Street Talk

Does Ken Mehlman's coming out reflect progress on social issues within the GOP?

Jada Arrington
student | North Philadelphia
“Yes, I think the Republicans are getting more comfortable with diversity. Cheney’s daughter is a lesbian. Sarah Palin’s daughter gave birth out of wedlock. Whether they like it or not, Republicans are being forced to accept diversity. This gentleman is the latest example.”
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Should Obama issue a moratorium on gay military discharges until "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is resolved?

Harry Finnimore
laborer | Rittenhouse Square
“Yes, he should do it now. Sexual preference isn’t a valid reason to prevent someone from serving [in the military]. It’s a waste of time and money to go after gays and lesbians. If Congress decides to keep the policy, then at some point the discharges can begin again. But they shouldn’t be retroactive.”
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Will the overturning of Proposition 8 be upheld in the appellate process?

Drew Hodgson
graphic designer | Los Angeles
“It’s an exciting ruling, and I’m hoping to get married in California with my partner. My heart tells me the ruling will be upheld, but my head tells me otherwise. George W. Bush ensured that the Supreme Court is very conservative. It’s possible that the court will rule against marriage equality, unfortunately."
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Did the Sherrod flap alter your opinion of the Obama administration's commitment to minority rights?

Zachary Gray
canvasser | Washington Square West
"I never thought the administration was all that committed to minority rights. I'm very concerned about the limits it's placed on women's reproductive freedom. Somebody screwed up by firing Shirley Sherrod. But I'm reserving judgment as to the scope of the problem."
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Will Obama appeal the ruling overturning DOMA?

Theresa Jones
nurse | West Philadelphia
“No. I think Obama is a fair person. He has bigger fish to fry than to pick a fight with this ruling. There are so many bad things in the world: starvation, poor education, pedophiles. Why would he impose on individuals’ happiness?"
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Would a boycott of Hawaii help bring about civil unions?

Michael Anticoli
server | South Philadelphia
“No, it would be a waste of time. People wouldn’t pay attention, with everything else going on in the world. It wouldn’t get much publicity. Also, the oil spill limits our options for a vacation. Hawaii is still a viable option.”
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Should minority rights be subject to voter referendum?

Maurice Gooding

furniture installer | Southwest Philadelphia
“Yes. I do support voters’ rights, and government of the people. I just don’t like it when gay rights are trampled on. But that’s the way it is. The harder we push, the harder the right wing will push back. We have to learn to live with it.”
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Who is the biggest impediment to LGBT rights?

Rose Koslosky
student | Manayunk
“Sarah Palin. She’s a very visible woman who opposes same-sex marriage. I consider her to be a political puppet of the right wing. For the most part, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I just wish she’d open up to the LGBT people, because her policies are affecting them.”
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What's your ideal summer getaway?

Tonya Bridges
job coach | Mt. Airy
“Bermuda. I’m craving the beach, the clear blue ocean. Philly is getting on my nerves. I’ve been praying I’ll get to Bermuda before the [Gulf Coast] oil spill does. The news has been awful. It’s very upsetting.”
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Have you been educated adequately about HIV/AIDS?

Marc Caglia
casting director | Orlando, Fla.
“No. Why is there no vaccine to prevent it, and no cure after you acquire it? I’d like to see more public education to inform people about any advances or break-throughs taking place.”
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