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Call to Action

Listed below are the petitions which Pennsylvania Equality Project wholeheartedly supports. As an organization, we seek…

1. Passage of a ban on ex-gay conversion therapy.

2. Passage of the Fairness Act.

3. Inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as protected classes under PA Criminal Code Title 18, Section 2710, Ethnic Intimidation law.

4. Passage of a Fairness/Equality Act for Schuylkill County.

5. Passage of comprehensive, age appropriate sexual education to include LGBTQ+ information for students through Grade 12.

When you have signed and shared our petitions via social media, we need people to contact their Pennsylvania State Representative and Senator. Call, write to, email, or fax your letter to your representatives in Harrisburg. Be sure to mention Pennsylvania Equality Project when you contact your state representative or senator.

Kathy Rapp
Honorable Kathy Rapp
Dan Frankel
Honorable Dan Frankel
District
Hon. Kathy L. Rapp
404 Market Street
Warren, PA 16365
(814) 723-5203
Fax: (814) 728-3564
Hon. Kathy L. Rapp
109 S. Washington Street
Park Building
Titusville, PA 16354
(814) 827-6054
Fax: (814) 878-5778
Capitol
Hon. Kathy L. Rapp
213 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202065
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2065
(717) 787-1367
Fax: (717) 787-5854
District
Hon. Dan Frankel
2345 Murray Avenue
Suite 205
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 422-1774
Fax: (412) 420-2011
Capitol
Hon. Dan Frankel
332 Main Capitol Building
PO Box 202023
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2023
(717) 705-1875
Fax: (717) 705-2034
CT Meme

Shown here are Pennsylvania State Representative Kathy Rapp of Warren County, Chair of the PA House Health Committee and Representative Dan Frankel, Democratic Chair of the Health Committee. Pennsylvania House Bill 1293 was introduced by Representative Brian Sims to ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors by Pennsylvania licensed practitioners. Kathy Rapp has stalled the bill in her committee and will not allow it to proceed for hearings or a vote by the committee. On this page, you will find a listing of the other representatives who have sponsored PA House Bill 1293. To reach Rep. Kathy Rapp, click here. Additional contact information is listed on her website. Additionally, we recommend that you also reach out to PA Representative Dan Frankel, the Democratic Chair of the Health Committee to express your support for the bill.

Pass the Ban on Conversion Therapy, House Bill 1293, Senate Bill 56

Conversion therapy, or “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy is a discredited technique used by some mental health practitioners in an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Although talk therapy is frequently used, some practitioners still use outdated and harmful methods such as electroshock therapy. People who have undergone conversion therapy report high rates of depression, anxiety, and even suicidal attempts. Numerous organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Education Association have condemned its use particularly on minors. We seek a statewide prohibition on conversion therapy on minors as practiced by mental health professionals.

Petitions

Pass the PA Fairness Act, House Bill 1404

Although marriage equality is legal, we still need everyone to support this important petition to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Senate to protect people from discrimination for all public accommodations based on sexual or gender identity. The people of Pennsylvania must be treated equally in terms of, but not limited to, employment, education, and housing regardless of real or perceived sexual or gender identity. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community should not be relegated to second class citizenry solely because of who we love or how we portray ourselves. All Pennsylvanians are worthy of equal treatment under the law. Call, email, or write to your legislature and tell them to support HB 1404.

Pass Comprehensive Sex Education, House Bill 1586

Computer-savvy adolescents and teens glued to their smartphones have easy access to pornography. Whether curious or anxious to present themselves as cool, they receive and sometimes share sexually explicit texts and photos on social media. Kids often lack the information, self-esteem, and tools to navigate this world.

Introduced by Brian Sims, House Bill 1586 would be a lifeline for countless children to get informed, recognize the agency of consent, and stay safe. For elementary school students, concepts such as “good touch vs. bad touch” would be introduced. For older students, curricula would include contraception methods, and help teens identify and avoid risky behaviors and harmful relationships.

Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in PA Hate Crimes Law

In Pennsylvania, hate crimes are termed ethnic intimidation. According to Pennsylvania Criminal Code Title 18, Section 2710, “A person commits the offense of ethnic intimidation if, with malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, he commits an offense under any other provision of this article or under Chapter 33 (relating to arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction) exclusive of section 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism) or under section 3503 (relating to criminal trespass) with respect to such individual or his or her property or with respect to one or more members of such group or to their property.”

In 2002, an amendment to the code included ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. Unfortunately, the law was challenged in 2007, and found that the 2002 amendment was unconstitutional on a technicality. We seek to restore the amendment.

The Equality Act of Schuylkill County

In 2015, the PA Dept. of Health and Human Services reported that LGBTQ people in Schuylkill County are more at risk to suicide than any other group of individuals in our area. Now, more than four years later, Schuylkill County has done nothing specific to stop or slow the rate of LGBTQ suicide. According to our recent survey, currently in Schuylkill County, 43% of LGBTQ residents seriously considered suicide and 71% of Schuylkill County LGBTQ citizens have thought about moving away to a more LGBTQ-friendly city or county. Last year alone, the national average reported by The Trevor Project, stated that 39% of LGBTQ youth (children under 18 years old) seriously considered suicide. Worse yet was 42% of LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy actually attempted suicide. So, the time for us to act is long past due.