Philadelphia Hub

Philadelphia Passes LGBT Health Bill, and a Civil Union Bill is Introduced in Pennslvania

Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Cohen has introduced a civil union bill in Pennsylvania.

Mark_cohenPhilly Mag's Josh Middleton reports:

According to a press release I received from Cohen’s office, the bill would define a civil union “would make all state laws applicable to marriage also applicable to a civil union. The bill also would allow reciprocity for civil unions performed legally in other states and the recognition of same sex-marriage in other states as civil unions in Pennsylvania.”

In the press release, Cohen calls civil unions exactly what they are: a “middle-of-the-road compromise position between constitutionally banning and permitting gay marriages.” And just to appease those religious dissenters, he states that, “Nothing in this bill would require any religion or any clergyman to perform any ceremony uniting people in a civil union. This legislation will merely offer committed gay couples the same legal rights that are bestowed upon married people without the status of marriage.”

In other LGBT-related Pennsylvania news, the Philadelphia City Council has voted to approve a broad LGBT health benefits bill, PGN reports:

Bill 130224, which passed with a 14-three vote, would not only give a tax credit incentive to businesses that offered employee health plans that would include same-sex partners and children, but it would also include a substantial amount of benefits to the transgender community as well.

The bill ,which was introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney, would revamp the city’s health care plan to ban discrimination against non-union transgender city employees and would instate a Transgender Health Tax Credit that would allow companies to offer healthcare specific-needs to the transgender community.

City buildings would also be required to provide gender-neutral bathroom and would also ban employment discrimination in the city’s non-discrimination law.

9th Circuit Says San Diego Can Offer Low Rent To Anti-Gay Boy Scouts

ScoutshonorA three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today said that San Diego can continue offering the Boy Scouts of America lower-than-normal rents even though the BSA maintains its discriminatory policies of forbidding LGBT people and atheists, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“There is no evidence that the city’s purpose in leasing the subject properties to the Boy Scouts was to advance religion, and there is abundant evidence that its purpose was to provide facilities and services for youth activities,” wrote Judge William C. Canby Jr. wrote in the panel's unanimous decision.

The lawsuit was brought by a lesbian couple and an atheist couple who claimed by giving the BSA such rents, San Diego was breaking state and national laws by renting the space for as low as zero. You'll recall that Philadelphia found itself in a similar position a few years ago.

Philadelphia Dedicates Street to Pioneering Gay Rights Activist Barbara Gittings


Philadelphia dedicated a street to gay rights pioneer Barbara Gittings today, at Locust Street between 12th and 13th streets, in the heart of the city's LGBT neighborhood.

GittingsWrites Bruce Yelk from the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp, who also sends these photos from today's dedication ceremony:

Known as the Mother of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement, Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007) resided in Philadelphia. She was the editor of the first lesbian publication. With Frank Kameny, she organized the Annual Reminders at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, which launched the LGBT civil rights movement.

Gittings spearheaded the successful initiative to have the American Library Association include gay and lesbian books in the nation’s card catalogues and libraries. Kameny and Gittings challenged the American Psychiatric Association, resulting in homosexuality being removed from the list of mental illnesses.

In 2010, Kameny had a street dedicated to him in Washington, D.C.

The Giitings dedication kicks off Equality Forum's LGBT History Month.

Collaborating organizations on the street dedication include Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, Equality PA, Independence Business Alliance, Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus, and William Way LGBT Community Center.


Philly Councilman Tells Chick-Fil-A CEO To 'Take A Hike,' HRC Protests Franchise's Food Truck In D.C.

KenneyJimPhiladelphia Councilman Jim Kenney isn't having any of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's homophobia. In a letter sent to the conservative executive, Kenney told him to "take a hike and take your intolerance with you."

"As an American you are legally entitled to your opinion, regardless of how insensitive and intolerant it may be, but as a fellow American and an elected member of Philadelphia City Council; I am entitled to express my opinion as well," the incensed letter reads. "So please – take a hike and take your intolerance with you. There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

Kenney also said he'll introduce a resolution officially condemning both Cathy and Chick-fil-A.

Kenney's comments come after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed a plan to block a new Chick-fil-A outpost from opening in the Windy City and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino vowed to stop the franchise's expansion there.

DrudgeEmanuelMeanwhile, there's a petition trying to boot Chick-fil-A from the University of Kansas campus. Also, with regard to Emanuel's aforementioned opposition to Cathy and Chick-fil-A, conservative aggregator Matt Drudge currently has the following image and headlines at the top of his influential page.

The pairing implicitly suggests that Emanuel's pro-equality politics are somehow associated with the anti-semitic and racist rhetoric that comes out of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, which, by the way, is also homophobic. The two stories - one of which is about how NOI activists are joining a campaign to end gun violence - are unrelated, though Drudge would like readers to think otherwise.

Finally, Human Rights Campaign and its allies today picketed outside a Chick-fil-A food truck in Washington D.C. Here's an image from the protest. More on that later.


News: DeMint's Romney Excitement, Mad Men, Philadelphia, Trayvon Martin

TrayvonMartin 6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Bad news for Philadelphia: a federal judge ordered the city to pay the Boy Scouts of America $900,000 for legal fees stemming from a decade-long battle over the organization's ban on gay scout leaders. The city tried to evict the Scouts from their property in town, but the Scouts proved victorious and now Philadelphia and its residents have to cough up dough to subsidize the group's hateful ways.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Why are KISS and Motley Crue picking on Rihanna?

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Nineteen-year old Deryl Dedmond pleaded guilty to the 2011 killing of James Craig Anderson, a black gay man Dedmond and his pals targeted because of his race. He's been sentenced to two terms of life in prison with no parole.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Scenes from the New York City march calling for justice in the Trayvon Martin killing.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi This is too rich: Jason Mattera from Andrew Breitbart's right wing media empire has been trumpeting an "exclusive" interview with Bono -- only it wasn't Bono at all. It was a Bono impersonator. Then he and his conservative buddies tried to pretend like the whole thing never happened.

MadMenExchange6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Chaz Bono will be grand marshall at the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade being held on April 15th.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Teens discuss what it's like to start a gay-straight alliance in the South.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Jon Hamm and the rest of the Mad Men cast are tickled pink to open the stock exchange.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Jessica Simpson's Elle cover too hot for Arizona Safeway.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi NBC has renewed Broadway drama Smash for a second season.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Anti-gay zealot Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth fame wants MTV to severe all ties with Dan Savage: "Dan Savage is a radical and raunchy homosexual activist who gives unhealthy and reckless sex advice... He should NOT be rewarded for this evil crusade, nor held up as a role-model for young people."

Jessicasimpsonelle6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Here's what the cast of Downton Abbey would look like if they were dogs.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Etch A Sketch sales are up 1,500% after Mitt Romney's aide made that instant classic gaffe.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Is conservative king maker Jim DeMint inching toward Mitt Romney? Sounds like it. "I'm not only comfortable with Romney, I'm excited about the possibility of him possibly being our nominee... Again, this is not a formal endorsement and I do not intend to do that right now but I just think we just need to look at where we are."

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Gay film a surprise box office hit in Serbia.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Lambda Legal executive director Kevin Cathcar predicts marriage will remain the hot button gay political issue for years to come: "Marriage is going to continue being the most visible, the most public because it gets the most attention in the media."

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi North Ireland's ban on gay adoption remains in place.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e912af4d970c-800wi Reuben Lack, a student at Georgia's Alpharetta High, is suing to be reinstated as his school's student body president after he says officials booted him for being gay.

Read more here:

NEWS: Mitt Romney Is A Betting Man, Louis C. K. Talks About Tracey Morgan, Marriage Suits In Hawaii, Two Disturbing Buildings


Road At ABC's Republican debate in Des Moines, Mitt Romney reminded everyone that he's really, really rich. Watch him offer Rick Perry a $10,000 bet AFTER THE JUMP ...

Road Rick Santorum: "Science should get out of politics."

Road On Wednesday, a new shelter for homeless LGBT youth will open in Philly:

The Night Resource Program, which will operate out of the Arch Street Presbyterian Church, 1724 Arch St., was made possible through a $5,000 grant by the Henrietta Tower Wurts Fund and a $5,000 grant from the Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia — as well as $2,500 in fundraising.

Participants will be guaranteed a 30-day stay with the possibility of an extension depending on space availability and the individual’s progress.

Dinner and breakfast will be served daily, and individuals will have access to on-site case managers, who are MSW students at Temple University, as well as a therapist. Additionally, participants will be connected with daytime services through the Youth Health Empowerment Project.

Road This high school's girls' basketball team had a pre-game chant that went like this: "One, two, three, [N-word]!" It caused some problems.

Road Why is high school senior Angela Zhang cooler than we'll ever be?

17 year old high school senior Angela Zhang just earned a $100,000 scholarship at the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for designing a nanoparticle which targets cancer stem cells. It’s somewhat similar to this, but rather than attacking messenger RNA it instead delivers a dose of the drug salinomycin directly to the tumor cells. In addition, the nanoparticle is gold and iron-oxide based, so it can also be used to detect cancer with noninvasive means such as MRI and Photoacoustic imaging. A particle that delivers targeted doses of meds directly to affected cells, lessens side effects, helps prevent cancer resistance, and doubles as an MRI contrast solution to diagnose/monitor progress? Holy crap, that’s awesome.

Road Why did Kansas University buy the domain name ""?

Road How will a Minnesota school district wonders talk about LGBT issues in the classroom?

YongSanDreamHub Road There's something not right about these buildings.

Road Louis C.K. talks some more about Tracey Morgan's homophobic comedy routine:

“I think the opportunity that was lost was for the gay community to ask Tracy, ‘why did you say that’ and ‘what was your dad like’ and ‘what is being a man mean to you,’ you know what I mean? It could have been a starting point of a conversation that might have actually made a difference in how people feel about homophobia.”

Road In Hawaii, a lesbian couple sue for the right to marry:

Natasha N. Jackson, and Janin Kleid filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court Wednesday, claiming that their rights to due process and equal protection as guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were violated. The defendants named are Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Loretta J. Fuddy, director of the state health department.

Road Barack Obama is all things to all people. Pro-smog yet pro-environment; pro-choice yet anti-morning-after pill ...

Without a Democratic challenger who might tug him to the left, Obama is free to try to neutralize Republican efforts to tar him as a liberal ideologue by taking steps toward the political center.

At the same time, he is finding opportunities to boost his standing with his most committed backers. For example, he has appealed to environmentalists by delaying an oil pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas, and to gay rights activists by bolstering gay rights overseas and helping end a ban on gays in the military.

Road French rightists fight radical Islam by giving themselves gout.

Road Half the people in America have now parodied Rick Perry's anti-gay television ad. Gay Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger is one of them.

Continue reading "NEWS: Mitt Romney Is A Betting Man, Louis C. K. Talks About Tracey Morgan, Marriage Suits In Hawaii, Two Disturbing Buildings" »


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