Street Talk

Is Elena Kagan's sexual orientation of any interest to you?

Maureen Belluscio
graduate student | Society Hill
“No, because I have nothing to do with her sexuality. In the broader perspective, if she is a lesbian, I’d like to see her come out. She’d be a valuable role model for the younger generation. But I hate that we live in a world where being lesbian is seen as a negative.”
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When, if ever, is it appropriate to ban a book from a high-school library?

James Dawson
landscaper | Baltimore
“It takes a lot to offend me. So I’ll say it’s never appropriate. If the book has made it onto the library shelf, it must have some educational value. If a kid stumbles on something they find offensive — that’s life. Maybe they’ll learn something of value.”
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Is there any place in America where it's advantageous to be an LGBT candidate?

Jeffrey Cesari
creative director | Graduate Hospital area
“Right here in Center City. Absolutely. The LGBT community is very active and politically aware, with a strong support system. People can identity with an openly LGBT candidate. It’s that personal connection that many voters would feel.”
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Will the Scouts ever be evicted from their city-owned building?

Krista Apple
actor/writer | South Philadelphia
“If I were a betting girl — which I’m not — I’d say the city eventually will let the Scouts alone or reach a compromise that will allow the Scouts to stay. I say this because there’s a whole can of worms that goes along with evicting the Scouts. The city just isn’t ready for that.”
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What's your favorite Easter candy?

Ned Clifton
student | South Philadelphia
“Sweet Tarts shaped like animals. They’re bigger than regular Sweet Tarts. Very tangy. I like the contrast of the sweet and sour flavors in my mouth.”
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What are you looking forward to this spring?

Aileen Gardner
student | Bala Cynwyd
“Tweeting birds when I wake up. It’s easier getting out of bed in springtime because of that sound. Also, Mother’s Day. My mother and I are best friends. Mother’s Day gives me another opportunity to honor that relationship.”
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Should gay men be allowed to donate blood?

James McCrory
illustrator | South Philadelphia
"Yes. The ban is too arbitrary. I have lots of completely responsible gay-male friends. I'd rather get their blood than some of my straight friends'. The policy is antigay and doesn't make sense. There's no statistical proof that it's helpful."
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Is it appropriate to ask an LGBT judge to recuse him- or herself from a marriage-equality case?

Jennifer Bernardin

student | Collingswood, N.J.
“No. My father’s a judge in New Jersey. Nobody would ask him to recuse himself from a case because he’s straight. The same should be true for a gay judge. [A judge’s] sexual orientation shouldn’t enter the picture. Judges should be able to separate their professional life from their personal life.”
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Are the courts better venues than state legislatures to pursue LGBT equality?

Michael Brumbaugh
actor | Northern Liberties
“No, it’s best to start with state legislatures — that’s where you have the opportunity to pass progressive legislation. After that, I hope the courts will interpret the new laws to benefit gay people. Having gay issues brought up in legislatures is helpful. The increased awareness can have a positive influence on judges.”
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