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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.