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NEWS
February 13, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
A New Jersey judge has ruled that describing homosexuality as a mental disorder in selling conversion therapy services violates the state's consumer-fraud protection laws. The ruling is the first time a judge in the United States has found that as a matter of law, homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexuality and not a disease or disorder, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a prominent civil rights group whose lawsuit spurred the judge's order. "It's a tremendous moment in American law," said David Dinielli, the center's deputy legal counsel.
NEWS
December 31, 2014
ISSUE | MEDICAL POT For the children The arbitrary classification of cannabis as a prohibited drug because it is habit-forming prevents children with ravaging diseases from pursuing the happiness promised by the nation's founders ("Desperate to get pot for ill kids," Dec 22). Isn't it more humane to exchange a child's suffering from dozens of seizures daily for a child almost seizure-free when the only price is having a marijuana habit? The public must demand the national legalization of medical marijuana.
NEWS
December 18, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
DEFENSE ATTORNEYS for three Bucks County young adults accused of assaulting two gay men in Center City in September argued in court yesterday that their clients either threw a punch, pointed fingers or exchanged heated words. All claimed that their clients had no part in leaving one of the victims with a broken jaw, two broken cheek bones and barely conscious following the Sept. 11 clash at 16th and Chancellor streets. Assistant District Attorney Michael Barry vigorously argued that the defendants - Kathryn Knott, 24; Philip Williams, 24; and Kevin Harrigan, 26 - pelted the couple with anti-gay slurs before participating in the beating, which made international headlines.
NEWS
December 18, 2014 | By Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia judge Tuesday ordered two men and a woman to stand trial on charges that they assaulted a gay couple in Center City in a case that stirred national attention. Philip Williams, 24, of Warminster; Kevin Harrigan, 26, of Warrington; and Kathryn Knott, 24, of Southampton, will face charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, and related offenses after a preliminary hearing before Municipal Court Judge Charles Hayden. According to testimony by Zachary Hesse, 28, one of the victims, the confrontation began around 10:45 p.m. Sept.
NEWS
November 23, 2014 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
A year ago this week, Methodist minister Frank Schaefer was defrocked for officiating at his oldest son Tim's same-sex wedding. Curio Theatre Company's The Matter of Frank Schaefer , a documentary theater-style look at the furor surrounding his trials, both literal and figurative, presents an imperfect, though compelling, account of a man asking "What would Jesus do?" Jesus, as we well know, put up with a whole lot of trouble for doing the right thing, and so did Schaefer. A choir director who resigned just before the story broke sent her son, Jon Boger, to investigate Schaefer's off-the-record activities and insinuate his involvement in some unseemly behavior with another congregant.
NEWS
October 23, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 20, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
An assembly of Roman Catholic bishops gathered to consider new ways their church might minister to families in the 21st century has backed away from the unprecedented message of welcome to homosexuals it had issued early last week. In the final report issued Saturday, the 183 bishops gathered in Rome discarded a statement from an interim document Monday that had declared that "homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. " Similarly, a section in Monday's document titled "Welcoming Homosexual Persons," was replaced in the final document with a title reading, "The Pastoral Care of Persons With Homosexual Orientation.
NEWS
October 17, 2014
A DRAMATIC evolution has occurred on the issue of gay marriage, both at the Supreme Court and among the public. Some opponents of the court's decision last week not to uphold state bans on gay marriage are calling it a disaster, even comparing it to the pro-slavery Dred Scott decision of 1857. In fact, it is the opposite. Gay marriage means more freedom for individuals and less intrusion of government into the home. As a nation, we are simply applying our fundamental American principles of liberty to the present day. We should be skeptical and cautious of judicial activism, but the Dred Scott decision - which held that a slave was property and not an American with rights - is an example of the court trying to artificially freeze the social and moral development of the nation.
NEWS
October 11, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
In May 2003, Melina Mazza Waldo went to Washington to lobby Congress as a member of the Philadelphia chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). "I had an encounter on Capitol Hill with a clergyman, who loudly interrupted me and pushed me as I was being interviewed by a reporter," she later wrote in The Inquirer. She said her son, Craig, told her at the time: " 'You're their worst nightmare, Mom!' He explained that the last thing the far right wants people to see is a mother speaking up for her gay child.
NEWS
October 10, 2014 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
IF POLITICS MAKES strange bedfellows, among the strangest may have been made by the 1980s U.K. politics of Margaret Thatcher, as we see in "Pride. " Some of the bedfellows, if fact, would prefer that we use a term other than bedfellows. They would be striking coal miners in Wales, who for a time found common cause with gay activists - Thatcher's rhetoric targeted both camps, as did police harassment. "Pride" is essentially a comedy, but it makes homophobia a pronounced theme - the culturally conservative miners, we see, are slow to warm to the idea of solidarity with gay activists (some never do)
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