LOCAL NEWS: LGBT Non-Discrimination Bills Look Stalled for Summer

Plus: qFLIX Philadelphia Film Fest returns and IBA gives out its first Integrity Business Award.

The LGBT non-discrimination bills recently proposed in the Pennsylvania legislature might have to wait until the fall before being considered.

After all of the recent progress made by the state Senate in approving LGBT non-discrimination protections in committee, the possible passing of them seems to be stalled until the fall. Groups such as the Pennsylvania Family Organization have made the argument that such polices would infringe upon their “religious liberty,” and GOP legislators are using that opposition as a justification to hold back on a vote. “Since the House wasn’t going to act on it this week anyway, I’m allowing our chairmen some time to hold hearings and do what they need to do to deal with the bill, and then we’ll make a decision in the fall,” said Senate majority leader Jake Corman to the press. As of now, both parties will are expected to continue to make the case for their positions until lawmakers decided to finally consider a vote. According to Equality Pennsylvania, 68 percent of LGBT Pennsylvanians are not fully protected from discrimination practices in their local ordinances. As a result, Pennsylvania is ranked the lowest on the Human Rights Campaign’s State Equality Index.

qFLIX Philadelphia will host the world premiere of the indie film People You May Know.

Next week, producers Thom Cardwell and James Duggan are back to host another installment of qFLIX Philadelphia. For the past 22 years, there has been celebration of LGBTQ indie films citywide. This time, the festival plans to increase the number of screenings to 50. “This year’s programmers have consciously sought to tackle a wide range of topics, from the complexities of relationships to the more politicized side of the lives of all LGBTQ in their struggle for acceptance, tolerance, freedom, equality and civil rights,” Duggan said to G Philly. “Programmers have consciously sought to find undiscovered talent, the newest, youngest and alternative of LGBTQ voices.” Director J.C. Falcon’s drama People You May Know makes its grand world premiere on qFlix’s opening night. In addition, Rob William’s romantic comedy Shared Rooms will making its East Coast premiere on closing night. “Both the opening and closing films are coincidentally about relationships among friends, lovers, and extended families … the modern family,” said Cardwell. “And as our society changes, it shouldn’t be surprising that filmmakers would explore why human beings act and react to life and living as LGBTQ people, from the serious to the funny.” This year’s festival strives to highlight diversity. You can check it out from July 5th through 10th; updates and ticket information available at qFLIXphilly.com.

National healthcare consulting firm Sellers Dorsey wins IBA’s inaugural Integrity Business Award.

On Monday, June 27th, the Independent Business Alliance (IBA) held its annual meeting at the Sonesta Hotel, elected seven new and seven returning board members. The highlight of the event was the announcement of the first ever Integrity Business Award winner. The honor, which was given in partnership with Integrity Staffing Solutions, is for a local IBA business that “upholds high standards of behavior towards LGBT customers, suppliers, shareholders, community, and/or employees.” National healthcare consulting firm Sellers Dorsey became the first recipient of the honor after instituting its Out to Enroll program, which helped LGBTQ individuals properly register for the Affordable Care Act. “Sellers Dorsey was an outstanding choice for the inaugural presentation of this award,” IBA executive director Zach Wilcha told G Philly. “Their win tonight will definitely raise the bar for future winners.”