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View Article  Does He or Does He Not? Gay Leaders Remain Mum on Ravenstahl and Civil Unions

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. 

View Article  It is 7 PM and Luke is reportedly now in favor of civil unions

Well, I am the suckiest lesbian correspondent ever.  It is five hours post Luke/homo meeting and not a single one of my contacts has, well, contacted me. 

Meanwhile over at The Burgh Report, the Burgher has the scoop ... wait for it ... Luke now supports civil unions.  Apparently, he was confused by the question.  I'm looking forward to someone looking me in the eye and rationalizing casting a vote for the person who makes that claim.  To be fair, let's take a peak at the actual transcript, courtesy of the Burgher.  This is from the WQED Mayoral Debate.

Michael Bartley: "Mr. Ravenstahl you say you do not support gay marriage?"

Ravenstahl: "Correct."

Michael Bartley: "?but in big city America, gay unions are certainly an issue.Do you support gay unions?"

Ravenstahl: "I do not."

Unless he thought a gay union was a labor issue, how could he possibly misunderstand?  It was early in the debate so he wasn't up past his bedtime.  Seriously, how could he misunderstand the most high profile gay issue in the nation?

The Burgher believes that this is a bald face lie.

Supporting Ravenstahl because you think he is going to win -- in spite of the fact that DeSantis supports your issues -- is a sign of weakness, not strength. Until progressives interest groups figure that out they will never get any respect.

This is especially disheartening in the face of a pending state level legislative battle that will require our unwavering support - the expansion of state level civil protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.  Southwestern Pennsylvania's Democratic delegation played some very risky legislative games when it came to the anti-gay marriage amendment a few years back.  And that was simply to prevent erosion, not to actively sew new rights and privileges!

Haven't we had enough sleight of hand support from the Democrats we elect?  I know you can't have legislative bodies filled with Frankels and Pedutos, but do we have to continue sucking up to elected officials who want to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to their gay and Catholic/Christian constituencies?

I guess we'll see tomorrow. 

View Article  Endorsements You Should Know About

Setting aside the Mayoral race for a few inches ... consider what the Gertrude Stein Club of Pittsburgh and the Steel City Stonewall Democrats.

It is a little confusing figuring out the actual slate for the General Election, but you can follow through to read the questionnaires for yourself.

Last spring, the Allegheny County Democratic Committee sponsored a first ever LGBT forum.  If you are so inclined, you can check out my review of what the official endorsed Dems had to say about gay issues.

Most importantly, vote. 


View Article  Luke and the Gays - Who Got Invited to the Party?

From comments

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ravenstahl to meet with Pgh gays on election eve
by steelcitydyke on Mon 05 Nov 2007 10:57 AM EST |  Profile |  Permanent Link
First of all your worries about me on the stonewall Dems can be at rest I am not a member however have been invited to the meeting.
My understanding from my original source is that this last-minute 2:30 PM meeting was between Luke Ravenstahl and the Steel City Stonewall Democrats.  Now according to a comment made on this blog, it appears that meeting was opened to other individuals not associated with the "gay wing" of the Democratic party.
So even in the last hours, things with Luke and gays are murky.  Who has been invited to the meeting and who is doing the inviting?  I'd like to know if anyone who attended the ACDC Big Gay Chat will be included. 
Is it just me or does this smack of backroom politics at its best? 
And, most importantly, will this information be made public BEFORE Election Day?
View Article  Ravenstahl to meet with Pgh gays on election eve

It would seem that Luke's people realized what a huge gaffe he made last week by saying he does not favor civil unions.  Thus, he has scheduled a meeting with representatives from the Steel City Stonewall Democrats at 2:30 PM Monday.  To clarify. 

Apparently, Luke has stated that he doesn't know what a civil union is. 

The Mayor of Pittsburgh  -- a Democrat under the age of 40 -- does not know what a civil union is. 

That is so blissfully ridiculous that there's simply no need for further comment.

Luke led the Stonewall Democrats on a merry chase during the primary, trying to choke out as much gay campaign money as possible without actually turning in his questionnaire.  He does not have their endorsement. 

I honestly think that he believes showing up at a few gay bars and PrideFest will trick us into thinking he's a gay ally.  He honestly believes we are that gullible and naive. 

Here's a question  -- why would Luke want to appease local homos in the 24 hours prior to his election?  If its in the bag, who cares what we think until 2009, right?   Hmmm ...

View Article  This Pittsburgh Lesbian Endorses Mark DeSantis

I endorse Mark DeSantis for Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh. 


View Article  DeSantis says Yes to Civil Unions, Ravenstahl says No

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.

View Article  Happy Birthday, Mum!

View Article  John McIntire is celebrating my mother's birthday! You should, too!

My mom turns 65 on November 1 and what better way to celebrate than with John McIntire and Gab Bonesso!  From Gab Bonesso's MySpace page:

This Thursday night (11-01-07) at the WORLD FAMOUS Pittsburgh Improv (well, the Improv franchise is "World Famous" not the Pittsburgh division per se) at 8PM The Sunshine Boys and Gab Bonesso Present:



GENE COLLIER: Gene Collier is a columnist, playwright and silver fox. His humor is intelligent, dry and hysterically witty. Gene is without a doubt one of Pittsburgh's GREATEST working comedians. DON'T MISS GENE COLLIER!

JOHN MCINTIRE: John McIntire is a former talkshow host, a columnist, a WQED panelist and an addict. His material is both autobiographical and political while remaining insane and fun. He dedicates his performance to DARFUR (mostly because he just found out about it).

GAB BONESSO: Gab Bonesso is me. I am "allegedly" your friend. You should know all about my humor because you never miss any of my shows because like I mentioned above, you are my FRIEND.

other semi-imporatant details:

the show starts at 8pm
the show costs $10.00
the venue is non-smoking.

I tried really hard to put up the nifty banner, but I can't get the image to load properly.


View Article  Trick or Treat!

Courtesy of Father T ....

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