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Accusations came out last week against The Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia’s independent LGBTQ youth bastion, claiming an alleged sexual assault against a minor occurred on its premises and that racism was rampant among its staff.

The allegations were first posted March 4 on the Facebook page of the Black & Brown Workers Co-op.

Most people may not know this (or care), but I am not native to Philadelphia. In fact, I grew up on a farm 80 miles northwest of Amarillo, Texas. Yes, my adolescence was spent driving a tractor, dealing with cows, pigs and chickens — and doing my best to avoid getting beaten up by homophobic cowboys. Ah, childhood.

It also means that I was essentially suckled on chili and weaned on barbecue.

Alaska mayor vetoes LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections

The mayor of Alaska’s second-largest city vetoed a local law that gave sweeping equal rights protections to the LGBTQ community, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

 March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a day to recognize the achievement of women and the ongoing struggle for equality around the world.

The history of IWD is rooted in women’s fight for political, social and economic justice over more than a century. In some countries, like the United States and throughout the U.K, and Europe International Women’s Day is a day of protest. But it is also a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women and promote gender equality — IWD is more than just a social media hashtag.

 

Before Methodists gathered in St. Louis last month to debate the future of LGBT people in the second-largest denomination of protestant Christians in America, it was the conservatives who were talking about leaving. Now it is the progressive wing of the United Methodist Church that is considering its options.

For years Pennsylvania Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd Dist.) and Rep. Thomas Murt (R-152nd Dist.) have tried but failed to toughen the state’s hate-crime law. Now, they’re hoping their third try will be successful.

Their bipartisan bill, which was inspired by a high profile and vicious attack in 2014 on a young gay couple in Center City, is now in the hands of the State House Judiciary Committee.

Another legislative session means yet another attempt at making discrimination against LGBTQ people illegal in Pennsylvania, but things are a little different this time around.

The Pennsylvania Fairness Act — which would provide protection at work, in housing and in business services — has a fighting chance now that Rep. Garth Everett (R-84th Dist.) replaced Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th Dist.) as chairman of the House State Government Committee.

 Marc Coleman is a Philadelphia success story by any means. He grew up in North Philadelphia and went to high school in Willingboro, N.J. From there, it was on to Princeton and Temple universities.

Today, his digital agency The Tactile Group has 20 employees and he hopes to hire five more by the end of this year. And since he’s outgrowing his brightly-colored Gayborhood office, he plans to get a space that’s twice the size.

LGBTQ foster parenting session scheduled

There are many LGBTQ youth in Philadelphia in need of LGBTQ affirming foster parents as they navigate the road to finding a forever family. To that end, Philadelphia Family Pride is hosting an information session for interested, and even just curious, participants to help them make informed decisions about fostering a young person.

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