Equality Pennsylvania issued this statement today on the two landmark Supreme Court cases:
In response to these decisions, Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, the state’s leading advocacy organization for gay and transgender people, released the following statement:
“The striking down of DOMA brings about a joyous day for loving, married couples and their families. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that all loving and committed couples who marry deserve equal legal respect and treatment.
The historic ruling on Prop 8 means the swift restoration of the freedom to marry in California. Now same-sex couples can legally marry in 13 states and Washington, DC, and more than 93 million Americans – nearly a third of the population – live in a jurisdiction with marriage for all families. Because of today’s rulings, all of these families now have access to comprehensive federal and state protections to take care of the ones they love.
While this is a day of celebration for legally married same-sex couples, 37 states — including Pennsylvania — still treat gay and lesbian citizens and their children as unequal and second-class. But work to win the freedom to marry here in the commonwealth will continue.
People all across the country, and right here in the Keystone State, are ready for a conversation about marriage. In the months and years ahead, we look forward to talking with our neighbors about why marriage matters to all Pennsylvania families.”
I’m not sure when I first met Adrian Shanker. It may have been a Planned Parenthood event at Muhlenberg College, perhaps Gay Pride, maybe some political debate in the Valley. I meet a lot of people doing what I do so its tough to recall. I’ve met few young people with the heart, dedication and the passion that Adrian has though. His drive to improve the lives of LGBT Pennsylvanians knows no bounds however and today, as President of the Board of Directors, Equality Pennsylvania roasted him on his 25th birthday.
Adrian impressed me when I got to know him. He was a student leader at Muhlenberg and began working on Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s re-election campaign and other important progressive things. He got involved with the Pennsylvania Diversity Network and then Equality PA.
This morning over 200 people, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and a few straight ones, gathered in Allentown to celebrate his 25th birthday by roasting him. Adrian is so nice most of the roasters had to roast each other instead. Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, rumored to be a somewhat handsome fellow, went first followed by Easton Councilman and consultant Mike Fleck. Comic Ryan Hill emceed the stage and attempted to teach the others some fine points of comedy. Lehigh County Dems Chair Bar Johnston went next and then Pawlowski took his turn. Finally Adrian got the chance to have his fun at their expense. It was a fun Sunday and raised a good amount for Equality Pennsylvania. I can’t post all the video because its such good blackmail material… Opposition researchers would have a field day with it. Therefore I’ll post a few pics:
The guest of honor Adrian Shanker:
Adrian, the Mayors and Mike Fleck:
Some of the attendees:
Equality Pennsylvania head (on the left) Ted Martin (aka the Lavendar Light Special):
John Campbell, Alex Reber and Dietz:
Doylestown Councilman Det Ansinn:
Jackson Eaton and his Congressional campaign manager:
Yesterday’s Freedom to Marry rally in the Capitol Rotunda featured State Representatives, Senators and lay leaders advocate for equality for every Pennsylvanian. Currently we have a system of sexual apartheid where straight people have a certain set of rights and LGBT people another, lesser slate of rights. In America we aren’t supposed to have a class or caste system but we do. Sen. Daylin Leach has introduced his legislation allowing same sex marriage and Rep. Mark Cohen a bill legalizing civil unions. They, along with Ted Martin of Equality Pennsylvania were among the speakers at the rally.