SundayOUT! Fest celebrates ‘landmark’ year for LGBT rights

The SundayOUT! Fest at The Piazza at Schmidt’s wrapped up the 2013 Equality Forum, Philly’s annual LGBT civil rights summit.

Revelers at this year’s festival had plenty to celebrate – City Council just last week passed a landmark LGBT rights package.

If signed by Mayor Michael Nutter, the legislation will make Philadelphia the first U.S. city to offer tax credits to businesses who offer equally accessible health care to LGBT employees and their spouses and will extend health care protections to transgender city employees.

Executive Director Malcolm Lazin called the provisions’ passage “a wonderful way to start off the annual Equality Forum.”

“I want to thank Councilman Jim Kenney and all who made it possible for the legislation to pass,” Lazin said.

Attendee Meredith Deleski said she viewed the package as a landmark moment for LGBT rights in the city.

“It only helps me the more rights we get, so anything I can do to support that, I’ll do 100 percent,” she said.

Also in attendance was activist Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro.

Castro was allowed to visit Philly for the event after, in a last-second decision, the U.S. Department of State reversed a travel ban and granted her a visa.

“Congratulations for your activism, for your wonderful work toward civil rights, LGBT rights,” Castro said to a roaring crowd.

“Congratulations – you are our inspiration, too.”

She then invited everyone to an afterparty – of sorts. “We are waiting for you in Havana [to] celebrate!” she said.

Not everyone was pleased by the event – several people with evangelistic organization Repent America protested in front of The Piazza, bearing Bibles and bullhorns.

“Don’t be a God hater!” one young man implored the crowd, urging them not to “die in rebellion before God.”

No one took the bait. “Everybody here accepts anybody,” reveler Molly Levine said.

“You can be whoever you want to be and no one will judge you.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.