News Briefing: April 27-May 3


    Schneller appeals to state Superior Court

    James D. Schneller, co-founder of the Philadelphia Metro Task Force, has taken his challenge of Conshohocken’s LGBT civil-rights ordinance to state Superior Court.

    Enacted in April 2011, the ordinance extends civil-rights protections to LGBTs in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and public education.

    Discriminators face up to 90 days in jail, and a $500 fine for each violation.

    Schneller wants the ordinance invalidated, contending it infringes on protected religious freedoms, causes harm to children and fosters the spread of diseases.

    On March 12, Montgomery County Judge Bernard A. Moore dismissed Schneller’s complaint because it lacked legal standing.

    Schneller filed a motion for reconsideration, which the judge denied on April 9.

    The following day, Schneller filed an appeal in state Superior Court.

    Schneller also is seeking permission from Moore to proceed as a pauper during the appellate process.

    At press time, Moore hadn’t ruled on that request.

    Michael J. Savona, borough solicitor for Conshohocken, hopes that Schneller’s appeal will be dismissed in due time.

    “Obviously Conshohocken is disappointed that Mr. Schneller is continuing to waste the borough’s money on this frivolous appeal,” Savona told PGN. “It’s a complete, unadulterated and meritless waste of time.”

    Schneller couldn’t be reached for comment.

    In a prior interview, Schneller said the Philadelphia Metro Task Force has about 75 members representing about 20 municipalities in the state.

    — Tim Cwiek

    Arrests in Gayborhood attack

    Police this week arrested two people suspected to be involved in a recent attack on a Gayborhood parking-lot attendant.

    Warrants were issued April 20 for Ronald Moore, 37, and Tamika Wilkins, 36, in connection with the April 4 attack at the E-Z Parking lot, 1309 Locust St. The pair was picked up April 22 in Point Breeze.

    Asrat Mulugeta was working in the lot at 7:45 p.m. when video surveillance shows him being approached by a woman, whom police believe was Wilkins. The two spoke for several minutes before she walked away and quickly returned with a man, allegedly Moore, who struck Mulugeta in the face with a brick.

    No money was taken from the victim, but funds may have been missing from the parking-lot booth.

    Both suspects have lengthy prior arrest records.

    Travel options at center

    Those looking to get out of the city this summer can peruse the latest LGBT-friendly destinations and packages at a GLBT Travel Expo from 4-8 p.m. May 3 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.

    Exhibitors will include representatives of vacation destinations, hotels, airlines, car rentals, visitors’ bureaus and others who will offer information about their products and LGBT-friendly initiatives.

    Admission is free, and guests can enjoy prizes and giveaways.

    For more information, visit

    Fundraiser for arts book

    A book project that highlights the importance of the arts will be the beneficiary of an arts-themed social from 6-9 p.m. May 3 at design firm and printing press Replica Global, 33 S. 18th St.

    Proceeds from the $10 admission fee will benefit the Artistic Rebuttal Book Project, which empowers artists and other arts supporters to communicate the need for art as a vehicle for social change. A number of LGBT contributors are featured.

    Funds raised from the event will support the printing of the book.

    Guests can enjoy refreshments and interactive art activities, such as screen-printing.

    For more information, visit

    Segal honored for senior work

    PGN publisher Mark Segal will receive the Senior Champion of the Year award from SeniorLAW Center at the agency’s annual SeniorPROM.

    The event will be held from 6-10 p.m. May 4 at The Westin Philadelphia, 99 S. 17th St.

    The evening will feature cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction to benefit the agency, which provides comprehensive services for elders.

    Segal spearheaded the proposal for an LGBT-friendly senior-housing facility in Philadelphia. Following a funding win earlier this month, the project is moving toward construction this fall.

    Other SeniorLAW honorees include Volunteer of the Year Lillian Youman and Partners of the Year Cigna Corporation and DLA Piper.

    For more information or to reserve tickets, visit or call 215-701-3203.

    — Jen Colletta