Street Talk

What's your favorite holiday tradition?

Colleen Nowicki
student | Gayborhood
"Secret Santa with a group of 15 close friends. We set a $10 maximum so nobody spends too much. We do it a few days before Christmas, and we also have a chocolate-milk party. My friend Courteny's family owns a farm that's famous for the chocolate milk it produces. We use it for the party."
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Can Charlie Sheen be useful as an AIDS educator?

Lyndsey Hochler
student | Gayborhood
"Yes. Charlie Sheen has a lot to offer, even though he's made some mistakes. We're all human and there's good in all of us. I think it would be wonderful if he wants to raise public awareness about such a big issue."
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Should Kathryn Knott's anti-LGBT tweets be presented to jurors at her upcoming trial?

Kelly Dzioba
studio manager | South Philadelphia
"Yes. They show she's bigoted in her views and inclined to physically assault a gay couple, if she feels bold enough. I'm not saying she walks around assaulting gay men, but she certainly didn't seem to be provoked. She was emboldened by her friends."

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What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Emily Azbell
student | West Philadelphia
"My sobriety. I've been clean and sober for two years and 47 days. I was an out-of-control heroin addict. I'm so appreciative that my life is being put back together. The support of family and peers has been a true blessing in my life."

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Should domestic-partnership benefits be repealed, now that marriage equality is the law of the land?

Catherine Bouvier
software specialist | Old City
"No. Relationships are very complicated. We shouldn't be too rigid on allocating benefits. It would be fine with me if a family member like a sibling could be designated as a beneficiary of health benefits — just as long as you establish a tie with that person."
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Should the next Philadelphia police commissioner be selected from within the department?

Daniel Bowles
personal trainer | Bridesburg
"No, someone from outside the department should get the job. There's an issue with acceptance of diversity and lack of proper training in the Philadelphia Police Department. Given this history and track record, it's better to go outside for the commissioner."
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Is a $135,000 fine appropriate for a bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple?

Vanessa Bowman
fashion designer | Germantown
"No. That seems excessive. A fine like that doesn't fix the problem. It just creates more separation and division. The ignorant just get angry and lash out. So you're not accomplishing anything with such a fine. I'd rather see some type of mediation."
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Should parents have an option of ensuring that no gender is designated on their child's birth certificate?

Alieu Bangura
student | Delanco, N.J.
"No, for the sake of practicality, I'd have to go against that. We need structure in society. It would interfere with the orderly process of too many things. I'm pro-transgender rights but we need structure in society."
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