Last spring when I was covering Jim Kenney’s LGBT Equality Bill, I visited the councilman’s office in City Hall to learn more about it. During our conversation, I noticed he kept deferring to his young assistant in the corner, particularly when I asked about the many components extending rights to Philly’s transgender community. The assistant’s name was Chris Goy, 26, and what I later found out is that he was the driving force behind creating the bill, the person who hit the streets to talk to locals about ways to make Philadelphia better when it comes to offering all-inclusive LGBT rights, the person who wrote the entire thing — all 35 pages of it.
On Saturday, I attended the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s (DVLF) annual holiday charity event, TOY. Taking place along the corridors and alleys of a closed Reading Terminal Market, over 400 showed up to eat, drink and be merry. Or should I say “Mary.” A big chunk of the crowd were LGBTers, who came out in their yuletide finest to support the cause, which, according to DVLF’s Ron Lucente, raised 350 toys that will be distributed to children between the ages of 2 and 17 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
TIME Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs just released the shortlist of folks up for the magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” cover, and DOMA-defeating hero Edie Windsor is up for the prize. Here’s the complete list, which also includes Miley Cyrus (wow) and Pope Francis.
The New York Times released intriguing results from a study that were compiled using Gallup polls, Facebook, porn searches and dating sites. What it found was that “at least 5 percent of American men … are predominantly attracted to men, and millions of gay men still live … in the closet.” Another interesting finding is that it’s common for American women to suspect their husband are gay. The research states that, when searching “Is my husband” on Google, the most common word to follow is “gay.”
Here are some more highlights from the study:
Over the weekend we reported the dismal news that Michael Griffin, a gay teacher in Bensalem, Pa., was fired from Holy Ghost Prep after telling his boss that he was going to apply for a license to marry his partner of 12 years. I followed it up with a bland response from the school, in which the school’s employee conduct policy was used as the reason for the firing.
Now the school’s headmaster, James McCloskey, has issued a message that was emailed to alumni and posted on the school’s website. Thanks to former student Robert Nectan Schell for the heads up. It reads as follows:
I trolled the web for LGBT headlines all weekend so you wouldn’t have to.
It takes a lot to drag me to the keyboard to blog on a Saturday, but I heard some news this morning that was so infuriating I had to share. Chris Covone, one of our LGBT Six-Word memoirists, emailed to tell me about a former teacher of his at Holy Ghost Prep in Bensalem, Pa., who “was abruptly fired after filing for a marriage license with his partner of 12 years.” ABC News reports:
Michael Griffin [who has taught French and Spanish at Holy Ghost Prep for 12 years ] says he emailed the principal of Holy Ghost Prep earlier in the week saying he may be late Friday, that he was applying for a marriage license. After an in-service day he says he was called into the office of School President Father James McCloskey, along with Principal Jeffrey Danilak.
There’s a story in the current issue of City Paper about a gay man who was asked to leave Circle of Hope, a progressive church that prides itself on open-minded philosophies geared toward young worshippers, because he was “speaking too openly about homosexuality.”
Andrew Stahler says he began attending the church in 2009. He was an active member, attending sermons regularly, and was assured that his sexuality was not an issue. But things changed at OutFest that same year. The article reports:
In a message to employees this week, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) — the region’s second largest employer — announced that it will begin offering health benefits to the same-sex partners of employees starting Jan. 1. The announcement comes three years after the Pennsylvania Diversity Network (PDN) began lobbying for the cause, a movement that only intensified this fall when marriage became legal in New Jersey, where, in Phillipsburg, SLUHN runs a hospital.
PDN Executive Director Liz Bradbury remarks on the big-deal news in The Express Times: