Norristown’s got a law that a landlord can evict a tenant if they make three or more 911 calls within the span of four months. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick thinks that law is really, really dumb. Why? Because this happens.
[Lakisha] Briggs did not call the police on the night of June 23, 2012, when the same boyfriend hit her in the head with a glass ashtray then stabbed her in the neck with a piece of broken glass. The police had already warned her that she was on her third strike after their last visit. So she didn’t make the call and—just before she passed out—Briggs begged a neighbor not to do so on her behalf.
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Chickie’s and Pete’s is scrambling as the US Labor Department looks into payment violations and more than 60 former and current employees are suing the now ten-location strong chain.
Though a Chickie’s spokesman says they will “vigorously contest [the charges] in court,” the company’s recent actions, including issuing 2012 refunds on the “Pete tax” and adjusting how tipped employees are paid, must say something.
Chickie’s and Pete’s facing lawsuits, probe over employees’ pay [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Chickie’s and Pete’s [Official Site]
Dan McQuade reviews Governor Tom Corbett’s latest proposal to privatize the Pennsylvania liquor system.
- Beer can be sold at grocery and drug stores.
- Beer distributors could buy a license to sell wine and liquor.
- The state stores go away
- Selection should improve
- It creates six new categories of licenses
- It continues pointless limits on alcohol purchases at one time
- It does little to address the negative effects of alcohol
Read the rest of McQuade’s column on the Philly Post. For another look at the privatization effort, check out Lew Bryson’s Why the PLCB Should Be Abolished.
Pros and Cons of of Governor Corbett’s LCB Privatization Plan [Philly Post]
Photo by Think Stock
New Jersey could become the second state in the nation (California was the first) to pass a new law that would ban reparative – also known as conversion therapy. The controversial treatment seeks to alter sexual orientation from gay to straight – and is often directed at young people despite there being no proof to its effectiveness. The American Psychiatric Association has actually refuted claims from conversion therapy groups, going so far as to suggest it can cause depression and even suicide in young people.
But this new bill, sponsored by Sen Steve Sweeney, would ban the practice in the Garden State for those younger than 18 years old.
And while Gov. Chris Christie has already vetoed marriage equality legislation, the fate of conversion therapy will rest on his desk. And while there are opponents to the bill – namely therapists which practice conversion therapy – Sweeney has admitted publicly that he’s confident the bill will pass as early as this week.
The future of marriage equality could come down to yet another proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution that would define marriage between one man and one woman. Representative Daryl Metcalfe has again introduced an amendment that, if passed, would become the first of its kind to legislate discrimination.
“In the near future, I will be introducing legislation proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania providing for the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. My legislation is similar to a bill that passed the House in June 2006 by an overwhelming majority,” he drafted in a memo to the General Assembly.
His memo continues:
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New Jersey’s first openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora may have introduced legislation this week that would put same-sex marriage on the ballot as early as next year, but leaders in the Garden State seem to be at odds over whether voters should decide the fate of what many are calling a civil rights issue.
That’s not stopping LGBT groups and other marriage equality supporters from using some of the momentum of last month’s successes in states like Maryland and Maine to help move the issue forward, even if some legislators seem to be dragging their heels.
And while Gov. Chris Christie says he would veto the legislation, a majority of Jersey voters say they support gay marriage rights. A recent poll has support at over half (53 percent) with as many as 72 percent of voters saying they would like to go to the polls to decide the issue.
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Let’s face it, usually Philly ranks pretty low in the national ratings (we’ve been called everything from the ugliest to fattest city in America). But the good news is that we now have the proud distinction of rating a perfect 100 on HRC’s first-ever Municipal Equality Index.
The MEI rates cities based on 47 criteria falling under six categories, including non-discrimination laws; relationship recognition; the municipality’s employment practices; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement; and municipal leadership.
Key findings from the MEI create a snapshot of LGBT equality in 137 municipalities of varying sizes drawn from every state in the nation – these include the 50 state capitals, the 50 most populous cities in the country, and the 25 large, 25 mid-size, and 25 small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples.
Philly and other 100-point cities serve as shining examples of LGBT inclusivity, with excellent policies ranging from non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits and cutting-edge city services.
Click here to find out what makes Philly oh-so gay.
Same-sex couples in Philly could soon access the same health care as their straight co-workers (photo by Think Stock)
For Councilman James Kenney, offering new health care protections for same-sex couples simply makes good financial sense. That’s why he’s introduced a bill that would offer tax incentives to employers who offer health plans for LGBT and partnered employees. Kenney says that in addition to the tax breaks attracting more job growth and talent to the city, it’s also an important step toward LGBT equality.
“All Philadelphians deserve nothing less than dignified and equal treatment at work, at the hospital or doctor, and from their government; regardless of marital status, gender identity or sexual orientation,” Kenney says. But up until now, state laws have made it problematic for both same-sex and life partners to access equal benefits in Philly – the same benefits that straight employees and married couples have been enjoying for years.
And the timing is essential. Kenney says that even though Philly is the sixth largest city in the country, it’s 90th out of 100 in job growth. But the breakdown of LGBT demographics shows that not only are LGBT Americans well-educated (66 percent are college grads and almost one million are military veterans), but that 60 percent are homeowners, almost 40 percent make purchasing decisions at work and comprise at least five percent of the overall consumer market in the U.S.
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Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro could become the nation's first openly lesbian Latina to serve on the federal court
Philadelphia’s own Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro, who currently serves on the county’s Court of Common Pleas, has been nominated for a federal judgeship by President Obama. She could become the first openly gay Latina in the nation to serve on the U.S. District Court in Eastern Pennsylvania. She’s among several nominations Obama made this week – and one who is said to have been recommended by Sen. Bob Casey.
“These men and women have had distinguished legal careers and I am honored to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench,” the president said. “They will serve the American people with integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice.”
She is the eighth openly gay life-tenured federal court judicial nominee named by Obama. Prior to this administration, only one openly gay person had been confirmed to serve with lifetime tenure on the federal judiciary, according to the HRC.
She previously worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was also a staff attorney for Community Legal Services here in Philadelphia after graduating with her law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1975.