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JULY 2018
Keynote Speaker Announced for
2018 Family Matters Conference 

The 9th Annual PFP Family Matters Conference will take place at the University of the Sciences in the McNeil Science and Technology Center on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 9am-3pm. SAVE THE DATE!

Naomi Headshot CroppedWe're thrilled to announce that this year's keynote speaker will be Naomi Washington-Leapheart, pictured.

Naomi Washington-Leapheart, a daughter of Detroit, is the Faith Work Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, the country's oldest national LGBTQ justice and equality group. In that role, she coordinates the Task Force's public faith messaging and advocacy and leadership development work in faith communities. Naomi is also an adjunct professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University.

Before joining the Task Force, Naomi was a faith organizer for POWER, a multi-faith, multi-racial network of congregations in metro Philadelphia. She also served as Co-Pastor and Minister of Music at the Wisdom's Table at St. Peter's United Church of Christ. An ordained minister, she earned the Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 2016 and is affiliated with the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries.

Naomi delights in singing with the Philadelphia Threshold Singers, a choir whose mission is to bring audible comfort and kindness at the bedsides of people living in hospice care. She is a board member of the Pennsylvania Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice. In 2016, Naomi was invited to serve as a member of the Faith and Spiritual Affairs Advisory Board of the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Disability Services. In 2017, she was appointed by Mayor Jim Kenney to the Philadelphia Commission on LGBT Affairs.

Naomi's work is included in the volume, From Generation to Generation: A Commemorative Collection of African American Millennial Sermons from the Festival of Preachers 2010-2015 (Chalice Press, 2015). Her writing can also been seen on MediumReligion Dispatches, and Rewire.News. She regularly preaches and teaches in diverse faith communities around the country.

Naomi shares her life with her wife, Kentina, a chaplain and religious educator. Together, they are raising a curious, energetic, future Oscar-winning middle-schooler.

In addition to this speaker, the conference will also feature 12-15 workshops for LGBTQ parents and prospective parents as well as child care for small children and programming for older kids and youth.

Let us know your proposals and ideas for workshops before August 3rd by filling out this online survey.

Want to sponsor the conference this year? Go here to fill out a form to sponsor and to pay for your support.


Lots of PFP Events in June for Pride Month
PFP had a very busy Pride month!

On June 2-3, families visited the water park resort Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos on our annual trip. Thanks to PFP board member Greg Yorgey-Girdy for leading the group. Families got together for dinner together on Saturday night (pictured) in addition to having fun in the water park.

great wolf lodge 2018 - cropped

potluck june 2018 croppedThe regularly meeting potluck group, renamed "Parents of Young Children" met at the home of Edith and Emily in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia on June 3rd. Their next meeting is August 5th - see Upcoming Events below.

The Please Touch Museum also held their first ever Pride Celebration on Saturday, June 9th. Many PFP families attended and enjoyed Drag Story Time. Many thanks to PTM for this event to celebrate our families. We look forward to future pride celebrations at this local treasure.

Families marched in the annual Philly Pride Parade on Sunday, June 10th (pictured below) which was cool and rainy for the first time in recent memory! Lots of families participated and some joined us at the Family Zone table at the festival at Penn's Landing post-parade.
pride parade 2018
IMG_3016Friday, June 15th, PFP board member Gina Cline joined the Human Rights Campaign at an event touting Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's support of the LGBTQ community at the William Way LGBT Center. Gina is pictured here (left) with (left to right) likely future state representative and out gay man from North Philadelphia Malcolm Kenyatta, Equality PA board member Kira Kinsman and state representative Brian Sims, Pennsylvania's first openly gay man elected to the PA State House.

Thursday, June 21st, PFP Executive Director Stephanie Haynes handed out information at the first ever Night Market food truck festival in the Gayborhood. It was the biggest Night Market yet and a great time!

picnic group photo cropped 2018Finally, last but not at all least, our first Philly Family Pride Picnic and Arts Festival took place in conjunction with the Mayor's Office for LGBT Affairs and Mt. Airy Art Garage on Saturday, June 23rd at the newly renovated Lovett Library Park in Mt. Airy.

Dozens of LGBTQ-led families braved the stormy skies and (relatively) cool temps to come out and browse resoure tables from PFLAG, GLSEN, ACLU-PA, HRC and more, eat at the delicious food truck, buy art from the artists in attendance, take in musical performances, be dazzled by juggler Brian Eckenrode and make crafts with the Girls Scouts.

The picnic was also visited by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia City Council members Cindy Bass and Helen Gym, director and deputy director of the Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs Amber Hikes and Evan Thornburg, and members of the Mayor's Commission of LGBT Affairs. Many thanks to all the folks who made this event possible! (Photo: 
PFP's Stephanie Haynes, Allison from HRC, Mayor Kenney, Amber, Evan and Linda Slodki from Mt Airy Art Garage.)
Member Milestones
Many congratulations to PFP Board Member Tariem Burroughs and husband Nick Wood on baby Finn joining their family! Finn was born on June 20th weighing 8 pounds and measuring 21 inches long. After a few sleepless nights in the beginning the family has found its groove and is so happy to have Finn in their lives. Welcome to parenthood! finn
Congrats to PFP Board Member Chloe Harris on becoming the first out transwoman employee in the history of the Philadlephia Parks and Recreation Department! She was hired this summer as a Recreation Specialty Instructor after spending some time volunteering with the department. Way to go Chloe! chloe-cropped 2

If you have a member milestone for a future newsletter, please email us at or reply to this email.


image001Monday, July 30th - We have a few free tickets left to see the new movie "Far from the Tree" at Ritz at the Bourse at 7:30pm on Monday the 30th. Email Stephanie Haynes with your name for two tickets to be held for you. Deadline is noon on Friday the 27th, so hurry! First come, first served. 

Sunday, August 5th - The newly renamed potluck group "Parents of Young Children" will meet again at 10am. This month the hosts are Adam and Stephen in Wynnewood. RSVP on the Facebook event. 

Thursday, August 16th - PFP is hosting another foster parent recruitment event, this time from 6-8pm at the Penn LGBT Center at 3907 Spruce Street. Come hear from DHS about the requirements and steps to becoming a foster parent, a panel of LGBTQ foster parents and former foster youth and chat with foster agencies. More info.

Labor Day, Monday, September 3 - Tina and Junior are having a party! Stay tuned for more info.

September 14-16th - PFP goes camping, this year to Mauch Chunk Lake near Jim Thorpe, PA. Tent sites, cabins and a nearby RV park. The park has swimming, boating and fishing.  More info.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed for more upcoming events.

Federal Court Rejects Argument That Child Welfare Agencies Have a Right to Discriminate

PFP Board May 27A federal district court ruled on July 13 that the city of Philadelphia can require foster care agencies with city contracts to abide by its nondiscrimination policies. This ruling is the first time a federal court has said that government-contracted child welfare agencies do not have a right to exclude same-sex couples or others who don’t meet an agency’s religious test from fostering children.

Catholic Social Services (CSS) asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction ordering Philadelphia to resume referrals of cases to CSS despite its unwillingness to comply with city nondiscrimination requirements that apply to potential same-sex foster parents. The court denied CSS’s request, rejecting its argument that the Constitution requires the city to permit government-contracted agencies performing public child welfare services to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families based on religious objections to same-sex couples.

“First and foremost, this is a victory for children in Philadelphia who need a loving home and can’t afford to have good families turned away for failing to meet a religious litmus test,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. “We’re proud that the city is committed to ensuring that no qualified family that comes forward to care for a child in need is turned away because of their sexual orientation or other reasons unrelated to the ability to care for a child. And we’re thrilled that the court rejected the claimed constitutional right to discriminate against loving families.”

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and volunteer counsel from Dechert LLP asked the court for permission to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of the Support Center for Child Advocates, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation and services to children in the foster care system, and Philadelphia Family Pride (PFP), a membership organization of LGBTQ parents and prospective parents. Although that motion has not been decided yet, the court allowed the prospective intervenors to submit a brief in support of the city’s position and to present argument in court.

Continue reading the ACLU of PA's press release.

More info about the case at

Above photo by Stephanie Haynes. Pictured are some members of the PFP board after our May 27th meeting where the group voted to work with the ACLU on this case. 


Philadelphia Family Pride
2018 Board of Directors

Adam Podowitz-Thomas, Chair

Nijah Newton-Famous, Vice-Chair

Gregory Hedler, Treasurer

Ruby Augustus, Secretary

Despina Kontos, Education and Advocacy Committee Chair

Gina Cline, Event Planning Committee Chair

Tariem Burroughs, Fundraising Committee Chair

Terinae Holland, Membership Committee Chair

Members-at-Large: Julie Assis, Angel Brice, Bryan Berchok, Leigh Braden, Ana DelCorazon, Chloe Harris and Gregory Yorgey-Girdy.

Suggestions for what else we should include in our newsletter? Want to sponsor our next issue?


Contact Stephanie Haynes, PFP Executive Director at



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