Tuesday, June 13
by Sue on Tue 13 Jun 2006 05:14 PM EDT
One has to wonder how many meals homobigots must forgoe to win votes and influence legislators? Three? Six?
It seems the AFA of PA is peeved with the PA Senate Judiciacy Committee, specifically Senator Jane Earll of Erie for weakening the Marriage Protection Amendment when they stripped the anti-civil union language. Chief scribe and bigot Diane Gramley sent me this message:
If Senator Earll stood up to 800 Erians, what does that say about the 20 SW PA Democrats who kowtowed to hatred and prejudice? Exactly ...
Diane, honey, the members of the Pennsylvania legislature are no more going to take a tough stance on ANY issue than they are going to vote to reduce their size. The weenie Democrats in Southwestern PA didn't stand up FOR your little gaybashfest of a bill; they stood up AGAINST early retirement.
by Sue on Tue 13 Jun 2006 02:21 PM EDT
Apparently, the AFA of PA was on to something ... the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the amendment to the full Senate for a vote. BUT they removed language in the bill prohibiting civil unions and domestic partnerships. (365gay.com)
So what does this mean to the average homo? Well, the bill that passes the Senate has to be the same version as passed the House. So if this version passes, it has to go back to the House for another vote. Or it has to be amended on the floor of the Senate before passing. Either way, it all has to happen before the end of the session on June 30.
So what should you do? Pittsburgh's own Steel-City Stonewall Democrats suggest you continue writing letters to the editor and contacting your Senator to ask why they aren't focusing on more pressing issues. They offer this bit of comfort:
by Sue on Tue 13 Jun 2006 02:04 PM EDT
Those lovable homobigots at the American Family Association of Pennsylvania are desperately scrounging for last minute calls to the Senate Judiciary Committee which is scheduled to vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment today.
Pennies for a phone call? An in-state long distance call in the middle of the day? Who wrote this?
Is it just me or does this sound a little skittish?
Meanwhile, us homos sit and wait and hope that Senator Jay Costa who is minority chair of the committee will step and lead today. We hope.
by Sue on Tue 13 Jun 2006 01:42 PM EDT
Another h/t to feministing ....
Ohio legislators expect a bill banning all abortions with no exceptions to get a brief hearing and then be put back in the drawer.
As the Columbus Dispatch reports, even the Ohio Right to Life organization does not support the bill. Does this mean that even fetus worshippers have some respect for the lives of women? Umm, no. This means that they recognize a tactical error when they see one ...
So a bill that would allow women to die attracts 18 co-sponsors. And it gets a hearing, albeit a brief hearing. In a state were domestic violence laws no longer apply to unmarried women.
Monday, June 12
by Sue on Mon 12 Jun 2006 10:03 PM EDT
I've still got this really nasty taste in my mouth from the Mary Cheney interview.
So I'm trying to figure out this MySpace thing b/c someone from the Steel Queer N'At collective posted my post about their performance ... there. That's a horrid sentence. But you get the point. Anyway, I'm trying to figure it out and I notice that one of the acts from the collective is performing this Friday at Quiet Storm.
They are Thrive, three poets The Black Ass Bombshell..aka Vanessa German, Sweet Thunda aka Bekazela Mguni and Savannah Montana..aka Becca Cooper
We were very impressed by their acts. The Black Ass Bombshell did this wicked piece about Jorge and I was so enthralled by their outfits that it took me at least two minutes to realize who Jorge was. Then tonight I discover that Vanessa German is the woman who won the national SLAMBUSH contest. And I think I heard her at the Peace Rally in 2005. Where I was very impressed but it ended up I had been marching on a broken foot all along so the incredible pain sort of edged everything else out. That's right -- I marched for peace on a broken foot. Then I went to Starbucks.
So it all sort of swirls together to prompt me to go to The Quiet Storm this Friday at 8 PM to see Thrive perform en masse. After marching for dykes on a never really gonna heal from being broken foot. Then I'll march for Pride Awareness on that same foot.
Thank god my father wants to spend Father's Day at the movies. At least there'll be no marching.
I would greatly appreciate if there could be a blogging for peace/equality/healthy feet/Starbucks event in the near future.
by Sue on Mon 12 Jun 2006 07:13 PM EDT
7:01 PM ------- Live tonight on KDKA, John McIntire talks with Mary Cheney for the lesbian perspective on the Ben Roethlisberger situation .... tune into 1020 AM ....
7:15 PM -------- Mary Cheney's book has sold less than 6,000 copies since its May debut according to OnePageQ.
7:16 PM -------- Marriage amendment "its a bad idea, how about that?" says Mary.
7:17 PM -------- She sounds like she's chewing on a duck. She came "darn close to quitting." She was troubled working for George Bush, but she stayed for Daddy. He thinks discrimination should be left to the states. She also stayed b/c terrorists will hurt our country so she didn't have the luxury to be concerned about same sex marriage.
7:23 PM -- ----- President Bush has at least tried to have a civil discussion around this.
7:25 PM --------- President Bush wakes up every morning thinking "what am I going to do to keep this country safe?" Just like her Dad.
7:27 PM --------- "People can look at it that way and its a valid opinion. People can look at it another way and its a valid opinion." WTF?
7:29 PM ---------- John tosses gay rights softballs to Mary Cheney. She is possibly the most boring controversial guest he's ever had on the air.
7:29 PM ---------- The Western state of mind. People treat people as individuals. Even gays. Or poor people. Maybe even poor black gay people.
7:30 PM ---------- KDKA is going to my hometown West Mifflin this week. Our former police chief faces more than 19 counts of drug charges. Its a great town.
7:32 PM ---------- Mary's partner Heather is a nice person who doesn't bitch slap people. She's supportive blah, blah, blah.
7:34 PM ---------- Parents come to her book signings and her book helps them deal with having a gay child. Or they are happy that she says nice things about her parents. Because people don't do that these days.
7:35 PM ---------- We have purposeful and decisive leadership in Iraq. They've held 3 elections. A cabinet has been named. We got the big one. But there are still a few insurgents. John: "and 100,000 innocent civilians are dead." Mary: "give me a name to verify that."
7:40 PM ------I try to call and the phone rings incesssantly.
7:41 PM ------ A woman calls her on working for the Coors family and reaching out to gays for a conservative company. Mary takes credit for making the entire Fortune 500 gay friendly.
7:43 PM ------- NOW ITS MY TURN! Mary is making a difference by being open about who she is. Iraqi gays have more important thiings to worry about than being gay. Then I got cut off. Oh well ....
7:45 PM ------- I should have listened to my gut and watched the rerun of Friends and Seinfeld. Or cleaned the cat litter. I can't believe I got suckered into calling. Note: I allowed myself to get suckered -- I was not the sucking victim of any one particular person.
7:47 PM ------- Her goal was to write a book that she could be proud of and sell a few copies. Pittsburgh is not on the book signing list.
Overall, this was not very exciting. She had nothing noteworthy to say about gay issues. She did show some spunk defending the Iraq war, but has this weird delusion that the President wakes up every day thinking how to keep America safe. I think Paris Hilton has more insight into the life of the typical American homo than Mary Cheney. Ah well ... kudos to John for putting her on the air.
by Sue on Mon 12 Jun 2006 05:06 PM EDT
A bill outlawing all abortions - even in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother -- is scheduled for a hearing in the Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Right wing antics to win elections? You bet. Tapping into misogeny to garner votes? Absolutely.
This piece legislation has 18 co-sponsors.
Yet another reason I'm glad there's a bit of West Virginia between me and most of Ohio.
by Sue on Mon 12 Jun 2006 04:42 PM EDT
This past Friday, we accepted an invitation to catch the local performance of "The Hardest Question Ever," a puppet show performance art piece examining the societal role in creating and punishing violence through the prism of incarceration. The show was put together by Indicator Species, a Pittsburgh based collective of teachers, artists and activists who work on prison issues.
The show opened with live music from Ricardo who took our collective breath away. His acoustic guitar performance and lyrics were just stunning. I hunted him down at the end and ordered him to add us to his email list. :-) He told us he'd be performing live soon so we'll keep you informed.
The show itself was a 1/2 hour mixture of live action, puppets, and music. I was skeptical at first as I always am when surrounded by a crowd of seemingly preternaturally thin people who made me feel incredibly mainstream .... one of the nightmare moments when someone points at you and yells "She's wearing Mom jeans" while everyone laughs. Then someone's actual mom sat down in front of us with her two staunch suburbanite lady friends and I felt a the comforting shift back to slightly left of center. Whew. As soon as the group took the stage, all sense of discomfort fell away and I merged right into a crowd waiting to be taught.
The stage included a life-sized prison cell that is used for solidary confinement. The walls were constructed from thousands of letters the artists had received through their books for prisoners program Book 'Em, a project of the Thomas Merton Center. The show included 4 acts reconciling the horror of crime with the horror of prison. Through live narration of cases based on the real life experiences of the artists, the show explores the complicated nature of something mainstream media and politics tends to oversimplify -- delving into the gray. One case involved a former friend and comrade who had raped and murdered a woman -- the dialogue was a refreshing examination of all that had come before.
I have to give the Indicator Species credit -- they really did ask the hardest questions. When someone you know has raped and murdered, what does that mean for our own complicity in creating a violent society? To simply say that you could not have physically prevented the crime is not enough of an answer. What about all that came before -- at what point can we as a society prevent any crime? And how does the way we treat our criminals reflect back on our values?
"The cracks I fell through were the indifference of the people around me."
It was a good show -- thoughtful, earnest and personal. It was obvious that the members of the collective put a huge investment of their personal stories, fears, hopes, and values into this show. That investment touched me from the first chord and lifted me over any bumps in the road. I would see this again when it returns to Pittsburgh. And I'm going through my books to donate to the program.
by Sue on Mon 12 Jun 2006 10:01 AM EDT
(I'm keeping this at the top of the blog throughout PrideFest. Scroll down for other current blog posts since Monday)
Now there are two interesting rumors floating around. First, is that Governor Ed Rendell will be kicking off the Awareness March with a few well-chosen words possibly including "Ladies Start Your Engines!" to our very own dykes on bikes.
Second, is that the divine and delightful Margaret Cho may be popping up at PrideFest since she is in town for the weekend performing at the Improv.
Remains to be seen ....
Sunday, June 11
by Sue on Sun 11 Jun 2006 08:57 AM EDT
The PG contained three letters to the editor all in support of gay marriage and clearly opposed to amending either the state or federal constitutions.
Wilma Hutchings of Aspinwall writes, "Now the fools need to pass a no-divorce law. Divorce is much more devastating to the family than gays getting married."
Joseph Kowalski of North Huntington writes, "Constitutions, state and federal, should be used to expand on human rights, not to limit the rights of an entire segment of the population. Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage are nothing more than a political diversionary tactic to keep voters from focusing on the very real problems facing Pennsylvania and this nation."
Finally, Roy Frye resident of Squirrel Hill and registered Republican writes," As a registered Republican I want to congratulate Sen. Arlen Specter for voting against the federal amendment intended to ban gay marriage. This measure would have only fomented division and resentment between fellow American citizens. Since this is the land of the free and the home of the brave, we should be brave enough to allow our fellow citizens who are a little bit different from us to be free in their personal pursuit of happiness. "
Columnist Sally Kalson takes a stab at understanding Metcalfe's rational, but can only conclude that he and his merry band of zealots don't know any homos:
She also does a nice dissection of that fact that 20 Democrats from Southwestern Pennsylvania voted in support of the Amendment.
God bless her, Sally may be onto something. But guess what --- the homos aren't going to go quietly into the margins this time. No matter how hard Catherine Specter tries to drag up all back into the 1950's, it ain't gonna happen.