News Briefing
May 08, 2014 | 586 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Black Madam trial rescheduled

Jury selection was slated to begin this week in the murder trial of a transgender woman who allegedly gave illegal silicone injections, but the trial has been postponed.

Padge Windslowe faces third-degree murder charges in the 2012 death of a 23-year-old British woman, who police say died after receiving a steroid injection in her buttocks from Windslowe, who calls herself the Black Madam.

Jury selection was scheduled for May 5, but was delayed because the defense attorney is on trial in another case. The trial has been rescheduled for Feb. 17.

Windslowe remains incarcerated at Riverside Correctional Facility.

Whitewood plaintiffs respond

The plaintiffs in a marriage-equality challenge this week filed their response to the state’s request for summary judgment.

In a May 5 filing, the plaintiffs in Whitewood v. Wolf argued that the state has relied on “stale precedents” and outdated rationales to support their notion that the state’s ban on marriage equality remain in place.

A judge is expected to rule in the coming weeks.

The plaintiffs argued that they suffered profound cognizable harm because of the law, and that the state has not demonstrated that the law can withstand even a rational-basis challenge, the least stringent of constitutionality tests.

All filings in Whitewood are due by May 12, and the judge can rule any time after that. The case was filed last summer by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a group of same-sex couples.

LGBT faith exhibit opens

The First United Methodist Church of Germantown will host the traveling Shower of Stoles Project through May 18, displaying more than 1,000 liturgical stoles and sacred items representing LGBT people of faith across three continents.

The Rev. Lorelei Toombs, FUMCOG pastor, said the project is a “very moving and beautiful way to raise awareness, honoring the many contributions and gifts that LGBTQ persons have offered to the greater church and faith community.”

The exhibit, at 6001 Germantown Ave., is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 11 and 18 and by appointment during the week. For more information, call 215-438-3677.

— Jen Colletta Schneller blocked from future filings

A federal judge has prevented anti-LGBT activist James D. Schneller from filing additional legal papers in the Whitewood case.

Schneller has attempted to intervene in the case on three separate occasions.

After his most recent attempt, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones 3d not only denied the request, but he instructed the court clerk to return any future filings by Schneller relating to the case.

“The clerk is directed to return any future filings by Mr. Schneller to him upon receipt,” Jones stated in an April 24 order.

In an email to PGN, Schneller said he plans to seek Jones’ recusal from the case due to “bias and partiality.”

Gay cop seeks records

Lawyers for openly gay police officer N. Melville Jones plan to subpoena the state Attorney General’s Office for LGBT-related antibias records pertaining to the Philadelphia Police Department that have been generated since 2006.

The lawyers want all such “findings, investigative documents, recommendations and/or determinations” in the agency’s possession, according to an April 23 filing.

The city has until May 13 to object to the subpoena. Jones is suing the city for pervasive anti-LGBT workplace bias.

His attorneys already have given notice that they intend to seek similar records from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

A non-jury trial is expected in October.

Neither side had a comment.

— Timothy Cwiek AIDS Fund hosts book event

The Kevin O’Brien Studio, 1412 S. Broad St., will host Art & Sole, a book signing and shopping event to benefit AIDS Fund, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. May 14. The event will include a signing and discussion with author Jane Gershon Weitzman. Attendees will receive a copy of her book, “Art & Sole,” and a gift bag with a Kevin O’Brien Studio scarf, as well as a guided tour of the studio and a peek at a private sample sale.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit

— Angela Thomas

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