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The Philadelphia Gay News won seven Keystone Press Awards this year, an honor that not only recognizes professional excellence, but journalism that “consistently provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers, and faithfully fulfills its First Amendment rights/responsibilities.”

When Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee undertook their cross-country adventure in autumn 2010, it was a labor of love, patience and improvisation. The goal was to tell the stories of young and old, black and white, rural and urban, male, female, bisexual, transgender, queer and all the rest, and turn it into an online collection for all to see that they were not alone.

 An upcoming judicial ruling could determine whether the Social Security Administration can refuse to recognize the existence of a common-law marriage, even if a state court has already recognized it, and deny a request for monthly survivor benefits.

It took two years for gay widower John D. Roberts to receive spousal-survivor benefits from SSA after his spouse, Bernard O. Wilkerson, died in December 2015.

Political advocate and Democratic strategist Malcolm Kenyatta appears to be edging out his closest competitor in the primary race for state representative of Pennsylvania’s 181st House District after securing a series of key endorsements.

Kenyatta’s most recent endorsement comes from state Sen. Sharif Street of the Third District, which includes North Central Philadelphia, Nicetown, Tioga, Logan, Lower Germantown, Olney, Fern Rock, Crescentville, Roxborough, East Oak Lane, East Hunting Park, East Wyoming and Melrose Park Garden.

 

It took 20 years, says Philly Pride Presents executive director Franny Price, but Margaret Cho is finally taking the stage during the 30th annual Philly Pride parade and festival. Cho started performing around the time Philly Pride was finding its feet, but for a variety of reasons through the years, booking her just kept missing the mark.

 

A New Jersey judge has ordered the owner of a bar to pay more than $9,000 in legal fees for a gay couple who filed suit after being assaulted inside the establishment.

The legal fees and costs are in addition to $31,000 in damages awarded to David Monaco and Florin Nikollaj by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel.

    The only Democratic challenger to State Rep. Brian Sims has dropped out, leaving the incumbent in an uncontested primary race.
     Louis D. Lanni Jr., a former Philadelphia police officer, had filed the paperwork to be a primary challenger to incumbent Sims to represent the 182nd District, which encompasses much of Center City and the Gayborhood. Earlier this month, according to Pennsylvania’s Voter Services website, Lanni cited simply “candidate withdrew” in the filing.
     Lanni did not reply to repeated requests for comment. Emails bounced back and his GoFundMe page is closed. His social media accounts have been defunct since 2014.
     Sims continues to fundraise, sending out an email request March 28 reading in part: “We’ve got just three days left to meet our grassroots fundraising goal of $8,000 for March.” It was not immediately clear how much Sims has raised of that $8,000 goal this month.
     Lanni, who is openly gay and a Philadelphia native, ran against Sims for state representative in 2016 and in 2011 as a Republican in the First District. Last year, Gov. Wolf pardoned Lanni’s previous conviction for fraud, which forced him to leave the race in 2011. Lanni said his key issues include passing hate-crime legislation, improving public safety and ending gridlock in Harrisburg.
     Lanni told the Philadelphia Gay News in 2016, “We are very poorly led in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. And we can do a whole lot better.”

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