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PA Rep. Brian Sims Joins Hundreds Rallying in Philly Urging Lawmakers to Pass LGBT Hate Crimes Bill: VIDEO

Sims

At a rally in LOVE Park, Philadelphia today, over 300 people showed up to voice their support for a legislation working its way through the Pennsylvania Legislature that would add LGBT protections to the state's hate crimes laws. 

Joined by openly gay Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, supporters carried various signs, including those reading "Bash One of Us, Bash All of Us" and "Dear Hate, This Is #Knottyourcity" (in reference to Katheryn Knott - one of the alleged perpetrators in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in Philly)

Said Sims:

"There are some in Harrisburg who object to restoring sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the hate-crime law. But they haven't been calling for repeal of the law's remaining protections, for victims targeted because of their race, color, religion or national origin -- they know they would take a political hit for that. Unfortunately, they think there's no political penalty or constituent outrage to face for leaving out women, LGBT people, or people targeted because of their ancestry or mental or physical disability. Pennsylvanians who don't like this injustice need to let their state representative and senator know now."

Check out video from today's rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Intelligencer adds:

KunkleAttendees also gained a few insights about the gay men who were allegedly assaulted, after a friend spoke to the crowd on their behalf. Caryn Kunkle, a volunteer for the Roslyn Fire Co. who wore her uniform at the rally, referred to the victims as “Friend A” and “Friend B” and said the two are a couple.

“They are adorable together, and I love them for who they are,” Kunkle said.

Kunkle added that the first victim was an IT professional who was also once a volunteer firefighter in Abington, and that the second was a culinary artist. She told the crowd that the Sept. 11 incident occurred when “a group of young people came to my city,” and “initiated a conversation with my friends by asking 'Is that your f-ing boyfriend?'

“That conversation quickly devolved into a nationally broadcast incident,” Kunkle said.

In a statement read by Kunkle, the alleged victims said they had been called homophobic slurs by their assailants and were still recovering from the attack, but that they had appreciated the outpouring of support from the Philadelphia community.

Rep. Sims is also organizing a public hearing of the state House Democratic Policy Committee next Thursday on the issue of LGBT hate crimes.

And as expected, Philadelphia City Council members Blondell Reynolds Brown and Jim Kenney introduced a city-wide hate crimes bill protecting LGBT citizens earlier today, with Brown saying the bill had "unanimous" support from council. 

(Photo via Twitter)

Continue reading "PA Rep. Brian Sims Joins Hundreds Rallying in Philly Urging Lawmakers to Pass LGBT Hate Crimes Bill: VIDEO" »


Raw Video of Philly Gay Bash Suspects Leaving Police Station After Posting Bail: VIDEO

Perp1

A news clip we posted earlier this morning had some footage of Kathryn Knott, Philip Williams, and Kevin Harrigan, the three suspects charged in the brutal assault on a gay couple two weeks ago in Philadelphia, as they left the police station after posting bail.

Here is some longer footage of the perp walks, or runs, as the case may be.

While Knott and her companions wore hoodies and lunged into a waiting SUV, Williams and Harrigan were asked if they had any comment, or had anything to say to their victims. They did not

Watch the perp runs, AFTER THE JUMP...

Perp2

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Philly Gay Bash Suspects Post Bail, Kathryn Knott Suspended From Hospital Job: VIDEO

Mugshot

The three suspects charged in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia have been released on bail, Philly's KYW-TV reports:

All three had to wait all night to get arraigned, but early Thursday morning that happened and they face charges of Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Reckless Endangerment and Criminal Conspiracy.

24-year-old Philip Williams [right] and 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan [left] were released on $75,000 bail and 24-year-old Kathryn Knott [middle] was released on $50,000 bail.

Watch a news report on the development, AFTER THE JUMP...

BailKathryn Knott, whose history of anti-gay and alcohol fueled Tweets has already been uncovered, has also been suspended from her job as an emergency-room technician at Lansdale Hospital, where she has worked since May 2011. 

Knott is the daughter of Chalfont, Bucks County Police Chief Karl Knott and may have also used Twitter to brag about receiving special treatment from her father in the past. 

In related news, Philadelphia City Council members Blondell Reynolds Brown and Jim Kenney are expected to introduce a city-wide hate crimes bill protecting LGBT citizens later today. 

Said Kenney:

Unless and until the commonwealth of Pennsylvania extends protections to LGBT Pennsylvanians, then Philadelphia has a responsibility to do whatever is in our power to protect our LGBT folks," 

Continue reading "Philly Gay Bash Suspects Post Bail, Kathryn Knott Suspended From Hospital Job: VIDEO" »


Police Release Mugshots of Philadelphia Gay-Bashing Suspects: PHOTO

Gay

After arrest warrants were issued yesterday, all 3 suspects in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia turned themselves in to police this morning. Police have now released the mugshots of the the 3 individuals, shown above. As Philadelphia Magazine reports, "From left, they are: 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan of Warrington; 24-year-old Kathryn Knott of Southampton; and 24-year-old Philip Williams of Warminster."

Earlier today, we shared with you LGBT activist Scott Wooledge's online investigation that exposed suspect Kathryn Knott's homophobic remarks on Twitter

The 3 individuals will not be charged with committing a hate crime as Pennsylvania's hate crimes laws do not cover sexual orientation. Yesterday, state lawmakers rallied to change that. State Senator Jim Ferlo, who authored the new hate crimes bill that would specifically protect LGBT Pennsylvanians, took the opportunity to publicly come out. Rep. Brian Sims meanwhile spoke passionately about the need to enact the new legislation.


Meet Accused Philadelphia Gay Basher Kathryn Knott

Kathryn2Yesterday, Philadelphia police announced that arrest warrants had been issued for three individuals accused of attacking a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia on September 11. Those individuals, Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, and Kathryn Knott, 24, were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy. As of this morning, all 3 had turned themselves in to police

Activist Scott Wooledge has looked into the social media history of one the assailants, Kathryn Knott, and found her Twitter account filled with messages that were homophobic, xenophobic, and showed a propensity for consuming alcohol. As Andy reported earlier, Knott is the daughter of Chalfont, Bucks County Police Chief Karl Knott. Neighbors of the Knotts were reportedly "not surprised" by the charges brought against Kathryn.

Take a look at Wooledge's post, "Meet #PhillyHateCrime Defendant Kathryn Knott", that provides highlights from Knott's Twitter account, AFTER THE JUMP...

Wooledge's online investigation into Knott's past underscores the pivotal role internet sleuthing has played in this case from the outset. After police released surveillance footage of the suspects, former Real Housewives of New Jersey castmember Gregory Bennett found a picture of the group involved in the gay bashing at dinner shortly before the attack. He then tweeted that photo out and Twitter user @FanSince09 was able to identify the restaurant in the background and eventually the suspects themselves using Facebook check-ins. 

(Photo via Twitter)

Continue reading "Meet Accused Philadelphia Gay Basher Kathryn Knott" »


3 Philadelphia Gay Bash Suspects Turn Themselves in; One is Daughter of Police Chief - VIDEO

Knott

Philip Williams, 24, and Katherine Knott, 24, two of the three suspects charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy for last week's brutal assault on two gay men in Center City, Philadelphia, turned themselves in early this morning, ABC6 reports. Arrest warrants were issued yesterday.

AttackThe news station also confirms that Knott is the daughter of Chalfont, Bucks County Police Chief Karl Knott:

At their Southampton home, no one answered but when we asked several neighbors about the charges against Knott, off camera, they would only say they're not surprised.

A third suspect, Kevin Harrigan, 26, turned himself in at 9 am.

Watch ABC6's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

NBC Philadelphia reports:

Williams, 24, didn't speak as he arrived at Central Detectives but his attorney Fortunato Perri, Jr. did comment on the case as did Knott's attorney.

Perri told reporters Wednesday that the case was not related to anyone's sexual orientation. He said it was instead what he called a "mutual confrontation" in which his client "was not the aggressor." Knott's attorney said his client played no role in the confrontation.

Those involved will not be charged with a hate crime as Pennsylvania's hate crime laws do not cover sexual orientation.

Yesterday, lawmakers held a rally at Pennsylvania's capitol pushing for passage of a statewide hate crimes law. Out Rep. Brian Sims was on hand and spoke passionately, urging lawmakers to protect LGBT citizens. Another lawmaker, state Senator Jim Ferlo, came out of the closet at the event, telling those gathered, "Hundreds of people know I'm gay. I just never made an official declaration. I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I'm gay. Get over it. I love it. It's a great life."

Continue reading "3 Philadelphia Gay Bash Suspects Turn Themselves in; One is Daughter of Police Chief - VIDEO" »


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