Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kelly Takes Stand in Defamation Trial

City Councilman Jack Kelly testified this morning that he was concerned for his reputation and "nauseated" by the language in a 2007 flyer that accused him of "voting with the homosexual lobby" to "promote sodomy to our youth."

Kelly Takes Stand in Defamation Trial

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City Councilman Jack Kelly testified this morning that he was concerned for his reputation and "nauseated" by the language in a 2007 flyer that accused him of "voting with the homosexual lobby" to "promote sodomy to our youth."

Kelly is suing for defamation Paul Corbett, who circulated 5,000 of the flyers at 20 churches in Northeast Philadelphia just before the 2007 general election. Corbett was angry that Kelly voted to revoke a lease for city-owned land held by the local Boy Scouts chapter because the group's anti-gay policies violate the city's anti-discrimination law.

Corbett's attorney, C. Scott Shields pressed Kelly on a 2007 letter he wrote to the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, touting his continuing support on the issue. Kelly agreed that he tried as a politician to "please as many people as I can" but rejected a description of that as "pandering."

Corbett circulated the flyers under the name: Citizens Who Oppose Politicians who Pander to Perverts.

"I want everyone to be happy with me," Kelly testified. "You try to help as many people as you can. As a politician, that's what you try to do. I represent everyone in the city. I don't just represent Irish men from the Northeast."

Kelly's attorney has rested their case. Shields asked Common Pleas Court Judge Albert Snite Jr. to summarily dismiss the case.  Snite is now considering that request.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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