Philly Stops Phunding Equality Forum

equality-forum1-jmcwilliamThe premiere event for gay Philadelphia is the Equality Forum, a week-long series of conferences and events that occur each Spring focused on LGBT rights and history. Philly’s mayor, Michael Nutter has cut city funding for the event, which was around $115,000 or 13% of the annual budget of Equality Forum. Gays and lesbian leaders call the move “unfair”, but Nutter responds saying something like, “Hey! We have no money! Didn’t you hear it’s the End Times people? No money!”

In fairness to Nutter, he also sut city funding of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Puerto Rican Day Festival and while he’s funding the city’s world famous Mummer’s Parade this year, funding goes off the table next year. Still, the lack of funds have sent Equality Forum organizers scrambling, according to Philly.com:

“When Mayor Nutter was elected, we felt like we finally had a seat at the table,” Lazin said. “Now we feel like that seat has been pulled out from under us.”…

The loss of the city’s $115,000 contribution – of which the forum was notified by letter last month – puts the organization in a difficult spot because it has committed money for speakers, venues and so forth.

“There are very few areas to cut,” Lazin said. “It means less promotion.”

Among the first things to go, he said, is the monthlong rainbow flag display on Broad Street.”