Ten Fabulous “Special Rights” for LGBTQ Public Employees

Special Rights Gay

In response to the conversation about domestic partner benefits from PA municipal employers such as Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh, some have raised concerns that same-sex couples will be receiving “special gay privileges” which is unfair to unmarried heterosexual employees. It is probably fair to look back into history at the civil rights movement and […]

Allegheny County Drops Domestic Partner Benefits for LGBTQ Employees

Allegheny County

In a very dismaying turn of events, Rich Fitzgerald’s County Administration has opted to drop domestic partner benefits less than two years after first extending them. The county’s benefit policy is being adjusted in response to the marriage ruling, county spokeswoman Amie Downs said in an email. “As a result of the Court’s recent decision […]

So Where the Heck is the Lesbian Content?

Someone asked me if I had decided to stop writing about LGBTQ “stuff” – I suppose my recent posts have been a bit eclectic. But they are about me and I am LGBTQ so I think it is a fit. I realize there is a lot happening in the world so let me offer up […]

Five Year Anniversary of a Public Hearing Should Generate More Activism in Pennsylvania

Franco Harris Pittsburgh

Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped. Five years ago today, Allegheny County Council held a public hearing on a non-discrimination ordinance which included sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. You can read 78 pages of public testimony here. Some of it is brilliant, some of it […]

PA Governor Corbett States Support for Non-Discrimination Legislation

Corbett Pennsylvania

In a move that implies the changing dynamics of Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett announced his support for legislation that would expand non-discrimination protection to the LGBTQ community. HB 300 and its companion bill would expand the scope of the state Human Relations Law to include sexual orientation and gender identity in matters of employment, housing […]

WESA 90.5 Discusses HB 300 and Non-Discrimination Laws

Earlier in the week, Essential Pittsburgh spoke with State Representative Dan Frankel about HB 300 which would amend the state non-discrimination law to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. 22 states currently have protections for individuals based upon their sexual orientation, including most of the states surrounding Pennsylvania. Frankel says this makes the […]

Pennsylvania: The Battle Ground for Marriage Equality And Where I Happen To Live

“It must be exciting living in Pennsylvania,” she typed via Facebook. “There’s something new every day.” She is, of course, referring to our unexpected status as an epicenter for the marriage equality struggle. The ACLU has taken the Commonwealth to federal court over marriage equality.  The State Attorney General won’t defend the lawsuit because she […]

Dear PA Residents – Please Don’t Rush Into Getting Gay Married

I am so simply exhausted right now that I’m sure this post will be much more flippant than I intend. I’ve been on the phone ALL DAY dealing with media calls and trying to help people get services.  And doing laundry.  And medicating cats. The glamorous life. So I just read that Montgomery County, Pennsylvania […]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Calls for ENDA Passage

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has come out in support of passage of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Although federal law bans employment discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, age and disability, it does not prohibit bias due to sexual orientation or gender identity. Some states have laws that provide such protection, but Pennsylvania is among 29 […]

Pennsylvania Democrats Endorse Marriage Equality With Some Naysayers

The Pennsylvania Progressive has the scoop on this weekend’s events in which the Pennsylvania Democratic Party supported adding marriage equality to the party platform.  I got a tingling sensation all over as Pennsylvania Democrats overwhelmingly approved a resolution endorsing marriage equality today.  In an emotionally charged meeting with impassioned speeches for women’s rights and gay […]