News

  • August 20, 2018 - Pittsburgh: Executive Director McCormick conducted a training on implicit bias in legal decision making for the Allegheny County Bar Association.
  • August 14, 2018 - Philadelphia: the Commission held a meeting with newly-elected DA Larry Krasner to discuss death penalty studies, reforming pre-trial detention and legal financial obligations, and immigration issues. In attendance were Co-Chairs Winkelman and Hill Wilson, Jury Committee Chair Marks, Executive Director McCormick, Robert Listenbee and Judge Carolyn Temin.
  • July 27, 2018 - Philadelphia: Executive Director McCormick conducted a training for the District Attorney’s Office on language access and immigration issues in state courts.
  • June 21, 2018 – Philadelphia: Executive Director McCormick attended the second meeting of the Federal Jury Diversity Initiative.

More News >>

Upcoming Events

  • October 1, 2018 - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee is holding its Fall Conference.
  • October 17-18, 2018 - The Pennsylvanian Bar Association is holding its 10th Annual Diversity Summit focused on Minority and Women Lawyers’ Business Development.
  • October 25, 2018 – The Commission’s next Quarterly Meeting will be held in Harrisburg.
  • November 10, 2018 – Executive Director McCormick will speak on sexual harassment and assault at the fall retreat of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.

More Events >>

view the report

The Interbranch Commission implements recommendations from the Report of The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial, and Gender Bias in The Justice System. View the Report

Members

  • Helen E. Casale, Esq. (Chair)
  • Lee Carpenter, Esq.
  • Jesse M. Cohen
  • Judge Kathryn Mary Hens-Greco
  • Lisa M. Herbert, Esq.
  • Keith B. Joseph, Esq.
  • Lucille Marsh, Esq.
  • Donald McLeod
  • Gerri Sperling, Esq.
  • Nora Winkelman, Esq.

 

Reports

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Rights (G.L.B.T) Committee

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (G.L.B.T) Committee works to end discrimination against GLBT Pennsylvanians in our courts and throughout the Commonwealth. The Committee’s current initiatives include:

  • extending state discrimination protections to GLBT Pennsylvanians;
  • conducting training sessions for judges and attorneys on GLBT legal issues; and
  • training judges and staff in the juvenile delinquency and dependency systsm regarding the treatment of GLBT youth.

Anti-Discrimination Legislation: GLBT Pennsylvanians have seen enormous progress in expansion of their legal rights in recent years. In 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Whitewood v. Wolf lifted Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage. The United States Supreme Court extended this right to all Americans in 2015 when it decided the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges. However, GLBT Pennsylvanians still lack legal protections against discrimination in many facets of their daily lives, including housing, workplace, and public accommodation discrimination. The Committee has been actively involved in supporting legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to extend protection in those areas to GLBT Pennsylvanians.

Education and Training: The Committee is currently working with Lambda Legal and several local bar associations to conduct training sessions on addressing anti-GLBT bias in jury selection.

GLBT Youth: The Committee has been working with Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-Home-Care Project to address areas where GLBT youth face discrimination within the court system. As Pennsylvania’s statutory and regulatory definitions of gender do not currently include gender identity, the Committee is considering ways to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services to craft a policy specific to transgender youth and their care. The Committee, along with Lambda Legal and Equality PA, are also working to broaden Pennsylvania’s regulations defining gender to include gender identity. Additionally, due to reports of bias against GLBT foster parents, the Committee has been considering possible avenues for statewide reform to prohibit anti-GLBT discrimination by private organizations that enter into contractual relationships with state courts and other agencies.

Past initiatives of the Committee include:

  • proposing changes to Pennsylvania’s Adoption Act, establishing a second-parent adoption procedure;
  • advocating for legislation to allow for same-sex marriage; and
  • other initiatives.