News Briefing
Mar 13, 2014 | 430 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nizah committee to contact city, state pols

Advocates for Nizah Morris say they’ll contact city and state lawmakers for help in obtaining a state probe into the transwoman’s death.

Morris, 47, became a homicide victim in 2002, shortly after entering a police vehicle for a “courtesy ride.” The case remains unsolved, and advocates want Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to step in.

At this week’s meeting of the Justice for Nizah committee, members agreed that support from elected officials could help persuade Kane to intervene.

Jason Goodman, executive director of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, said he’ll contact the Pennsylvania LGBT Equality Caucus, composed of state legislators who support equality for LGBT Pennsylvanians.

“With every delay, more community stakeholders are invested in securing justice for Nizah Morris,” Goodman told PGN. “The movement for a complete investigation will be made stronger by state legislators taking a stand for Nizah. The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition will work as swiftly as possible with our partners in the state government to advance her case.”

Transgender advocate Jordan Gwendolyn Davis said she’ll contact Philadelphia City Council, to urge that a resolution be passed in support of a state probe.

“I believe it would be very powerful if Philadelphia City Council supported an independent probe into the Nizah Morris case,” Davis told PGN. “While City Council made our city one of the most trans-friendly in the nation, it would all be in vain if they ignored the epidemic of violence against transwomen, especially transwomen of color.”

The next meeting of the J4N committee is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 19 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. The public is invited to attend.

Inmate’s clemency bid scheduled

The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons was scheduled to consider the clemency request of Lois J. Farquharson this week.

Farquharson, a lesbian inmate, was convicted in the 1971 shooting death of Leon Weingrad.

At 88, she’s believed to be the oldest female inmate in Pennsylvania. Her advocates say she should be released, noting that another person actually fired the shots.

Farquharson’s case was scheduled to be heard 9 a.m. March 13 in Room 437 of the Main Capitol Building in Harrisburg. Additional information was unavailable at presstime.

Siloam sponsors open house

Siloam, a local AIDS agency, will hold an open house March 14 to provide information about its holistic-health services to other service providers and the general public.

The event will take place from 2-4 p.m. March 14 at Siloam’s office, 1133 Spring Garden St.

Sister Cathy Maguire, executive director of Siloam, said attendees will be asked to help judge artwork promoting HIV prevention that was submitted by local school children.

“We’re extending a warm welcome to HIV providers, as well as those living with the virus and the general public,” Maguire told PGN. “Everyone will get a better sense of what Siloam has to offer the community.”

Light refreshments will be served.

Maguire added: “We’re extremely grateful for the efforts of volunteer David Moore, who was instrumental in organizing this event.”

Maguire also said Siloam is especially pleased to now have a licensed psychologist at the agency on a regular basis.

— Timothy Cwiek Salon hosts fundraiser for Quince

Quince Productions will stage “SundayFest! At Charlie Salon” from 1-3 p.m. March 23 at the Washington Square West salon, 203 S. 12th St.

The event will benefit Quince Productions’ 2014 season and will include hors d’oeuvres, food from Philadelphia-area businesses such as Kanella and Cake & the Beanstalk and wine.

The event is free and will also include a raffle for prizes such as local theater subscription packages and tickets and gift cards to local eateries.

Quince Productions stages “GayFest!” every summer.

For more information, visit or call 215-627-1088.

Temple students get another Emmy nod

Temple University’s LGBT-focused sitcom “One of the Guys” was nominated in the series category of the 2014 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation’s national College Television Awards.

The show, which is produced by Temple students Michael Busza, Jen Parker and Jaime Sweet, was also nominated for a 2013 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award and is the university’s first LGBT web-based television show.

The three producers will head to the 35th annual Emmy Foundation’s College Television Awards Gala April 23.

For more information, visit

— Angela Thomas

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