Mother of Orland victim calls for gun control 

Mother of Orland victim calls for gun control 

Christine Leinonen moved the crowd at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday to their feet, and many of them to tears. 

Leinonen’s son, Christopher, was killed along with his boyfriend and 47 others last month in the mass shooting at an Orlando LGBT nightclub. 

Christopher started a gay-straight alliance at his high school, for which he won an award. He was an avid Hillary Clinton supporter, his mother said. 

Leinonen said the weapon her son’s killer used fired 30 rounds per minute. 

“Where was common sense the day my son died?” she asked about the need for gun control. “I never want any of you to have to ask that about your child. That’s why I support Hillary Clinton.”

Gay filmmaker Lee Daniels, of Philadelphia, came before Leinonen, also calling for gun control, while Conn. Sen. Chris Murphy and the daughter of a victim of the Newtown mass shooting followed. 

Out PA delegate awaits Obama’s speech 

Out PA delegate awaits Obama’s speech 

From the floor of the Democratic National Convention, with a roster of state and federal lawmakers, out Pennsylvania delegate Malcolm Kenyatta effused energy. 

“It’s been amazing,” he said of his convention experience. “We’re having these conversations, talking about things that matter to Americans, to families, and why Hillary Clinton is going to be the one to get things done and not Donald Trump, who doesn’t seem to have a plan for anything.” 

Kenyatta, a delegate for Clinton, was eager to hear tonight from the man Clinton is looking to succeed. President Barack Obama is scheduled to take the podium around 10 p.m. 
“I’m looking for him to lay out what we all know: how hard it is to be president,” Kenyatta said. “I want to hear him talk about his experience and how he knows Hillary Clinton has the toughness, has the temperament, has the background to handle those really tough calls.”

California official calls conversion therapy “emotional torture”


California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom July 27 at the Democratic National Convention. Photo: Paige Cooperstein, Philadelphia Gay News

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced his state Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention as “proudly pro-lesbian, pro-gay, pro-bisexual and pro-transgender.”

“At our best, we don’t tolerate our diversity, we celebrate our diversity,” he said. Continue reading “California official calls conversion therapy “emotional torture””

Transgender Pennsylvanians expect great things from Sarah McBride


Sarah McBride. Photo: Philadelphia Gay News Archives

When Delaware native Sarah McBride was a senior at American University, a friend introduced her to another woman who found her way to Washington from the Northeast.

“Her friend hoped I could give her advice on coming out as a public person,” said Mara Keisling, who moved from Pennsylvania to direct the National Center for Transgender Equality.

By 2013, when McBride was student body president, she had already worked on campaigns for Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Attorney General Beau Biden. Continue reading “Transgender Pennsylvanians expect great things from Sarah McBride”

Charlotte mayor to Congressman: “We need your help”


U.S. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island joined a panel with Mayors Against Discrimination July 27 at Philadelphia City Hall. Photo: Paige Cooperstein, Philadelphia Gay News

The mayor of Charlotte, N.C., is a tall woman with a quick drawl.

Near the end of an hour-long panel at Philadelphia City Hall during which six representatives of Mayors Against Discrimination shared their cities’ LGBT-inclusive policies, she stood and gave her canary yellow jacket a quick tug.

Continue reading “Charlotte mayor to Congressman: “We need your help””