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Lgbt Community

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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
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)
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 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.
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.
NEWS
October 23, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
RUTH WOODS is always polite, but increasingly I've picked up a tinge of dread in her voice when I call. Hi, Ruth. Hiii , Helen. Woods knows why I'm calling. It's the same reason I've called on and off for two years: Diamond Williams, the transgender woman she insists on referring to as her grandson, Mark Woods. By many accounts Williams did not have an easy life. By all accounts, her last few hours on Earth were hell. Williams, 31, was killed in July 2013 by a john who used a hatchet and screwdriver to dismember her and then dumped her remains in a vacant lot in North Philadelphia.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 4, 2016 | By Rob Tornoe, Staff Writer
A Mummers brigade that itself stirred criticism for a New Year's Day act that made fun of transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner apologized Saturday for one of its members, who was caught on video yelling a profane slur about homosexuals. "I find myself, as do many many members of Finnegan NYB, wholeheartedly apologizing for the abrasive, gross, and disturbing action of one of our members who, unfortunately, took it upon himself to embarrass us all with his conduct," Finnegan NYB captain Michael J. Inemer Sr. told Philly.com in an email.
NEWS
November 5, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia voters approved two changes to the City Charter on Tuesday, making a permanent city post to advocate for LGBT issues, and reorganizing the departments that handle planning and development. The Mayor's Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs has been a temporary city office since Mayor Nutter created it by executive order in 2008. The ballot question, introduced as legislation by City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, will make that office permanent. "Like the voters' decision last spring to make the Office of Sustainability a permanent part of our government, I am excited that voters today have decided to make permanent the Office of LGBT Affairs," Nutter said in a statement.
NEWS
October 28, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two changes to the city's Home Rule Charter approved this year by City Council and Mayor Nutter will be put before Philadelphia voters on Tuesday. One would make the mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs a permanent fixture; the other would create a cabinet-level Department of Planning and Development to oversee functions now handled by a host of bodies. Voters will also be asked whether the city should borrow $155.9 million to cover capital expenses. LGBT Affairs. The Mayor's Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, created by a Nutter executive order in 2008, would become a permanent city office if this ballot question passes.
NEWS
October 23, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
RUTH WOODS is always polite, but increasingly I've picked up a tinge of dread in her voice when I call. Hi, Ruth. Hiii , Helen. Woods knows why I'm calling. It's the same reason I've called on and off for two years: Diamond Williams, the transgender woman she insists on referring to as her grandson, Mark Woods. By many accounts Williams did not have an easy life. By all accounts, her last few hours on Earth were hell. Williams, 31, was killed in July 2013 by a john who used a hatchet and screwdriver to dismember her and then dumped her remains in a vacant lot in North Philadelphia.
NEWS
October 13, 2015 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
By the time he stood on Locust Street drinking a beer Sunday afternoon, Michael Kammerer had already had a busy weekend celebrating gay rights. Saturday night he attended a gay wedding – something he used to doubt he would ever have the chance to witness. And Sunday morning he sang with the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus at City Hall for a flag-raising ceremony. "We've had a lot of progress," said Kammerer, 31, of Northeast Philadelphia. He was one of thousands who filled 10 square blocks of Center City on Sunday for OutFest, a joyous celebration for Philadelphia's LGBT community.
NEWS
September 23, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THE NEWS, once received, prompted former Waldron Mercy Academy educator Margie Winters to scream. She told the Daily News that she "screamed with joy"when an official with the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign informed her yesterday afternoon that she and her wife would be guests at tomorrow's White House welcoming ceremony for Pope Francis when he arrives in Washington, D.C. "We're absolutely elated [and] overjoyed," her wife, Andrea Vettori, said last night. "You can't put into words something like that.
NEWS
September 21, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter, if given the chance, plans to speak with Pope Francis during the papal visit to Philadelphia about barriers faced by the LGBT community in the United States and to ask the pope to "end judgment" of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Catholics. In a statement Friday, Nutter's office summarized the message he hopes to deliver to the pope. The comments, addressed to "Your Holiness," touch on a range of concerns in the LGBT community including alienation from the church, discrimination in housing and employment, and isolation of youth leading to depression and suicide.
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
August 26, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
WHEN GALAEI decided to move from Center City to North Philadelphia in April, the queer Latino social-justice organization was eager to be part of the community. Ideally, their new neighbors would feel comfortable dropping by the home on 149 W. Susquehanna Ave. for a chat and a tour of the old house with tons of character. In the process, they'd get to know the staff, and learn more about the services the 26-year-old nonprofit organization offers the LGBT community. No appointment.
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