News Briefing: Dec. 9-16, 2016

News Briefing: Dec. 9-16, 2016

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City Council passes diaper-changing bill

On Dec. 1, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill requiring all publicly accessible restrooms in city-owned buildings to have diaper-changing tables. The vote was 16-0, with City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson absent. 

The bill was introduced by Councilmember Cindy Bass. Her senior policy advisor, Angela Bowie, said the diaper-changing tables will be installed in all men’s and women’s restrooms in city-owned buildings. The bill doesn’t affect private businesses.

“Lots of stay-at-home dads are taking care of babies and traveling with babies,” Bowie told PGN. “They need places to change their babies’ diapers, just like moms do.”

She said it may take about a year to install the tables. 

“There’s no deadline for the diaper-changing stations to be installed,” Bowie added. “It’s ongoing process that will continue as city buildings are upgraded and renovated.” 

Bowie also said Bass realizes that many stay-at-home dads are gay. 

“Obviously, Councilwoman Bass is a huge supporter of the LGBT community. And she would do anything to make sure there’s fairness and equity, particularly when it comes to all types of families.”

In an email, Lauren Hitt, a spokesperson for Mayor Kenney, said: “We support the bill and we will sign it.”

— Timothy Cwiek

Humane League gala returns

Animal lovers can celebrate efforts to end animal suffering at the Humane League’s annual gala.

“The Humane League Gala: A Celebration for the Animals” will return to the Goldilocks Gallery, where guests can enjoy vegan appetizers and desserts, drinks, a silent auction and live performances.

Jack Griffin, president of Metropolis Farms, will be the guest speaker of the evening. Metropolis is the first indoor vertical farm in Philadelphia and the first vegan-certified farm in the nation. 

Additionally, guests will hear from the Humane League’s executive director, David Coman-Hidy, and its Philadelphia grassroots director, Rachel Black, about the organization’s accomplishments. Alternative-rock band Blue Hippopotamus will supply live music for the gala.

Chef Lenka Zivkovic will prepare a multi-course vegan dinner, which VIP ticketholders can enjoy with Griffin. Gold-level VIP guests will also receive an 8x10 print of a rescued farm animal.

The gala takes place 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at 723 Chestnut St. The VIP dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Visit to purchase tickets.

IBA hosts holiday party 

Tickets are selling out fast for the Independence Business Alliance’s Holiday Party. The annual event allows nearly 200 LGBT allies, organizations and professionals to network with each other this holiday season. 

“With renewed purpose, strength and compassion in 2017, we will unite and fight to make sure that a safe and inclusive space where LGBT business owners and allied supporters can be themselves and thrive, continues to exist for our community,” IBA said in a statement.

The party, which will take place at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’s Washington Foyer, includes an open bar along with appetizers and carving stations featuring turkey roulade and Szechuan marinated London broil. Tickets are $65 for members and $85 for non-members.

IBA’s holiday party will take place 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at 118-128 N. Broad St. Visit to purchase tickets. 

—Jeremy Rodriguez 

Cosby deposition OKd

A judge this week ruled that a deposition in which Bill Cosby admitted drugging women to have sex with them can be used by the prosecution representing a lesbian who accused the actor of sexual assault. 

The deposition has been a source of contention in the case of Andrea Constad. Cosby alleges former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor promised he wouldn’t bring criminal charges against Cosby if he agreed to the deposition in a civil suit filed by Constad; criminal charges were later filed once DA Kevin Steele took office.

Judge Steven O’Neill said Monday that the pledge from Castor had not been proven in court.

Cosby’s trial is scheduled for June.

Stonewall opens winter registration

Stonewall Sports is now signing up players for winter play. 

Registration for dodgeball and volleyball is open until Dec. 12. Dodgeball begins Jan. 8. Teams can have anywhere from 12-18 players. Register at 

Competitive volleyball starts Jan. 17 and recreational volleyball commences Jan. 19. Teams can have from eight-12 players. Register at

‘Allegiance’ to play one day only

Broadway hit “Allegiance” will be broadcast in theaters nationwide Dec. 13.

The musical is based on the life of star George Takei, who was forced with his family into an internment camp during World War II. Takei, who is gay, went on to become a director, author and actor, best known for his role as Sulu in “Star Trek.” 

Takei has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump, and has said the president-elect’s statements about a Muslim “registry” are suggestive of the prelude to internment.

“Allegiance” plays at Riverview Plaza 17, 1400 S. Columbus Blvd.; Bridge UPenn 6, 4012 Walnut St.; and theaters in the suburbs and New Jersey. For more information, visit

— Jen Colletta

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