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A video showing State Rep. Brian Sims berating a woman saying the rosary outside a Planned Parenthood clinic isn’t easy viewing, yet at press time it had been viewed more than 1.1-million times.

In his video, taken outside the clinic at 1144 Locust St., Sims (D-182nd Dist.) approaches a woman who appears to be in her 50s and who is a member of pro-life organization Sidewalk Servants.

LGBTQ citizens in the United States are one step closer to enjoying federal legislation that would protect them from bias at work and in housing.

On May 1, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Equality Act (H.R. 5), which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add sexual orientation and gender identity under its protected classes.

An end to the AIDS epidemic might be nearer after a landmark study found that men whose HIV infection was fully suppressed by anti-retroviral drugs such as PrEP had no chance of infecting their partner. 

The study, published in the medical journal, “The Lancet,” considered transmission rates from 1,000 male couples in Europe where one of the partners was HIV negative and the other was HIV positive and receiving treatment to suppress the virus. 

Billy Ciancaglini had been a South Philadelphia Democrat for all his voting years. Then, he moved to the right. Just how far to the right is in question.

Ciancaglini, a criminal defense lawyer, changed his registration to Republican 10 months ago and is now the Republican candidate for mayor of Philadelphia. 

The Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention released its final judicial ratings.

Tiffany Palmer, an out candidate running for a seat on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, is one of only four candidates given the honor of “Highly Recommended.”

After New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s May 3 order to the New Jersey Army National Guard to defy President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military servicemembers, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he wants to “explore” ways to protect trans National Guard members in this state. 

Right now, however, he has no plans to join Murphy in defying the ban.

When Katie Sgarro started AsylumConnect with cofounder Sy, they were seniors at the University of Pennsylvania, it was September 2016, and Barack Obama was President.

Launched as the first online resource database for LGBTQ people seeking asylum in the United States, AsylumConnect offers a searchable catalog of necessities, from legal help to housing, food and other forms of aid for those legally unable to work in the early stages of the asylum process.

For 20 years, Tommi Avicolli Mecca was the face of gay-activist journalism in Philadelphia and a fixture in Philly’s nascent LGBTQ community. “I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless,” he said of his work as a journalist. “I wanted to tell the stories that weren’t being told and amplify the voices that weren’t being heard.”

At 68, Avicolli Mecca is still an activist — working for the most vulnerable in the LGBTQ and other communities — focused on the housing crisis, poverty and homelessness. The road from Stonewall to now has been one of self-discovery for the gender-nonconforming queer writer and artist.

Part one of a two-part series

It was supposed to be a sex game. 

It turned into a rape. 

Terrell Johnson was only 20, his partner, Matt, 26, forced him to have sex against his will. It’s an experience that, even five years later, Johnson has trouble discussing with all but his closest friends. 

State legislators and members of the LGBTQ community and its allies held a news conference in Harrisburg this week to announce the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation, and to implore citizens and fellow legislators to support it.

House Bill 1404 and Senate Bill 614 would provide protection at work, in housing and in business services for LGBTQ people by adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the state’s nondiscrimination law, which was originally written in 1955. The law still only covers race, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin and disability.

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