Uplifting Pride


June is Pride Month, in honor of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that marked the beginning of the modern-day liberation movement – a movement that has worked to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ individuals and achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for all LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. Pride month is a time for celebration and pro-LGBTQ+ organizing and activism nationwide. 

According to NPR, 2022 is set to break records for anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced into legislatures, following 2021 which the Human Rights Campaign deemed the worst year in recent history for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. In Philadelphia, we are fortunate to have organizations dedicated to supporting and fighting for the LGBTQ+ community, including a number of our nonprofit partners. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) fights for equality and civil rights for LGBTQ+ individuals. Their Trans Justice Program focuses on advocacy and education on transgender rights, aiming to pave the way for the passage of statewide, comprehensive non-discrimination protections. The ACLU-PA has been vocal in its opposition to Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1991 that bans transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or sports designated for the gender they identify with. Another of our nonprofit partners, the Women’s Law Project, also has been a vocal opponent of the bill. Women’s Law Project works to challenge sex & gender-based discrimination wherever it is found, including against LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Our nonprofit partner the Mazzoni Center Legal Services is the only nonprofit in Pennsylvania that provides free or low-cost legal advice and assistance to LGBTQ+ individuals with issues related to their LGBTQ+ identity. Their legal services team focuses on serving low-income and underserved populations, including LGBTQ+ individuals.   The Mazzoni Center also regularly does advocacy work on LGBTQ+ issues, often in conjunction with other national, state, and local organizations advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. 

The Education Law Center, another of our nonprofit partners, fights to ensure equal access to education for all youth in Pennsylvania facing discrimination, including children who are LGBTQ+. In May, they called on the Central Bucks School District to undertake its duty to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ students following concerns from parents over a number of proposed discriminatory policies.  

There are many other organizations that work tirelessly to uplift and support Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community. This Pride Month, I encourage you to consider making a donation to one of our nonprofit partners or another organization doing this incredibly important work, or to get involved through volunteering.  The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is proud to support the work of so many organizations advocating for equal access to justice on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.