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Doing it “For the Boys”

Family Portrait: Ahavia Lavana


Two Philadelphians co-direct the 2012 Soulforce Equality Ride



Jan. 20-26, 2012


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Vol. 36 No. 3

New push for action on Scouts building ACLU, Lambda Legal send letters to city leaders; businessman Heifetz offers $2 million. By Timothy Cwiek timothy@epgn.com Two advocacy groups and a local businessman have sent new salvos to the city on the issue of the Boy Scouts occupying a city building rent-free, calling for a quick, lawful resolution. Local philanthropist and businessman Mel Heifetz has made a new offer of $2 million to purchase the controversial property occupied by a local Boy Scouts of America council — if that’s what it takes to outbid any other offer for the property. The BSA Cradle of Liberty Council is headquartered on public property at 231251 N. 22nd St., even though it refuses to accept participants who are gay, atheist or agnostic. Since those persons are protected by local antibias laws, the city tried to evict

the Scouts — but the eviction process has been mired in litigation since 2008. In 2010, the Nutter administration tried to settle the litigation by agreeing to sell the property to the Scouts for $500,000 — a fraction of the property’s estimated value. If they purchase the parcel, the Scouts would be on private property. Thus, they would be able to set their own membership standards without violating local laws. The deal, however, sparked an outcry by LGBTs and their allies, who said it would pave the way for other discriminators to buy or lease city property at a reduced rate. Heifetz made his latest offer to purchase the property in a Jan. 17 letter to City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith. He also renewed his previous offer of

$1.5 million for the property — regardless of whether there’s a counteroffer to match — or $1 million plus payment of any legal fees assessed against the city due to its prior efforts to evict the Scouts. Smith has rejected both of Heifetz’s previous offers, noting that an agreement of sale already has been reached with the Scouts. Smith couldn’t be reached for comment on Heifetz’s latest offer. William H. Ewing, an attorney for Heifetz who sent the letter to Smith, said he couldn’t predict what Heifetz might do if a counteroffer exceeds $2 million. City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, who introduced a bill in 2010 to enable the property’s sale to the Scouts, couldn’t be reached for comment on Heifetz’s latest offer. Clarke’s bill died in comPAGE 8

Harrisburg couple looks for immigration reprieve By Jen Colletta jen@epgn.com A gay couple from suburban Harrisburg has all the makings of the modern allAmerican family — except that one father is fighting to become an American citizen. Mark Himes, 43, and husband Frédéric Deloizy, 48, met with officials from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services last Wednesday in PAGE 6

Woman sues over fake-penis firing By Jen Colletta jen@epgn.com A woman contemplating gender-reassignment surgery says she was fired from a Northeastern Pennsylvania company for wearing a prosthetic penis to work. Pauline Davis filed a federal suit against J&J Snack Foods last week, alleging gender discrimination. PAGE 14

WHOLE-HEARTED SHOPPING: Joe Carlucci (center), grants associate at Mazzoni Center, distributes shopping bags during a fundraiser for the organization’s food pantry Jan. 12 at Whole Foods on South Street. Vivian’s Cupboard, which provides nutritious meals to those affected by HIV/AIDS, was selected as the beneficiary of the store’s 5% Day, in which it donates a portion of its proceeds to a deserving nonprofit. While the South Street fundraising numbers were not yet finalized, the Callowhill Whole Foods location generated $5,492 for Vivian’s Cupboard. “We’re thrilled with the results and very grateful to Whole Foods for the opportunity to participate,” said Elisabeth Flynn, Mazzoni Center communications manager. Photo: Scott A. Drake

MINDS IN MOTION: Brenda Dixon Gottschild (seated, right) reads selections from her new book about Joan Myers Brown (seated, left), founder and artistic director of the Philadelphia Dance Company, at a discussion about African-American dance Jan. 14. Organized by The Brothers Network, the event, which drew about 50 people to Moonstone Arts Center, gave an inside look at Philadanco while examining the history and development of the larger black dance community in Philadelphia. Photo: Scott A. Drake

Robber hits Spruce Street Video By Jen Colletta jen@epgn.com LGBT video shop Spruce Street Video was robbed by a man purporting to have a gun Monday night. The man entered the store, at 252 S. 12th St., around 5 p.m. and indicated to the clerk that he had a gun in his pocket, and ordered him to empty the cash register. The robber made off with $110. A few minutes before the robbery, store owner Franny Price said she and her partner were sitting in their car in front of the store when they noticed two suspicious men outside. She described them as a black male in his early 30s, about 5-foot-10, and a while male in his late 20s, about 5-foot-9. Price said she had never seen either man in the neighborhood before, which alerted her. “I was in the car getting it warmed up, and I saw the black guy go down the steps to the video store then turn right around and come back and connect with the white guy, who looked like a hustler. I said, ‘They’re up to no good,’” Price said. “I’m guessing there were too many people in the store right then when the first guy went in. And the white guy went in and bought a lollipop and came back out.” Price and her partner pulled away and were PAGE 2 only about six blocks from the

Profile for The Philadelphia Gay News

PGN Jan. 20-26, 2012  

The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond.

PGN Jan. 20-26, 2012  

The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond.


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