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Pennsylvania Youth Congress Launches Pennsylvania Values

April 17, 2019 9:57 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)
On April 10, 2019, Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC) launched Pennsylvania Values as its new campaign to secure statewide LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections! Please visit the Pennsylvania Values website to learn more on this issue. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have a promising path forward to advance LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation in Harrisburg.

There are several ways you can help:

Contact Your Legislator. You can use PYC's action tool here on the Pennsylvania Values website to send your legislator a message directly.

Ask all businesses you know to sign onto the Pennsylvania Values Business Pledge here. Over a 1,000 businesses signed onto a supporter statement several years ago, and PYC wants to far surpass that number.

Ask all faith leaders you know to sign the Pennsylvania Values Faith Leader Open Letter here. PYC invites pastors, imams, rabbis, and all leaders of faith-based institutions to share their support. 

Ask key local and county elected officials you know to support LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections here.

PYC would like stories from LGBTQ Pennsylvanians about why this law is important. PYC invites folks to share written reflections of their experiences with discrimination, or a positive message of why nondiscrimination protections have been helpful (if in one of the 55 municipalities that currently has a local ordinance).

Pennsylvania Values has been created by the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, and is in partnership with the ACLU of Pennsylvania. PYC was founded in 2011 as our first and only statewide LGBTQ youth organization, and is headquartered directly across the street from the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

As many of you may remember, the last organized effort for this legislation came together in 2015-2016 but was unsuccessful. PYC was not part of that work, as we generally focus on LGBTQ-youth specific legislation. With this opportunity, PYC has come forward to lead and bring together our nearly 10 years of relationships and expertise in Harrisburg so that we press ahead with our strongest plan possible.

Why Now is Different: In January, the former chairperson of the House State Government Committee, who had refused to bring the bill for a vote, was reassigned to lead another committee. An ally of our ours has the bill currently in her committee in the state Senate. PYC has been working around the clock these past few months to set up an advocacy path in the General Assembly, and design and build the Pennsylvania Values campaign. It's an exciting time, but we have months of heavy lifting to move forward.

PYC's approach is vastly different than the 2015-2016 effort. PYC is focusing on local messengers and small town Pennsylvania. It is no longer referring to this legislation as the "Fairness Act" but rather simply LGBT nondiscrimination protections, and when the final bill emerges, the "Pennsylvania Values Act." While it's still an uphill climb, PYC is cautiously optimistic about advancing this legislation.

For now, it's all hands on deck. Last week, PYC convened a meeting in Philadelphia with the ACLU, Freedom for All Americans, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and HRC to brief them and begin discussions on future collaboration. However, it is only through you as local and regional leaders that we will be successful in our state.

If you would like to support PYC's work in this effort, 3RBA invites you to donate to Pennsylvania Youth Congress Foundation here (a 501(c)(3) organization) and the Pennsylvania Youth Congress here (non-tax-deductible donation for our political work).

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