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Gay Rights

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NEWS
May 29, 2011 | By David Crary, Associated Press
CAIRO - While many of their compatriots savor a new political era, gays in Egypt and Tunisia aren't sharing the joy, according to activists who wonder whether the two revolutions could make things worse for an already marginalized community. In both countries, gays and their allies worry that conservative Islamists, whose credo includes firm condemnation of homosexuality, could increase their influence in elections later this year. "Our struggle goes on - it gets more and more difficult," Tunisian gay-rights and HIV/AIDS activist Hassen Hanini wrote to the Associated Press in an e-mail.
NEWS
January 11, 2013 | THE WASHINGTON POST
ONE DAY in April 1972, Jeanne Manford received a call from the hospital. Her 21-year-old son, Morty, had been beaten at a Hilton Hotel in New York City. Witnesses later testified that his alleged attacker punched, stomped and kicked him as he lay on an escalator. Morty Manford was gay. He had gone to the Hilton with other activists to storm a glitzy banquet attended by public officials and reporters in protest against what he viewed as the rampant bigotry and wanton neglect of gay rights.
NEWS
April 22, 2003 | By Chris Mondics INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Outraged gay-rights groups yesterday called on Senate Republicans to consider removing Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) from his leadership post after comments in which he compared gay sex to incest. The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay advocacy group, and several Pennsylvania-based gay-rights organizations said Santorum's remarks, concerning a challenge to a Texas sodomy law under review by the Supreme Court, were an affront to millions of Americans. "It is stunning, stunning in its insensitivity," said David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign.
NEWS
June 4, 2007 | By Henry J. Holcomb INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A university class from the Midwest passed through Philadelphia yesterday on a two-week tour of historic sites in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equal-rights movement. When their red-and-white bus, adorned with the University of Wisconsin badger mascot, pulled up in front of Independence Hall, Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, had a surprise for them. He passed out hand-drawn picket signs, and asked the class to reenact the nation's first gay-rights protest, which was staged on that site in 1965.
NEWS
July 18, 2010
Polanski attends Swiss jazz festival MONTREUX, Switzerland - Roman Polanski has made his first public appearance since being released from house arrest last week, attending the Montreux Jazz Festival on Saturday to watch his wife perform on stage. The 76-year-old film director arrived at the Lake Geneva festival Saturday evening in an SUV with tinted windows. Security personnel protected him from a crush of photographers. Polanski's wife, the actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner, performed shortly after his arrival.
NEWS
January 22, 2012 | By Joelle Farrell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Legalizing same-sex marriage is the first priority for legislative leaders in Trenton this session, which they made clear by numbering the bill "1" in both the Assembly and the Senate. A majority of New Jersey residents support gay marriage, but residents are far more concerned about the sluggish economy and unemployment, polls show. So why is the Democratic-led Legislature pushing the issue now, when Republican Gov. Christie has said he opposes same-sex marriage and could veto the bill?
NEWS
January 25, 2006 | By ROTAN LEE
ALMOST TWO years ago, the Massachusetts Supreme Court cleared the way for lesbian and gay couples in the state to marry, ruling that no constitutionally adequate reason denied them that right. The decision drew considerable public criticism. Accepting same-sex marriage is a test of America's guarantees of justice and equality. Notwithstanding affirmative action and abortion, the leading edge of civil-rights law involves gays and lesbians. As with abortion, privacy rights underpin the acceptance of homosexuality.
NEWS
March 31, 1986
Do adults have the legal right in this country to engage in private, consensual sex? Do the states have the right to police bedrooms and arrest individuals for sexual infractions? Is there one legal standard of privacy for heterosexuals and another for homosexuals? Today the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments in a case that should provide the answers - answers that clearly should be yes to the first and no to the latter two. The case, Bowers vs. Hardwick, originated in Georgia when an Atlanta police officer, serving an unrelated warrant (which, the officer was unaware, was obsolete)
NEWS
May 22, 1996
The U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling striking down Colorado's anti-gay-rights Amendment 2 isn't that big a deal - although a ruling to the contrary would have been. In upholding the Colorado Supreme Court, the high court majority basically decided that you can't be kept from going to court to try to protect your rights just because you belong to a certain group of human beings. That's not a sure shield against discrimination on sexual orientation. Amendment 2, which was enacted by ballot initiative, repealed state and local laws in Colorado barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
NEWS
October 30, 1998 | By David Boldt
A headline in the recent profile of Bill Devlin in the Philadelphia Gay News caught the nature of his bipolar approach neatly: "Christian fights gay rights with lawsuit and love," it said. The article summarized Devlin's leadership of the campaign against the domestic partners ordinance passed by City Council, including his lawsuit challenging it. It recounted his belief that homosexuality is unnatural and that the domestic partners legislation dilutes the meaning of marriage. And it told of his willingness to talk about the matter with gays, sometimes over dinner in his home (or theirs)
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NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond and Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writers
Gay-rights advocates in Pennsylvania and throughout the country say they are encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to take on five pending same-sex marriage appeals. The denial effectively legalized same-sex marriage in five states - Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin - and cleared the way for legalization in six others. Some advocates in the Philadelphia area viewed the court's action as a sign that nationwide legalization is just a matter of time.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2014 | By Sally Friedman, For The Inquirer
On the day Mark Segal saw the house in Society Hill, he knew instantly that he would buy it - and did, that very day. Few real estate deals happen that way, but this was back in 1994, and Segal, founder and publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and a national leader in the gay rights/LGBT movement, had a life filled with drama and constant challenge. Segal admittedly needed a sanctuary, and he instantly found it in the 1970s, three-story house with a contemporary look and feel. "Every time I walk into the den, I feel myself decompressing," said Segal, who shares the house with his husband, Jason Villemez.
NEWS
January 6, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST PHILA. A drama that drew the attention of the international United Methodist Church - a Lebanon, Pa., pastor who was defrocked after officiating at his gay son's wedding - could soon be told on a Philadelphia stage. West Philadelphia's Curio Theatre Company is writing a play about Frank Schaefer's church trial. Producers say it will give a neutral take on a case that highlights the divide over homosexual rights within the United Methodist Church. "It's a story that needs to be heard and should be out there," said the theater's managing director, Gay Carducci-Kuhn.
NEWS
December 21, 2013 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Rev. Frank Schaefer was defrocked Thursday for refusing to abide by the United Methodist Church's policies on homosexuality, writing another chapter in a case that stirred a wider call for social change when he was put on trial for officiating at his son's gay wedding. Schaefer, of Lebanon, Pa., had hoped that the church's Board of Ordained Ministers would allow him to keep his credentials, effectively letting him stand as a voice for gay rights in a church deeply divided over its ban on same-sex weddings and gay clergy.
NEWS
December 20, 2013 | By Amy Worden and Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Within hours of word that Gov. Corbett would throw his weight behind a gay rights bill, reaction came swiftly, and battle lines on the left and the right were drawn again. Democrats welcomed news that Corbett - who had previously staked a position as a social conservative - would support a bill to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, while some conservatives assailed him for selling out on Republican principles. And others on both sides of the issue attributed the governor's abrupt pivot to politics and as a way to salvage his historically low approval ratings.
NEWS
November 23, 2013 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
United Methodist Bishop Peggy Johnson said Thursday that she wanted to avoid putting the Rev. Frank Schaefer on trial for presiding over his gay son's wedding, but that her hands were tied by the Methodist Book of Discipline. "I tried very, very, very hard to avoid this trial. I used all of the means I had to try to solve this," she said. "I did not prevail. " Her comments, made outside the Norristown office of the church's Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, came as the bishop was presented with a petition signed by more than 25,000 people encouraging her to stop holding church trials.
NEWS
November 9, 2013 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Thursday joined nine other Republicans in a bipartisan vote hailed as a historic victory for gay rights, helping the Senate pass a bill barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a priority for gay-rights advocates since its introduction in 1994, cleared the Senate on a 64-32 vote, the lopsided result illustrating the sea change in the politics around issues concerning gays, lesbians, and transgender people.
NEWS
October 24, 2013 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Another day, another map in which Pennsylvania sits within the Northeast as an emphatic rectangle of red surrounded by a sea of regional blue. The issue is same-sex marriage, but it hardly matters, nor does the hue, olive, brown, whatever. In the Northeast, Pennsylvania is the state of a different color, consistently and almost exclusively apart on vital issues: gay rights, access to reproductive health, Medicaid expansion, voter ID. The message tends to be anywhere but here. Looking at those maps, I am reminded of that great Sesame Street ditty: "One of these things is not like the others.
NEWS
August 12, 2013 | By Amy Worden and Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania received three reminders last week of how far the state has moved toward changing its laws on gay rights and same-sex marriage - and of how strong opposition to such change remains. The tension between those poles in state politics played out at Montgomery County's offices, where the 103d marriage license to a same-sex couple was issued Friday, and in the Capitol, where, even as some legislators called for outlawing antigay bias in the workplace, a central Pennsylvania lawmaker laid out his case in strong language for preserving the ban on gay marriage.
NEWS
August 1, 2013
WE THOUGHT it would be difficult for Pennsylvania - the least progressive state in the region, and one of the least in the union on gay rights - to look much worse. But this week, we managed to sink even lower. This week, Pennsylvania became less progressive on gay rights than the pope . The Catholic Church, of course, is not exactly renowned for its tolerance toward the LGBT community. The previous pope, Benedict XVI, approved an order calling homosexual acts "grave sins" that are "intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. " Earlier this week, Pope Francis struck a much different tone, saying, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"
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