Photos: Mayor Nutter Signs Philadelphia’s LGBT Equality Bill

“This is now the law in Philadelphia.”

Philadelphia LGBT history was made yesterday afternoon, when Mayor Nutter signed Bill #130224, otherwise known as the LGBT Equality Bill, into law. The brief ceremony was packed with excited spectators, tons of reporters and orated by a team of local lawmakers who helped pave the way for the bill. The sentiment that was on all of their lips was the bill’s trailblazing efforts to make Philadelphia, as Nutter put it, the “most LGBT-friendly city in the world.” The mayor said he is “proud to be working in this area again,” and vowed to continue using his platform to promote LGBT equality. 

A rosy-faced Councilman Jim Kenney, the lead sponsor of the bill, drew applause from the crowd when he said “equal protection under the law means equal protection under the law.” One of my favorite moments from his short speech, though, was when he talked about a value he learned in Jesuit school that inspired him to create this bill: “Unless you use the opportunity to change people’s lives for the good, you’re not really doing anything.”

Brian Sims was taken aback when the mayor announced that he’d be speaking, but, in his usual charming way, he delivered an eloquent off-the-cuffer, saying, “This is a city that is truly respecting all its citizens. It is because of that respect that we are indeed a first-class city and we will continue to shine.”

Gloria Casarez and Wendy Forbes, vice chair on the board of Philadelphia Family Pride.

Rue Landau, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, and Gloria Casarez, the mayor’s director of LGBT Affairs, each spoke about the bill’s most groundbreaking components, including making Philadelphia the first city in the nation to extend tax credits to companies that offer health benefits to the partners and children of its LGBT workers and the myriad protections it offers to Philly’s trans community. There was a lot of passion in that room yesterday, but nothing could have overshadowed the pride that radiated from these women, who the mayor referred to as the “dynamic duo” who made the whole bill happen. It was an inspiring day.

Below, I’ve attached photos of some of the attendees. Check G Philly’s Facebook page later in the day for more pics.

Christopher Labonte, Harvey Hurdle and Rick Naughton

Jacquiline Reyes from Student Network Across Pennsylvania

Chris Goy (R) with his partner Conor. Many may not know, but Goy was an important behind-the-scenes man for Kenney when it came to putting together the Equality Bill's trans protections.

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  • Ann

    Don’t you think it’s a bit odd – that for the “transiest bill ever” you managed to not interview or take a picture of a single trans person at the event? Or during all of your coverage?

    We actually made the bill a nationally noteworthy bill. Josh – do you even know any of the trans leaders who were key in making this happen?

    Thought not.

  • Dionne

    Ann –

    If you are who I think you are, thanks for the support. I also want to say it’s not so much about the credit, it’s the doing that is most important. We got it done! Again, if you are who I think you are, you were part of it, too. Yes, I was there.

    • Ann

      Well, I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused.

  • *sigh* Really? There were trans people who were crucial in helping make this bill a reality and you don’t mention or quote anyone from the trans community? I’m with Ann. I think it’s a bit odd to trans-wash the event. Not surprising, but odd.