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.
June 17, 2015
D EAR ABBY: I'm a 28-year-old gay man who recently graduated with a liberal-arts degree. I always have struggled to support myself. I'm often discouraged because of professional and personal mistakes, which leads me to be pessimistic about my future. I want to date. I know love isn't going to be the save-all, but it would be nice to hang out with someone from time to time. My problem is, in the past men have been critical of my lack of success. They are often unimpressed with me. Successful men won't date me. Yet I feel intellectually incompatible with the blue-collar guys I've been with.
June 16, 2015 |
Beverly Jordan, 70, vividly remembers how upset she was about the murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in 1998, one of the most notorious hate crimes against gays in American history. "Any kind of injustice, I have to fight," the West Philadelphia resident said Sunday. Jordan helped hold a banner for PFLAG Philadelphia at Philadelphia's 27th PrideDay LGBT Parade & Festival. It was her second year attending the event, as an ally and friend of LGBT people. An uncontainable energy swelled around the parade's starting location at 13th and Locust Streets in an area of the city known as "the Gayborhood.
May 22, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIANS are very protective of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. More so than any other city in America, including LGBT-friendly San Francisco and New York City, according to the Human Rights Campaign. For two years in a row, the national civil-rights group ranked Philadelphia No. 1 for its commitment to LGBT equality. And yet, voters here have never elected an openly gay candidate to City Council. Tuesday's primary election was supposed to be a watershed moment - or so LGBT leaders and supporters had hoped.
May 4, 2015 |
The former Lebanon, Pa., Methodist minister who was defrocked for officiating at his gay son's wedding and later reinstated says the issue does not seem as contentious in Pennsylvania now that gay marriage is legal in the state. Frank Schaefer, who became a national symbol for church reform on the issue, returned to the state Saturday to host an inclusivity conference at a Montgomery County church. "When the legislation changes, it changes people and attitudes," Schaefer said. He said that since gay marriage became legal in Pennsylvania, he had not seen protests when he speaks here, as he had in the past.
April 24, 2015 |
Q:I've always allowed my kids' friends to stay over. That's just the way I was raised. My parents let me and my sisters have sleepovers for our birthdays. My middle daughter, who is 17, came out to us late last year. We are close, but I wasn't expecting this. Her dad and I told her we still loved her and accepted her. But here's why I'm writing. She wants her girlfriend, who's a college freshman, to stay over after her prom because they plan on going to the beach the next day. It will save her a trip.