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NEWS
June 15, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Before the Affordable Care Act, it wasn't unusual for people in the LGBT community to be locked out of health insurance. Insurers could legally deny coverage based on a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or pre-existing health condition. "It was everything from trans men and women being denied health coverage because their health history was confusing to a hospital or an insurance company, to young LGBT people not being able to afford coverage," said Brian Sims, a Pennsylvania state representative, lawyer, and LGBT civil rights activist.
NEWS
March 15, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
At an iconic Center City gay bar, mayoral candidate James F. Kenney greeted some of the leading LGBT advocates in the city, calling them his family and pledging to continue to protect their rights, in life and love, at a fund-raiser for his campaign. A drag queen manned the DJ station at Woody's, rainbow flags flew, and a slide show of Kenney through the years played on the TVs. Twenty years ago, such a campaign event likely would not have happened. Today, LGBT voters are seen as a key bloc of politically minded, progressive supporters who are expected to turn out - particularly this year, when two openly gay candidates are running for City Council.
NEWS
April 6, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
GEORGE WAS the first openly gay man I knew. But over the years, I often wondered if the George I knew as a kid was the same man others did, the ones at the other end of a morning cab ride he'd take from my aunt's neighborhood in the Bronx to his job - in banking, I think - somewhere in Manhattan. I'd watch him as he got into the cab, always in a suit, serious and reserved as he folded his huge frame into the back seat and told the driver where to go. At the end of the workday, another cab would drop him off and I'd watch again as he'd disappear into his apartment only to emerge shortly after in the outfit he favored in the summer: jean shorts, a colorful tank top, and chancletas - sandals that punctuated every step as he made his way to my aunt's apartment.
NEWS
June 16, 2016 | By Mike Newall, Columnist
ORLANDO - From the moment massacres like the one Sunday morning at Pulse occur, we try to decipher what lay in the heart of the murderers who commit them. We search for motive because motive helps fit these tragedies into categories. We think we can understand them if we can check the right box. Which particular warped worldview did our latest mass killer subscribe to? Sometimes it's clear. Most of the time it's not. Sometimes you get a case like this one, which lies at the very intersection of many of our country's darkest ills.
NEWS
April 3, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
District Attorney Seth Williams on Tuesday led the first of a series of forums to improve relations between law enforcement and the lesbian and gay community in Philadelphia. The focus of the forum, held at the District Attorney's Office, was safety and crime prevention, but it reflected a trend in law enforcement to better serve and be sensitive to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. The Police Department recently established a policy to be more respectful to people who are transgendered.
NEWS
October 3, 2014
I MAKE NO secret of the fact that I'm (an imperfect) Catholic. That makes for interesting conversations with strangers who know me only by what I've written, particularly former Catholics who still can't believe I go to Mass. So many of them wonder why I don't speak out against the horrible scourge of child abuse that became one of the preferred media obsessions over the past decade and a half. I understand why they ask, because to people whose only knowledge of the church was gleaned from the Baltimore Catechism back in the 1960s - before they abandoned the pews (and the Colts abandoned Baltimore)
NEWS
April 16, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mark Segal had been biting his nails, waiting for the call. Thursday morning, he was drinking a mug of sweet vanilla coffee in his den above the offices of the Philadelphia Gay News when the phone finally rang. His dream project, an affordable housing complex welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors, had won a competitive bid for an $11 million state tax credit. "I've been trying not to cry," Segal said Sunday, barely succeeding in holding back the kvell . For more than three years, the 61-year-old founder and publisher of PGN has been planning, lobbying, negotiating, collaborating, and cajoling every social-service agency, activist group, and political leader he knows to make Philadelphia one of the first cities in the nation to meet the needs of the aging LGBT community.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2015
Stephen Betts noticed the mailers and commercials aimed at the gay community becoming more frequent, especially in the last year. "Definitely, I'm seeing more targeted advertising for gay and lesbian couples in bigger company ads," said the Center City resident, who works for a law firm. "It feels like they are going after different family types. " With good reason. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the legality of same-sex marriages. Gays and lesbians have evolved into a formidable financial bloc and are wielding their purchasing power with renewed gusto, experts say. Their spending clout is estimated at $884 billion.
NEWS
February 2, 2012 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
With Center City's "Gayborhood" and such community institutions as the Giovanni's Room bookstore, Philadelphia Gay News and the Equality Forum that annually draws tens of thousands to issue-events affecting sexual minorities, some might feel crimes based on sexual orientation are part of the past. Helen "Nellie" Fitzpatrick says otherwise. "It hasn't been my whole lifetime that it's been OK to be gay," said Fitzpatrick, 31, a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office named last month as liaison to the city's LGBT - lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender - community.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 22, 2016
EACH WEEK I look forward to reading the Clout column in the Daily News. Imagine my disappointment, but not surprise, at a recent mention in that column regarding City Councilwoman Helen Gym's racially insulting and culturally insensitive Trump-like tweet regarding white male privilege directed at SRC committee member Bill Green, and I assume other white males in this city, as well. If this reporting is true, all I can say is what an incredibly petty, racially devisive remark from someone well-known for publicly shaming anyone and anything that dares to disagree with her and her cause du jour . The hypocricy of this person is embarassing on so many levels.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
Six out of 10 LGBT workers experience derogatory comments on their sexual orientation, and half of all transgender employees report being harassed at work - harassment that in some cases includes sexual or physical assault. Those statistics, cited in a 95-page federal report released Monday, follow this month's mass slayings in Orlando as the nation's attention is focused on the safety of the LGBT community. "There is no question that there is bias against the LGBT community in some workplaces," said Philadelphia lawyer Jonathan A. Segal.
NEWS
June 18, 2016
ISSUE | ORLANDO Hatred of gay people is all too real As a gay man now in my early 50s, I grew up in a time when gay people stayed deep in the closet, isolated and afraid; when images on film and television reflected a life filled with hopelessness and despair; when name-calling and physical threats and violence were as much a part of my everyday life as going to school (the two were often synonymous). In the decades since, thanks largely to President Obama and the strength and perseverance of the gay community, we have made significant gains in overturning discriminatory policies and achieving civil rights.
NEWS
June 17, 2016 | By Mari A. Schaefer and Janaki Chadha, STAFF WRITERS
In recent decades, the LGBT community has mobilized for the AIDS crisis, the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and same-sex marriage. In the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, some are now urging their gay and lesbian brethren to galvanize around the issue of gun violence. Others say they may support the cause, but must remain focused on equality battles still being waged. "Gun safety has not been a major issue for the LGBT community, but now it must be," wrote Eric Sasson, a columnist for the website The Daily Good . His article calls for action on both the national and grassroots levels targeting politicians, companies, investment funds and universities that support gun rights, as well as companies that manufacture weapons.
NEWS
June 17, 2016 | By Mike Newall, Columnist
In a strip mall in Kissimmee, a small city just south of Orlando that is home to a large Hispanic community, flowers and religious candles fill the sidewalk in front of Juan and Luis' beauty salon. "Juan and Luis, two humans of love. You will be in our hearts," reads one of the Magic Marker remembrances taped to the window. Shy Juan Rivera Velasquez, 37, who cut hair and met customers with a kiss and a hug. Outgoing Luis Daniel Conde, 39, who turned the techno up loud and moved to the music as he managed the shop.
NEWS
June 16, 2016 | By Mike Newall, Columnist
ORLANDO - From the moment massacres like the one Sunday morning at Pulse occur, we try to decipher what lay in the heart of the murderers who commit them. We search for motive because motive helps fit these tragedies into categories. We think we can understand them if we can check the right box. Which particular warped worldview did our latest mass killer subscribe to? Sometimes it's clear. Most of the time it's not. Sometimes you get a case like this one, which lies at the very intersection of many of our country's darkest ills.
NEWS
June 15, 2016 | By Robert Moran, STAFF WRITER
Addressing nearly 2,000 people at a City Hall vigil Monday evening for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Mayor Kenney urged against responding to hate with more hate. "The LGBT civil rights movement has always been about love, so now in this time of tragedy, we cannot react with hate nor malice towards other marginalized groups," Kenney said, apparently reading from prepared remarks. Then he went off script. "I just learned this afternoon that Akyra Murray was," he started, his halting voice cracking with emotion, "one of the people that we lost.
NEWS
June 14, 2016 | By Chris Palmer, STAFF WRITER
Leaders in Philadelphia's gay community were horrified and heartbroken Sunday by the pre-dawn shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 50 people and wounded 53 more, the worst mass shooting in American history. Through shock and anger, fears and resolve, they universally described the massacre as feeling personal and terrifying, like an attack on the entire LGBT community. "It's a reminder that as much progress as the gay community has made, there's still an incredible amount of pushback and hate in America," said Malcolm Lazin, founder of the Equality Forum, an LGBT civil rights group based in Philadelphia.
NEWS
June 5, 2016 | By Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer
Rachel Stevenson knew well that the encounter could have gone either way. A man had stopped her on the street. He wanted to know: Are you the one organizing an LGBT pride festival? Yes, she said. She thought of the fliers that disappear from her Phoenixville neighborhood every day. She waited. Then the man smiled. He was looking forward to going. After 11 years, Chester County once again will have its own celebration for members of the LGBT community. "They're excited to have something for them in the suburbs, as opposed to having to go into the city or Reading," said Stevenson, who last year founded LGBTea Dances , the nonprofit hosting Chester County Pride Weekend on Saturday and Sunday in the borough.
NEWS
April 23, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Staff Writer
Mayor Kenney has banned nonessential business travel by city employees to North Carolina and Mississippi after the states enacted controversial laws that critics say discriminate against LGBT people. "They're going to learn as a state that the powers of good and decency are well overpowering those of discrimination and hate," Kenney said Thursday. "And they're going to lose a lot of money as a result of making this stupid decision. " The mayor notified employees of the change in an email Wednesday, according to his spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt.
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