May 2, 2013 |
After previously being denied U.S. State Department clearance to travel from New York City to Philadelphia, Fidel Castro's niece Mariela Castro will come to town for the Equality Forum summit to address issues surrounding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Cuba. The State Department initially balked at allowing Mariela Castro, in New York attending meetings at the United Nations, to travel to the summit, at which a panel will focus on Cuba. In a statement, Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum, expressed delight that the State Department "has affirmed democratic values by authorizing Mariela Castro to speak.
May 1, 2013 |
THE DAUGHTER OF Cuban President Raul Castro will be allowed to travel to Philadelphia to accept an award for her gay-rights advocacy, officials said yesterday, reversing a previous decision to reject her visa request. Mariela Castro will attend the Equality Forum's annual conference on civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to Malcolm Lazin, the advocacy group's executive director. Lazin, who had blasted the State Department's travel denial last week, said organizers are "delighted" at the change of heart.
April 30, 2013
BEING GAY used to be a hush-hush thing. Meeting someone at a gay bar one night, you might not speak if you happened to see one another on the street the next day, for fear of being outed. That's the way it was when the Equality Forum began in Philadelphia as PrideFest, back in 1993. Fast-forward to the 21st annual forum, which will be held Thursday through Sunday, and it's safe to say that the forum has come of age right along with the gay-rights movement. At those early PrideFest gatherings, the biggest issues on the Philadelphia-based gay-advocacy mission's radar were workplace and housing discrimination, along with AIDS research.
April 27, 2013 |
Philadelphia City Council passed a pioneering equal-rights bill Thursday offering tax incentives to businesses that expand health coverage for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees - a measure hailed as the first of its kind in the nation. The bill extends rights to "life partners" throughout the city code in a wide range of matters, such as medical decision-making; provides gender neutrality on certain city forms; and requires health insurance offered to city employees to cover the needs of transgender individuals, including sex-change surgeries.
April 26, 2013 |
This story has been updated. IN A MOVE that the LGBT community called "historic," City Council approved a bill yesterday that would require the city's health plan to pay for transgender city workers to complete "gender-confirmation surgery. " The bill also would require newly constructed or renovated city-owned buildings to have gender-neutral bathrooms. "We're continuing on the American road to full equality and civil rights for all of our citizens," said Councilman Jim Kenney, who sponsored the bill at the request of the LGBT community.
March 26, 2013 |
Take five or 10 minutes, the professor said, and write down things that you love, like, need, or enjoy. Now pair up with someone you don't know and spend 20 minutes introducing yourself. Talk about whatever you want. But don't mention anything that you wrote down. Try going on for a half-hour without a word about the most important things in life. Imagine a full day. "It might be difficult," said instructor Robin Brennan. "That's what this course is about. That is just a glimpse of what it is like for somebody who is LGBT" - lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
February 1, 2013
PERHAPS IT'S not a done deal. There's still a chance - a slim one - that the Boy Scouts will straighten their spines and stare the bullies down. They've done it before, when Philadelphia tried to evict them from their stone palace on the Parkway. I was so proud - yes, pride is the operative word - when the Scouts refused to let some prominent members of the LGBT community shame them into surrendering their constitutional rights to assembly and expression. For once, the tidal wave of manufactured tolerance had been held back by a principled few. But now it seems that the fight may have gone out of them.
November 11, 2012 |
For Donald Carter, the groundbreaking of an LGBT-friendly senior housing facility meant more than just the creation of a facility. It was the culmination of more than 40 years of activism. "I started this experience as an outlaw, a social outlaw, a sexual outlaw," said Carter, a gay African American who began demonstrating in the 1960s for rights for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Now 62, Carter was in attendance as city, state, and federal officials broke ground Friday for the first LGBT-friendly senior housing facility in the nation, the John C. Anderson Apartments on the 200 block of South 13th Street.
August 31, 2012 |
Sundance, Rehoboth Beach-style, started out as a pool party to celebrate the dating anniversary of couple Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald - until they asked guests to bring a splash of money for HIV/AIDS health and social-service groups. The annual night of celebration turned so big and bawdy, with bids and boogying, that the organizers needed two nights to accommodate it. Twenty-five years later, Sundance is still alive and raising money, though now it's for CAMP Rehoboth, the gay and lesbian community-service nonprofit that Archibald and Elkins began.
August 9, 2012
Dom Giordano's op-ed regarding Chick-fil-A on Aug. 7 left me confused, since he usually takes a pragmatic view. This time he goes out of his way to misstate facts, leave out facts he's aware of and continue a personal political vendetta, not to mention his grandstanding on an issue that no one else in Philadelphia did, including members of the LGBT community. Only Dom Giordano. First, all sensible people support freedom of speech, even speech that is offensive to us. It's in the Constitution.