Equality picnic held in Mercer County

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MERCER, Pennsylvania (WKBN)– A crowd showed up at the Mercer County Courthouse for the Equality Picnic and Food Drive planned by Central West Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania.

The group works with different organizations throughout the state to make sure the LGBTQ community is treated fairly and to get anti-discrimination laws passed.

The organization is also pushing for marriage equality.

“What we’re doing here today is we’re encouraging people in Mercer County to be aware that we need anti-discrimination laws here to protect LBGTQ citizens from workplace discrimination and from housing discrimination,” said Sara Campbell, of the Central West Marriage Equality for PA.

Campbell said she’s heard of many discrimination cases in Mercer County.

“A lot of the times it’s not brought to the public because people are kind of afraid to come out,” said Campbell.

Diane and Heidi Anderson drove to the event from Pittsburgh. They were married in New York last year, but their marriage is still not legal in the state of Pennsylvania.

The couple came out to support marriage equality and the Employment Non-Discrimination ACT.

“Right now, it is legal to discriminate and harass employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Diane Anderson. “So, we’re hoping to get support. And in fact, we will get ENDA passed.”

The big conversation at the picnic was the announcement earlier this week that State Representatives Brian Sims and Steve McCarter in Philadelphia brought forward legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry legally.

“I do believe that we have the support needed to pass anti-discrimination laws,” added Campbell. “We have a lot of bipartisan support. Republicans are not against anti-discrimination laws being passed.”

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