. “Marriage matters for all families, and Senator Casey’s support for marriage for all committed couples puts him squarely on the right side of history.”
Over the past several weeks, fair-minded Pennsylvanians flooded the Senator with more than 10,000 calls and e-mails. They were urging the Democratic Senator to join with the majority of his colleagues in the Senate and endorse marriage for all couples. Senator Casey had been one of less than 10 Democrats in the Senate who hadn’t voiced support for extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples.
“Across the country, we’ve seen an incredible sea change in public opinion on this issue. As Americans come to know their gay coworkers and neighbors, they’re coming to support the freedom to marry for all loving couples,” said Martin. “Like most of us, Senator Casey has given the issue a lot of thought, and he’s realized how much it hurts committed same-sex couples to be denied the protection, dignity, and respect of marriage.”
Equality Pennsylvania lauds growth of LGBT Equality Caucus and releases new poll Nearly 7 in 10 back equal civil rights; More than 60% GOP support on two key bills
Harrisburg – Today, the Pennsylvania legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus announced its membership for the new session. The Caucus stands at 58 members, a doubling in membership from last year. In 2011, Equality Pennsylvania was a driving force in founding and launching the LGBT Equality Caucus. To coincide with the first meeting of the Caucus, Equality Pennsylvania also released a new poll showing significant statewide support for LGBT civil rights. (read more)
Statement on US Supreme Court and Prop 8 and DOMA Cases Harrisburg – The issue of marriage equality is now before the highest court in the land since the US Supreme Court has taken up both the Perry and Windsor cases. The lower courts have ruled against Prop 8 and DOMA. Marriage is already allowed in nine states and the District of Columbia and we hope that the US Supreme Court will affirm the appellate court rulings. (read more)
Harrisburg – Today, Rep. Mike Fleck (R-81st District) faced the world as an openly gay man. He took the first step in the journey of living an authentic life. As Pennsylvania’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political advocacy organization, we salute his honesty and integrity in making this important move. (read more)
EQPA is growing. That’s a good thing and it means we’re hiring. Today’s Monday Memo is about our search for a Development Manager. The job posting is included, and we encourage you to take a look, apply if interested and certainly share with qualified friends and colleagues. We’ll definitely keep you in the loop as our search develops, and special thanks to everyone who has generously donated to us in the past. You’re the ones making this search possible in the first place, and we are grateful. (click here)
Recently, when asked about the aggressive anti-LGBT policies and actions of Chick-Fil-A and statements made by its president and COO, Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Pitts chose to brush aside both realities by publicly weighing-in with a defense of the company’s long and bigoted history. EQPA thinks stating support for such negative actions shows someone terribly out-of-touch and one carelessly ignorant of the fact that their comments are hurtful to those they serve and insulting and embarrassing to the state they represent in the US Congress. Sign our petition asking Congressman Pitts to apologize!
Equality Pennsylvania and SEIU Advance Strategic Partnership
May 2, 2012, Harrisburg – Coming one year after their first successful agreement to form a closer working partnership, Equality Pennsylvania (EQPA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have agreed upon additional ways to strengthen and advance their strategic partnership. (read)
Equality Pennsylvania President to Attend Democratic National Convention
May 2, 2012, Harrisburg - On Election Day 2012, 20,992 Democrats in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Lebanon, and Dauphin counties voted to send Equality Pennsylvania's President, Adrian Shanker, to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shanker was elected as an Alternate Delegate committed to Barack Obama, which means that he will attend the convention and will assume certain additional responsibilities if another delegate from the 15th Congressional District is unavailable.
(read) Statement on 2012 Pennsylvania Primary Results and the Nomination of the General Assembly’s First Openly Gay Member
Harrisburg – Today, Equality Pennsylvania is celebrating. We think yesterday’s election was a bit of a game-changer. It is with great pride that we watched our former Board President, Brian Sims, win nomination to serve the 182nd House District. He has no opponent in November’s General Election and that means he will come to Harrisburg as the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s first openly gay member. (read)
Statement of Equality Pennsylvania in Support of East Pennsboro Area High School GSA
Harrisburg: For more than a decade, school districts across the country have instituted Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) student organizations in their high schools to ensure a safe space for students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. The East Pennsboro Area School Board has chosen once to deny student’s that right. Equality Pennsylvania asks the Board to reconsider that unfortunate earlier vote tonight. (read)
Harrisburg – Today Equality Pennsylvania (EQPA) is celebrating the passage of the state’s 28th local LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in Abington Township (Montgomery County). (read)
Equality Pennsylvania Announces Slate of Endorsed Candidates for the 2012 Primary
Harrisburg - Equality Pennsylvania today announced its slate of endorsed candidates in the April 24, 2012 Primary. The organization made endorsements in races for Attorney General and Auditor General, as well as State legislative and congressional seats across Pennsylvania. Adanjesus Marin, chair of the organization's 501c4 board commented, "We have candidates we are supporting from across the state, from the big cities to the rural center, and all of these people, if elected, will be strong advocates for the LGBT community. We urge all our members to vote for these exceptional candidates." (read)