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A grand jury indicted Jussie Smollett on March 8 on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He was charged for each time he told the story of being attacked by two men on Jan. 29 in an alleged hate crime.

Smollett stands by his story and has engaged high-profile attorney Mark Geragos to represent him since his arrest on Feb. 20, when he was charged with one count of disorderly conduct in the case.

Dr. Paul Zeitz has forever fought for justice — be it patients’ rights, human rights or global rights — striving for equal opportunity and egalitarianism for all.

Continuing with his mission, the Philadelphia-born activist and author has formed “Build a Movement 2020,” a set of initiatives aimed at achieving gender- and sexual-orientation equality and sustainability with a call to end child-sexual abuse and incest.

Group concerned over arrest of Egyptian transgender woman

An international rights group is voicing concern over the safety and well-being of an Egyptian transgender woman arrested during a police raid on her home in Cairo.

Amnesty International said that Malak el-Kashef was arrested March 6 and her whereabouts are unknown.

Don’t expect immediate gratification.

That could be the first thing foster parents should know, but it would be immediately followed by how rewarding it is to help raise needy local children and teenagers who number in the thousands.

Earlier this week, Philadelphia Family Pride hosted its 10th information session for potential LGBT-affirming foster parents at the Lovett Memorial Library in Mount Airy. A few dozen people attended.

Heroes among us

Twelve years ago, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund established an award designed to recognize and embrace those LGBT community members and allies who have dedicated much time and energy to advance rights, health and legal status of Philadelphians and the region.

Democrats won two seats in the state House after winning special elections on March 12.

In Philadelphia’s 190th District, Democrat Movita Johnson-Harrell is going to Harrisburg. With 78 of 80 precincts reporting, Johnson-Harrell won almost 67 percent of the vote, beating Amen Brown of the Amen Brown Party, Pamela Williams of the Working Families Party and Republican Michael Harvey.

The Equality Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 13 by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Jeff Merkely (D-OR).

Cicilline, who has served in the House since 2011, was the first openly gay mayor of a state capital and is a co-chair of the Equality Caucus.

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