LGBT 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.
March 31 is
Each year, on International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), LQBTQ+ communities and advocates around the world recognize the accomplishments and victories of transgender & gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives.
This year, in honor of TDOV 2022, members of the Pennsylvania Senate and House announced a new package of bills that seek to improve the name change process in Pennsylvania for LGBTQ+ communities and remove legal barriers that make it difficult for individuals to legally identify as their authentic selves.
The Name Change Legislative Package includes the following bills sponsored by Senators Amanda Cappelletti, Tim Kearney, Katie Muth and Lindsey Williams:
Legislation would replace the antiquated judicial name change process in Pennsylvania with a simpler, more streamlined, and largely administrative process. The current process for legally changing one’s name is expensive, time-consuming, and fraught with danger for members of Pennsylvania’s transgender community.
Legislation would make the legal name change process more affordable and create privacy protections by removing the Title 54 requirements for publication and mandating the sealing of court records from the outset of the proceedings.
Legislation would allocate money from the general fund to establish a grant program, housed in DCED, for organizations, county governments, and municipal governments that assist transgender individuals in navigating the process of changing their names.
Legislation would protect individual privacy and prevent discrimination by removing sex designations on PA birth certificates.
Legislation would require the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to provide:
- Accurate, publicly available information detailing the name change process and the steps required in a widely available, accessible format.
- A dedicated and safe point of contact to help trans individuals navigate the name change process and connect with resources in their area.
- Training so that all staff, judges, and administrators involved in the name change process are knowledgeable, competent, and affirming.
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.
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
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.”