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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City Council has given a thumbs-up to plans for a new senior living facility in Center City that would be focused on members of the LGBT community. And for one leading gay activist, that approval was a watershed moment.

Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal was in the City Council chambers as the lawmakers unanimously approved a resolution allowing the LGBT senior center to move forward. Segal later reflected on how times have changed:

“I fought this Council to get gay rights bills passed. I fought this Council to get domestic partners [legislation] passed. And coming here and saying, ‘We want the city to be a partner with us in creating an LGBT-friendly living facility,’ and having them vote unanimously on that (is) personally very gratifying.”

The senior center will be built on S 13th Street between Spruce and Locust and will have 56 units. Segal say the $19 million project will be built with a combination of federal, state and private funds.

“What we’re doing is creating something equal to what other communities have, that will be a livable place for LGBT people where they can feel safe and secure, and grow old, and have a very decent form of life,” Segal explains.

Anyone can apply to live there, but marketing will be focused on the gay community. Segal hopes for opening by the end of 2013.

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