Paging Dan Onorato – You’ve Got a Friend in New York

Pam Spaulding nails the Democrats on their social conservative bull.

And as it's quite obvious, this isn't a New York problem. This is a Democratic party problem. It manifests itself in the whole “go slow” attitude on legislation that during the election year promises sounded like change was around the corner; it's the whole “uh, oh, we need to be re-elected in 2010” nonsense; it's the sudden “we can't multitask on civil rights while the economy is in the crapper” whining. All of this was so predictable, given the past spineless of Dems we've seen over the years. They had the cover of being in the minority, but now in the majority, nothing much has changed.

You see, if you're going to effect change, as Gov. Paterson is trying to do with this legislation, you have to be prepared as a party to address the larger schism of race, religion and homophobia head-on. In a vacuum of a counter-message, the evangelical anti-gays plant seeds and watch them grow in these religious communities of color. Any success is not due to the brilliance of the Religious Right, but its ability and willingness to capitalize on the Democratic party's self-imposed weakness and impotence regarding discipline on basic civil rights issues because of the race card.

Amen (pun kind of intended).  Pam's talking about a New York State Senator Ruben Diaz organizing against marriage equality.  Now here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, we've got a little different issue — Dems capitulating on a general equality from discrimination.  What's worse are Democrat leaders like Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato remaining SILENT so as to have it both ways.  Insert Catholics and AFA of PA wingnuts for evangelical Christians and you get my point.

The local Democrats, even the gay Democrats, won't challenge him or others who waiver on fundamental issues of fairness and equality.  Someone tried to explain the scary mafioso-like which Dem family hates the other Dem family and which current elected official used to work for whom or who ran whose campaign.  It made my head spin. 

Let's not forget that other “la la la I can't hear you” Democrat, Luke Ravenstahl who is rumored to be “disappointed” over not getting the gay endorsement in return for his appearance at PrideFest.  There's apparently a mad scrambling to appease his Administration.  What the hell is up with that?  He hasn't DONE anything to warrant an endorsement except hang out with a few gay male business owners who have a vested interest in appeasing any Administration because of their business, not necessarily their sexual orientation. 

Don't hand me the baby steps ideology. 

Ravenstahl has attended two PrideFest in a row.  Check.

He signed a symbolic piece of legislation last year.  Check.

He has been dallying with the LGBT Advisory Committee for nearly a year.  Check.

He rides the coat tails of legislation passed over a decade ago before he was old enough to vote.  Check.

What other sort of baby step can you squeeze in there until he actually commits himself to equality?  He cannot continue to appease his Catholic constituents and pat his gay constituents on the head. 

What do I want him to do?  Start the damn committee and fill it with actual leaders.  Keep his private advisers private and give someone else a chance to have his ear.  Don't use PrideFest as a showboat. And he can give the Domestic Partner Registry some teeth by actually informing City employees about it.  That would require a simple memo.  He might even ask his Economic Development folks to put out some feelers to urge local employers to offer domestic partner benefits.  Publicly commit to abstain from any further City-County merger plans until the issues of domestic partner benefits and anti-discrimination protections are resolved. 

If he gets the gay endorsement for the general election, we'll know the Machine is well-oiled with LGBT blood, sweat and tears.  And money.

Homophobia is alive and well in the Democrat party here in SW Pennsylvania. Passing statewide legislation is a pipe dream until we deal with the stuff in our own backyard.

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