Wolf Administration Participates in Rally to Support Transgender Pennsylvanians, Decry Discriminatory Federal Policy

October 23, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs Executive Director Todd Snovel and members of the commission participated in the Rally for Trans Existence and Resistance at Love Park in Philadelphia this afternoon in support of transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals, decrying the abhorrent discriminatory policy proposed by the Trump Administration.

“I am Rachel Levine; I am a parent; I am a doctor; I am a professor; I am Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and I am a transgender woman,” Sec. Levine said. “As an American woman, I have a right to equal protection under the law. Our governor believes this. He is the first Governor in the nation to create a Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.

“In the Wolf Administration, we believe that no one should be denied health care, a job or housing because they are LGTBQ and Governor Tom Wolf will not jeopardize the health, safety or opportunities of any Pennsylvanian.

“I have an important message today for anyone who is trans and struggling to live their truth openly: We are here to support you, to help you and protect you. We will not relent because we cannot put an entire generation at risk by denying them their rights.”

The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, the first of its kind in the nation, offered this statement:

“This past weekend, the New York Times reported on a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which seeks to legally define gender as biological and determined at birth. If this proceeds it will have devastating impacts on the lives of our transgender and nonbinary communities nationwide. This policy further invalidates the lived experiences of well over 1 million individuals, across the country, and could restrict access to vital programs such as health care, housing, and other public services.

“The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs and the Wolf Administration are deeply disturbed by this proposed definition. We will continue to monitor this very closely and use our energies to prevent these discriminatory policies from being enacted. We refuse to let the lives of transgender and non-binary Pennsylvanians be erased.

“Join us by showing your support. Utilize your social media platforms, contact your government officials, and engage in dialogues with other community members. We must unite and affirm the experiences and rights of our trans communities here in Pennsylvania and throughout our nation.”

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