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Preventing Violence

At the federal level, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act covers crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. When President Obama signed it into law in 2009, it was the first federal law to explicitly protect LGBTQ people.

But here in Pennsylvania, we have failed to enact a hate crimes law. Violence against our community continues to rise, but our lawmakers have not given law enforcement officials the tools they need to prevent and prosecute these heinous acts.

Strong hate crimes laws send a message to the perpetrator that hate based on a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated in the state of Pennsylvania. They also encourage victims of hate crimes to speak up and report incidences of hate-based violence and harassment.

Along with partners like the Anti-Defamation League, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Service Employees International Union State Council (SEIU PA), Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania, and others – we’re advocating for a comprehensive hate crimes law that protects LGBTQ people.

A hate crime threatens or takes the life of more than just the victim; it creates a ripple effect that threatens the well being of an entire group. LGBTQ Pennsylvanians deserve to feel safe in our communities. With a strong hate crimes law on the books, we won’t have to live in fear.

Click here to see The Latest on preventing violence.

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Thank you to our 2017-18 Strategic Partners

Equality Federation Human Rights Campaign Gill Foundation Gill Action Fund Freedom for All Americans
American Unity Fund ACLU PA Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund Johnson Family Foundation Schlegel-Deibler Charitable Foundation

To become a strategic partner with a contribution, sponsorship, or service of $2,500 or more,
contact Development Director Joe Dungee at

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Philadelphia HQ: 1418 S. 13th St  |  Philadelphia, PA 19107  |
Executive/Business Office: 400 Third Ave, #107  |  Kingston, PA 18704  |
'Equality PA' is 3 entities: Equality Pennsylvania Education Fund, Equality Pennsylvania (Advocacy), and Equality PA PAC.
Contributions to EPEF are tax deductible. Contributions to EP & EPPAC are not.