Gay Couple to Be Married On Mural Arts Love Train for the First Time

mural arts love train gay couple

Mural Arts‘ annual Love Train is gearing up to embark on its fifth and final journey on February 8th. The trek is a slow-speed, privately chartered tour of Steve Powers’ now-iconic Love Letter project on the Market-Frankford Line, and, as always, organizers are choosing one lucky local couple to be married on the tour. This year, however, there’s a little twist: To celebrate the first year of marriage equality in Pennsylvania, that lucky couple will be same-sex.

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IN THE WINGS: A Conversation with The Matter of Frank Schaefer Star Paul Kuhn

Paul headshotMy 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.

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GAY NEWS FLASH: Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Bans in Four States

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.

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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