A Bethlehem political activist for gay rights has announced he will step down from his post as president and board member of Equality Pennsylvania at the organization’s quarterly board meeting in November.
Adrian Shanker, who was elected president of Equality PA by the organization’s board in 2011, helped lead the way toward getting Bethlehem’s non-discrimination ordinance adopted that year. He also led lobbying efforts to get same-sex partner benefits for city employees in Allentown and Easton.
"I am very proud of the work we have accomplished during my tenure,” Shanker said. “We have doubled our operating budget and staffing levels and public opinion in Pennsylvania for LGBT equality is at an all-time high.
“We are on the verge of equality, and I am proud to have been a part of this organization at such a crucial time in history,"
Shanker was involved in Philadelphia's passage of the Equal Benefits Bill in 2011 and the landmark LGBT Equality Bill in 2013. He was a leader in efforts to convince U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-17, to endorse marriage equality.
He served on the Transition Team for Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, where he provided policy recommendations regarding non-discrimination and supplier diversity.
Shanker was an alternate delegate for Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and was one of six LGBT speakers at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington: The National Action to Realize the Dream.
Shanker and Executive Director, Ted Martin, were named 'Persons of the Year' in 2012 by the Philadelphia Gay News for their work expanding equality at the municipal level throughout Pennsylvania.
With 60,000 members across the commonwealth, Equality Pennsylvania is the leading organization advancing equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Pennsylvanians.