July 29, 2015 |
THE BOY SCOUTS of America last night moved to end a ban on gay leaders, with 79 percent of the Texas-based organization's executive board voting for the resolution. But some equal-rights activists weren't quite ready to rejoice. The resolution still allows religious charter organizations, which oversee 70 percent of local scouting programs, to make hiring decisions based on sexual orientation. Civic groups, such as rotary clubs and fire departments, can no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation.
July 24, 2015
D EAR ABBY: I never used to be a supporter of same-sex marriage. During the 2008 presidential elections, I posted my opinions about it on social media. Since then, I have changed my mind. The most significant reason is that I worked closely with a gay woman for four years. After I got to know her, her wife and two children, I realized that they are the same as any other happy family. I feel I may have offended some friends when I posted those views - specifically, my best friend from childhood, who has come out as gay. I'd like to send her a message letting her know that my opinion has changed and that I support her. Do you think I should reach out to her, or leave the past in the past?
July 18, 2015 |
Michael Griffin knows what Margie Winters is going through. He experienced the shock of being fired from a Catholic-school teaching job for wanting to marry his longtime partner, even though administrators knew he was gay. The aftermath is familiar: The outpouring of support from parents and students. The Facebook page dripping with indignation at what is seen as the hypocrisy of the school and the church. And finally, in Griffin's case, the rebuilding of his career as a Spanish and French teacher, along with his life with his husband, Vincent Giannetto, an elementary school teacher.
July 17, 2015 |
A private Catholic elementary school beset by controversy after firing a popular faculty member for being in a same-sex marriage is calling in help to deal with outraged parents. Nell Stetser, principal of Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion, wrote to parents and faculty Wednesday, acknowledging that the school's community "has been shaken" by the firing of Margie Winters, the school's director of religious education since 2007. "I understand that there are feelings of frustration, disappointment, betrayal, anger, and sorrow," wrote Stetser, who fired Winters on June 22 after she refused to resign.
July 15, 2015 |
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Monday that the Mercy Sisters who run Waldron Mercy Academy showed "character and common sense" in firing a lesbian teacher who has been married since 2007. In his first direct comment since the firing became public last week - after parents of two students found out about the marriage and complained - Chaput said in a statement, "Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief.
July 14, 2015 |
PARENTS AND alumni of Waldron Mercy Academy gathered once again to show support for Margie Winters - the faculty member ousted from the Catholic school because of her same-sex marriage - this time at a prayer service last night in Montgomery County. About 120 adults and children braved the humidity, nearly 90-degree temperatures and plenty of gnats to attend "A Prayer Service for Mercy and Healing" at General Wayne Park in Lower Merion. One of the vigil's organizers, alum Christine Gallagher, started off the service saying, "We gather as a community this evening to do what we have been taught to do in times of need: pray.
July 3, 2015 |
It was a polite protest, the women wearing dresses and heels, the men in dark suits and ties. But when John James stepped onto Independence Mall on that hot July Fourth in 1965, he had a lot to lose. Being identified as gay - much less taking part in a public protest - could bring jeers, insults, and punches. He could be fired from his job if people knew he was gay. Psychiatrists then classified homosexuality as a mental illness, one that demanded a cure - electric shock therapy, or even lobotomy.
June 29, 2015 |
WHEN I WAS 11, the Supreme Court legalized abortion. It jumped into the social battles that had been waging across the country at a slow boil, snatched a constitutional right from the penumbral shadows and gave dignity to the coat hanger. After all, it was this bloody symbol that had been raised to prove that women needed abortions, and when they couldn't get them they'd resort to fatal home remedies. And voila , the issue was finally laid to rest. Now let me dislodge my tongue from my cheek.
June 22, 2015 |
The U.S. Supreme Court has barely a week left to issue a ruling that could settle the same-sex marriage issue nationwide. But among legal scholars and the public, there's little debate about which way the court will go. "We don't need nine votes. I can count to five, and that's all we need to win," NYU Law professor Kenji Yoshino said at a forum in Center City this month. Yoshino predicted the four liberal justices and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, considered a swing vote, will declare same-sex marriage a constitutional right and overturn the 13 remaining state bans.
June 21, 2015 |
The Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council, which two years ago vacated its headquarters in Center City as part of a settlement of a dispute with the city over its policy toward gay people, announced Friday that it opposes discrimination based on sexual orientation. The policy change means gays can serve as scoutmasters, be scouts, or work for Cradle of Liberty, which represents 15,000 scouts in Delaware and Montgomery Counties and Philadelphia. Jim Papada, Cradle of Liberty board president, said in a statement that the move was "the right thing to do" and that the group valued diversity.