GOOD NEWS NUGGET: 60 Percent of Americans Will Soon Live in States With Marriage Equality

U.s. gay marriage map

Updated U.S. marriage equality map from Freedom to Marry.

Yesterday was a monumental day in the annals of LGBT history. The Supreme Court declined to hear cases from five states that had appealed marriage equality rulings in their state, which cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and our very first Southern state to allow gay marriage, Virginia.

Gay Star News reports that the ruling also clears the way for marriage in six other states, which would bring the total number of marriage equality states to—are you ready for this—30! That’s more than half!

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Whitewood vs. Wolf Plaintiffs, Neshaminy High School and Others to Be Honored at ACLU Bill of Rights Dinner

whitewood family

Whitewood family

Though we still have a ways to go, it’s hard to deny that it’s been an amazing year in Pennsylvania when it comes to securing LGBT rights. I mean, hello, we can get married now!

To reflect on this monumental achievement, the ACLU-PA will honor some of those who helped us attain it at its annual Bill of Rights Dinner, happening on October 8th at the National Museum of American Jewish History (101 South Independence Mall East).

Among the evening’s honorees will be plaintiffs in the marriage equality-attaining Whitewood vs. Wolf lawsuit; the law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, who co-counseled plaintiffs in the Whitewood vs. Wolf case; and the Neshaminy High School newspaper editorial board members who fought for the right to exclude the word “Redskins,” the name of their school football team, from print because of its racist overtones. A volunteer service award will be presented to local attorney Larry Felzer, who will be honored by the ACLU as an “outstanding ACLU-PA volunteer, LGBT rights advocate, and leading ACLU supporter and fundraiser.” Felzer is also director of development and finance at SeniorLAW Center, and he helps organize the annual Gay Nights at the Phillies.

The event will be emceed by Michael Coard, community activist, and host at WURD 900AM, and a keynote will be delivered by Director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project—and attorney for Edward Snowden—Ben Wizner.

The Bill of Rights Dinner takes place on Wednesday, October 8th, starting at 6 p.m.. Tickets and more information can be found here.

 

Fredia Hurdle, Plaintiff in PA Marriage Equality Case, Dies Before Marrying Her Partner

Devastating news in a week already riddled with loss. Fredia Hurdle, one of the plaintiffs in Whitewood v. Wolf, the marriage equality case that won us the right to marry in Pennsylvania, passed away last week before having the chance to officially marry her partner, Lynn. More from the Pittsburgh Gazette.

fredia hurdleThe ruling meant that the Hurdles, who were together for 24 years, who were united in a commitment ceremony five years ago, and who had supported each other through sickness and child-rearing, could have their union recognized by the state they considered home.

Maybe they could get officially married in July, Lynn Hurdle thought, to mark the fifth anniversary of their original wedding ceremony. But her daughter planned to marry in October, and Fredia Hurdle said they should wait until after her wedding. It was her year, her “moment in the sun,” she told the woman she had long considered her wife.

“It’s legal. We have time,” she said.

But Thursday, Fredia Hurdle died from a stroke. She was 50 years old.

“I was looking for the next 25 or 50 years together,” Lynn Hurdle said. “It’s been shell shock.”

 

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Weekend Roundup: Mama’s House, LGBT Wedding Expo, Queeriosity Cabaret and More

gay wedding expo

It’s no surprise, now that same-sex marriage is legal in Pennsylvania, that state wedding vendors are clamoring to make our wedding dreams come true. Expect to see tons of LGBT wedding expos popping up very soon—the first of which is happening this weekend in Bucks County. The Rainbow Wedding Network PA LGBT Wedding Expo will see booths from 30 wedding vendors—purveyors of everything from food to flowers to dresses.

There will be candy, too. I know that, because G Philly will be in the house to meet local brides- and grooms-to-be. Stop by and say hello in the midst of getting your wedding-planning on. Sunday, August 9th, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sheraton Bucks County Hotel400 North Oxford Valley Road, Langhorne. 

FRIDAY

  • LiCK's Lascivious Jane hosts Mama's House at Tabu.

    LiCK’s Lascivious Jane hosts Mama’s House at Tabu.

    GayFest! romps through its first weekend of 2014. Keep up with what’s playing (and see a few shows, for goodness sakes) here.

  • Wolfstryker Leather will be the special guest at tonight’s Happy Bear happy hour.
  • Mistor Fahrenheit hosts The Queeriosity Cabaret, with Pissi Myles, Oliver Fist, Sinnamon, and more.
  • Ladies Rock the Mic Feminist Karaoke benefits Maternity Care Coalition’s MOMobile initiative, which offers support, education and access to resources to pregnant women, new parents, and their families. Girl power mandatory.
  • Mama’s House, Philly’s “tastiest all-female cabaret,” returns with host (Mama if you’re nasty) Lascivious Jane, and a trio of fearless performers—The Means, Rev-MacKenzie Moltov, and Bella La Blancis.
  • Get schooled on S-E-X at DTF: Darryl and Timaree’s Fun Hour.

SATURDAY

  • Say it ain't so, DJ Niilo. The beloved Gayborhood DJ gets a send-off this weekend at Back 2 Basics.

    Say it ain’t so, DJ Niilo. The beloved Gayborhood DJ gets a send-off this weekend at Back 2 Basics.

    Looking for a Saturday afternoon outing? Head to Passyunk Avenue’s Second Saturday, where local business, including gay-owned Metro Men’s Clothing, will spill out into the street with deals, entertainment, food, and sips.

  • Philly’s Best Lesbian Night Out, Stimulus, is throwing a special Back 2 Basics to say farewell to beloved local turntablist DJ Niilo, who’s heading out of town soon. Tear.
  • Get down to the real Nitty Gritty at Venture Inn.

SUNDAY

Weekend Roundup is brought to you by:

GAY NEWS FLASH: Target Files Amicus Brief in Support of Marriage Equality

You don’t have to feel guilty for walking into Target anymore. The national retail chain, which, it has been reported, has been on the fence about same-sex marriage, has publicly announced its support for marriage equality by signing an amicus brief to the U.S. Seventh District Court in its headquarter state Wisconsin.

Target Executive Vice President Jodee Kozlak details the company’s decision in a blog post:

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Equality PA Touring the State for LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill

State Representative Mike Sturla at Equality PA's stop in Lancaster. Photo by Alexander Gell

State Representative Mike Sturla at Equality PA’s stop in Lancaster. Photo by Alexander Gell

This week Equality Pennsylvania kicked off a six-week tour across the state—from Lancaster to State College to Springfield—to drum up support for house and senate bills 300, legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity.

The tour launch comes during an important week in LGBT history. On Monday, President Obama signed  a kickass executive order that protects LGBT federal workers across the country against discrimination. It’s high time we do the same thing to all workers in Pennsylvania.

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