LGBTQ+ Leaders from Across Pennsylvania Endorse Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis for Governor, Lieutenant Governor - Shapiro For Governor
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March 3, 2022Press Releases

LGBTQ+ Leaders from Across Pennsylvania Endorse Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis for Governor, Lieutenant Governor


Thursday, March 3, 2022


SPA Press,


LGBTQ+ Leaders from Across Pennsylvania Endorse Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis for Governor, Lieutenant Governor

PENNSYLVANIA – Today, over 40 LGBTQ+ leaders from across Pennsylvania endorsed Attorney General Josh Shapiro and State Representative Austin Davis for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Today’s endorsement comes from a diverse group of LGBTQ+ leaders, including public officials, leaders of community organizations, and activists from all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This massive – and ever growing – support from LGBTQ+ communities is a further demonstration of the strength and unity behind the Shapiro-Davis ticket.

During a press conference at the William Way LGBT Community Center, LGBTQ+ leaders – including former Erie School Board President Tyler Titus, community activists Kendall Stephens and Tyrell Brown, Abington Township Commissioner Lori Schreiber, and Stonewall pioneer Mark Segal – spoke about the threats facing their communities and the need for strong leadership in Harrisburg. At the press conference, Shapiro and Davis pledged to always stand with LGBTQ+ communities and highlighted their plans for passing nondiscrimination legislation and advancing equality.

“We’re seeing it in Texas, Florida, and right here in Pennsylvania, LGBTQ+ rights are under attack – and it’s on us to stand up for equality and ensure Pennsylvania is safe and welcoming for all,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Throughout my career, I have always fought to advance equality and protect LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians’ rights, and I will continue that work as Governor, banning discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, expanding our hate crime laws to cover our LGBTQ+ communities, and investing in mental health resources to support LGBTQ+ youth. I’m honored to have the support of so many LGBTQ+ leaders and activists, and I look forward to continuing to work with them as Governor.”

“I am humbled and grateful to have the support of so many leaders from LGBTQ+ communities from all across our Commonwealth – and I am ready to continue fighting for them as Pennsylvania’s next Lieutenant Governor,” said State Representative Austin Davis. “Every Pennsylvanians’ rights should be protected under the law, and in Harrisburg, I have worked to protect LGBTQ+ rights and advance equality. Alongside this impressive group of LGBTQ+ leaders and activists, a Shapiro-Davis administration will continue that work to ensure that LGBQT+ Pennsylvanians are protected, supported, and have their rightful seat at the table as we build our Commonwealth’s future.”

“I know Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis are the team we need leading our Commonwealth in this moment – a team with the morals, values, and will to fight for all Pennsylvanians,” said Kendall Stephens, community activist and Temple student. “Josh Shapiro is a man of faith, family, and fairness, and his track record – from protecting LGBTQ+ rights to defending reproductive rights – is one of fighting for the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Austin Davis’ life-long dedication to expanding opportunities for working class people and his commitment to protecting civil rights is exactly the perspective we need to move our Commonwealth forward. In the Shapiro-Davis ticket, Pennsylvania has leaders who will fight to build greater opportunities and a better future for all of us.”

Today’s announcement from Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ leaders comes amid news of growing support for the Shapiro-Davis ticket. Last weekend, Josh and Austin were endorsed by the Steel City Stonewall Democrats – the largest and most active LGBTQ+ political organization in Western Pennsylvania. Last week, a powerful column in the Philadelphia Gay News laid out the stakes of the Lieutenant Governor’s race and the importance of electing Austin Davis in order to build the team that will win in November and deliver real results for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians.

During the press conference, Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis also highlighted some of their plans to support LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians and advance equality:

Ban discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals: 

Josh and Austin will work hard to pass nondiscrimination legislation which enshrines statewide protections for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians into law, making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression  in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Expand Pennsylvania’s hate crime laws to include LGBTQ+ individuals: 

Josh and Austin will ensure that all LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians are fairly protected under the law by signing legislation to strengthen the Commonwealth’s hate crime laws across the board and increase penalties for those who commit hate crimes. They understand that hate-based violence does not occur in a vacuum. Josh and Austin are committed to promoting education, inclusivity, and nonviolence in our communities, as well as responsive victim services and restorative justice.

Eliminate the “Gay and Trans Panic Defense” in Pennsylvania: 

Josh and Austin will support legislation to join 15 other states and the District of Columbia in eliminating the outdated and harmful LGBTQ+ panic defense strategy – a legal strategy that attempts to excuse extreme physical harm or even murder against LGBTQ+ individuals – ensuring that LGBTQ+ individuals are equally protected under law.

Ban conversion therapy for minors:

Josh and Austin will fight to protect the physical and psychological well-being of Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ+ youth by working to ban health professionals from engaging in the harmful, abusive practice of conversion therapy with minors.

Support LGBTQ+ youth by investing in mental health resources in schools:

Josh and Austin will work to ensure that every school has at least one mental health counselor and establish funding for school districts to provide comprehensive training and professional development for mental health counselors on meeting the unique needs of LGBTQ+ youth.