News Briefing: Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2017

News Briefing: Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2017

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Former prosecutor suing Cosby accuser

The lesbian former Temple University employee who has accused actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault is now being sued by the former district attorney who declined to prosecute the case.

Last week, former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor filed a personal-injury suit against Andrea Constand, who alleges Cosby drugged and assaulted her at his Elkins Park home in 2004.

Castor, who was the Montgomery County D.A. from 2000-08, declined to bring charges against Cosby at that time. In 2015, when Castor was readying a run for reelection, Constand sued Castor for defamation, contending he misstated facts of the case and used it for his own political gains.

According to reports, Castor is now arguing that Constand filed the defamation suit to derail his reelection efforts. His challenger, Kevin Steele, ultimately won the election.

After taking over the office, Steele approved the filing of charges against Cosby.

A judge declared a mistrial this summer after jurors failed to reach a verdict. Cosby will be retried in April.

 — Jen Colletta 

App to connect patients to LGBT-competent health providers 

Three University of Pennsylvania students this month launched a web-based application to help people find LGBT-competent health-care providers.

Phil Williams, Naveen Jain and Jun Jeon began developing the app earlier this year and launched it in conjunction with National Coming Out Day. The beta version of the app is currently available in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City and Chicago.

The website allows visitors to search by specialty, condition, procedure or provider, along with the location. Users can then filter providers through various methods, including by “highest rating.” With this rating system, individuals can rate the providers based on “Welcoming Environment,” “LGBTQ+ Knowledge,” “Inclusive Processes” and “Overall Satisfaction.”

The team told PGN in August that it intends to reach out to providers with low scores to help them improve.

Visit www.spectrumscores.org to sign up.

Health and wellness summit for LGBT people of color

A number of community partners will join this weekend for “Be You,” a health and wellness summit focusing on LGBT people of color.

The event was organized by Terrell Green and Hamzeh Abuyounis and sponsored by openly gay state Rep. Brian Sims, in collaboration with William Way LGBT Community Center, Mazzoni Center and the Office of LGBT Affairs.

Participants can access resources on legal rights, meditation, STDs, PrEP, PEP and overall healthy living. Workshop topics will include social justice, stress management and sexual-health awareness and sexuality.

The summit will take place noon-3 p.m. Oct. 28 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2iu23PM.

Groundbreaking set for LGBT-friendly residence

Project HOME will host a groundbreaking celebration in December for its 30-unit LGBT-friendly housing project for young adults.

The initiative, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, will provide affordable housing for youth who are homeless, formerly homeless or at risk of being homeless.

The groundbreaking will take place 10 a.m. Dec. 6 at 1315 N. Eighth St. 

— Jeremy Rodriguez


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