About Victoria Martin

Victoria Martin is a senior Public Health major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is originally from Shippensburg, PA in Cumberland County. Victoria aspires to work in LGBT health upon graduation. She can be reached at vmartin@pennsec.org.

A Court of His Own: Western PA School District Denies Transgender Student Access to Homecoming King Ballot

Kasey Caron, a transgender student at Richland High School in Johnstown running for Homecoming King, is fighting his school’s decision to assign him to the female side of the ballot. The school administration has claimed that they are ‘legally unable to allow him to run as a male, because his driver’s license identifies him as being female’, which is false as his driver’s license classifies him as male. Kasey’s situation in Western Pennsylvania is nearly identical to that of Issak Wolfe, a recent graduate of Red Lion Area Senior High School, who was unable to run for Prom King this spring because he is transgender.

On the second day of his senior year, Kasey was approached by the high school guidance counselor, and asked if he wished to be listed on the male or female section of the ballot for homecoming court. He was placed on the ballot with the other males. Kasey said he felt a great deal of support from his fellow students, and that he was confident that he would be elected to the court. Before the vote took place, Kasey was called into the principal’s office. His principal claimed that after consulting their lawyers, they were legally unable to list him as male, and he would be reassigned to the female side of the ballot.

While Kasey is legally classified as female, there is no Pennsylvania law determining how students are to be grouped for social events. However, it is legal for school districts to enforce arbitrary rules governing the gender identity of the participants, as there are no legal protections for transgender students in Pennsylvania.

Kasey was elected to the homecoming court as a female, and was told by administrators that due to his “unique situation” he was to take his own date who is not on the court with him as his escort, rather than being paired with one of the males on the court. While the administrators classified him as female, they felt uncomfortable with a masculine presenting transgender student arriving with a male date to Homecoming.

In protest, the Student Council President of neighboring Westmont Hilltop High School, Josh Livingston, and council member, Abby Panek, extended an invitation to Kasey to have an honorary position on their Homecoming Court, but the Westmont administration did not approve of the plan.

Kasey is speaking at the Richland School District Board meeting on Monday night. Those attending to support him are being asked to wear blue. Kasey’s family anticipates that approximately 200 people will be in attendance, more than he initially expected. Kasey intends on proposing to the board that he be moved to the male side of the ballot, and to add two females to the court – one as his escort, and one to replace his spot, so no one voted onto the court would be removed. He also plans on asking to wear the male’s blue cap and gown at graduation, and to be seated on the male side of the stage.

Kasey said he feels positive about the School Board meeting, stating that he believes the board will have a “change of heart.” He estimates that 90% of his classmates are in agreement with him, and says he has heard no complaints about his plan to run for Homecoming King. “My biggest worry,” Kasey said, “is that they won’t give me a direct answer.”

Issak Wolfe also testified before his school board in order to appeal his principal’s decision, but his requests were largely denied. In reaction to learning about Kasey’s experience, he said “It’s disgraceful that a school district would have the audacity to do this again to someone else, Further, he said, “Kasey is going to have a chance to blow this out of the water. I think he has a definite chance at winning, and he certainly deserves it.”

Kasey feels that he has a large amount of support, from both his fellow classmates and the faculty at Richland. “The people in my class know me personally, and they’ve seen what I’ve gone through and how it’s changed me, and they respect me.”

From the time he entered the eighth grade, Kasey has been an active member of the Jonhstown LGBT community. He first began assisting with the organization of the Day of Silence at his school. After the original organizer graduated, Kasey took up the cause and has organized the event every year since. In conjunction with the Day of Silence, Kasey formed a petition to have sexual orientation and gender identity listed as protected classes in the school bullying policy, after a friend of his was physically assaulted. Since then, the school has reverted to an unenumerated policy, which lists no specific characteristics. However, Kasey said that to his knowledge, the new policy has been enforced in incidents dealing with sexuality and gender identity. The Richland School District has an equal access to school and classroom activities inclusive of sexual orientation, but not of gender identity.

Together, Kasey and his mother, Kathy, organized a Facebook community for local residents called “Remember ‘It Gets Better’- Living Proof,” to connect local LGBTQ residents and support each other.

Before graduating, Kasey hopes to form a Gay Straight Alliance at Richland High School. He is in the early planning stages, and plans to take further action after the Homecoming decision is dealt with. “I think having a GSA will be very, very useful for future students.”

Faith Elmes, Assistant Convener of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition Coordinating Committee, and President of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Pride Alliance, said, “PSEC is in full support of Kasey’s fight to have his school district extend equal opportunity for all students, regardless of gender identity, and ask they pledge to do better in promoting a school community that provides dignity for all students.”

9/10/2013: This post was updated to further clarify that it was the school district claiming Kasey’s driver’s license was female, which is incorrect as his driver’s license identifies him has male.

PA Court Hears Montgomery County Marriage Case

This morning, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held a hearing in the case between Montgomery County Register of Wills, D. Bruce Hanes, and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health. Hanes began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Montgomery County following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act in July. Hanes was sued by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health, whom issued a writ of mandamus against Hanes to fulfill his duties in line with current Pennsylvania law, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The hearing opened with a statement from Judge Dan Pellegrini, clarifying that the hearing was not about Pennsylvania’s position on same-sex marriage, or the constitutionality of current marriage laws, but rather the authority of public officials to interpret the constitutionality of state law.

Lawyers for Hanes argued that in accordance with case law, Hanes was serving in the capacity of a judge, because he is a county clerk given statutory authority under the Orphans Court. Therefore, they claimed that Hanes was acting in accordance with the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Additionally, they said that the Department of Public Health has no substantial interest in the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses, as they are not being substantially harmed by Hanes’ actions. The defense claimed that the Office of the Attorney General is the only party within the state government with grounds to sue Hanes, which they have declined. Pennsylvania Attorney General , Kathleen Kane is a supporter of marriage equality, and sent a letter to the Department of Public Health clearly explaining that her office will not prosecute a suit against Hanes.

The Department of Public Health countered Hanes’ argument that he was a judge acting under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, as he is constitutionally a county official, and being defended by the county. They claimed that their department does have a substantial interest in the case, as the Department of Public Health manages marriage records, and Hanes’ actions have resulted in inconsistent and faulty record keeping. The representation for the Department said that a mandamus action is not the proper way to argue the constitutionality of a law, and the case was strictly about public officials following the law.

Judge Pellegrini said that he will rule on the case as soon as possible.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court is an intermediate appellate court which has jurisdiction over appeals from the orders of certain state agencies, including the Department of Public Health, and designated cases involving the public sector and government regulation In 2007, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court heard the case against an LGBTQ inclusive hate crimes law, which provided legal protection to individuals attacked due to their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. The law was struck down by the Commonwealth Court on a technicality, a ruling that was affirmed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2008. 

There was a large amount of media attention given to a court brief on the case, filed by lawyer’s for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, which compared the licenses given to same-sex couples to marriages between twelve year old’s. Corbett later called the statement “inappropriate.”

The case between The Department of Health and Hanes is one of two major legal battles Pennsylvania faces on the issue of same-sex marriage. In July, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania sued the state on behalf of twenty-three plaintiffs for denying them rights afforded to heterosexual families.

HB 300 Reintroduced in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) strongly supports the reintroduction of HB 300 yesterday in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to provide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. HB 300 was reintroduced for the fifth time by Rep. Dan Frankel (D-23), joined by a second prime sponsor Rep. Chris Ross (R-158), with a total ninety cosponsors.

Seventy-nine of the co-sponsors are Democrat and eleven are Republican. The Republican co-sponsors include three members of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Reps. Ross, Fleck, and Murt, along with Reps. Peifer, Scavello, Taylor, R. Brown, Petri, Killion, Quinn, and Harper. Every Republican co-sponsor represents a district in eastern Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, the House Leadership has once again sent the legislation to the State Government Committee, where it will surely languish for another session. The committee chair is Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12) who has vowed to defeat the bill. Advocates were hoping the legislation would be sent to another committee this session for a chance at a floor vote, where it would be expected to pass.

The record number of 90 State Reps. in support of LGBT nondiscrimination protections represents nearly forty years of tireless efforts by countless civil rights advocates.

The first Pennsylvania nondiscrimination bill inclusive of sexual orientation was introduced in 1976 by a Rep. Norman Berson (D-187) from Philadelphia – with only two cosponsors.  There have been twenty-two nondiscrimination bills introduced since which have been inclusive of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In 1975, Pennsylvania became the first state government in the nation to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation for its employees through an executive order by Gov. Milton Shapp. Every Pennsylvania Governor since, Republican or Democrat, has reissued the order – except for the current Gov. Tom Corbett. Seventeen states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Thirty-one municipalities in Pennsylvania have enacted local nondiscrimination ordinances inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity protections since 1982. The first to pass local ordinances were the cities of Philadelphia (1982), Harrisburg (1983), and Pittsburgh (1990). Most recently, local organizers have independently pressed suburban municipalities including Lower Merion Township (2010), Abington Township (2012), and Pittston (2013) to adopt nondiscrimination ordinances. While these local laws protect just over 30% of the state population, a vast majority of Pennsylvania residents can legally be fired, denied public accommodations, and kicked out of their homes, simply for being, or perceived to be, LGBT.

In the private sector, LGBT nondiscrimination policies have become standard practice to recruit and retain the best and brightest workers. There are 434 (88%) Fortune 500 companies that have adopted a nondiscrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation protections and 282 (57%) Fortune 500 companies have done so inclusive of gender identity protections. Every Fortune 500 company in Pennsylvania has an LGBT inclusive nondiscrimination policy.

PSEC Executive Director Jason Landau Goodman said, “It is shameful that Pennsylvania is the last place in the northeast United States with essentially no protections for LGBT people. In 2013, Pennsylvanians should not accept how our state disregards people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The passage of HB 300  is critical to the prosperity of our businesses, communities, and families. We must do all we can to support the swift adoption of an inclusive nondiscrimination bill in Pennsylvania.”

The companion bill to this legislation, SB 300, has yet to be formally introduced.

Map of HB 300 Co-Sponsors

Correction: Rep. Norman Berson (D-187) was mentioned as being from the Lehigh Valley. This post was updated to correct that he was from Philadelphia County.

PA Attorney General Won’t Defend Marriage Equality Ban

Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, made a historic announcement yesterday in refusing to defend the state’s ban on marriage equality, following an ACLU suit against the state, in which she is named as a defendant. Kane has affirmed numerous times that she supports full LGBTQ equality, including marriage rights. The governor or a legislator could sue Kane in an attempt to force her to uphold the law, but it’s most likely that defense of the law will simply be passed over to the governor’s office. Governor Tom Corbett is a staunch opponent of marriage equality, and supports a state constitutional amendment to ban it. PA’s version of DOMA was adopted by the General Assembly in 1996.

Kane’s refusal to enforce the ban on same sex marriage is another blow to “traditional marriage” proponents. According to recently poll numbers, 52% of Pennsylvanians support marriage equality.

The ACLU lawsuit against the state is the first of its kind following the repeal of DOMA. If successful, it could lead to the overturning of similar laws banning same sex marriage in Indiana, Illinois, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

Pennsylvania News Media Responds to AG Kane’s Announcement

Pa. attorney general won’t defend gay marriage ban – Associated Press (via Go Erie)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane won’t defend gay marriage ban – ABC Philadelphia
Kane: Cannot defend Pa. law against gay marriage – Philadelphia Inquirer
The Kane Mutiny – Philadelphia Daily News
Kane says state’s ban on gay marriage ‘wholly unconstitutional’ – Philadelphia Daily News
Kane: Cannot defend Pa. law against gay marriage – Philadelphia Inquirer
Attorney General Kane Will Not Defend PA Gay Marriage Ban – WTXF (Fox Philadelphia)

Lehigh Valley
Some call Kane brave for not defending state in gay marriage case; others call it political – Allentown Morning Call
Attorney General Kathleen Kane: I won’t defend Pennsylvania law banning gay marriage – WFMZ 69 (Allentown)
State attorney general will not defend DOMA – Pocono News

Central PA
Kane passes buck on gay marriage – Lancaster News Era
Kane paints Corbett into a corner with refusal to defend gay marriage ban: analysis – The Patriot News
Attorney General Kathleen Kane will not defend PA’s DOMA – Fox 43
Democrats hail Kane’s refusal to defend law barring gay marriage; GOP says she’s neglecting her job – The Patriot News
AG Kane will not defend Pa. against gay marriage suit – WHTM 27 (ABC)
Our View: Kane must support gay-marriage ban – The Carlisle Sentinel

Northeastern PA
Kathleen Kane Says ‘No’ To Defending State Law – WNEP 16 (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)
Kane: No Defense Of Same Sex Marriage Ban – WNEP 16 (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)
AG won’t defend Pa. in gay-marriage suit – Times Leader

Southwestern PA
Pa. attorney general will not defend DOMAWJAC 6 (Johnstown)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane won’t defend gay marriage ban – WTAE 4 (ABC)
Pennsylvania AG Kane will not defend DOMA – Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Pennsylvania attorney general won’t defend gay marriage ban – Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania Attorney General, Will Not Defend State’s Gay Marriage Ban – Huffington Post
Who is Kathleen Kane? – Washington Post
AG won’t defend Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban – Washington Post
Move for Gay Marriage Gets a Lift in Pennsylvania – New York Times
Pa. attorney general says she won’t defend state’s gay marriage ban – Washington Post
Gay marriage puts Tom Corbett in bind – Politico
Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane refuses to defend law banning gay marriage – Metroweekly (DC)
Penn. AG Won’t Defend State’s Marriage Ban – The Advocate

ACLU of PA Files Federal Lawsuit for Marriage Equality

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a federal lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania this morning on behalf of 23 plaintiffs to overturn the state’s law banning marriage equality. The lawsuit is the first legal challenge to a state’s statutory ban following the Supreme Court repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. The plaintiffs include nine couples, four of whom are married in other states, one widow, and a couple with two teenage daughters who are named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against several state government officials including Governor Tom Corbett and Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Governor Corbett has expressed his opposition to marriage equality, while Attorney General Kane ran for election on the platform of full LGBTQ equality last year.

The lawsuit cites the number of government benefits and protections which same-sex families are not eligible for, including social security benefits, family medical leave, medical power of attorney, and workers compensation for spouses injured or killed while working, among others. Because Pennsylvania grants same-sex parent adoptions, the lawsuit points out that having parents who are unable to access marital benefits is not in the best interest of the child.

A full profile of all the plaintiffs is available on the ACLU of PA’s website here.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast United States which does not allow for marriage equality or civil unions. Marriage equality is banned by a state law passed in 1996, but not by a constitutional amendment. If the law is declared unconstitutional, it could lead to the repeal of similar laws in Wyoming, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia.

Sen. Daylin Leach introduced the first marriage equality legislation in the State Senate in 2009. This session the bill is SB 717 and has only five co-sponsors. The introduction of marriage equality legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was recently announced but is not expected until the fall. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12) has introduced a bill to make marriage equality unconstitutional in Pennsylvania. HB1349 currently has 32 co-sponsors.


Whitewood v. Corbett, 2013

Butler County Family Subject to Anti-LGBTQ Vandalism

The Namey family in Sarver, Butler County, has been subject to two major acts of vandalism on their property this week, which the local police as well as the FBI are investigating as hate crimes. On Tuesday, the family woke up to find their son’s pick-up truck vandalized with pink paint, key marks, coins glued to the hood in the shape of a middle finger, tobacco spit juice dumped in the back, and the word “think,” carved into the paint.

John Namey initially thought the vandalism was the result of neighborhood kids acting out, but when he found a swastika burnt into their yard, he began to suspect that the damage was aimed at his oldest daughter, who is openly gay. His 16 year old daughter, who came out three years ago, faced so many threats of violence from her peers on the school bus, she no longer rides the bus to school.

The Namey family is not Jewish.

The FBI is reviewing the case to see if any federal laws have been violated. WTAE news reported that the perpetrators of the vandalism, when caught, will be charged with felony offenses.

namey2There have been multiple incidents this year of hate crime vandalism aimed at LGBTQ individuals across the United States. Last month in Los Angeles, a man’s car windows were smashed, tires popped, and the word “gay” was keyed into the vehicle. In March, an LGBTQ community leader in Kentucky had a swastika drawn on his car.

The Namey family says that they refuse to be intimidated. John told WTAE News, “We’re not a family who lives in fear. We’ll find out who did this, and they’ll be prosecuted.” John said his daughter is not going to let the incident change who she is.

The KSV will post updates as they become available.


OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Forced To Resign

Scranton native Allyson Robinson was forcefully ousted yesterday from her position as the Executive Director of OutServe-SDLN by their Board of Directors. The vote compelling Robinson to resign was swiftly met with all of OS-SDLN senior staff and a more than a third of their 15 member Board immediately resigning from their positions. Robinson was the first transgender Executive Director of a national LGBTQ organization that was not trans-specific.

Six members of the Board immediately resigned in protest during the hours following Robinson’s departure. These departures included Board members Sue Fulton, Matthew Phelps and Beth Schissel; Director of External Relations, Zeke Stokes; Director of Chapter and Member Services, Gary Espinas; and Legal Director David McKean have all left the organization.

The Co-Chair of the Board, Josh Seefried, was accused of “rushing decision through,” according to Buzzfeed sources.  The vote to terminate Robinson from her position occurred at a regularly scheduled board meeting, several hours into their executive session, without any prior notice that the Board was planning on seeking Robinson’s resignation.

MillerRobinson did not give any comment to Buzzfeed on her resignation, stating only that “It would be inappropriate for me to comment at this time.”

Currently no official statements from Board members who participated in the vote to remove Robinson from her position, including Don’t Ask Don’t Tell activist Katie Miller, have been issued.

In a leaked email to Co-Chair Josh Seefried, Board member Sue Fulton claimed that the voting process to oust Robinson was far from democratic, and that members of the board were not present when the vote was taken.

“I was a member of the OS-SLDN Board yesterday, and I did NOT vote to ask Allyson to resign. Neither did Shannon. Matthew Phelps and Beth Schissel did not have the opportunity to vote either. Did you even ask for a roll call? On a decision like this? You cannot characterize this publicly as a “unanimous” vote of the Board. If you do so, Board members will speak publicly to deny that they voted for it. The details of who was in the room and who wasn’t when you rushed this vote through will not support your case.”

Sue Fulton (Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger)

Sue Fulton (Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger)

Fulton’s departure may represent a serious fallout within the LGBTQ military community. She was heavily involved in the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and is a founding member and a former Executive Director of Knights Out, the LGBTQ alumni group at West Point. Fulton also is a founding member of OutServe, and remained on the Board until her recent resignation. President Obama appointed her to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2011, making her the first LGBTQ person serving on the board.

Sources told Buzzfeed that the reason for Allyson’s forced resignation ranged from comments about her fundraising and leadership abilities, to suspicion of anti-transgender bias.

Director of External Relations, Zeke Stokes, criticized the choice to force Robinson to resign in his own resignation email. “Today, the Board of Directors made decisions that have compromised the trust I had placed in it heretofore. They have chosen a direction that is inconsistent with what I believe is necessary to secure a successful future for the organization. In doing so, they have for the foreseeable future sacrificed the viability of the mission.”

Robinson was the first trans leader of a non-trans specific LGBTQ organization. She was also the first executive director of Outserve-SDLN following the merger of the two groups, Outserve and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. While serving in the military, Robinson trained NATO troops and helped advise the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. It is notable that she served as the executive director of a military organization, in a time when transpeople are not allowed in the military.

OS SLDN logo

Robinson, born in Scranton, has joined several other Pennsylvanians in becoming a national LGBTQ community leader. Other national LGBTQ leaders from Pennsylvania include the National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling (from Harrisburg); Human Rights Campaign Associate Director of Youth and Campus Outreach Candace Gingrich-Jones (a former co-worker of Robinson, from Harrisburg); Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson (from Pittsburgh), and Board Chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Chris Crespo (of Sharon).

This is the second recent dust up with a major national LGBTQ organization. Last year, GLAAD nearly imploded following a disastrous support of a AT&T merger. GLAAD publicly revealed their support of AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile, resulting in GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios and several Board members to resign over the potential conflict of interest. Mass resignations of Board members and staff typically occur when organizational morale is low, or a scandal has come to light.

Check back here for updates as they are made public.

Image by John Gara/Buzzfeed



Female Couple Assaulted in Upper Darby After Alleged Sexual Activity in McDonald’s

Two women who allegedly engaged in sexual activity in the bathroom of an Upper Darby McDonald’s were attacked by an angry mob of customers outside the restaurant after being asked to leave by the staff, with one of the women being hospitalized for stab wounds.

Around 5pm on Friday, customers at the McDonald’s complained to the manager that two women had entered a one person bathroom on the second floor. The manager told police later that they found the women were, “engaged in some type of sexual activity.” The women were asked to leave the restaurant. As they left, they were verbally accosted by several customers. As they exited, a group of at least seven customers followed the women outside in order to assault them.

A woman in her 40s with two children was heard yelling slurs, calling the women “dirty dykes.” Police believe that she instigated the assault. She reportedly stabbed one of the women in the back, who was later taken to Thomas Jefferson Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. As police arrived, the crowd dispersed. Police were able to obtain surveillance footage, but the attackers have yet to be identified.

While intimate sexual activity in public places is not considered acceptable behavior, targeted violence against offenders is not common.

There is no statewide hate crime law in Pennsylvania which protects LGBTQ people who are subject to assault based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2012, the FBI reported that one in every five hate crimes are based on sexual orientation.


First Hispanic and Openly Lesbian Federal Judge Confirmed in PA

Eight months after her nomination, openly lesbian judge, Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro of Philadelphia has been confirmed as a federal court judge for Eastern Pennsylvania, with the unanimous approval of the United States Senate. She will be the first openly lesbian Hispanic woman to serve in the federal court system, as well as the first Hispanic woman on the Eastern Pennsylvania court.

She was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama, who spoke of her accomplishments at a Pride Month reception held at the White House, saying,

“I want to congratulate Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, who just a few hours ago was confirmed by the Senate, making her the first openly gay Hispanic federal judge in our country’s history… good news.”

Judge Quiñones Alejandro is the seventh openly LGBT person to be confirmed as a federal judge.

Judge Quiñones Alejandro is a native of Puerto Rico, where she attended college and law school. She moved to Pennsylvania upon her graduation. Her legal career in Philadelphia began in 1975 as an attorney for Community Legal Services, where she helped defend low income residents. She later served as an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs and as an advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed in 1991 by then Governor Robert P. Casey to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and was the first Hispanic woman to be a judge on the court.

Summer Pride Season Begins

As Summer begins, so does Pride season across the state of Pennsylvania! While New Hope and Philadelphia have already held their Pride celebrations, the Central and Western areas of the state will be holding Pride their celebrations over the next several months. Student leaders of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition marched in Philadelphia’s Pride Parade over the weekend. PSEC will be present at the following Pride events this Summer.

Lancaster Pride: June 15, 2013 at Franklin & Marshall College

Erie Pride Picnic: June 15, 2013 at Presque Isle Park

Pittsburgh Pride: June 16, 2013 in Downtown Pittsburgh

Reading Pride: July 21, 2013 at Centre Park

Pride Festival of Central PA: July 27, 2013 at Front Street Park, Harrisburg

Knoebels Pride Picnic: August 10, 2013 at Knoebels Park

Northeastern PA Pride: August 11, 2013 in Kingston

Erie Pride: August 24, 2013 at Perry Square

Pride of the Lehigh Valley: August 2013 at Cedar Beach Park