Helping reduce energy costs improve profitability with environmental responsibility...
You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
Daniel Pillai’s He/She Project Growing up in a traditional south Asian community in Canada, Daniel Pillai didn’t quite fit in. “There was an inherent non-acceptance to who I was and how I acted,” he says. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Pillai spent his childhood in what he calls a “conservative atmosphere,” surrounded by […]
Addiction Treatment and the Recovery Process By Matt Gonzales, writer and researcher for DrugRehab.com Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects your physical and mental health, job status and relationships. Once you’re hooked on a drug, your whole life revolves around it. Substance use disorders are common in the United States. Heroin use in […]
Who pays after the devastating Orlando shooting? After a tragedy, who pays the bill? There has been a lot of talk lately about medical costs and medical debt, even as the Affordable Care Act helps more Americans get the treatment they need without taking on crippling debt. Even with more people covered, medical treatment is […]
Making a Legal Case for Bisexuality Bisexuality is widely misunderstood. Bisexuals are often dismissed or used as a punchline by the straight community and sidelined in conversations about LGBT rights and equality, often while experiencing many of the same struggles and setbacks as the rest of the queer community. And for some–like Ray Fuller, a […]
Olympic Coverage Criticized as Homophobic? One of the most memorable moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio didn’t occur during an event. Instead, just after the women’s rugby event on Monday night, Brazil’s Isadora Cerullo’s partner, Marjorie Enya, surprised her with a proposal. As reported by CNN, Enya said in her emotional speech “I […]
Why You Need to Vote in This Election
Including a personal experience by business owner, Kurt Darhower of Philadelphia
The major party conventions have wrapped up, and both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have shifted into general election mode. The tone each is setting for this election could not be any different. To protect the progress of our nation, you need to vote this fall to ensure the best qualified candidate wins.
Through planned policy and impulsive statements, Donald Trump is spreading ignorance and bigotry. Hillary Clinton is focusing on optimism, compassion, and inclusion. Trump has shifted back to demonizing Muslims. He’s drumming up racial distrust in his supporters. His attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a US soldier killed in action, are being widely criticized as mean-spirited. Clearly, there are reasons you need to vote in this election.
You Need to Vote to Protect Progress
Outside of the headlines, the sense of fear–especially within marginalized groups–is real and palpable. You need to vote to ensure diversity and equality are valued and protected. Kurt Darhower, who owns Salon Ricochet in Center City Philadelphia, shared this story of a chance encounter. His story underscores the importance of why you need to vote this fall.
Kurt’s experience sheds some light on what’s at stake in November:
I took a cab to work last Friday. My cab driver and I were talking and he asked me if I watched the DNC, which had ended the night before. I replied that I had, and I was very pleased with what I saw. At a red light he turned to me and revealed that he was Muslim, to which I responded “That’s ok.” We continued talking throughout the ride, and when we arrived at my destination, I asked him how much I owed him.
He turned to me and said, “Can I tell you something?”
This man, in his late 50s or early 60s, teared up as he told me he has lived in the US for 30 years, has raised his children here, and put them both through college by driving his cab. He said he has never been more afraid than he is now.
He fears that some day somebody is going to get in his cab and shoot him because of where he is from. While clutching his heart he told me how much he loves the US and how it has given he and his family a better life. With tears running down his face he then raised his arm and pointed at his wrist and said, “I would give my own blood for this country.”
At first I didn’t know how to respond, but without hesitation, I reached through the cab window, placed one hand on his shoulder and took his hand with the other and said, “I am so glad you are here and I consider you as much of an American as I do myself.”
We both cried for a moment, and as I walked away he called after me, “God bless, you kind sir. God bless you.”
You Need to Vote in Support of Diversity
The environment of fear, distrust, and hatred that Donald Trump has created and nurtured these past few months is all too familiar for many. Kurt continued his story:
I know his fear too well. I have lived a majority of my life in fear because of who I love. From being called harsh and scarring names in middle and high school to being physically assaulted at Broad and Walnut streets in Philadelphia just months after moving here, all because I am gay.
Until you live in fear and experience the hatred [the driver] and I have experienced, you have no clue. I wish I could have taken the time to tell that cab driver my story. Fear is fear; the Muslim cab driver and I live it every day.
You Need to Vote in Support of Compassion
It doesn’t help any of us to allow Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to spew hatred and intolerance, or to divide us because of how we worship or whom we love.
What is at stake in November cannot be overstated. Whether that means protecting LGBT rights, ensuring that immigrants of any religion or national origin are welcomed and valued for their contributions to this country, or ensuring that at-risk populations have access to the resources they need for healthy and happy lives, the results of the upcoming presidential election will affect millions of lives.
Kurt ended his story with a popular phrase that’s been popping up to oppose the Republican nominee: “Love Trumps Hate.” Hearing his story, we certainly hope compassion and empathy will show love trumps hate is true this fall.