October 23, 2014 |
Philadelphia could soon have laws that define attacks on gay and disabled people as hate crimes, ban the sale and possession of realistic-looking toy guns, and increase the penalties for selling BB guns to minors. Following a nearly three-hour meeting, City Council's Committee on Public Safety approved three bills and sent them for a vote to the full Council. The hate-crime addition to the City Code, triggered by the Sept. 11 assault on a gay couple in Center City, is expected to be approved by Council, and Mayor Nutter has been sympathetic to issues concerning the LGBT community in the past.
October 22, 2014 |
Philadelphia City Council's Committee on Public Safety will decide Tuesday whether to move forward with a bill that would make assaults on gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered people a hate crime. The legislation, triggered by the Sept. 11 assault on a gay couple in Center City, would add a hate crime chapter to the city code. The code currently regulates ethnic intimidation and institutional vandalism. Several people are expected to testify in support of the bill, including police and advocates.
October 8, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Spurred by the attack on a gay couple last month in Philadelphia, legislation to broaden Pennsylvania's hate crimes law to include sexual orientation took a first step toward becoming law. The House Judiciary Committee, acting with unusual speed, approved the bill Monday by a vote of 19-4, sending it to the House floor with just five days left in the legislative session. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (D., Phila.), urged GOP leaders to bring up the bill for a vote before the session ends next week.
October 3, 2014 |
THE ATTACK on a gay couple in Center City last month spurred the House Democratic Policy Committee to change topics before a hearing at the Kimmel Center yesterday afternoon. "This was originally scheduled to be about nondiscrimination in sports," said state Rep. Brian Sims, D - Phila., whose district encompasses the site of the alleged assault, at 16th and Chancellor streets on Sept. 11. "But when the hate crime happened, we switched it over so we could make it about hate crimes in general," he said.
September 27, 2014 |
More than 300 people gathered at LOVE Park on Thursday to call for an expansion of the state's hate-crimes law to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation. The rally, spurred by the Sept. 11 assault of a gay couple near Rittenhouse Square, drew a slew of local and state leaders, who expressed sympathy for the victims and stressed the need to expand current legislation. State Rep. Brian Sims (D., Phila.) organized the rally. Speakers also drew attention to issues in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including violence against transgender individuals and bullying in schools.
September 27, 2014 |
In 1900, Philadelphia businessman Cornelius Weygandt confided in his diary his fear that a scandal could be brewing: The family's seamstress was pregnant, and she claimed the oldest Weygandt son, who recently married someone else, was the baby's father. What could this servant's "malignancy" do to this respected family? This historic account serves as the basis for Diary of a Murder , an interactive performance at Germantown's Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion. While in real life the servant was simply sent away and scandal was averted, the theatrical version features a death, a slew of suspects, and a killer at large.
September 26, 2014 |
FOLLOWING THE pummeling of a gay couple in Rittenhouse Square two weeks ago, City Council is stepping up its efforts to stop hate-fueled attacks on members of the LGBT community. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and Councilman Jim Kenney today will introduce a bill that they say will close a gaping loophole in the Philadelphia Code. The bill would add a new chapter to the city code, providing stricter penalties for hate crimes fueled by racism and bigotry and that target members of the LGBT community.
September 25, 2014
COUNCILMAN Kenney wants those charged in the Center City beating charged federally with a hate crime. While I believe they should be, if in fact that's why they beat those guys. You have to follow the laws on the books. But if he in fact wants to charge someone with a hate crime, how about all those black thugs who assault old white people playing the knockout game? You don't have the guts, Mr. Kenney, because it's not politically correct. Steven J. Donegan Essington, Pa. The recent attack on the gay couple in Center City shows how the police allow one group of white perpetrators to turn themselves in, but if the accused were black the police would be picking up van loads of black youth in Center City.
September 23, 2014
OVER THE PAST 15 years in the U.S. Congress, I have been representing the citizens of the city of Philadelphia with pride and honor. I have been fortunate to see how our city has grown to respect and promote diversity. The LGBT community in our city has worked hard and been very lucky to have some great political leaders to ensure their acceptance and a place at the table. This recent gay bashing in downtown Philadelphia, in what I consider to be a hate crime, has no place in our fine City of Brotherly Love.
September 22, 2014 |
MORE THAN a week later, the story of two gay men savagely beaten in Center City continues to spread. Yesterday, as police sources said detectives were nearing the end of their investigation, word reached Harrisburg, where state legislators are calling their colleagues to action. "The gay guy in me and the Philly guy in me are pissed," said state Rep. Brian Sims, "but I'm a legislator, and my job is to change policy. "If we can do anything to draw enough attention to this to give the hate-crime bill some buoyancy, we need to do it. " Sims, a Democrat whose district includes the site of the attack, is organizing a rally Thursday in LOVE Park, at which officials and members of the city's LGBT community will push for change in Pennsylvania's hate-crime law. He's joined in his efforts by state Sen. Larry Farnese - a Democrat whose district serves parts of North Philly, Center City and South Philly - who will hold a news conference inside the Capitol on Tuesday.