Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman

Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and his wife Gisele Barreto Fetterman appear Sunday at a Washington Pride picnic.

John Fetterman has likely visited Washington more times than any Pennsylvania lieutenant governor before him.

Fetterman made many trips to the city after making a deathbed promise to the mother of his “Little Brother” that he would see to the boy’s education before she died of AIDs.

The Puerto Rican-American boy whose father also died from AIDs was 8 years old at the time, and with Fetterman’s help, he would go on to graduate in 2009 from Washington & Jefferson College.

Today, Nicky Santana works for a nonprofit in Connecticut helping offenders re-enter society, Fetterman said Sunday when he and his wife, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, stopped by Washington Park for a Washington Pride committee picnic.

Fetterman also visited Washington in February 2019 for a town hall meeting on legalizing recreational-use marijuana in Pennsylvania.

“Gisele and I are thrilled to be here,” he said Sunday at the picnic in the park’s Stone Pavilion.

He said he tries to attend every Pride event in the state “because we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.”

He said the community does not have equal protection in Pennsylvania “and I don’t understand why.”

Picnic organizer Kathy Cameron said Fetterman is a big supporter of Pride, that “He’s for real.”

“It’s very affirming for the work we do in this community,” Cameron said of his stopping by the event.

Fetterman said he will fly the Pride flag again from the balcony at his office in the state Capitol when he returns Tuesday to Harrisburg.

“I hope they don’t confiscate it,” he said.

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

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