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New Series of Videos Tell Stories of How Lack of Discrimination Protections Affects LGBT People and their Families

Amber and ShellonVideos by Equality PA, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), and the Center for American Progress will be used in statewide campaign to educate the public about nondiscrimination protections

Pittsburgh – Today at Persad Center, Equality PA, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the Center for American Progress released a new series of videos telling the stories of how the lack of discrimination protections in Pennsylvania affects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families in Pennsylvania.

Multiple polls show that more than 80% of Pennsylvanians agree that all people, including gay and transgender people, should be protected from discrimination at work, in housing, and in business and government services. Despite this fact, a majority of Pennsylvanians are unaware that these protections don’t exist at the state or federal level.

The new videos will be used as part of a statewide campaign to educate Pennsylvanians about the PA Fairness Act, which would update the state’s laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity in current discrimination protections.

Equality PA and SAGE Videos:

Equality PA and Center for American Progress Video:

“People all over the state of Pennsylvania are shocked to learn that there are no basic discrimination protections for gay or transgender people in the workplace, housing, or business or government services at the state or federal level. That’s why we are working with our partners SAGE and Center for American Progress to educate the people of Pennsylvania and encourage them to take action,” said, Levana Layendecker, Deputy Director of Equality PA.

Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE), explained, “A growing body of research –and SAGE’s experience nationwide — decisively demonstrates how difficult it is for LGBT older people to find appropriate housing. For example, a national study last year documented that an astonishing 44% of LGBT older people applying for ‘senior housing’ face discrimination just because of who they are.”

Betty Hill of Executive Director of Persad Center, noted, “Our hope is that by helping to share these stories of LGBT Pennsylvanians, we will show how real lives are affected and why everyone deserves to be treated equally and fairly no matter who they are and where they live.”

Laura Durso, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress added, “Despite the fact that most Americans believe that gay and transgender people are already protected, the reality is that only 19 states and the District of Columbia have clear protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. That is why education is vital, so that the public knows that action is still needed before our laws truly reflect our values of fairness and opportunity for all.”

The videos will be released online and are being viewed today in a series of watch parties around the state where hundreds of attendees will view the videos and write letters to their state legislators.

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ABOUT EQUALITY PENNSYLVANIA
With 60,000 members across the commonwealth, Equality Pennsylvania is the leading organization advancing equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Pennsylvanians.

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