Regional News

This May, physical therapist and longtime activist Jessica Rothchild was one of two Democratic candidates to excel in the Scranton City Council primary race. If she wins the general election in November, she will be the first openly gay person to hold such a position in Scranton.


The historically black sorority Zeta Phi Beta Incorporated issued a “diversity statement” in January that stated, “an individual must be a cis-gender woman” to join.

After facing backlash and hearing community criticisms, the organization released an updated policy on Sunday.

State legislators and members of the LGBTQ community and its allies held a news conference in Harrisburg this week to announce the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation, and to implore citizens and fellow legislators to support it.

House Bill 1404 and Senate Bill 614 would provide protection at work, in housing and in business services for LGBTQ people by adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the state’s nondiscrimination law, which was originally written in 1955. The law still only covers race, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin and disability.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has approved legislation that would amend the state constitution to include specific protections for crime victims and their families.

The initiative was approved April 8 in a 190-8 vote and is headed for the state Senate Judiciary Committee, where it’s expected to receive a favorable vote. The full Senate is expected to approve the measure before it goes to voters on Nov. 5.

The amendment would enshrine within Pennsylvania’s constitution a “bill of rights” for crime victims, including the right to be notified of all court proceedings; to give input before a plea agreement is finalized; to be heard at sentencing and parole hearings; to receive financial restitution from the offender; and to regain personal belongings when they’re no longer needed as evidence.

The Trump administration’s ban on transgender military members is expected to take effect. Thousands of service members will be forced to leave.

Finding a place to live will likely be the next step for people leaving the military, and My Brother’s House is gearing up. The nonprofit works to address the problem of veteran homelessness by providing housing and other necessary services.

Army veteran Dr. Remolia Simpson stated, “Our transgender veterans face more hardships because of biases due to ignorance and hate. They are now facing expulsion from the military, and continue to be discriminated against when it comes to securing safe housing and employment.“

The Star Barn Village at Stone Gables Estates is one of the most unique wedding venues in Pennsylvania — one that has been frequented by myriad guests.

But LGBTQ guests who seek this idyllic spot for their own weddings need not apply.

Catholic owner David Abel adheres strictly to the Bible when it comes to marriage.

An organization that started helping vulnerable, abused and homeless young people more than 45 years ago is getting almost $3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD awarded Valley Youth House more than $2.9 million to renew and start more Rapid ReHousing programs around southeastern Pennsylvania. That’s an increase of $500,000 over last year’s grant.

Another legislative session means yet another attempt at making discrimination against LGBTQ people illegal in Pennsylvania, but things are a little different this time around.

The Pennsylvania Fairness Act — which would provide protection at work, in housing and in business services — has a fighting chance now that Rep. Garth Everett (R-84th Dist.) replaced Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th Dist.) as chairman of the House State Government Committee.

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