Tuesday, November 20
by Sue on Tue 20 Nov 2007 10:42 PM EST
Pittsburgh wants to host the world's largest wedding vow renewal ceremony and the homos are invited! On February 10, 2008, 700 couples will participate in the world record setting event. Including gay couples. According to event organizers, the Guiness folks will accept any US or International marriage certificate.
Yes, you read that right. Mayor Ravenstahl is going to remarry upwards of 700 people. Including gay couples. Only a few months after he went on the record as opposing both gay marriage and gay civil unions in a televised WQED debate..
How the heck do you go from opposing any legalization of gay relationships to welcoming us to the MacDaddy of wedding ceremonies?
You might recall there was a big secret meeting between Luke and LGBTQ leaders on election eve. Do you think they were picking out china patterns? Maybe deciding on a floral arrangement? I can't tell you because the silence from our "leadership" has been deafening.
Do you think they'll be going to the chapel? More importantly, do I have to buy them a gift or has Luke taken care of that?
Interesting to note that the ceremony has been secularized. Do you think there was a flap about including individuals who are in marital relationships without the benefit of a legal wedding certificate? Gay or non-gay alike.
Does one homophobic Mayor trump a whole flock of homophobic religious chaps?
Wednesday, November 7
by Sue on Wed 07 Nov 2007 07:56 PM EST
I'm sure by now you've made the rounds of the usual suspects ... Comet, Burgher, Junkies, McIntire, Smoke Ball ... I could go on and on .... frankly, I didn't have the gumption to drag my ass out of bed any earlier than usual to Wednesday morning quarterback the election -- with a gay twist. I was too damn tired from working a 12 hour day that ended after 10 PM to twist any gays. I heard DeSantis say "doggone" on the radio and called it a day.
However, fortified with samosas (not mimosas, John) and an energizing day at work, I'm now ready to pontificate on all things gay.
First, please note that there has been no official followup from the Secret Gay Meeting held this past Monday by some unknown gay folks and the Mayor. Sources have identified a few of the leader who attended, but I cannot get any confirmation. The only person who has publicly stated their plan to attend is our faithful reader and commenter, steelcitydyke, and she hasn't shared with us. Thus, we remain firm in our belief that Luke Ravenstahl is opposed to civil unions and gay marriage. This does not bode well for the expansion of gay civil rights or gay visibility in the City.
Second, a big hooray b/c Debra Todd has become the first female Democrat elected to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court. Todd had the endorsement of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats. You can read how gay friendly she is here.
The Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the House 235-185 minus protections for our trans sisters and brothers. And, hey don't worry, your Human Rights Campaign folks have also made sure to get religious exemptions tied into the legislation. Sigh.
Michigan elected its first openly gay mayor in Ferndale.
Iraqui gays express feelings of abandonement and frustration. This is an article that puts electing a twerp as our Mayor in perspective, doesn't it?
Tuesday, November 6
by Sue on Tue 06 Nov 2007 11:00 AM EST
10 a.m. at Lesbian Central and I'm taking a coffee break to review the blogs as we head into election day ...the Burgh Report, 2PJ's, the Comet, the Angry Drunk Bureaucrat and even our dearest Ms. Mon.
What I cannot do for you, dear readers, is clarify if Mayor Ravenstahl has had a "Come to Jesus" moment with regard to civil unions. By that I mean the cool hang-with-the-great-unwashed sandal wearin' Jesus. Not the distorted lets-ignore-that he-never-talked-about-gays edition.
No one is saying anything. No message to the membership from the leaders of the Steel-City Stonewall Democrats (they haven't returned my check so I presume we are still members). No response from the Ravenstahl camp. No comment from private individuals. Only a few whispers from the Burgh Report.
Wouldn't you think that if Luke changed his mind about civil unions, it would be important information to share before the election?
I must be officially out of the loop. So we have to proceed with the information at hand. Luke is on the record opposing civil unions.
Does it really matter? Well, this morning I went to meet with the AFLAC rep who had previously told me they offered domestic partner coverage. Turns out they can't do that because the Commonwealth doesn't recognize domestic partnerships, including heterosexual. So the best they can do is sell me two individual policies at the group rate, which will still cost me more than a family policy.
Once again, I get a second-class benefit simply because I'm a lesbian. We already have to pay income taxes on our health insurance coverage because we are domestic partners. We face additional taxes on our life insurance policies. The list goes on and on and on.
Recognizing civil unions is a step in the right direction to remedy this second-class status. Opposing civil unions keeps us in second-class status.
Luke Ravenstahl doesn't think my family and yours have as much value and worth as the family he's built with Erin, his wife. His career trajectory won't stop at the City level.
Keep that in mind when you cast your vote. I know that I will.
Friday, November 2
by Sue on Fri 02 Nov 2007 11:53 AM EDT
I missed the debate last night, but have had multiple folks email me this morning with this very importantpoint.
When questioned about inclusiveness of the LGBTQ community in the City, the mayoral candidates were asked to specifically state their positions on "gay unions" and "gay marriage."
Luke Ravenstahl stated that he does not support gay unions or gay marriage. He said he was proud to participate in gay events and that he would like gay people to participate in City goverment.
Mark DeSantis, the Republican, is in favor of civil unions AND stated that he would appoint someone in his Adminstration to serve as a liaison to the gay community.
Ravenstahl puts the onus on us to participate, dismissing the responsibility of his Administration to create a culture that respects and values the contributions of City residents who are gay. However, he is willing to come to our events.
Read this very carefully all you who lauded Luke for showing up at PrideFest: that's all he's gonna do -- show up. He's not gonna walk the walk. He's given us ample evidence of that.
Luke Ravenstahl didn't take the time to complete a questionnaire from the Gertrude Stein Club during the primary race.
Luke Ravenstahl didn't take the time to attend the first ever LGBTQ forum sponsored by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.
Luke Ravenstahl doesn't think we have the right to get married. This is a litmus test question, people, even if it is not a local issue.
And you delude yourselves if you think helping get a permit for a street party is going to translate into anything more concrete for gay City residents. He doesn't care about us and he isn't moving forward with us to build a more inclusive community.
Ask yourselves this on Tuesday morning ... do you want your Mayor to be there for us as PrideFest or to be there for us in City Hall?
Mark DeSantis is the candidate who will walk the walk when it comes to local LGBTQ issues.
Vote DeSantis and vote for the gay community to move forward.