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

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.