Fetterman secures funding for William Way LGBT Center in Philadelphia

US Sen John Fetterman shakes the hand of drag performer Estevan Valentine during the 2023 Pride Festival of Central PA on July 29, 2023. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

By Sean Kitchen

November 6, 2023

“I’m particularly proud we were able to get the William Way LGBT Community Center funded after House Republicans stripped it out,” Fetterman said in a statement. “They must stop playing partisan games and get to work so we can deliver these investments where they are needed.”

US Sen. John Fetterman’s (D-Pennsylvania) office announced on Friday that the Pennsylvania Democrat secured $1 million in funding for the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia  after the US Senate passed a series of bipartisan appropriations bills. 

The community center made national headlines in July, when US House Republicans voted to remove federal funding from three LGBTQ centers, two in the Philadelphia region and one in Boston. 

“I’m particularly proud we were able to get the William Way LGBT Community Center funded after House Republicans stripped it out,” Fetterman said in a statement. “They must stop playing partisan games and get to work so we can deliver these investments where they are needed.”

After Republicans voted to strip the funding, Fetterman posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) calling the move “flat out, mask-off bigotry.”

The William Way LGBT Community Center meets the health, social and cultural needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in Philadelphia and the funding will allow the center to increase their usable space by 78% by transforming two old rowhomes into a complex for the center’s programs and organizations. 

House Republicans voted 32-26 during an Appropriations Committee meeting in July to strip funding from the  three LGBTQ centers. The applications for projects were made by US Reps Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Berks).

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading lost $970,000 to expand transitional housing, including members of the LGBTQ population, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

“Out of literally thousands of projects, the only three they went after were the three with LGBT or LGBTQ in the organization’s name,” Boyle said in an interview with the Inquirer. “This is as clear-cut a case of ugly bigotry as I’ve ever seen. It’s just outrageous.”

 

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