Civil Rights & Social Justice


Here’s where Pa. falls short on protecting our due process rights | Opinion

BY: - May 13, 2019

This week on the Capital-Star, we’re exploring the idea of due process and how it intersects with state government — from legislation to investigations of state lawmakers. Have a thought? Let us know at [email protected]. By Andy Hoover It’s accepted as conventional wisdom in civil liberties advocacy to avoid legal terms when communicating with people […]


This is how we unleash the power of Latinx leadership | Opinion

BY: - May 12, 2019

Diversity and inclusion go both ways. Institutions must provide us with the same access to opportunities, and we must be prepared to step up and take on those roles for the sake of our communities.

New Jersey recognizes secular wedding celebrants under state law. Is Pennsylvania next?

BY: - May 10, 2019

Commonwealth statute regarding who can officiate a wedding — and legally sign a marriage certificate — is narrow and at the same time confusing.


Ramadan 2019: Why it’s called Ramadan – six questions about the holiday answered | Opinion

BY: - May 8, 2019

There are many misunderstandings around Ramadan. A scholar explains the religious observance and its spiritual significance.


In Harrisburg, Breaking the Chainz is building a community | Anwar Curtis

BY: - May 7, 2019

Love your neighbor as yourself, and remember the right chain will never be broken. 


We have to challenge injustice and hatred when we see it, or risk a slow slide into genocide | Opinion

BY: - May 7, 2019

Holocaust deniers and eliminationist white nationalists mask themselves as patriots and defenders of freedom.

GOP-controlled state House panel advances Down syndrome abortion ban

BY: - May 6, 2019

The House Health Committee voted along party lines Monday to advance a controversial proposal to ban abortions after an in-utero Down syndrome diagnosis. The panel voted 15-9 to approve legislation, sponsored by Rep. Kate Klunk, R-York, that amends current state law to add a Down syndrome diagnosis to the list of conditions under which a […]

‘This is the best opportunity we’ve had’: Why advocates think this could be the year Pa. bans LGBTQ discrimination

BY: - May 5, 2019

Just five years ago, central Pennsylvania voters rejected an incumbent after he came out as gay. Former Rep. Mike Fleck, a Republican from Huntingdon County, lost a tight primary in 2014, two years after he first publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation. Since then, state lawmakers who remain have tried time and time again to ban […]


‘We cannot ignore the threads’ that connect acts of hate, Holocaust survivors, supporters say at Capitol ceremony

BY: - May 1, 2019

Wednesday's remembrance ceremony in the ornate reception room outside Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office in the Capitol was the 35th annual observance.

These two party bosses used to oppose open primaries. Now, they’re all in

BY: - May 1, 2019

Alan Novak spent eight years as the chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party, trying to secure votes for GOP candidates across the state. During that time, Novak said, his party “didn’t think much about independent” voters. And as a party boss, he didn’t think that voters should participate in primary elections unless they registered as Democrats […]

Good-government groups join forces to push open primaries to top of Pennsylvania’s reform agenda

BY: - April 30, 2019

Pennsylvania currently has closed primaries, meaning a registered voter can only help narrow a field of candidates in the spring if they belong to the same party.

Fetterman reports high support for cannabis legalization, decriminalization

BY: - April 30, 2019

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman told Democratic lawmakers on Monday that residents in 50 counties have shown strong support for legalizing recreational cannabis for adults. Appearing Monday before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Democratic Policy committees, Fetterman shared the preliminary findings from his statewide recreational marijuana listening tour, which began in January, and will […]