Wednesday, January 10
by Sue on Wed 10 Jan 2007 10:59 AM EST
I won't waste words telling you how much I enjoyed this column. I'll just give you a teaser and link you on your way...
by Sue on Wed 10 Jan 2007 10:43 AM EST
Good news for members of the LGBTQ community working for a handful of our local employers. From the Post-Gazette ...
Mellon Financial was featured in a Post-Gazette article for supporting employee driven affinity networks
The HRC Best Places to Work 2007 identifies over 140 companies that achieved a perfect score on equality issues.
The index only considers Fortune 500 companies and excludes governments, non-profits and hospitals (that's a shame). Criteria include:
Some other companies of interest on the ranking (at least my interest):
- GAP , Nike and Levi Strauss
- Clear Channel Communications
- Best Buy
Tuesday, January 9
by Sue on Tue 09 Jan 2007 03:34 PM EST
In another stunning effort to spin negative publicity, City Councilwoman Darlene Harris claims that she did not order a smoke eater machine to de-stuffify her office. Ms. Harris simply wanted some box fans and now she is outraged, outraged I tell you, that someone mistakenly spent $1200 on the smoke eater.
Harris, along with Student Body President Doug Shields, was featured in a recent Post-Gazette article about illicit smoking in the City-County Building. Both admitted that they smoke in spite of a smoke prohibition rule going back before our new county-wide ban. Neither seemed the least bit penitent which doesn't bode well for them to follow the new law.
To summarize thus far, Harris has completely missed the point that this is about SMOKING not a smoke eating machine. Her umbrage is matched only by her ridiculousness. Not only is she refusing to take responsibility for breaking the law, but she's now pointing fingers at her political enemies whoever they may be:
Yes, Darlene, it is politics at its most sad when an elected city leader openly violates the law because she's too lazy/proud/arrogant to go outside like the rest of the city employees. It is politics at its lowest when an elected city leader shifts responsibility for her own stupid choices onto the shoulders of said city employees. Public Works gets enough guff without having to ante up for your mistakes.
It is politics at its most disgusting when an elected city leader assumes we are foolish enough to be distracted from her illegal activities by other issues.
Let me get this straight --- according to her logic, if we want a more lawful community, she's going to have to break a few laws. If we want healthier communities for our families and children, she's going to have to compromise the health of her staffers and others who visit the building. If we want absentee landlords to take responsibility for their property, she's going to need the freedom to place responsibility on others.
She should have left well enough alone after the last article. Doug Shields came off like a giggling schoolboy with a big man-crush on Luke, but that's nothing to the political harridan that is Darlene Harris.
Monday, January 8
by Sue on Mon 08 Jan 2007 10:12 PM EST
James M. Edwards of Squirrel Hill is not happy with Carol Mullen of Edgewood. So very not happy that he took the time out of his busy schedule of sanctimonious self-congratulations to pen a little missive to the Post-Gazette. Edwards took umbrage with a letter Mullen had published on December 26 offering her insight into the tragic suicide of local Presbyterian pastor, Brent Dugan.
Mullen had the audacity to suggest that perhaps KDKA was not solely responsible for this tragedy and that perhaps Reverend Dugan's inner turmoil over his homosexuality could be traced to the Presbyterian Church's anti-gay stance.
Point well taken, I thought as I sipped my coffee and read her letter. KDKA made a colossally stupid decision to spin this tragic little story of Reverend Dugan's sexual turmoil as a ratings grabbing expose. But its shortsighted to ignore the reasons Reverend Dugan may have sought solace in an adult bookstore or an illicit relationship rather than feeling free to live an open, authentic life as a homosexual man and a pastor.
Edwards, apparently, is just the man for the task. He thinks Dugan had made his own bed by hooking up with an anti-gay church.
Does he seriously think Dugan was just happily rolling along as a closeted homosexual? That the anti-gay hostility emanating from church leadership (and the pews) was not a "pressure" for Reverend Dugan? Can Edwards really be that simple-minded? Or just that hateful? Ah ....
Well, I guess the gloves are off, you sanctimonious prick. What's not welcome or helpful in a religious denomination is intolerance, ignorance and hate. Unfortunately, you seem to have the upper hand in some denominations, but there are puh-lenty of Christian communities where my people are welcomed and affirmed, even ordained.
If you don't want us in your church, fine. But you don't get to hang your sanctimonious wreath on Brent Dugan's grave and point fingers at KDKA.
But the really sad thing is that while Ms. Mullen tried to elevate one man's suffering and personal tragedy to call us all to accountability, Edwards continues to diminish Reverend Dugan's full personhood by denying the pressures of living a closeted life in the Presbyterian Church.
by Sue on Mon 08 Jan 2007 07:51 PM EST
Back in March, we reported on the West Virigina Sheriff who denied CPR to a dying gay man under the pretext that the man was HIV+. The man, Claude Greene, died later that evening at a local hospital. Greene's friend was present at the scene but was physically prevented from performing CPR by Robert K. Bowman, Sheriff of Welch, West Virginia. Greene's mother filed a federal lawsuit claiming her son's civil rights had been violated along with a myriad of other chages, including a violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In late December, the federal court ruled that the case could move forward:
It is a complicated situation and far more legalistic than I can pretend to understand. Bowman's folks claimed that since Greene was dead, there was no reason for a civil rights case. Bowman's folks also seem to claim that he prevented bystanders from performing CPR out of concerns about HIV transmission. The federal judge noted that there is no record that performing CPR on an HIV+ person would present a transmission risk.
The bastard was willing to let the wrongful death move forward. Fortunately, the judge cleared the way for the whole kit and kaboodle.
Did I mention that Greene was not HIV+? Nope, he was just gay. And, thankfully, the idiot responsible for his death could pay the price for his bigotry and hate.
Sadly, Claude Greene has already paid the ultimate price for it.
Sunday, January 7
by Sue on Sun 07 Jan 2007 10:13 AM EST
The Post-Gazette's Big Kahuna himself , David Shribman, dedicated his weekly column to a subject near and dear to our hearts - public libraries. It seems some libraries are contemplating replacing underutilized classics with modern hot properties to conserve shelf space. Ick! Shribman correctly points out the damage this move can cause:
The fact that no one has recently checked them out does mean no one should be able to do so.
I am a huge fan of the Carnegie Library. I visit my little branch in Woods Run (Brighton Heights) on a weekly basis. Thanks to the power of the network, I have access to a million titles without having to head into Oakland (another mighty fine but hard to access library). Right now my library tote bag contains a coffee table book written by U2, a few paperback mysteries, several movies (including Akeelah and the Bee), a novel by Margaret Atwood, and a book on contemporary etiquette dilemnas by Emily Posts's granddaughter. I pick stuff up like the last item when I browse around the new releases tables -- things I would never buy, but might like to read. Last week, I checked out the book on children's etiquette written by Whoopi Goldberg just because I wanted to see what it was like.
What I haven't been is attentive to are the classics I'm always claiming to want to read. While I doubt my modern tastes have been making a serious dent in the library circulation, Shribman's point is well-made. I last read Aristotle, Plato and Tolstoy in graduate school; Alice Walker, Thoreau and Willa Cather were even further back in my academic history. Perhaps its time to dust off my acquaintance with the books that made me think beyond the limits of my own experiences. What a lofty pledge!
Another excellent thing about the Carnegie Library - they provide us access to books that others might not want us to read. We have a great little book on our coffee table (under the 8 zillion magazines) title "And Tango Makes Three" that tells the true tale of two gay male penguins who are raising their own chick. It was a source of contention in school libraries that quivered at the hands of the mighty right wingnuts and their gay hostility. While school libraries debate censorship, the Carnegie Library has multiple copies at your disposal.
by Sue on Sun 07 Jan 2007 09:41 AM EST
Kudos to the District 2 School Board Coalition for endorsing Heather Arnet to run for the school board seat being vacated by Highland Park resident Patrick Dowd. Arnet, also a Highland Park resident, is the Executive Director of the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Correspondents (and the Lesbians) are long-time fans of Arnet for her great work on behalf of women and girls throughout the region, including women and girls in the queer community. As we are city residents, we are especially pleased that Arnet is turning her tremendous talent to the oversight of one of our most important resources - the public schools.
Tuesday, January 2
by Sue on Tue 02 Jan 2007 08:17 PM EST
Lawmakers in Massachusetts are in the midst of a Constitutional Convention and a vote today paved the way for a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage to move forward. To make it onto the ballot, the amendment must pass in another legislative session.
You might recall the Massachusetts is the only state in which gay marriage is legal. Existing marriages would be intact, but no further marriages recognized. Ahem.
This has been a highly contentious issue of late with anti-marriage proponents insisting that legislative refusal to vote on the matter was undemocratic. Even the high court weighed in on the matter, chastising lawmakers for not voting while acknowledging that there was no way to compel a vote.
Since when have "the people" been the best-suited to determine civil rights issues for minorities? This is just bullshit back-of-the-bus politics that will decimate the existing rights of gays in Massachusetts to appease yet another interest group with more power.
The courts and the lawmakers completely wimped out on this matter. They have made it clear that the gay community cannot simply sit around and wait for those in power to recognize and honor our rights as citizens and human beings.
Monday, January 1
The search for weapons of heterosexual destruction -- Mary Cheney's baby garners yet another opinion piece
by Sue on Mon 01 Jan 2007 06:53 PM EST
The PG ran an interesting commentary by Slate's William Saletan who contemplates the oft-cited but never actually proven claim that homosexuals are not fit parents.
Saletan uses the conception and pregnancy of Mary Cheney to illustrate his point that there's simply no proof that gays make bad parents. There's a lot of date however, that heterosexual men do a lot of damage to children than lesbians. If you want to rely on averages to make parenting decisions as in who should and should not parent.
I don't think Mary's pregnancy warrants all this attention. The fact that she is a dyke is more than mitigated by the fact that she's the daughter of an incredibly rich and powerful white man. I'm sure she'll be able to raise a child of privilege in a manner befitting any other uptown chic. Now what would be interesting is if Heather were to be the biological parent b/c then Mary would have no legal relationship with their child (they live in Virginia). Regardless, Mary and Heather could spawn a dozen children between them and still have no clue of what life is like for the average homosexual parent. And as long as they support a President who embraces the wingnuts, they deserve no kudos for gay milestones.
Back to William's piece ...
Sunday, December 31
by Sue on Sun 31 Dec 2006 01:55 PM EST
From the City Paper's Sports Stories that Should Have Been ...
We don't want him. I'd rather have one of the good guys like Troy or Charlie step out as a friend to the gay community. We could even customize a rainbow Terrible Towel. If I were Maria at 2pjs I could use the magic of photoshop to produce one right here. Unfortunately, that ain't gonna happen. Just imagine. :-)