Support Equality Advocates while enjoying “Mom, I’m Gay!” at the Painted Bride!

March 19, 2008

Wilfre’ Records and Publishers is generously supporting Equality Advocates with their upcoming production of “Mom, I’m Gay!” at the Painted Bride Art Center from March 20-22, 2008.

For every $30 ticket sold, a portion of the ticket sale will be donated to Equality Advocates to support our mission and work statewide.

“Mom, I’m Gay!” is billed as a dramatic musical comedy about a mother’s pursuit to find a husband for her lesbian daughter. Showtimes are Thursday and Friday at 8:00pm, and Saturday at 3:00 and 8:00pm.

The Painted Bride Art Center is located at 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA. To purchase tickets with a credit card by telephone and for group discounts, call the Painted Bride Art Center box office at (215) 925-9914.

Come out with your friends and family for a night of exciting musical theater and help support our work as well!



BREAKING: Marriage Protection Amendment Reported Out of Senate Judiciary Committee!

March 19, 2008

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee reported Senate Bill 1250, the Marriage Protection Amendment, out of committee by a 10-4 vote.  The Marriage Protection Amendment would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman, and prohibit civil unions.

Voting in favor of this legislation was:  Sen. Greenleaf, Sen. Scarnati, Sen. Gordner, Sen. Orie,  Sen. Piccola, Sen. Rafferty, Sen. Boscola, Sen. Stack, Sen. Stout, and Sen. White.   If one of your Senators voted to move this bill out of committee, please take a moment to call them and express your disappointment with their vote.

Voting against this legislation was:  Sen. Browne, Sen. Costa, Sen. Earll, and Sen. Fontana.  If one of your Senators voted against moving this bill out of committee, please call to thank them for their vote.

The bill now moves to the Appropriations Committee before it moves to the floor for a vote by the entire Senate.

We need you now more than ever to call your Senators and ask them to OPPOSE SENATE BILL 1250!  They need to hear from fair-minded people in their districts.  To find your Senator’s contact information, please click here.

Save the Date- Upcoming Events in Philadelphia!

March 17, 2008

I really enjoy the spring and summer months in this job. People are out, things are happening, there’s a buzz in the air– AND I get to criss-cross the state meeting thousands of fabulous LGBT and allied people at pride events and parties!

These months are also a very busy time of year for everyone, and before your social calendars become completely full, I wanted to draw your attention to just a few upcoming events in Philly over the next two months.

12th Anniversary Event and Fundraiser! Each year we celebrate our successes and raise money to continue the work we’re doing statewide, and this year our anniversary event will be held on Thursday, May 8. Our new and absolutely fantastic Development Coordinator Michael is working hard to make this year’s event the best it’s ever been, so this is one fundraiser you won’t want to miss. We’ll post more details and information on how to RSVP in the coming weeks.

Equality Forum! Every year, thousands of LGBT people from across the country, and the world, descend upon Philadelphia for a week of workshops, forums, parties and events at the annual Equality Forum. This year Equality Advocates is working closely with the great folks at Equality Forum on several events that you don’t want to miss. Katie Stewart, our Youth Law Project Attorney and resident cool-kid will be co-presenting an entire day of Youth Programming on Saturday, May 3. That same day I’ll be presenting a workshop on how to effectively advocate for LGBT issues in your community.

That night, we are co-sponsoring a statewide reception with Liberty PA at Pure Nightclub with special guests U.S. Representatives Murphy and Sestak. This will be a fabulous event and amazing chance to network with engaged activists from across the region and state.

Additionally, we will have a table at the street-fest on Sunday, May 4 and need volunteers to help us man the table.

These are just a few of the very exciting events coming down the line in the coming months, so keep checking back for more information!


York College Students Meet With Representative

March 5, 2008

NOTE FROM JAKE: This is a guest post from Cody Barnett, one of our most-fabulous activists at York College of Pennsylvania. He and several other students have worked on-campus over the past several weeks, raising awareness about statewide LGBT issues, and recently met with their own State Representative.


I and four other York College students had the pleasure of sitting down with State Representative Eugene De Pasquale (D) Tuesday March 4, to discuss his involvement with HB 1400 and SB 1250, and to present to him over 200 signed form letters that we collected during a three day tabling event held at York College of Pennsylvania. Between the five of us, we represented two distinct groups on campus, YCP Lambda (the Gay Straight Alliance) and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. This is the second time we have collaborated on a project to foster interaction between our two groups, and our relationship is one of the strongest on campus. De Pasquale was genuinely interested and spoke to us with respect and interest, as we conveyed to him our biggest concerns coming into the 2008 Presidential Election, and our growing concern for laws originating in the Pennsylvania Legislature aimed at reducing the legal rights for the LGBT community.


The best part about meeting with Representative De Pasquale was the feeling of genuine conviction for what he was doing that gushed from him as he shared personal stories about how his life has been positively impacted by LGBT people. De Pasquale also confided with us his belief that LGBT rights are a generational issue, one that in time within our lives will fade from the hot button issue it is today, to a completely accepted facet of life. I can honestly say that I’m proud to be served by a man of such high convictions and beliefs in Harrisburg as Representative Eugene De Pasquale


UPDATE: SB 1250 now on the calendar for Tuesday, March 18!

March 5, 2008

Just to again highlight the fluidity of the situation, Senate Bill 1250 is now slated to be discussed in the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 18.

That means we now have TWO weeks to e-mail, call, and visit our State Senators and ask them to OPPOSE this legislation!

SB 1250 put on Judiciary Committee Calendar for this Tuesday, March 11!

March 4, 2008

The “Marriage Protection Amendment,” which is legislation to amend the PA constitution to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman, and prohibit civil unions, has been placed on the Judiciary Committee calendar for this Tuesday, March 11.

So that means we have just ONE week to really make our voices heard for the millions of Pennsylvanians who are opposed to this proposed amendment!  See the post below for many different action steps, but what we really need is for people to CALL their Senators, especially those who serve on the Judiciary Committee, and ask them to oppose SB 1250!

Here is a list of Judiciary Committee members, their district office phone numbers, and the counties they represent.  If you live in one of these counties, PLEASE call your Senator and ask them to oppose SB 1250!

Stewart Greenleaf, Chair.  (215) 657-7700.  Bucks, Montgomery

Mary Jo White, Vice Chair.  (814) 432-4345.  Erie, Warren, Forest, Venango, Clarion

Jay Costa, Minority Chair.  (412) 241-6690.  Allegheny

Joseph Scarnati, Leadership.  (814) 726-7201.  Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren

Pat Browne.  (610) 821-8468.  Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe

Jane Earll.  (814) 453-2515.  Erie

John Gordner.  (570) 784-3464.  Dauphin, Snyder, Northumberland, Montour, Columbia, Luzerne

Jane Orie.  (412) 630-9466.  Allegheny, Butler

Jeffrey Piccola.  (717) 896-7714.  Dauphin

John Rafferty.  (610) 831-8830.  Montgomery, Chester, Bucks

Lisa Boscola.  (610) 868-8667.  Monroe, Northampton, Lehigh

Wayne Fontana.  (412) 344-2551.  Allegheny

Michael Stack.  (215) 281-2539.  Philadelphia

Barry Stout.  (724) 225-5400.  Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Washington, Westmoreland

“Marriage Protection Amendment” in Judiciary Committee!

March 1, 2008

I apologize for the small number of posts this past month, I have been out of the office recovering from a pretty nasty health issue—but as we’ve all seen, even when we have to take a break, the world keeps turning.

And unfortunately a lot has happened the past several weeks.  As most of you have seen, Senate Bill 1250, the “Marriage Protection Amendment,” has been introduced and referred to the Judiciary Committee.  This bill is yet another attempt to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman, and prohibit civil unions, among other forms of relationship recognition.  The bill currently has 18 co-sponsors.

Now that the bill is sitting in the Judiciary Committee, we need everyone to really step up and take action to stop this legislation!  The legislature is out of session and in budget hearings until March 10, which means a lot of your State Senators will be in their district offices— a perfect opportunity for you to stop-in for a visit and let them know how you feel about this bill.

The absolute most effective way to make your voice heard is to meet, face-to-face, with your legislators about this issue.  You know those in support of this bill are sitting down with their Senators, and if they do not hear from us, they’ll have no reason to oppose this bill!

For information on setting up a meeting with your law-makers, click here.

For talking points on Senate Bill 1250, click here.

To send an e-mail to your Senator asking them to oppose this bill, click here.

It only takes 30 seconds to send an e-mail, and you really can have an impact.  That said, it only takes 5 minutes to make a phone call, and only slightly more time to make a visit. If you have ANY questions about going to meet with your Senator about this, just e-mail Jake.

With your actions, with thousands of other fair-minded Pennsylvanians, we will once again successfully defeat this amendment!