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View Article  Pgh Minister Formally Charged for Lesbian Wedding

Local Presbyterian minister Janet Edwards has been formally accused of violating Presbyterian Church law when she performed a wedding ceremony for a lesbian couple in 2005 (PG).

The Presbyterian Church (USA) permits blessing of same-sex unions as long as the service cannot be confused with a marriage ceremony. But Ms. Edwards intended this to be a marriage ceremony.

The charges, filed Tuesday by a task force that has been investigating a complaint against her for a year, accused her of "knowingly and wilfully performing a marriage ceremony for two individuals of the same sex that was contrary to the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."

Ledcat and I were guests at the wedding.  It was a very sacred event and I feel rather sad that Janet is under fire.  Sad, but not surprised. 

A church court in Pittsburgh Presbytery will hear the case. Its verdict can be appealed by either side to regional and national church courts. If found guilty, Ms. Edwards faces sentences ranging from a reprimand to permanent removal from ministry.

Hurrah to Janet for not bowing to bigotry.  We should all be so steadfast in our faith.

"I do not understand my action to be contrary to the constitution [of the church]. It was a fulfillment of my ordination vows. It fulfilled the instruction of the Presbyterian Church in 1978 to provide all pastoral tenderness to gays and lesbians."

KDKA's John McIntire had Janet on his radio program Wednesday night.  Click here for that story. 

Previous PghLesbian coverage of this issue

View Article  Ugandan Paper Outs Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals

h/t PageOneQ

A bloodthirsty homophobic Ugandan government has stood quietly by while the President's brother outs gays, lesbians and bisexuals in an attempt to rid the nation of the sin of homosexuality.

Under the headline, ?Kampala?s Notorious Lesbians Unearthed?, the sleazy tabloid published a photo of two very beautiful unnamed women embracing at a party.

The article urged readers to phone the newspaper with details of any lesbians they know:

?To rid our motherland of the deadly vice (lesbianism), we are committed to exposing all the lesbos in the city. Send more names us (sic) the name and occupation of the lesbin (sic) in your neighbourhood and we shall shame her,? Red Pepper urged.

They previously outed 40 gay and bisexual men.  Many are now in hiding for fear of their lives.  Others have been turned away from their families, lost their jobs and homes and been shunned by their communities.

Modern day witch hunts. 

This is the very sort of thing we joke about here in the US along with reeducation camps, forced sham marriages, etc.  It seems so impossible. 

But then you read that the executive director of the NJ State Democratic Committee (yes DEMOCRATIC) referred to a transgender person as "that." (go read the transcript, its rather vile).

And the openly gay Minnesota State Senator voting to protect traditional marriage.  He's a Republican.  Maybe that explains it?

Damn.

View Article  Women & Girls Foundation of SW PA stands up for Katie Couric

Yesterday, I received an email missive from WGF Executive Director and Good-Friend-of Lesbians-Everywhere Heather Arnet about a topic near and dear to my heart ... Katie Couric's ascent to the CBS anchor seat. 

We caught her debute on Tuesday, missed Weds and saw Thursday and Friday.  Ledcat and I agree that she's doing a fine job and relish how powerful it is to see a woman in that position.  Its powerful (to me) that I take note of her outfit (where as I couldn't tell you what Bob Schieffer wore) only to completely forget about it when she starts doing her job.  Its powerful to me that there is a different dynamic than I am used to but that its a good and recognizable dynamic which fits my actual world experiences as a woman. 

I like it!

And Heather is hoping you like it, too.

It has been a revelation watching the news this week. As I have watched, I've found myself reflecting on how strange it is that this is the first time Americans are seeing a woman sitting solo in the anchor chair ? driving the show and delivering the world?s news to us. It makes me so proud that true social change like this can occur, but it also makes me so fearful to know that even major change like this is so easily undone. I remember when we had one woman on the Supreme Court?.and then two?and now we are back to one.  I remember when we got a woman president on the airwaves ? at least a fictionalized one ? and then they cancelled her too.

You'll remember the Women &Girls Foundation for the very high-profile Girlcott of Abercrombie & Fitch.  Katie was one of the first shows to bring national attention to the heroic efforts of our girls. Heather is now calling for women throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania to use those same tactics to support Katie and women everywhere.


1)       Let?s all commit to watching the CBS Evening News so that we can support Katie with the ratings she needs to stay on air.

2)       Please EMAIL the CBS Evening News to let them know that you are 100% in support of and totally impressed with CBS for making this gutsy move to finally have a woman in the anchor?s chair.

3)       Forward this email to a friend and ask her (or him) to do so as well.

Sometimes it is just as important to organize and support what is right as it is to demand change when something is wrong.

Thank you for your time and I hope you will join me in this effort!

Heather

You can forward a link to this post instead of the email or ask me and I'll send you the original email. 

This is a really simple thing to do.  We cannot afford to continue to just sit back and let the men in charge make decisions about women's lives.   Its important for women everywhere to have Katie Couric on the air and its important than we take a few moments to voice that opinion. 

Please, just do it.

View Article  Karl Rove's Father was Gay and Other Things We've Missed These Past Few Days

Stunned is the lesbian to realize this slipped under blogging radars ..

From RawStory comes the startling fact that Karl Rove's father (stepfather to be technical but KR called him "Dad") was an openly gay man until his death.  This comes from a new book Karl Rove:  The Architect and the Master Plan for Absolute Power.  Rove has spoken movingly of his father. 

So your DAD is gay, you still love and value him and yet you make his community public enemy #1 in your relentless pursuit of power?  What the hell is that about?

In other news .... Ellen DeGeneres, openly lesbian comedian, will host the 2007 Oscars.  I liked John Stewart, but kudos to Ellen.  I just wish anyone who hosts it could be actually funny instead of pandering to network censors and middle America and all that crap.  And I must admit that if I see Ellen fawn over yet another misogynistic hip-hop performer and sell our her sisters in her quest to be the most beloved entertainment host of the decade, I'll vomit.  Still ... we'll see what happens ...

Maintaining a low blogging profile these past days.  You know when you just don't feel the inspiration .... its hard to blog.  It scares me when I lose my impulse to be snarky ... it even got to the point where I turned off the 6 PM news for a Frasier rerun and the gossip section of Rolling Stone!  I hate that section. 

Ledcat and I have a full day of anti-snark funk breakdown activities planned so stay tuned for your usual blogging fun ....

 

 

 

View Article  Standing With All Families: Pittsburgh Gays Go Toe to Toe with Focus on the Family

 

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Pittsburgh's LGBTQ community is taking a stand against the hate and fear spread with glee by wingnuts like Focus on the Family and their other lunatic (but rich!) family values crowd organizations.

As we reported last month, Focus on the Family patriarch Jimmy Dobson and his merry band of bigots are rolling into town later this month for a good old fashion hatefest/rally for the family values candidates event. 

Not to be underestimated, LGBTQ organizers have been working diligently on response efforts.  What's great about this approach is that its not merely a reaction to FotF.  Its a thoughtful response to the role of faith in the lives of contemporary homosexuals.  Here's the plan in a nutshell:

Monday, September 11 - GLAAD media training, Gay & Lesbian Community Center

Tuesday, September 12 - Town Hall meeting on "Religion in the 2006 and 2008 elections", Andy Warhol Museum

Sunday, September 17 -  An evening with Lars Clausen, First United Methodist (this guy rode a unicycle across America)

Monday, September 18 - Gay civil rights film and discussion, Friends Meeting House

Wednesday, September 20 - Stand With All Families Rally, Mellon Arena

Here's what the organizers have to say ...

Our presence around the arena on the night "Focus on the Family Action" is in town for their "Stand for the Family Rally" is meant to also open dialogue but through sounds, signs, standing and strolling. We will be encouraging a respectful presence at the arena that night, with the following:
a gathering area at corner of Center and Mario Lemieux Way for songs led by Rennaissance City Choir people, diverse families as a visible statement, signs with various messages, read poetry,etc.  Additionally, walking the perimiter of the sidewalks of the arena we are encouraging diverse families (with or without kids, couples, families made up of friends, parents and adult children, etc.etc.) to come down wearing either the same color T-shirt for their unit or we'll provide them with a sash so they can stroll the perimeter holding hands, holding signs and otherwise creating a visible statement that diverse families exist and love.
 
We will also have leaflets we pass out maybe saying "What Did Jesus Teach About Homosexuality?" and then you open it and there's nothing inside.  Ha!

Sounds good so far.  I am very bummed because I will be out of town for work that entire week.  I'll miss all the fun.  Thankfully, Ledcat has plans to be there with bells on and will give me all the scoop. 

So dust off your protest signs or, if you prefer, sign up for one of the other events.  Get your Casey for Senator bumper stickers on your car and plant those yard signs.  Make no mistake (as I've said before) that Papa Jimmy is coming to town to rally for Ricky making visibility an issue for that evening AND on election day.

Stay tuned for event details.  Or visit Marriage Equality PA

View Article  Klan brings anti-gay message to Gettysburg over weekend

The World Knights of the Klu Klux Klan want to pull the troops out of Iraq.  The downside is that they want to redeploy them to the US-Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration.  This along with the usual hate-rhetoric about gays, blacks, Jews and latinos were on full display during a weekend rally by the KKK at the site of the Gettysburg address.  (PageOneQ)

About 30 members of the Klan showed up.  More than 200 counterprotestors were on hand along with 150 law enforcement officials.  That's causing quite a stir.

The World Knights obtained a permit in July for the two-hour demonstration. The National Park Service granted it under the group's First Amendment rights to free speech.

Several groups counterdemonstrated. Park Service spokeswoman Katy Lawhon said there were no major incidents; one man was cited for entering a restricted area carrying a rainbow flag.

You go, homo-protestor.

 

 

 

View Article  May he rest in peace ...

Mayor Bob O'Connor

1944-2006

View Article  Citywide Gesture - Porchlights for Bob O'Connor

From 2 Political Junkies ...

Some Pittsburghers called yesterday evening for a public gesture of support for the Mayor to be held today:

Pittsburgh Porchlight and Prayers for Mayor Bob O'Connor
"So I propose that we let the Mayor know he is in our hearts and prayers, by asking all Pittsburghers to turn on their Porch lights beginning at 8 pm and ending at 10 pm on Friday September 1, 2006 as part of "PIttsburgh Porchlight and Prayers for Mayor Bob O'Connor."

This gesture is something that all Pittsburghers can do to express our prayers and Best Wishes to Mayor O'Connor and his family.

Please pass this through your email list of friends and family from throughout the City of Pittsburgh and let's let him know we care! I am not sure we can do this in 24 hours but Let's try. Keep those emails going."

The above was suggested by Rob Frank (South End Active Democrats & Democratic State Committee). While his email went out before the latest news on O'Connor's condition was made public, I think that it's a lovely gesture no matter how the day's events go...

View Article  Movie About Heroic Gay Chaplain to be shown on 9/11

h/t Post-Gazette

A documentary about the Rev. Mychal F. Judge, a gay chaplain with the New York Fire Department who died on 9/11, will be screened in Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Ian McKellen narrates "Saint of 9/11," which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. All five festival screenings were sold out.

An obituary published at the time said the chaplain died amid a rain of debris as he went to the Twin Towers to minister to victims. He was 68 and lived in a Franciscan friary across from a firehouse.

His head was struck by debris, according to friars at the Holy Name Province of the Franciscan Friars. Firefighters carried his body to St. Peter's Church on Barclay Street, then to the firehouse, in a scene captured in a memorable Reuters photo.

When TWA Flight 800 exploded off Long Island in 1996, Judge helped console families of victims. Not long before his death, he went to Northern Ireland on a peace mission with a New York police officer who had been shot and left paralyzed.

The Pittsburgh showing of the documentary, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, will be at the Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland. The 90-minute movie will start at 7:30 p.m. on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Admission, $5, will benefit the Shepherd Wellness Center. Firefighters and members of the clergy will be admitted for free, with proof of identification.

View Article  Looking for something Queer to do tonight?
Hey folks!

This Thursday 8/31 is K'vetsch!

This month it's going to be held at Garfield Artworks (just a couple
doors up from the usual spot at Modern Formations) at 4931 Penn Ave in
Garfield (http://garfieldartworks.com/).

It's Pittsburgh's only queer open mic.  There'll be a featured
performer, and then you, dear queers, get your chance to take the
stage.  

Admission is $5, but if you perform, it's FREE!

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