October opens Human Relations Month in Philadelphia as well as commemorates LGBT History Month. PCHR Executive Director Rue Landau was at City Hall to honor both, along with Mayor Michael A. Nutter, LGBT Affairs Director Gloria Casarez and a host of LGBT advocates and activists. City Council members Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, Dennis O’Brien, Mark Squilla and David Oh also were among those on hand for the 5th annual rainbow flag raising.
The work of groups such as the Mazzoni Center, GALAEI, Philadelphia Gay Black Pride and the Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League was praised at the ceremony. The Rev. Jeffrey H. Jordan-Pickett of Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia provided words of encouragement — and reminders.
While there have been a host of wins in the past year — from the city’s historic and landmark policies for LGBT employees to marriage equality — the vicious Sept. 11 attack on a gay couple in Center City underscores that more work lies ahead.
Those sentiments were echoed throughout the event, which concluded with an impassioned plea from Mayor Nutter that a major election is just a month away, and “change comes when you change the people making the policies.”
As the assembled reflected on the past and set their sights on the future, the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus led the crowd in a rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner as the rainbow flag was hoisted, to cheers.
Check out a snippet of joyous sounds offered by the renowned Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus.