October is

LGBTQ+ History Month

This October is the 17th annual celebration of LGBT History Month, a month-long recognition of important moments in the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The dedication reminds the world of the role models in the LGBT community and their contributions to creating the political, economic, socio-cultural, and legal world we live in today.

Initially, the month was chosen to include National Coming Out Day on October 11 and the anniversary of the first LGBT march on Washington on October 14, 1979. Now, the celebration includes Sprit Day on October 20, a day to wear purple in support of LGBT youth; Ally Week, a week to celebrate allies against LGBT bullying; and the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder on October 12, 1998, an event which began the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats applaud the efforts taken to recognize LGBT history and ask supporters to celebrate this history by engaging with stories of LGBT figures.

PA Fairness Act Press Conference & Rally :: April 2023

PA Senate and House Democrats rallied alongside the Lieutenant Governor, advocates, and members of the LGBTQIA community to demand fairness and protections under the PA Fairness/Non-Discrimination Act.

PA Fairness Act + Current Laws


The landmark 2020 SCOTUS decision Bostock v. Clayton County ruled that an employer cannot discriminate against an individual because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – but it doesn’t address access to housing, education, or public accommodations.


In 2023, it is still legal for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians to be denied housing, education, or access to public accommodations based on their sexual orientation or gender identity – we can change that by passing the PA Fairness Act.


The PA Fairness Act will codify that all Pennsylvanians are granted protections in state law, protecting against any potential Supreme Court overturning of the Bostock ruling. 


Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast without LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination laws on the books.


Ohio and West Virginia are the only states bordering Pennsylvania that do not have LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination laws.


Passing the PA Fairness Act would make Pennsylvania the 24th U.S. state to codify anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people into state law.


Only 3 out of 67 counties (Allegheny, Erie, Philadelphia) have an ordinance prohibiting sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in private employment, housing, and public accommodations.


About 35% of Pennsylvanians are fully protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity – and they’re only protected because of county and municipal ordinances. The PA Fairness Act would extend these protections to ALL state residents.

Honoring Stonewall 50th Anniversary

On June 28, 1969, a mass protest broke out in front of the Stonewall Inn in New York City against the discriminatory practice of the police raiding bars that were frequented by members of the LGBT community.

The demonstration gathered more attention and community support as members of the community clashed with police forces for the following six days, leading the “Stonewall Riots” to become one of the most-well known catalysts for the LGBT Rights Movement in the United States.

50 years after this iconic display of community solidarity against discrimination, we recognize and honor the elders of the 
LGBT Rights Movement who have lived their lives to ensure that LGBT+ Rights are indeed counted as Human Rights for all. 

Stonewall Riots

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

Susan Atlas & Mary Groce

Frank Potopa

Steve Getzow

Roosevelt Adams

PA Senate Refuses to Pass LGBT Pride Month Resolution for 3rd Year in Row. Senator Street Recognizes LGBTQ+ Pioneers for Years of Activism

Harrisburg, Pa. − June 7, 2019 − For the third year in a row, Senator Street (D-Philadelphia) attempted yesterday to offer a Unanimous Consent Resolution on the floor of the Senate recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month, and for the third year in a row, it was rejected by Senate leadership. This year was particularly important, as it also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, who many in the LGBTQ+ Community recognize as the start of the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.

“I was Pleased to be joined by pioneers of the LGBTQ+ community on Wednesday to offer a Resolution, honoring and commemorating pride festivities in Philadelphia and across commonwealth,” said Senator Street. “Unfortunately, Republican leadership did not see fit to allow it to proceed. However, I’m optimistic and hopeful attitudes around the commonwealth and Capital are improving, due, in no small part, to the work of our pioneers which will not be in vain. Both the LGBTQ community and allies like myself are undeterred and will continue to build upon their great legacy.”