Pride at Work PA Honors Attorney General Josh Shapiro with the ‘Champion of LGBTQ+ Equality Award’

Shapiro Recognized for His Strong Advocacy for LGBTQ+ Issues and Communities

Photo courtesy of Pride at Work PA.

Pride at Work PA honored Attorney General Josh Shapiro with the “Champion of LGBTQ+ Award” at a ceremony on September 29th. It is only the second time the award has been bestowed to a LGBTQ+ advocate or leader. 

“We are honored to give this distinguished award to Attorney General Josh Shapiro because he not only supports LGBTQ+ rights he advocates and fights for the  LGBTQ+ community and for workers. He truly is our champion,” said Michele Kessler, Co-President of Pride at Work PA and Secretary-Treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1776.  “We need Josh Shapiro’s leadership as LGBTQ+ and workers are under attack like never before.”

Attorney General Shapiro’s long record advocating for LGBTQ+ issues is undisputed. He opposed SB 1278, Pennsylvania’s “Don’t Say Gay” in public schools bill. He supports expanding hate crime laws to include LGBTQ+ people, co-sponsored legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and helped LGBTQ+ couples in Pennsylvania get married as Montgomery County Commissioner. 

Michele Kessler and Matt Yarnell, Co-Presidents from Pride at Work PA honor Attorney General Josh Shapiro for advocacy on LGBTQ+ issues, 9/29/22.

“When you think about our community there are constant attacks telling us to sit down, go away, you don’t belong, you don’t fit in. But we know that Josh Shapiro has been a champion for the LGBTQ+ Community from day one. It’s why we’re here today to celebrate Josh’s incredible leadership,” said Matt Yarnell, Co-President of Pride at Work PA and President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. 

Matt Yarnell, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, & Michele Kessler. Photo courtesy of Pride at Work PA.

In receiving his award Attorney General Shapiro said, “I will build a Pennsylvania where everyone is protected and respected – no matter what they look like, where they come from, who they love, or who they pray to. A state where the rule of law is applied fairly and uniquely to all. A Pennsylvania where everybody gets a seat at the table of progress.”  

The stakes of this year’s gubernatorial election are extremely high as State Senator Doug Mastriano is a far-right conservative whom Shapiro has called “dangerous” on the campaign trail. Mastriano has made bigoted statements and boasted of his homophobic policy positions by backing the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. He wrote about his hatred of homosexuality which he described as “aberrant sexual conduct.” Mastriano believes same-sex marriage should be illegal and that same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children. 

“Josh Shapiro is a true public servant for all people within our Commonwealth who demonstrates his integrity and common decency every single day. It is hard to think of a more deserving advocate for our community to bestow this award to,” said Michele Kessler. 

QBurgh is your source for LGBTQ news and community resources in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Want to write for us?