Sunday, April 27
by Sue on Sun 27 Apr 2008 10:18 AM EDT
The Post-Gazette published City Councilman Bruce Kraus' recent testimony on SB 1250 which would embed a definition of marriage into the PA Constitution. All I can tell you is that this is a really great read. Here is my favorite excerpt:
Bishop Zubik writes the opposing view. He's the Bride of Christ. Or something like that.
Sunday, April 20
by Sue on Sun 20 Apr 2008 10:23 PM EDT
Today, I made up my mind that I am supporting and voting for Hillary Clinton. I'm sure no one is surprised. I've made a good faith effort to get excited about Barack Obama. I wanted to be a believer. But it just didn't happen. The preacher in him turns me off.
Here's what it comes down to for me. On "the issues," they are pretty close. By that I mean, their stances on ENDA, DADT, civil unions, marriage, etc. On paper, they "appear" very similar.
In action, they are nothing alike. Barack Obama has refused to interview with local gay media anywhere. Period. He gave one interview to the national gay magazine, The Advocate. How can one national interview, late in the primary season, build a relationship with the gay community? He made a speech imploring the African-American religious community to embrace gay civil rights. This after he brought notorious "ex-gay" Donnie McClurkin on board his swing through the south gospel tour or whatever it was called. He clearly has no problem affiliating with a movement that denounces homosexuality as something to be cured, a stance that taps right into the self-loathing so rampant among closeted minorities and youth. He talks like a preacher and walks like a well, like many preachers who disparage gay people.
Hillary Clinton marches in Pride parades. Her daughter visits gay bars. She worked to stop the national "marriage protection" amendment. She lifts up the gay people in her life, particularly those who touched her family personally. Hillary grants interviews to local gay media. She reaches out with intent to build relationships with our community. She has a LGBT steering committee in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
This is not about one issue. My life is not a single issue. When our next President is working on health care, economic issues, environmental issues and so forth, I want her to be cognizant of all citizens and the impact her decisions will have on our families, including my little lesbian family.
If Obama ignores us as a constituency when he's fighting for the nomination, why should we believe he would care about us if he's nominated and elected?
This primary race has come down to the fact that one of them has to go. His name is John McCain and I believe that Hillary Clinton is the one to do it. ***************************************************
The rich white gay men is a little shout out to the hosts of today's LGBT Hillary cocktail party with the Queer as Folk celebrities. It was a modest crowd and one in which I recognized about 4 people. It turns out that the LGBT leadership, in general, is very divided. Passions flared during the Saturday night pub crawl. Steel City Stonewall and the Gertrude Stein Club leaders should really have some chat about actually showing up for events they sponsor -- that was embarrassing to me, as a member of Steel City. If your members spoke through the endorsement process, you should honor that and ensure that a few of your board members show up. No one from the GLCC board. No one from the human services sector. No one from GLENDA. Almost no lesbians or queer women at all. It was a room filled with somewhat older and a whole lotta young gay white men and it was the most camaraderie I've felt in months. Kudos to you, for making that happen.
Finally, I'll say this. How can gay people vote against their own self-interest? How can you trust a man who doesn't walk the walk? We may have no other choice come the Convention, but for now ... I'm voting for Hillary.
by Sue on Sun 20 Apr 2008 10:11 AM EDT
Philadelphia's gay bars were visited by Chelsea Clinton and Ed Rendell last night. Pittsburgh's gay bars got actors from Queer as Folk.
Philadelphia's bar crawl was covered by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I haven't seen anything about Pittsburgh's bar crawl. Did it even register?
Is there any PA politician that could make a believable bar crawl for Hillary here in Pittsburgh? Dan Frankel? Sophie? Luke? <pause ... ok, ha ha ha> Jason Altmire? Is he for Hillary?
No one crawled into a gay bar for Obama.
What's up with that?
ps: I don't cover bar crawls because I hate smoke and would be beyond cranky in about 5 minutes. When the bars go smoke free, I'll be there.
Saturday, April 19
by Sue on Sat 19 Apr 2008 11:12 AM EDT
Melissa Etheridge is going to Philly, Reading and Columbus, Ohio, but not Pittsburgh. I hear she just doesn't sell well here. Very sad.
Now that Melissa caught your eye, read on please.
Equality Advocates PA wants to build on the great turnout of gays and gay allies to the Pittsburgh hearing on SB 1250, the so-called marriage protection amendment. They want you to turn out for the next hearing Harrisburg and a big rally on May 5. Buses will be scheduled to transport folks from Pittsburgh. Anyone want to go and carpool? You guys should be really proud of yourselves for setting the bar so high vis a vis the turnout here in Pittsburgh. Way to go, homos! You rock.
Scary international news from Rome (365gay.com)
And in Kyrgyzstan (Pink News):
But in Columbia, some good news ...
If you interested in a different perspective on gay issues, follow the link on the right the the Pink News site. Lots of good stuff and an international perspective on US issues. Did you know that other countries have elections with candidates from more than two parties (or one party, really, right?). That candidates in Europe take pro-gay stances that are controversial. That you don't have to surgically implant the Bible to your body to be taken seriously?
Thursday, April 17
by Sue on Thu 17 Apr 2008 07:16 PM EDT
800+ people have forwarded this information to me.
Steel City Stonewall, the Gertrude Stein Club and Hillary Clinton for President are bringing back Queer as Folk to Liberty Avenue. There's a pub crawl Saturday night and a cocktail hour Sunday afternoon. Sharon Gless, Robert Gant and Michelle Clunie are the guests of honor.
I have never seen a single episode of Queer as Folk. Should I rent it?
Anyway, it is kind of cool pub crawl as pub crawls go. I won't be doing that part because of the bar smoke, but I'm hoping to cover the cocktail mingling and get some inside scoop on which local homos are pro-Hillary and why.
The most important thing is knowing which of you homos is pro-voting.
Wednesday, April 16
by Sue on Wed 16 Apr 2008 08:50 PM EDT
WQED asked me to let you know that we are invited us over for a chat with Jim Lehrer. They are the weekly host of one of our favorite het-men, John McIntire so it should be good times. I'm not always a personal fan of Chris Moore's moderating style (he talks over people), but I do like to listen to him talk on his own. I have to work Saturday so I'm not sure I can make it, but it would make for a great live blog ...
. The Town Hall Meeting will re-broadcast on WQED-TV at 11pm on April 20.
The public is invited to be part of the studio audience for this historic discussion in advance of the April 22 Pennsylvania primary. To reserve a seat, please call 1-888-622-1370 or log on to www.wqed.org.
Doors open at 5pm.
Lehrer will moderate a panel discussion on the primary and the presidential election. WQED?s Chris Moore and Tonia and Michael Bartley will facilitate the panel and audience discussion conducting interviews and lending their expertise on covering local issues.
Republican Jim Roddey and Democrat Joe Mistick, OnQ political analysts will also provide commentary.
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer will broadcast from the WQED studios on April 21 and 22 to a nationwide audience.
Tuesday, April 15
by Sue on Tue 15 Apr 2008 05:50 PM EDT
The CP bloggers have done a nice job summarizing an attempt by a newly formed bar-owned PAC, HosPAC, to punish Brenda Frazier in her current campaign by launching a "Don't Vote for Brenda Frazier" campaign of their own. Her crime? The drink tax.
What's interesting about this situation from a gay perspective is the juxtaposition of Frazier, a long time LGBT advocate, and the local gay bar owners emerging as leaders under the Delta Foundation mantle.
According to DF Chair Gary Van Horn, part owner of Images, no local gay bar owners are members of the PAC. Van Horn points out that he is not a one issue voter and remains mum on his support for or opposition to Frazier.
I would hope that the gay bar owners would stay out of this. While the drink tax does have an impact on them, so would losing a House seat to someone who is not an ally of the gay community. Len Bodack and Dom Costa don't have pro-gay track records and we need every ally we can muster in the battle over the marriage protection amendment and the advancement of civil protections legislation.
We cannot afford to be divided on this. Frazier's election is imperative for the well-being of the entire LGBT community.
Let me amend my earlier statement. I would hope the gay bar owners support Frazier. A gay friendly state environment is good for business. Period.
I'm just bummed that the Priory is involved in this. I love their bakery and, clearly, I cannot patronize a business that wants to elect some homo-bigot or quasi-homo-bigot into a space I need filled by an ally.
So, don't buy cupcakes at the Priory Bakery.
Sunday, April 13
by Sue on Sun 13 Apr 2008 04:44 PM EDT
The Philadelphia Gay News follows up on their decision to leave blank space on their front page allocated to Barack Obama's interview, plus some insight as to how the Advocate interview just isn't the same.
by Sue on Sun 13 Apr 2008 03:59 PM EDT
As this group finds its footing in the party and the region, I have for the most part been impressed with the new leadership (and recent leadership). I'm particularly pleased that they have invested some resources on issues as opposed to just elections. It is important that LGBT Democrats send a clear message to our elected officials on how we view issues and what steps we can take as a community to express our position.
That being said, I do worry that the organization "dilutes" the impact of their endorsement. First, there has been a tradition of naming individuals to an honor roll of sorts -- "Honorable Mentions" -- indicating they are good on issues, but didn't receive the endorsement. Sometimes they didn't submit a questionnairre, but the group feels they deserve consideration. I'm just so-so with that practice. It isn't really democratic and doesn't make the actual endorsement that valuable.
Another example was Friday when the organization used their official email blast to inform us of an upcoming LGBT event for Hillary Clinton, the endorsed candidate. Great. That's a good use of resources. A few lines down there was a listing for an Obama event. Huh?
I'm not offended, but I am confused. Is that organization's purpose to elect a slate of candidates selected by the members or is it to educate the general LGBT community on all Democratic candidates, information and events? Either is fine I suppose, but trying to do both is sending people like me -- members -- conflicting signals.
Here's my ultimate question -- why should I turn up for an endorsement process when it doesn't carry a lot of weight? If you are going to promote candidates who were not endorsed, either as Honorable Mentions or by promoting their events, why should I care about the endorsement? What value does it have?
In my opinion, the slate should be the slate. Individuals should be free, of course, to promote whomever they choose, but the origanization should focus on getting folks from the slate elected and not dilute resources on candidates who are not on the slate. No matter what the reason. Maybe next year, they'll fill out the questionnaire or show up at an event. But if Steel City can mobilize the local LGBT community to have an impact on a handful of elections, they have done their job as well as sent a message about our political power.
The endorsement of Steel City should be coveted by local Dems and something they have to earn. We shouldn't settle for anything less.
That being said, please consider joining the organization as Ledcat and I have done. It is a long way to November. In practical terms, you should be deciding if Luke Ravenstahl needs to do more than show up at PrideFest to earn your endorsement.
Friday, April 11
by Sue on Fri 11 Apr 2008 08:13 PM EDT
Through 4/15/2008, you can vote in the Post Gazette poll on the marriage amendment.
As of tonight, 1,820 responses ..
A. Yes - 627 (34%)
B. No - 1136 (62%)
C. Don't care - 57 (3%)