It’s Thanksgiving Week! That means — it addition to some well-deserved time off for most of us — it’s time to actually contemplate what makes us thankful. Let me offer five suggestions for Philadelphia in 2014:
Most Tuesdays, we feature a recently wed Philadelphia-area LGBT couple. Today: the adorable Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan, who got married last night on East Passyunk Avenue. Joncarl is the owner and head chef of Noord, the fantastic Dutch restaurant on East Passyunk that G Philly named Best BYOB in 2013.
My name is … Paul Kuhn. The “u” in Kuhn is supposed to have an umlaut over it, but I think that is way too pretentious. The only way I would do that is if i could utter more than one phrase in German, which I cannot. I do speak modern Greek, though.
I am … happiest when I am designing/building a set. I love acting but my greatest love is designing and building for Curio Theatre. I am a rabid recycler. Don’t leave a piece of wood or steel on the street because it will be on a set at Curio.
How would you describe The Matter of Frank Schaefer in one sentence? Raised with evangelical homophobic principals, a United Methodist minister transforms himself into an advocate for the LGBTQ community and challenges the bigotry of his own Church in an ecclesiastical court.
What’s your favorite thing about playing Frank Schaefer? My favorite part is that I got to hang around this man for over a year. I have never had this much insight into a character I am playing.
An all-too-familiar, all-too-unfortunate story:
Chester Wenger has dedicated 65 years of his life to the Mennonite Church USA, serving as a pastor, missionary, and church leader based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania since 1949. That all came to an end recently, however, when he officiated the marriage of his gay son, who, it should be noted, was excommunicated from the church 35 years ago for being gay. More from Think Progress:
Wenger “grieved deeply” about the church’s decision to expel his child, but when same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania in May, his son asked him to officiate his wedding to his partner of 27 years. The retired pastor “happily agreed,” openly defying the established rules of his tradition in order to perform the union on June 21.
After he reported the marriage to the Lancaster Mennonite Conference credentialing committee, however, church authorities convened on September 10 and formally retired Wenger’s ministerial credentials. They argued his actions violated established church guidelines, which read “Pastors holding credentials in a conference of Mennonite Church USA may not perform a same-sex covenant ceremony.”
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati voted to uphold Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee’s right to ban gay marriage. The New York Times has more:
By a two-to-one vote, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the right of states to ban same-sex marriage, overturning lower-court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that had found such restrictions to be unconstitutional.
The long-awaited decision, written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, an appointee of President George W. Bush, contradicted rulings by four other federal circuit courts and appeared almost certain to force the Supreme Court to decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation.
The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that states have the right to set rules for marriage.
Every Tuesday, we are featuring a recently wed Philadelphia-area LGBT couple. Today: Steve Seminelli and Joe Parisi from Philadelphia. The pair had their wedding in late October, but were one of the first gay couples to get a marriage certificate from City Hall in May, when the landmark marriage equality ruling was handed down.
Names: Steve Sminelli and Joe Parisi
How long have you been together? 6 years
When did you get married? October 25, 2014
Tell us about it: With the surprise law change back in May, Joe and I were one of the first gay male couples to get a marriage license in the city of Brotherly Love. We made it official in October with a religious ceremony at one of the most historic churches in the country: Christ Church. With our family and friends in the same pews where Benjamin Franklin and George Washington once sat, we took our vows before God and each other.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is likely to coast to re-election next month. He’s way ahead in the polls against conservative businessman Jeff Bell.
But that hasn’t stopped the Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative Christian advocacy group that is against gay marriage, taxpayer-funded art, abortion, hate crime laws and the “mainstream media’s promotion and glorification of drug abuse, teenage sex, gangs, atheism, homosexuality and other immoral behavior and beliefs.” It’s a nonprofit 501(c)4 political organization.
And, yes, it misspelled Cory Booker’s name as “Cory Brooker” on a flier sent to New Jersey residents. (The one above was sent to a Mercer County resident.)
It’s official: The Justice Department announced today that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in seven more U.S. States, meaning couples in Oklahoma, Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Nevada will be eligible for federal benefits. More from Huffington Post:
Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today: John Brady and Trent Williams, a couple from Media, Pennsylvania. Although they got married in Massachusetts, the newlyweds used several local vendors, and incorporated a touching moment during their marriage ceremony.
Names: John Brady and Trent Williams
How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: 4 years
When did you get married?: May 11, 2013
Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: We were living in Pennsylvania, but married in Massachusetts both for legality and one of us (John) grew up there and still has friends and family there. Trent grew up in Texas. We were married at the Plymouth Church in Framingham with over 110 friends and family in attendance. In addition to our vows, we chose to do our “first dance” at the altar as part of the service. The point was to reinforce the idea that when things get complicated, you return to the simple. We often slow danced during the early days of our dating, so it was a way of physically reinforcing our vows, but also celebrating the safety and freedom of doing something openly that most same-sex couples cannot do.
Were there any local businesses that were helpful when you prepared your wedding?: We chose to hire two critical vendors locally and pay the additional money for their travel to Boston. Both were truly perfect, and we are not easily impressed!
- Keystone Concierge, Philadelphia: personal-assistant services.
- Michael Hagan Photography, Drexel Hill
Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!