News Briefing

News Briefing

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Westboro to visit Philly

Antigay fringe group Westboro Baptist Church is set to visit Philadelphia next week to protest at two Catholic high schools and a Jewish community center.

The Kansas-based organization headed by Fred Phelps gained notoriety for protesting the funeral of soldiers, whom members allege were killed because of the country’s tolerance of the LGBT community.

WBC will begin the day’s protests with a stop at Archbishop Ryan High School, 11201 Academy Road in Northeast Philadelphia, from 7:10-7:40 a.m. The group is scheduled to visit the Jewish Community Center from 12:30-1 p.m., and from 2-2:25 p.m. Father Judge High School, 3301 Solly Ave. in the Northeast.

The WBC site states the group chose the high schools because the students are being taught that God loves everyone and that it’s OK to be gay — ideas that WBC espouses are false — and the community center to remind Jews of their “Christ-rejecting sins.”

Both high schools are organizing counterprotests on Facebook, with the Father Judge event having surpassed more than 1,600 people who say they’ll attend.

PA LGBT business meeting

The Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will host its annual meeting Jan. 14 at The Hotel Hershey, 100 Hotel Road in Hershey.

The meeting, which is $65 for members and $75 for non-members, provides an opportunity for LGBT business owners to learn about the chamber’s progress and discuss the future of the LGBT business market with other professionals.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour, with entertainment and a cash bar, followed by the dinner and meeting. The night will conclude with a social that will feature a raffle and prizes.

Discounts are available for those wishing to stay at the hotel.

For more information, contact Seth Hamill at (717) 283-9063 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

The deadline for registration is Jan. 7.

National scholarship contest opens

The Point Foundation’s 2011 application season opened last week, with a plethora of funding opportunities for LGBT students.

Point, the nation’s largest LGBT scholarship agency, will award more than a dozen scholarships next year, including the Rand Skolnick Point Scholarship, named after the late New Hope businessman.

Eligible students must be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs in the 2010-11 school year to be considered.

Point scholars must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement and financial need, with particular attention to students who’ve lost the support of their families as a result of their LGBT status.

In addition to the tuition assistance, Point provides mentoring, leadership and media training to the scholars, with an estimated total annual support of $22,000-$31,000 for each student.

For the first time, this year others can recommend students deserving of a scholarship.

For more information or to apply, visit

The application deadline is Feb. 11.

— Jen Colletta

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