Posts Tagged “Philly”
We recently saw some of the quickest and most efficient action I’ve seen in a while when Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously voted (17-0) to pass an ordinance that imposes punishments for violent attacks based on gender identity, sexual orientation or disability status. Mayor Michael Nutter summarily signed it into law. The measure was in […]
The LGBT communities had a lot to celebrate in 2014, with amazing legislative, judicial and cultural victories. While there are truly countless victories I could mention, here are some of the highlights:
What does it mean to be married? How is it different? Join Giampolo Law Group on November 18th from 6-9pm for an information session on what living in a post-DOMA world means for you and your family. The event is being hosted by 1352 Lofts in Philadelphia! Come enjoy wine and light fare and take in the exceptional view […]
On October 21st join Jonathan Grode and I as we discuss immigration as it relates to same-sex couples after the fall of DOMA. Far too many LGBTQ individuals have been blocked from re-entering their native countries for years upon years. As we come closer to receiving full rights under the law this no longer has to be […]
Last Thursday, two gay men, ages 27 and 28, were brutally gay-bashed allegedly by a group of young people who were dining earlier that evening at La Viola. Today, Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office asking the Department of Justice to partner with the city’s D.A. and police to […]
Tune in to the FIRST official segment of my new LGBTQ specific radio show, SpeakOUT airing on Q102, 104.5 and Mix 106.1 during the What’s Going On show on Sunday morning! SpeakOUT will highlight varying LGBTQ topics in our community ranging from cultural happenings, legal issues and poignant interviews with leaders in our community. SpeakOUT […]
The fight for marriage equality has entered into a new phase garnering a different perspective with respect to legal strategy. Pennsylvania joined the ranks (becoming the 19th state) on May 20 when U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania declared that Pennsylvania’s version of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in Whitewood v. Wolf, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68937 (May 20, 2014). The elation was palpable in Philadelphia, as hundreds of LGBT individuals and their allies gathered on the steps of City Hall to celebrate no longer being second-class citizens in Pennsylvania, alongside the American Civil Liberties Union, the Whitewood legal team of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller and several of the plaintiffs.
Of the same-sex marriage rulings that occurred in other states so far this year—Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas and Idaho—seven (except for Oregon) had their rulings stayed pending appeal, and thus those cases have been kicked up to their respective circuit courts. Unlike most other marriage equality cases, Pennsylvania’s decision was not appealed.
The fight for marriage equality in Pennsylvania may finally be coming to an end. There are multiple same-sex marriage cases that have been filed in Pennsylvania, but the American Civil Liberties Union and Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller’s Whitewood v. Wolf, No. 13-1861-JEJ, filed a motion for summary judgment April 21 that was not contested. The case was brought on behalf of 21 plaintiffs (10 couples and one child) alleging that Pennsylvania’s state Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and argues that the law substantially effects the fundamental right to marry and discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation. Originally set to be heard in June, we could have a ruling from U.S. District Judge John E. Jones of the Middle District of Pennsylvania as early as today.
Respect your elders. It’s one of the early cornerstones of manners that we are taught as kids. Yet LGBT elders don’t always automatically receive this same respect. Our LGBT elder trailblazers came out under fire, grew up when being gay was considered a mental-health disorder and survived everything from intense bullying to living closeted the majority of their lives to the AIDS crisis to police brutality — all so that they could be whom they are and love whom they love. In my opinion, they have more than earned our respect: They have earned our awe and admiration.
However, as our LGBT seniors age, they become a severely underrepresented demographic within the community — whom we name “Gen-Silent,” reflecting their tendency to be forced into the closet again later in life and their inability to fight discrimination on their own behalf. Thankfully, Philadelphia is showing its LGBT seniors respect and addressing one of their most crucial and immediate needs: housing.