Philadelphia Lawyer Henry M. Sias to Receive PBA LGBTQ+ Public Policy Award

HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 22, 2024) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) LGBTQ+ Rights Committee will present its 2024 David M. Rosenblum LGBTQ+ Public Policy Award to Philadelphia lawyer Henry M. Sias at an awards ceremony during the PBA Annual Meeting on May 9 in Hershey.

The Rosenblum award honors individuals who have had a positive impact for the LGBTQ+ community and who have used their leadership position to inspire others to promote civil rights and equality. Rosenblum was an active member of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee who passed away suddenly in 2014. He was instrumental in creating the report, “How Marriage Counts: 572 Ways Marriage Counts in Pennsylvania,” a joint publication of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee, the Mazzoni Center and Dechert LLP.

A Philadelphia civil rights lawyer for more than a decade, Sias recently served as executive director of Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Advisory Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. In his role, he advised the governor’s office on an executive order providing workplace protections against sexual harassment and misconduct for state employees, ensuring protections covered LGBTQ workers. Sias served as of counsel for Triquetra Law, Lancaster, where he litigated cases involving the protection of the civil rights of individual clients, including members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Sias is a co-founder of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, a nonprofit organization that provides expungements and pardons for individuals with criminal records. He has volunteered as a pro bono lawyer for the Mazzoni Center, which provides health services and legal advocacy for members of the LGBTQ+ community; and volunteers for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, which helps LGBTQ+ lawyers navigate transition, prejudice, mental health and addiction issues. His pro bono work began in law school when he assisted professors with a brief in the landmark 2003 Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas. Throughout his career, Sias has defended the LGBTQ+ community in various causes, including workplace discrimination, bullying in schools, and expanding freedom and security. He also serves on the board of Disability Rights Pennsylvania, which protects and advocates for rights of people with disabilities so they can live the lives they choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination and segregation. He currently works in the chambers of Justice Daniel D. McCaffery of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

A former diversity liaison for the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee, Sias is also a member of the PBA Civil and Equal Rights, Disability Services, Federal Practice, Judicial Administration, Membership Development and Minority Bar committees and the Commission on Women in the Profession.

Sias earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School and his bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University.