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 GISO Commission Advocacy 



"It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions."
- Harvey Milk

Being engaged and supporting gender identity and sexual orientation issues means participating in the discussion and making your voice heard.


  1. Current issues related to equality and protection in Pennsylvania

    House Bill 177 and Senate Bill 42 – Hate Crimes Bill
    Introduced by Rep. Cohen
    Amendment to Title 18 - The bill authorizes addition of crimes or offenses committed against a person or group of people because of actual or perceived ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

    House Bill 1178 – Same-Sex Civil Unions
    Introduced by Rep. Boyle and Sen. Ferlo
    This bill would define a civil union as a union between two members of the same sex. It would make all state laws   applicable to marriage also applicable to a civil union. The bill would also provide for reciprocity of civil unions performed legally in other states and the recognition of same sex marriage in other states as civil unions in Pennsylvania.

    House Bill 300  and Senate Bill 300 – Amendment to Human Relations Act of 1955 

    Introduced by Rep. Frankel
    Would include right
    to freedom from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

  2. Current issues related to equality and protection in the US

    Senate and House Bill – Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
    Introduced 4/25/13 by Rep. Polis and Sen. Merkey
    Would prohibit most employers from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would finally put in place uniform and comprehensive protections for the LGBT workforce in all 50 states.


    • One of the most effective forms of advocacy is calling your representatives
    • Click above for a sample script to use when making the call
    • Write your senators and representatives
    • Click above for a form letter to use
    • If you live in Pennsylvania, below is the contact information for your senators:
      Senator Pat Toomey (Republican)
      100 W Station Square Dr
      Suite 225
      Pittsburgh, PA 15219
      P: 412.803.3501
      F: 412.803.3504
      Senator Robert Casey (Democrat)
      Regional Enterprise Tower
      425 Sixth Ave, Suite 2490
      Pittsburgh, PA 15219
      P: 412.803.7370
      F: 412.803.7379 
  1. Sign petitions and stay informed -- get on mailing lists
    • When you are short on time, signing petitions is a quick way to do your part. Increase the effectiveness by sharing that you signed on Facebook and other social media.
    • Two great websites are and the Human Rights Campaign.
  2. Vote! Pay attention to local and state elections.