How do you measure outrage? Or even mild disgust? I'm reading Exist-gate tweets, blog posts, hits to the blog posts and started a Facebook Group http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=114139050228&ref=ts You could also go to Twitter and search for Eichelberger. I don't know how to post a Twitter update. Bob Mayo tried to teach me, but I'm still refining the skills.
(If you don't recognize the name Eichelberger, go read this post.)
But no official response. Granted the Senate and the City Council are in the midst of serious budget issues that I definitely want to be addressed. Still, “allowing them to exist?”
Am I overreacting as one person has asked me to consider? Was it merely a verbal flub intended to convey that Pennsylvania is not attempting to criminalize homosexuality, but merely associate us with pedophiles and incest perps to protect marriage?
If it was a verbal flub, Eichelberger could simply clear that up with a brief written statement and get focused back on “not encouraging” our behavior/lifestyle/whatever. So I'm open to the possibility that he flubbed, but not the silence that followed.
There's a lot on the gay agenda. NY may vote on marriage today. The White House is throwing a fancy party to commemorate Stonewall. DNC fundraisers are being boycotted. Anti-bullying legislation in North Carolina. First ever federal honor for a gay civil rights pioneer. That's just what I've seen with a quick visit to the major blogs.
I'm not sure if Exist-gate will catch on. I inserted the hyphen because people kept reading/hearing it incorrectly. Will it prove a rallying cry for the local LGBTQ community? Will we stop allowing other people to control the debate about our lives and take ownership of all these crazy things that are literally not-happening in Pennsylvania? I'm trying to persuade a few folks to meet with State Rep Harry Readshaw about HB 300 — half of his constituents have these protections because they live in the City and half don't because they live in the suburbs. He needs to hear from the unprotected half and make sure everyone in his district has equal civil rights. That's an important discussion.
If we can't get an apology or a public show of support from any leader in our state, it is inevitable that every single LGBTQ resource will be sucked into defeating the marriage amendment. Again. Our attempts to obtain civil rights will be derailed by this other issue and, frankly, by the lack of resources we as a community are investing in a Western Pennsylvania LGBTQ advocacy infrastructure.
It still boils back to what can we do?
Well, if you join the Facebook group, we have a little data, especially if you post comments or join the discussion.
If you continue calling all of your elected officials, we have ongoing pressure.
Beyond those steps, I'd say investing in the infrastructure is the best positive step. Join the dialogue at the next Steel City Stonewall meeting on Thursday, July 16 from 7- 9 PM at the Lawrenceville Crazy Mocha. Bring your agenda and your dues $$.
Let's see what happens.