Tuesday, May 10
by Sue on Tue 10 May 2011 10:20 PM EDT
Other good stuff happened ...
In New York, openly gay State Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell has announced the introduction of a marriage equality bill. He announced it by Twitter. You can follow him @DanielJODonnell
How can you not follow this guy? It would be like denying yourself a breath of fresh air. I just nearly gassed myself with weed killer in a death match with poison ivy so the fresh air analogy is the best you are gonna get from me right now.
So New York is a battleground. More than 1,000 folks turned out for a lobby day on Monday and the Governor supports the legislation. There's always a but ... however, today we are just going to bask in the good news.
Next, we have word from The New York Times
And then some very sad news from Uganda which is reportedly set to pass their anti-homosexuality bill. The one that includes "punishment by death."
It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that were I living in Uganda, I could be executed. I strongly encourage you to follow the link and delve into some of the nuances of that legislation.
Then come back and tell me that I have nothing to fear from those right wing Christians who SUPPORT this legislation. They may not be trying to kill me, but ... they are unabashedly denying my humanity.
Hurrah for New York and the Presbyterian Church. Prayers for the people of Uganda as they struggle for their very lives.
Friday, May 6
by Sue on Fri 06 May 2011 02:37 PM EDT
It is hard to keep up with the good stuff, but I'm sure you want to know about it ....
Wednesday, May 4
by Sue on Wed 04 May 2011 09:06 PM EDT
(scroll down for links to the 2011 Blog for Equality participating blogs)
I'm sad that we need to rally the troops once again to stand up against yet another attempt to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution in order to "protect marriage." Sigh. But I'm happy the troops are there to be rallied.
Here's how it works
- Your post should be up before or on Tuesday, May 10, 2011
- Any blogger can participate.
- Write a blog post on any angle of the issue that you like (or don't like). Length is not important.
- Contact me (email, twitter, facebook) with a link so we can track participation.
- Spread the word to other bloggers who might want to chime in.
In my recent half dozen posts, you'll find more details including the 5 Western PA legislators serving on the relevant committee alongside the legislation's sponsor and committee chair, Daryl Metcalfe - R, Cranberry. Let me know if you need more details.
- This is the Equality Pennsylvania petition to which you may want to direct your readers.
- This is the link to the actual bill should you find that helpful.
That's it! Once your post is up, please use your social media tools to spread the word. I can attest that these "swarms" are read over and over and over again throughout the year. Together we can send a message to Pennsylvania that the lives of LGBTQ persons are not political fodder.
Thanks to Maria at 2 Political Junkies for logo design.
FWIW, there are four separate pieces of legislation that are LGBTQ+ on hate crimes, civil unions, marriage equality and civil rights protections. I am looking forward to sprinkling some of that goodness into the conversation.
2011 Participants **New contributors for 2011
Einstein's Desk ** Blog for Equality Day
Angels of Sodom ** Blog for Equality '11
2 Political Junkies - Dayvoe Blog for Equality Day
2 Political Junkies - Maria Signs of Spring in PA
The Pittsburgh Comet Trib is Succinct, Eloquent on Topic of Liberty
Burgh Baby ** An Equal Opportunity to Suck Face
topherhoff ** Blog for Equality Day 2011 - Pittsburgh
intense chaos ** Blog for Equality
Thomas C. Waters ** LGBT Equality in PA: Far from a reality
Examiner.com (A.J. Mayowski)** Equality and the Killer
Six Kitties (Ledcat) Blog for Equality Day 2011
A Spork in the Drawer The Thing Is, They're Losing and They Know It
After the Bridge Blog for Equality Day
PGH is a City Blog for Equality Redux
Three Rivers Anthology ** Blog for Equality Day
Amadi Talks Blog for Equality Pittsburgh 2011: Here We Go Again
Ms. Mon's Salon A Reminder That We Are All Created Equal
Deal Snob Pittsburgh Blog for Equality Day May 10, 2011 (Blog for Fairness)
The Radical Middle In Honor of Blog For Equality Day
Here's What I Have To Say ** Blog for Marriage Equality Day
The Narrative in the Blog sent in this submission a little late, but very welcomed! Blog for Equality Day 2011
Other links of note:
The Tribune Review Editorial Board: "But constitutions are not for denying rights; they're for enumerating them. This is poor form, the antithesis of liberty, and the effort should be rejected."
Other shout outs to note:
by Sue on Wed 04 May 2011 11:23 AM EDT
They have a fancy new website which makes it easier for me to find the press releases since they keep kicking me off their email lists ...
On HB 1434
The word "marriage" is the issue. Marriage a legal term used to describe a civil institution. I want access to that institution. I don't give a hoot about the religious constructs of marriage. But there's no way to parse the word and people who think we can magically come up with a solution which satisfies everyone are thinking desperately. No one is coming to take over the church ceremonies. Relax and save your hysteria for the natural gas companies where it is well deserved.
Setting aside the other LGBT legislation, I just shake my head that so many issues will go unaddressed while elected officials rally around this. I'm sure it will be the toast of Cranberry Township tomorrow night when Metcalfe, the Pennsylvania Family Institute and rightwing darling Lila Rose will be gathering for the PFI Annual Dinner. I wish I had ability to infiltrate. With a Flip Cam.
by Sue on Wed 04 May 2011 10:49 AM EDT
UPDATE: I didn't dig deep enough when I originally posted. Western PA Reps Krieger and Mustio also cosponsor this legislation. My apologies.
Metcalfe's plan to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution begins in the State Government Committee of which he is the Majority Chair. As Chair, he has the power to bring the amendment to a committee vote. It would be best to squelch that and you can help by contacting the other members of the committee.
The message is very clear. There are many more important issues than this and we need our elected officials to focus their time and energy on them -- the economy, transportation, taxes, health care, the environment, etc.
Note that there are several Southwestern PA committe members. It is not too early to galvanize your networks to make the calls and make it personal -- people in our neighborhoods need jobs, healthcare, focus on energy issues, education, etc. The links will take you to the reps contact page - phone, email, webforms, etc. Just a few clicks if you live in Moon or Penn Township and you can help put this divisive issue aside to focus on your family priorities.
Seth Grove - York County
Jim Cox - Berks County
Matt Gabler - Clearfield and Elks Counties
Linda Schlegel Culver - Northumberland and Snyder Counties
George Dunbar - Westmoreland County (Jeannette, North Huntington, Penn Twp, Irwin, North Irwin, Penn)
Eli Evankovich - Armstrong and Westmoreland Counties (New Kensington, Penn Township, Murrysville, Upper Burrell, Lower Burrell, Allegheny Township, Arnold, Export, Bethel Township, Cadogan Township, Parks Township, and Gilpin Township)
Glen Grell - Cumberland County
Marcia Hahn - Northampton County
Rob Kauffman - Cumberland and Franklin Counties
Jerry Knowles - Berks and Schuykill Counties
Timothy Krieger - Westmoreland County (Greensburg, Hempfield Twp, Delmont Borough, Hunker Borough, New Stanton Borough, Salem Township, South Greensburg Borough, Southwest Greensburg Borough. Unity Twp, Youngwood Borough) **COSPONSOR**
T. Mark Mustio - Allegheny County (Aleppo Twp, Ben Avon Heights, Collier Twp, Edgeworth, Findlay Twp, Haysville, Kilbuck Twp, Moon Twp, North Fayette Twp, Ohio Twp, Osborne, Robinson Twp, Sewickley, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills) **COSPONSOR**
Brad Roae - Crawford County
Jerry Stern - Blair County
Babette Josephs (Minority Chair) - Philadelphia County
Tony Payton, Jr. - Philadelphia County
Steve Samuelson - Lehigh and Northhampton Counties
Greg Vitali - Delaware County
Tim Briggs - Montgomery County
Eugene DePasquale - Montgomery County
Florindo FaBrizio - Erie County
Kenyatta Johnson - Philadelphia County
Eddie Day Pashinski - Lucerne County
Steven Santarsierio - Bucks County
by Sue on Wed 04 May 2011 09:40 AM EDT
From the Trib ...
It is a bit challenging to come up with someonething new about this one other than quiet disgust. John Morgan at The Pennsylvania Progressive plans to out closeted legislators who cast any affirmative vote on this one.
While we can hope this illustrates the distance between Metcalfe and the "rest" of the Republicans, I suspect this will not go quietly into the good night. Democrats have voted for this in previous terms so we can take nothing for granted.
Please take a moment to sign the petition up at Equality Pennsylvania's site.
Friday, February 25
by Sue on Fri 25 Feb 2011 12:29 PM EST
State Representive Cohen has introduced a measure that would expand existing law to recognize civil unions. HB708 has several familiar cosponsors, including Dan Frankel, Jake Wheatley, Chelsa Wagner, Dom Costa, Paul Costa, Mark Gergely. 41 sponsors in total. This legislation has been referred to the Judiciary Committee as of February 12, 2011. Several cosponsors sit in the Judiciary Committee.
State Senator Daylin Leach introduced a similarly timed bill to extend marriage to same sex couples. SB 461 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 9, 2011. More on why Senator is ardent on this issue.
In addition, State Representative Josh Shapiro is poised to introduce legislation which would amend the Hate Crimes statute to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Also, Representative Dan Frankel from right here in Pittsburgh plans to reintroduce legislation that expands protected class to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This would provide protectsion in housing, public accomadation and in the workplace.
Interesting situation to have 4 critical pieces of legislation in a state controlled by Republicans. I'm sure there's a strategy. I'll keep you informed on any momentum these pick up as well as the potential reintroduction of marriage discrimination legislation to put a DOMA referendum before the voters.
Sunday, January 23
by Sue on Sun 23 Jan 2011 07:37 PM EST
John DeBartola from the Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter wrote to the Trib earlier this month. He forecasts introduction of 4 pieces of pro-LGBTQ legislation: marriage, civil unions, hate crimed and non-discrimination legislation.
I think this aggressive stance is commendable. We all anticipate a Metcalfe sponsored anti-marriage equality bill to be introduced and suck up a lot of resources. Keeping our allies and our agenda high profile reminds us all that we do not have to capitulate to the forces of homophobia and simply beat back these foes.
I was unable to attend the Progressive Summit and learn more, but I anticipate updates emerging from other sources soon.
Saturday, January 8
by Sue on Sat 08 Jan 2011 11:40 AM EST
The PG Community Forum is beginning to grow on me. Today, we find another pro-equality letter to the editor from Attorney Bruce Wilder of Downtown.
Short, sweet and to the point and with an affirming message for same sex parenting.
The comments reflect the usual stupidity and brilliant support.
OK, I have to ask. Lots of kind grow up with Mom and Grandma, or Dad and Aunt Ruth or even Grandma and Grandpa as their primary caretakers. Setting aside the circumstances that lead these children into non-traditional families, folks rarely imply that being raised by a mother and grandmother irrevocably damage a child because of the "what do I call these two women" perspective. Yet, the myriad of homophobic slams about "which gay man is the mother" with regard to Elton John seems to actually carry weight. Does anyone ask what the children of twice divorced Madonna, mother to three children with three different fathers, call her and/or their fathers? Of course not, because its more interesting to focus on her dating life. But no one cares. Does Lola call her Mom, Mum, Mommy, Madre, Madonna, Hey You, etc? I have no idea and I've never seen it mentioned. I'd venture to say any confusion the children experience has more to do with the paparazzi and coping with any fallout from divorce, just like most children. Elton John is not a mother. He is a parent.
Monday, December 27
by Sue on Mon 27 Dec 2010 08:35 AM EST
I dialogued with Sue Frietsche of the Women's Law Project about the Metcalfe memo on "Marriage Amendment" 2011. Her take on it is cause for serious thought ...
It's more radical than alternative versions because of the provision prohibitingrecognition of any "identical or substantially equivalent" legal union. So whatis a substantially equivalent legal union? Would it prohibit domestic partnershipbenefits, second-parent adoptions, joint checking accounts, reciprocal powers ofattorney, or what? Because it's a proposed constitutional amendment, it speaksin broad generalities, not the specifics of a statute or regulation. This versionfailed last time because no one had any idea how it would affect all kinds ofPennsylvanians: would it harm heterosexual unmarried couples who had someequivalent legal structures in place to protect their interests short of marriage?
This is going to require a serious education component to shake folks out of their complacency about adoptions and POA's. I'm sure most people would be stunned to learn that an amendment that seems to be about "gay marriage" could impact the Power of Attorney documents for unmarried heterosexual couples. Advocates have to find a way to connect with people who aren't at the table but have a vested interest in these issues.
That message has to resonate as loudly as Senator "Gays Are Allowed to Exist" Eichelberger's infamous comments from last session.
There are slews of LGBTQ adoptive parents and every couple has a second parent adoption. That's hundreds of Allegheny County voters to be mobilized. I'm not 100% sure of the nuances of second parent adoption for heterosexual couples, but the POA issue could be devastating. People spend thousands getting those documents prepared along with other domestic partnership paperwork. What about people traveling through Pennsylvania? What if a LGBTQ couple with a child are involved in a car accident and the primary adoptive parent passes away? Would the Commonwealth be able to deem the second parent adoption null and void under the federal DOMA statute?
I guess the point is, as Sue points out, that we just don't know.
We do know that there are a lot of things to be addressed, things even Dems and Repubs can agree upon so it might be better to vest energy in those topics.
We also know that time is on our side. We have to fend off this amendment (year after year after year), but equality is on the horizon.