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full agenda of reports

PA Commission on LGBTQ Affairs meeting


The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs held its quarterly Nov. 15 at the Bradley-Sullivan LGBT Community Center,  in Allentown.

During the course of the meeting reports were made from the commission's action teams.

The Education team reported focusing on safety and policy, curriculum in schools, as well as training for educators.

It was noted the PA Department of Human Services (DHS) is moving forward with an internal LGBTQ work group.

The Aging work group noted it is focusing on the PA Department of Aging's statement on addressing LGBTQ senior concerns and cultural competency.

The commission's Health work group is working on addressing policy barriers related to assisted reproductive technology.

The group noted the PA Department of Health will be rolling out the statewide LGBTQ health needs assessment survey. Help is needed in getting participation from rural parts of the state.

The newly formed Homelessness work group noted it is looking at handling housing units for LGBT youth and also educating parents. There is a need for a database of friendly space for LGBTQ youth.

Homelessness and housing are addressed at the county level, so this is a challenge to work on at the state level. Progress on passing anti-discrimination legislation at the state level has been slow and steady. The group hopes this will be introduced in 2020. It was noted there is a need for faith leaders, major businesses and health care providers to sign on. The web site for signing up is PAValues.org.

Commissioners discussed Statewide Plan from the Council on Reform, which seeks to address concerns of various vulnerable populations (including LGBTQ) by state agencies. The statewide plan is now in the public comment phase.

Commission members were reminded that Department Executive Director of the commission Todd Snovel has stepped down to pursue another opportunity, and new executive director Rafael Álvarez Febo attended.

Ryan Matthews, the new contact for Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for Pennsylvania attended and spoke.

Also discussed were the challenges for getting complete results for the 2020 decennial US Census, due to an unprecedented lack of funding at the Federal level.