Equality PA is the commonwealth’s leading organization advancing fairness, equality, equity, and fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and families.
As the only equality organization based in Harrisburg, we advocate for policy change at the municipal, state, and federal level; we organize grassroots supporters to engage in the political process; we educate the public about the experiences, values, and needs of LGBT people; and we endorse candidates who are committed to being champions for equality.
Working locally and statewide, we’ve achieved significant progress, including:
Founded in 1996 as the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, later growing into Equality Advocates PA, and finally becoming Equality Pennsylvania in 2010 – we’re the only organization in the Commonwealth advocating exclusively for equality for LGBT Pennsylvanians.
Working in Harrisburg and across the state, we’ve achieved a number of critical goals over the past several years, including:
We are also committed to providing LGBT individuals with quality legal resources and educating them to protect their rights, particularly in healthcare. The pressing issue that requires our special attention is that LGBT people in the United States face considerable healthcare hurdles. They may encounter prejudice from insurance companies or health care providers. It can also be difficult for them to find a provider or health care proxy who will consider their needs. Additionally, LGBT populations can suffer from a lack of legal advice in preparing essential health care documents, in particular living wills and medical power of attorney. That’s why we’ve gathered living will form to provide each LGBT individual with lawyer-approved health care documents.
A Living Will Form is a special legal document outlining an individual’s preferences related to end-of-life treatments. It means that a person outlines what life-sustaining treatments they want to receive if they are terminally ill or become incapacitated. This document allows the family members and health care providers to learn and stick to the person’s wishes. Often, a living will becomes a part of an advanced health care directive along with medical power of attorney (POA). If you are looking for a specific living will form, check the list below and get access to high-quality documents to protect your health care rights.
Every competent adult, including LGBT individuals, has the right to agree to or refuse any kind of treatment. It’s especially relevant to life-prolonging treatments. To exercise this right, a person uses a living will document. It’s a common practice to create a living will along with a medical POA. A medical POA helps appoint a trusted person to make health care decisions based on the end-of-life instructions designated in the living will.
In Florida, you are expected to prepare a state-specific docoument to ensure that your health care providers follow your end-of-life instructions. A Florida living will is also called an advance directive and can be accompanied by a medical POA, also known as a health care surrogate designation, and anatomical donation directive. A health care surrogate designation form allows a person to appoint an agent or health care proxy who will act on their behalf. An anatomical donation directive, in its turn, provides organ donation instructions after the person’s death. In Florida, your living will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses.
A living will helps a person who lives in Ohio convey their medical preferences in the unfortunate event of their incapacity. Your living will may be created along with a health care power of attorney where you indicate your surrogate who will fulfill your end-of-life wishes. You may also define anatomical donation instructions in your living will. An Ohio living will must be signed in the presence of a notary public or two witnesses.
If you are a Texas resident, you can take advantage of a Living Will, known as Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates. This document makes your end-of-life preferences clearly defined. So, if you become no longer capable of making health care decisions, your family members and health care professionals will know exactly what they should and should not do. You may also create a medical POA and appoint a trusted person as your health care representative. To prepare a valid living will, you have to either notarize it or sign the form in the presence of two witnesses.
A Living Will, also known as Maryland Advanced Health Care Directive, is a comprehensive legal document that allows you to define your end-of-life expectations and appoint a health care proxy. This document is created in case you of an incurable condition, a chronic vegetative state, or other comparable circumstances. If you don’t want to appoint an agent, you can ignore this part of the document. A Maryland living will must be signed in the presence of two competent witnesses.
If you live in New York state, there is also a separate living will for you. With the help of this form, you can easily indicate your end-of-life wishes, indicate organ donation instructions, and designate your health care surrogate. Note that the state of New York has unique regulations governing who may and cannot operate as your agent. A New York living will must be signed in the presence of two competent witnesses.
State laws do not require a person to have a living will to receive or withdraw life-prolonging treatments. If the person becomes incapacitated, that is, loses mental or physical abilities to make health care decisions by themselves, such decisions can be made by their relatives, children, or an appointed guardian. However, these decisions may not always meet the person’s wishes. That’s why a living will play such an important role in health care arrangements. When preparing your living will, you are recommended to consult the state laws and select the state-specific form because each state has its signing requirements. As a matter of convenience, we’ve listed the forms for you in alphabetical order.
We are three organizations (due to federal regulation of what different organization types can do) – united with a common vision but serving unique functions in our work to achieve equality.
Equality Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(4) political advocacy organization. Through it, we lobby our lawmakers at the federal, state, and municipal levels.
Equality Pennsylvania Educational Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Through it, we provide educational programming on LGBT issues, conduct research to understand public opinions, and develop campaigns to build awareness of LGBT people and support for fairness and equality.
Equality Pennsylvania PAC is our statewide political action committee dedicated to supporting fair-minded candidates and issues. Equality Pennsylvania is part of the Equality Federation, a strategic partner to a robust network of state-based organizations that are advancing equality around the country. Each organization plays a critical role in our mission to secure and protect equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Pennsylvanians — while sharing the same mission:
Equality Pennsylvania is the statewide voice for LGBT equality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and works collaboratively to establish a comprehensive network of individuals and organizations united in securing equal rights for the LGBT community.
We didn’t always have the organizational structure and foundation that we employ today. We have evolved and grown since our founding nearly 2 decades ago – and our history showcases how far we’ve come.
Equality Pennsylvania is the political voice for LGBT Pennsylvanians — and we’re moving the Keystone State forward.
Fairness, Equality, Equity and Justice
We are committed to the core principles of fairness, equality, equity, and justice for all Pennsylvanians—from our work to end discrimination and injustice for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, to our volunteer recruitment, hiring practices, and strategic decision making. We believe all people must have the opportunities to prosper across their lifetimes. We draw on all of our learned experience, knowledge, and skills to address relevant and timely social justice issues.
We understand that the movement for LGBTQ equality is evolving. We must be open-minded and forward-thinking, always learning from other movements and leaders. To achieve our goals, we must actively seek collaborations, partnerships, and opportunities to lead and follow.
Inclusivity and Intersectionality
We understand that our constituents have complex identities and that we have an obligation to intentionally recognize and value diversity of experiences and backgrounds in our strategic decision-making and in implementing all our work.
We believe that in order to make long-lasting change and impact, we must also engage in activities that foster sustainability and stability for the organization as well as sustainability in our partnerships with communities and other organizations.
Integrity and Transparency
We value integrity and transparency. By being open about how we raise funds, spend the valuable dollars donated to our organization, and about our strategic priorities, we ensure our supporters’ confidence and trust in our organization.