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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.
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
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
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 15, 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.
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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NEWS
September 12, 2016 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Staff Writer
Anneesah Smith stepped onto the stage of the African American Museum in Philadelphia on Saturday as the role model she never had. The college administrator grew up in Germantown with no one in her community to show her how to navigate the world as a gay African American Christian. So Smith, who came out when she was 25, pledged to be that example for other young women. She does it daily as the LGBTQA services coordinator at West Chester University, and she did it this weekend as cochair of the Creating Change conference, the national convention of the National LGBTQ Task Force, which will meet Jan. 18 to 22 in Philadelphia.
NEWS
July 28, 2016 | BY JOSEPH JAAFARI, STAFF WRITER
Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank gave a scathing speech at the Democratic National Convention's LGBT Caucus Tuesday afternoon, aimed at "Bernie or Bust"-ers who vowed to not vote for Hillary Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee. Frank, who was one of the first openly gay persons to be voted into Congress, said he believed it was his and other Democrats' "special mission" to convince Sanders supporters to vote for Clinton, adding that Sanders loyalists were willing to do harm to the LGBT community for their own "superior moral political position.
NEWS
June 26, 2016 | By Joseph Jaafari, STAFF WRITER
When Officer Jo Mason and his fellow LGBTQ cops marched down Market Street during Philly's Gay Pride Parade on June 12, they were cheered by thousands of parade-goers and offered high-fives by people lining the sidewalks. The officers felt vindicated, especially because just a few weeks before they were told they weren't welcome to lead the parade. But the admiration, as welcome as it was, grew out of tragedy: the mass shooting that left 49 dead and 53 wounded at a gay club in Orlando.
NEWS
June 25, 2016
By Taylor Hosking As members of Galaei approached the microphone at Philadelphia's City Hall vigil for Orlando, they asked Latino members of the audience to step toward the front and for non-Latinos to make room. Hesitant at first, the crowd started moving. Speaker Nikki Lopez read a passage by Latina scholar Gloria AnzaldĂșa's "To Live in the Border Lands" connecting queerness to Hispanic heritage. She introduced the passage, using the gender-neutral term Latinx , saying, "oftentimes, because so many of our lives are erased as queer Latinx people, we forget the legacies of those who have fought before us. Queer Latinx people live on the borderlands of many different identities.
NEWS
June 24, 2016 | By Colt Shaw, Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - After years of inaction, an effort to put antidiscrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender residents into state law got its first legislative vote Wednesday. The Senate Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved a bill that would prohibit discrimination in housing or employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The measure, which now moves to the full Senate for a vote, includes religious exemptions for houses of worship and faith-based schools.
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 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.
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