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Letters to the Herald

HRC troubled by anti-LGBTQ rhetoric


We, the Bucks County members of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Greater Philadelphia steering committee, are alarmed by a growing wave of anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and discrimination in our county.

Recent targeted attacks on The Rainbow Room, a 21-year-old haven for Bucks County’s LGBTQIA+ youth, are especially abhorrent.

Assaults on a renowned safe space for LGBTQIA+ children, which provides them security and acceptance regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, constitutes the antithesis of the inclusive community values Bucks County has historically practiced.

A recent memo distributed by PA Senator Doug Mastriano, who has introduced malicious legislation against drag performances, is a sad example of an elected official targeting a minority community that already faces discrimination and violence, rather than legislating for the many truly pressing needs of the citizens of Pennsylvania.

HRC-Bucks would like to thank PA Senator Steve Santarsiero for his compassionate support for The Rainbow Room and its tireless founder, Marlene Pray, who was recently awarded HRC Greater Philadelphia’s prestigious Community Leadership Award on March 4.

In 2023 alone, the Human Rights Campaign has opposed over 450 anti-LQBTQIA+ bills introduced in state legislatures. In the face of this storm of opposition, there has been one significant bright spot: On March 16, Michigan signed new LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections into law with HRC’s support.

We all must continue to work together to create a world where everyone can feel safe, accepted, and valued for who they are. With the continued support from the Bucks County community, we can achieve success, together.

The Human Rights Campaign Bucks County Steering Committee:

Mark Ansley, MD

Derek Cressman

Eric Epstein, MBA

Tobie Grama, LCSW

Andy Holtzman

Scott Kalish, MD

Jon Panofsky, JD, Former Centennial School Board Director

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