News briefing Jan. 16-22, 2015

News briefing Jan. 16-22, 2015

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Win your wedding

The Original LGBT Expo and EnGAYged Weddings will produce a same-sex wedding expo featuring the largest wedding giveaway ever in its 22-year history.

The expo takes place Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St. in New York City. The giveaway will include flights for the winning couple to New York City, a corner suite in Intercontinental Times Square, a fully sponsored wedding ceremony live at expo and a luxurious honeymoon at the five-star Los Altos de Eros Hotel and Resort in Costa Rica. The total prize package is valued at more than $30,000.

“We couldn’t be more excited to team up with EnGAYged Weddings to bring this amazing giveaway to our event,” said Jay Handy, director of Life Out Loud Events, the expo’s new producers. “We’ve been working to bring the LGBT Expo to the next level, and this is a great step.”

To enter the giveaway, contestants are asked to submit a short story and photos that showcase the couple’s love story and why they should win the giveaway. For the full contest rules and regulations, visit:


Gay scholarship opens

This region’s largest scholarship fund for young gay men is now accepting applications.

The Jonathan Lax Scholarship is open to gay-identified men who live in or attend universities in the five-county Philadelphia region. The application deadline is Feb. 2. Tuition scholarships range from $4,000-$8,000.

The fund has awarded more than $723,00 to 162 young gay men since its inception in 1994. The late Jonathan Lax was an inventor, activist and member of Bread & Roses Community Fund’s board of directors. He established the fund at Bread & Roses to encourage young gay men to pursue higher education and to be role models for other LGBT youth.

For more information or to apply, visit


Church to stage trans-focused workshop

As the “T” in LGBT comes more into the spotlight, it is important to learn more about the trans community and what it means to be transgender, including terminology, definitions, etiquette and more.

The Transgender 101 Awareness workshop, hosted by The Universalist Church of Delaware County, will help educate non-trans individuals to be more prepared allies. The event takes place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 17 at the church, 145 W. Rose Tree Road in Media.

Facilitated by Sandra Greenfield, the workshop will focus on what it means to be transgender, including legal and medical terminology and social issues, and will provide guidance for allies. In addition to the educational component, a panel of transgender individuals and allies will share from their experiences and perspectives.

The workshop is free and lunch and childcare will be provided.

For more information and to RSVP, visit


Nominate community HEROES

A local LGBT grantmaking organizations is now accepting nominations for an award honoring outstanding community leaders.

The Delaware Valley Legacy Fund is taking nominations for its ninth-annual HEROES through Jan. 30. DVLF will honor youth, adults, nonprofits, straight allies and businesses whose work has advanced the rights of the LGBT community.

The awards brunch will be held March 30 at Hotel Monaco, 433 Chestnut St.

For more information or to nominate a HERO, visit!heroes-2015/c1few

— Ryan Kasley


Court date scheduled in Williams case

A pre-trial status conference in the homicide case of trans woman Diamond Williams has been scheduled for later this month, according to court records.

Charles N. Sargent is accused of stabbing Williams to death, then dismembering her body with an ax. Sargent allegedly told police he invited Williams to his Strawberry Mansion residence during the early-morning hours of July 14, 2013.

According to Sargent’s statement, he stabbed Williams in self-defense, after she demanded a pre-arranged payment of $40 for performing oral sex, which he says he refused to pay because she had a penis.

A pre-trial status conference is set for 9 a.m. Jan. 21 in Courtroom 1105 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner will preside.

In an affidavit filed with the court, Sargent quoted extensively from the Bible and stated that his advocate is “Yahshua, the Messiah, Lord Jesus, the Christ.”

Sargent, 45, remains incarcerated at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

Oral arguments set in cop suit

Oral arguments have been scheduled in the case of N. Melville Jones, an openly gay Philadelphia police officer who alleges pervasive anti-LGBT workplace bias.

Jones filed suit against the city in 2013, seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages.

The officer claims a supervisor outed him throughout the department, which triggered pervasive harassment and discrimination. But the city contends that Jones’ lawsuit is meritless and seeks its dismissal.

Oral arguments in the dispute are set for 10 a.m. Jan. 28 in Room 232 of City Hall.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Linda A. Carpenter is scheduled to preside.

If Jones’ complaint isn’t dismissed, a non-jury trial is expected in September, according to court records.

— Timothy Cwiek


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