LGBT en City Council Preliminarily Approves Adding Gender Identity as a Protected Class <p>Pittsburgh City Council took preliminary steps Wednesday to add gender identity and expression as an explicitly protected class with regard to housing, employment and public accommodation.</p><p>Council President Bruce Kraus sponsored the legislation and said the issue was brought to his attention by Jason Goodman, executive director of the <a href="">Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition</a>, or PSEC.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:29:50 +0000 Liz Reid 33098 at City Council Preliminarily Approves Adding Gender Identity as a Protected Class Despite Bipartisan Backing, LGBT Protections Stalled <p>Passage is looking unlikely this year for a bill to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pennsylvanians.<br /><br />The measure would outlaw firing someone from his or her job, evicting someone from his or her home, or not seating people at a restaurant on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.<br /><br />Gov. Tom Corbett supports it, as do a bipartisan group of state lawmakers.<br /> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Mary Wilson 31377 at An Update on PA's Non-Discrimination Legislation <p>“Marriage equality is now a reality in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but at the end of the day you can still be fired for putting your wedding photo on your desk,” says State Representative Erin Molchany.</p><p>With a lack of legislative protections, same-sex couples in many parts of PA still face legal discrimination in the workplace, when it comes to housing, and in public accommodations.</p><p>“I would imagine that a state that does not have these kinds of protections would not be marketable to attracting talent, for businesses, employees,” Molchany said. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:58:39 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 31250 at An Update on PA's Non-Discrimination Legislation Creator of It Gets Better, Dan Savage, Brings His HUMP Tour to Pittsburgh <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sex columnist, author, and lecturer Dan Savage&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">is in Pittsburgh this weekend for&nbsp;</span><a href="">HUMP tour</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a film festival which has garnered a bit of</span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;controversy</a>&nbsp;locally<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. It's a</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;festival of independently made adult films, which was originally slated to screen in Dormont. But because of a local ordinance, the festival will instead be shown in Lawrenceville.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Savage describes HUMP as a film festival of amateur porn that marries funny with sexy. The festival begins at 9 pm Friday at the&nbsp;<a href="">Row House Cinema</a>&nbsp;in Lawrenceville.</p><p>Savage is best known for his syndicated sex advice column, regularly featured in the Pittsburgh City Paper and the&nbsp;<a href="">It Gets Better Project</a>, created to inspire and give hope to LGBT teens.</p><p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:39:36 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 30861 at Creator of It Gets Better, Dan Savage, Brings His HUMP Tour to Pittsburgh LGBT Pride Event Expects Record Numbers <p>Members of Pittsburgh’s LGBT community and their supporters are expected to take to the streets in record numbers this Sunday during the annual Pride March, which is part of this week’s Pittsburgh Pride celebration.</p><p>Pittsburgh Pride is the largest LGBT festival in Pennsylvania, according to the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh. The nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the city’s LGBT community hosts and organizes the event, which runs from June 6 through June 15.</p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:13:24 +0000 Kaye Burnet 30610 at Sharing The Stories Of Pittsburgh's Transgender Community <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This year’s Pittsburgh Pride Week will have the most extensive spotlight on transgender communities so far. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jessica </span>McGuiness<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a former EMT who transitioned from male to female over the last 10 years, and she shared her story about living in Pittsburgh and how growing up was difficult for her. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While working as an EMT, </span>McGuiness<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> started to undergo the process of becoming a female. </span>McGuiness<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says she was a quiet person and kept to herself, even as her coworkers would degrade transgender patients coming through the hospital, right in front of her. She said it took her some time to become comfortable coming out to them, or anyone.</span></p><p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:40:54 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 30229 at Sharing The Stories Of Pittsburgh's Transgender Community Advocates Hope Gay Marriage Ruling Will Lend Momentum To Anti-Bias Legislation <p>Gay rights advocates are hoping the same-sex marriage ruling in Pennsylvania paves the way for laws to prohibit bias against residents based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. &nbsp;<br /><br />Identical bills in the state House and Senate would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pennsylvanians from being discriminated in housing, employment, and public accommodations.<br /><br />Equality PA director Ted Martin said about 30 percent of the state has such protections in place at the municipal level, but his group is seeking a state law.<br /> Fri, 23 May 2014 19:54:07 +0000 Mary Wilson 29761 at Overturning Pennsylvania's Same-Sex Marriage Ban <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” wrote Judge John E. Jones III in his Tuesday ruling, ending Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It was a sudden, entirely unexpected ruling from a judge appointed by President George W. Bush and endorsed by Rick </span>Santorum. T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he public was further surprised when Republican Governor Tom Corbett decided not to appeal the decision. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The ruling was met with jubilation by same-sex couples across the state, who can now marry, and for those who married out-of-state and want their union recognized in PA. </span></p><p><strong><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Asserting human rights or disregarding democracy?&nbsp;</span></em></strong></p><p> Thu, 22 May 2014 21:03:23 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 29693 at Overturning Pennsylvania's Same-Sex Marriage Ban After Ban Overturned, Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In PA <p><strong>Update (3:09 p.m.): <a href="">Pennsylvania Won't Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Case</a></strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In overturning Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III concluded his nearly 40-page decision stating: “We are better people that what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”</span></p> Wed, 21 May 2014 17:51:58 +0000 Irina Zhorov 29613 at After Ban Overturned, Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In PA Former NFL Player Wade Davis Talks About Getting Past Homophobia in Sports <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sewickley Academy is hosting an event titled "NFL to </span>LGBTQ<span style="line-height: 1.5;">" featuring former NFL player Wade Davis.&nbsp;</span></p><p>As a defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, and Seattle Seahawks as well as NFL Europe, Davis was constantly challenged physically and mentally.&nbsp;</p><p>He said he grew up with limited understandings of what it meant to be gay and was constantly on his guard.</p><p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 21:08:17 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27949 at Former NFL Player Wade Davis Talks About Getting Past Homophobia in Sports Helping the LGBTQ Communities in Honduras <p></p><p></p><p>Honduras is one of the world’s deadliest countries, overrun by gangs and violence.</p><p>Women, journalists, lawyers and members of the LGBTQ community have been singled out as victims. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:15:00 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27798 at Helping the LGBTQ Communities in Honduras Pittsburgh City Council Says Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men Is Discriminatory <p>Pittsburgher Dan Burda’s partner of eight years, Rohn, passed away from a heart attack this year. Like many families of the recently deceased, Burda and his loved ones wanted to donate Rohn’s skin, tissue and organs to someone who needed them.</p><p>But they were not allowed to do that because of a long-standing FDA ban on such donations from any man who has had sex with a man.</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:51:45 +0000 Liz Reid 27549 at Pittsburgh City Council Says Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men Is Discriminatory Jason Collins Gets a Chance and Makes History <p>NBA center, Jason Collins walked onto the court Sunday after signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets. As he checked into the game in the second quarter, Collins became the first openly gay man to play one of the nation's four major professional sports.</p><p>Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak says on the part of the Brooklyn Nets, the signing was not made just to make history. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:12:36 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 24910 at Corbett Backs Gay Rights Bill On Discrimination <p>Gov. Tom Corbett is supporting a measure to ban the discrimination of Pennsylvanians based on sexual orientation and gender identity.<br /><br />The proposal would update the commonwealth’s anti-discrimination law to include what supporters call basic protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Pennsylvanians.<br /><br />The governor insists he’s not changing his stance on the issue, claiming it’s the first time he’s had any kind of position.<br /> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 21:26:35 +0000 Mary Wilson & The Associated Press 21615 at Exploring the Wider Impact of LGBT Homelessness in Pittsburgh <p>Homelessness among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people is more prevalent than any other statistical group in America.</p><p>Forty percent of homeless <a href="">youth in America</a> identify as LGBT. The same statistic applies to the city of Pittsburgh.</p><p><a href="">Lyndsey Sickler</a>, chair of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh, and Nayck B. Feliz, associate director of <a href="">Project SILK</a>, work firsthand with young LGBT Pittsburghers who experience homelessness.</p><p>Feliz said this high homeless population has negative societal ramifications for the Pittsburgh region.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:40:54 +0000 Katherine Blackley 21273 at Exploring the Wider Impact of LGBT Homelessness in Pittsburgh PA’s Hate-Crime Law Still Leaves Many Groups Out <p></p><p>Jane’s whole life has been like one long hate crime.<br /><br />As a teenager, her classmates beat her to a pulp because she shaved her legs. Her family believed that praying would cure what the belt didn’t.<br /><br />Jane was born a man. Today, she is a woman.</p> Sun, 24 Nov 2013 17:24:55 +0000 Emily DeMarco | PublicSource 20326 at PA’s Hate-Crime Law Still Leaves Many Groups Out Reel Q Festival Features Some Divine Indie Films to Sample <p>The Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival or <a href="">Reel Q</a>, runs October 11-10 and will offer 15 full-length films.</p><p>Pittsburgh City Paper Film Critic <a href="">Al Hoff</a> previews some of the best feature flicks including <em>I Am Divine</em>, <em>GBF</em>, <em>Alice Walker Beauty and Truth</em> and <em>Interior. Leatherbar.</em> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 19:01:11 +0000 Katie Blackley 17958 at Reel Q Festival Features Some Divine Indie Films to Sample A Virtual Time Capsule of Pittsburgh's LGBT Nightlife <p>Harrison Apple has been exploring the underground. In speakeasies, bathhouses and after hours clubs, he&rsquo;s found a hypothetical time capsule of a rich gay nightlife in Pittsburgh between 1960 and 1990.</p><p>Now as Artist in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University&rsquo;s Center for the Arts, Harrison not only exhibits <a href="">his own work</a>, but has been successful in bringing award-winning author and gay rights historian <a href="">George Chauncey</a> to CMU&rsquo;s 2013 Kim and Eric Giler lecture in the humanities Thursday afternoon. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 18:31:44 +0000 Katie Blackley 17957 at A Virtual Time Capsule of Pittsburgh's LGBT Nightlife Rep. Sims: Same-Sex Marriage 'Inevitable' in PA <p>State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia), the first openly gay member of the General Assembly, said same-sex marriage &ldquo;will become law&rdquo; in Pennsylvania, either through legislation or judicial action.</p><p>Sims spoke Wednesday with <a href="">Essential Pittsburgh </a>about his LGBT anti-discrimination legislation and marriage equality bill.</p><p>He said most believe gay marriage will someday become legal in Pennsylvania, which is the only state in the Northeast without laws providing for civil unions or same-sex marriage.</p> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 19:06:21 +0000 Tim Camerato 17880 at Ending LGBT Discrimination in Pennsylvania <p class="p1">Although protections exist in Pittsburgh and in Allegheny County, there is currently no comprehensive protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression throughout Pennsylvania. Democratic State Representative Dan Frankel aims to provide that protection to LGBT individuals at the state level. Frankel has authored a bipartisan bill with a record number of cosponsors to amend Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Act.</p><p class="p1">According to Frankel, there needs to be a uniform statute to provide protections across the commonwealth.</p><p class="p1">“It’s the last vestige of legalized discrimination that Pennsylvania still embraces,” says Frankel. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 18:39:13 +0000 Reid Carter 15212 at Ending LGBT Discrimination in Pennsylvania Lawmaker Denies Hearing on LGBT Discrimination Bill <p>The Republican chairman of a key state House committee isn’t planning to schedule a hearing on a bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br>The measure was referred to the State Government Committee, which is made up of 15 Republicans and 10<br>Democrats, and its ranking Democrat has prodded the chairman for a hearing.<br><br>But Representative Daryl Metcalfe of Butler County said he believes the majority of his panel opposes the bill.<br> Mon, 19 Aug 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Mary Wilson 14935 at At Lutheran Assembly, Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBTQ Community <p><strong>UPDATE: &nbsp;August 15 5:00 am</strong></p><p>The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) &nbsp;has a new leader. &nbsp;Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Bishop of the Northeast Ohio Synod was elected as Presiding Bishop of the ELCA&nbsp;at the church's national conference in Pittsburgh. &nbsp; Bishop Eaton was elected on the fifth ballot with 600 &nbsp;votes compared to 287 for Bishop Mark Hanson who has led the ELCA for the last 12 years.</p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 20:21:30 +0000 Deanna Garcia 14868 at Pittsburgh to Require Some City Contractors to Offer Domestic Partnership Benefits <p>Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that requires contractors who enter into a contract of $250,000 or more with the city to offer same-sex domestic partnership benefits to its employees.</p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:11:38 +0000 Jessica Nath 13602 at Expanding Domestic Partner Benefits in Pittsburgh <p>For Pittsburgh city councilman <strong>Bruce Kraus</strong>, the reason he introduced the Equal Benefits Ordinance to council can be summed up in one word: equality.</p><p>“It’s the right thing to do,” says Kraus of the ordinance, which will require private companies contracted with the city for jobs of more than $250,000 to extend benefits to domestic partners, including those of the same sex. “It sends a message of inclusiveness,” he adds. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 22:29:15 +0000 John Lavanga 13218 at Expanding Domestic Partner Benefits in Pittsburgh LGBT Health Concerns <p>According to <strong>Dr. Ron Stall</strong>, director of the <a href="">Center for LGBT Health Research</a> at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, the dearth of investment in sexual health research, especially for the LGBT community, is something of an American tradition. Primarily due to the hot-button nature of conversations about sexuality and sexual practices, “the US has been slow to invest in sexual health in general.”</p><p>This additional roadblock makes the advances that have been made in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV all the more impressive. According to Stall, thanks to breakthrough drug research, HIV “has now become a chronic manageable disease much like diabetes,” for those who are aware of their illness and have access to drugs. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 22:28:33 +0000 John Lavanga 13219 at LGBT Health Concerns