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News Briefing

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Marriage recognition case still active

Attorneys for two women who want their out-of-state marriage recognized in Pennsylvania say they’ll decide by June 20 whether their clients’ federal lawsuit should be dismissed.

Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker filed suit in 2013, seeking to have their 2005 marriage in Massachusetts recognized in Pennsylvania.

On May 20, in another federal case known as Whitewood v. Wolf, the state’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned, and Gov. Tom Corbett said he won’t appeal.

Two days later, U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin gave attorneys for Palladino and Barker until May 29 to explain why their case shouldn’t be dismissed as moot.

But the women’s attorneys said they needed more time, and McLaughlin recently extended the deadline to June 20.

Michael L. Banks, an attorney for the women, said he wants to ensure that his clients’ rights are fully protected, prior to dismissal of their lawsuit.

“We want to make sure we’ve taken every step necessary to protect our clients and ensure that recognition of their marriage is fully achieved,” Banks told PGN. He said a decision about possibly dismissing the case will be made before the June 20 deadline.

Schneller involved in Montco dispute

Anti-LGBT activist James D. Schneller wants to deliver an oral argument in a marriage-equality dispute pending in state Supreme Court.

The validity of 124 marriages resulting from marriage licenses issued last year by Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes remains contested by state officials.

The dispute is pending in state Supreme Court, and oral arguments may be held in Harrisburg in November.

Schneller, who lives in Radnor, recently asked to deliver an oral argument as a “friend-of the court.”

At presstime, the court hadn’t ruled on Schneller’s request.

State officials say the 124 couples should get new marriage licenses bearing dates after May 20, 2014, when same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania.

But county officials maintain the validity of the 124 marriages, so the case is ongoing.

— Tim Cwiek

PGMC teams up with Oregon chorus

The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus will celebrate two marriage-equality victories in Rehoboth Beach this month.

PGMC is gearing up for “Let’s Do It: The Music of Cole Porter,” in partnership with the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus. Both groups are celebrating last month’s marriage-equality victories in their respective states.

The concert will take place at 7 p.m. June 21 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Ave.

Both choruses will perform songs from iconic Broadway star Cole Porter, such as “Anything Goes” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

This will be the first time PGMC has performed in Rehoboth Beach in more than 10 years.

Artistic director Joseph Buches said the chorus was eager to reach out to a different demographic.

“It is a new audience that we don’t perform for quite often. It is nice to branch into a new community,” he said. “We want to get our chorus out there. The music will be fun, we have a great host in Cashetta and we have a great band accompanying us. It is going to be exciting.”

This will be the first major performance from both choruses since Pennsylvania and Oregon legalized marriage equality. Buches said the timing makes the event even more special.

“Both choruses are excited and with the two states legalizing same-sex marriage, it will provide a different and powerful feeling,” he said.

Buches said performances like these help PGMC build relationships with other LGBT choruses.

“It makes us more visible in the community and with all the choruses around the nation and the world. It’s nice to have that comradery with other groups.”

Tickets for the concert range from $25-$50. A sign-language interpreter will be present for the hearing-impaired.

For more information, visit

DVLF accepting grant apps

LGBT grantmaking organization Delaware Valley Legacy Fund is now accepting applications for its 2014 Emerging Needs grant.

DVLF will accept applications from 501(c)3 organizations that are working to meet emerging needs in the LGBT community. At least 75 percent of the organization’s constituency must identify as LGBT. Applicants can be based in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, or in Burlington, Camden, Cumberland or Gloucester counties in New Jersey.

DVLF will accept applications until July 2. For more information or application materials, visit

— Angela Thomas

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