Thursday, June 8
by Sue on Thu 08 Jun 2006 08:18 AM EDT
Last night, State Representative Dan Frankel appeared on KDKA's John McIntire program to discuss the alleged marriage protection amendment. Frankel was straightforward about the prospect that if the bill gets to the floor of the Senate for a vote, it will pass. He reasoned that the same divisive fears and desperate pandering to the right wingers will be in the heart of the good Senators of Pennsylvania (obviously, my words and not his) resulting in yet another demonstration of the gay-panic defense that pervades politics these days.
I called in and asked Representative Frankel what a good gay Democrat is to do about all the guys on OUR side who voted in favor of the amendment ....Western PA reps such as Dave Levdansky, Joseph Markosek, Harry Readshaw, Anthony DeLuca and so forth.
<There is no need to even mention Ken Ruffing of West Mifflin whose 16 visits from the police on domestic disturbances make him a fine candidate for his upcoming job with the PA Gambling thugs.- further proof that the crony system is alive and well>
Frankel told me that we need to work to ensure a Democrat majority in the house and senate and that this is a wakeup call to LGBT advocates and activists that we have to work much harder to build relationships with these officials so we can prove to them that their fears are groundless. I was taken aback at how grubby that sounds, but he's probably right. I guess its the Bob Casey trickle down effect; they are good on most issues and we can, hopefully, work with them on the others.
That still doesn't sit right with me .... I need more. What do you think --- vote 'em out or work with them? I pretty pissed off right now at these guys. And I'm STUNNED that Mike Divin voted against the amendment, although I suspect he's either trying to appeal to moderate Democrats in his battle against Democrat Chelsa Wagner or he's just giving the big F to the Republican leadership.
The PG continues to collect your opinion on the matter. Please send an e-mail with your name and hometown to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trib printed two letters this morning, one for and one against. The "against" letter was so boring and trite, I won't bother to quote it. But shout out to Melanie O. Paulick of Mt. Lebanon for her little missive.
Melanie, dear, that would mean that all the right wingers would have to put down their fetus signs, turn off The 700 Club and go out and mingle with the great unwashed sinners in the soup kitchens, the jails, the homeless shelters, the senior centers OR maybe open their perfect little homes to foster children <gasp>. You know, the things Jesus would do. They'd rather sit home, point their fingers and use their hypocritical prayers to judge us.
Frankly, I'd rather hang with the great unwashed.
Amen, Brother Bob.
Wednesday, June 7
by Ledcat on Wed 07 Jun 2006 10:45 PM EDT
These aren't really gay issues but just a few thoughts on the types of individuals the Republican party courts and their so-called values.
Diana Irey is running against John Murtha. Now I'm unsure of his views on gay issues, but he has been speaking out about what appears to have been war crimes committed by Marines in Haditha. Murtha has been critical of the Marines and the handling of the war in general.
Well, Ms. Irey seems to be attempting to "swift-boat" Mr. Murtha by declaring that he is a "One-time Patriot" who "has lost his way." Ms. Irey then states that any discussion is a recruinting tool for the enemy. Hey, I'm all for the Marines having due process and their day in court, but if we learned anything from the Vietnam war, atrocities "comfort the enemy" and to cover them up or fail to talk about them doesn't help our military personnel. And she's representative of the so-called family values crew?
And, finally, there's Ann Coulter.
You gotta love someone who has made a career -- and one guesses--a lot of money for being a hate-monger. Americans are sooo gullible. What amazes me about her is her shamless and unrelenting attack on liberals, you know, people like us who made it possible for her to have a career attacking --us. Ain't democracy grand!
The latest "liberals" to feel her wrath are the 9/11 widows whose only offense seems to be that they occasionally speak out about brother Bush. According to CNN, in her new book, which I won't dignify naming, she says:
"I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."
The article in CNN stated: "Her criticism was aimed at four New Jersey women whom she dubbed "The Witches of East Brunswick," after the town where two of them live. They have spent the years since the 2001 terror attacks supporting an independent commission to examine government failures before the attack, and in the 2004 presidential campaign they endorsed Democrat John Kerry."
Classy. Spoken like the kind of person I would want to be identified with. The most hilarious part of this was the segment on NBC news where some right-wing nut job tried to justify Coulter's crap by stating that these women have criticized our beloved "W." So somehow they deserve this? Amazing. These are the kinds of people that are helping shape public policy.
Ann Coulter is pathetic but she sure does know how to make a buck!
by Ledcat on Wed 07 Jun 2006 10:14 PM EDT
Well, it was in the Post Gazette today, the so-called marriage protection amendment passed the state house and jubilant right-wing bigots all over the state are rejoicing. How very Christian.
This amendment was brought up and passed because gay/bi/transgendered folk are the last acceptable minority punching bags. We're the only group left that the right-wing haters (the same group of people that brought us the KKK way back when) can hate and discriminate against with impunity now that discriminating against blacks and jews is frowned upon.
Yes, we have to keep the world safe for the 24/48 hour marriage rights of people like Brittany Spears and Kevin Federline. The thing is, the heterosexuals are fouling their own nests without any help from the gay people of the world. We're not forcing them to get married and then divorced. Most of the gay people I know have been with their partners for at least 20 years or more. That's longer than most hetero marriages survive. And Rick Santorum and all the other so-called Christian people have yet to explain to anyone how gay people getting married will ruin their marriages. Makes you wonder about the strenth of their marriages doesn't it?
And speaking of hypocrisy to the most foul degree, one of the so-called Democrats that voted for the amendment was Ken Ruffing of West Mifflin (my partner's old stomping ground). Isn't this the same Ken Ruffing who was featured in an investigative segment a few weeks ago on KDKA? The person who Marty Griffin reported had had sixteen calls to his home for domestic troubles within the last year? And, beleive it or not, it's just too rich, while Mr. Griffin was there reporting, Ms. Ruffing had called the police on Mr. Ruffing! And he's a poster child for marriage? He has the nerve to deny me the right to marry? Hey, my partner and I have lived together almost two years and the police haven't been here yet. I guess to be worthy of marraige and family values we have alot of catching up to do.
by Sue on Wed 07 Jun 2006 09:14 PM EDT
The Post-Gazette would like to hear your opinion on the issue. Please send an e-mail with your name and hometown to email@example.com.
A few snippets ... its really quite interesting.
by Sue on Wed 07 Jun 2006 07:49 AM EDT
This is heartening. Joseph Bute of Pine took the time to write in and question Bush's pandering to special interests while serious crises abound. This is my favorite quote:
Actually, his personal faith in rich, white, male heterosexuality. But that's quibbling.
Joseph, thanks for picking up your pen and keeping the PG readers aware of how much anti-anti-gay marriage amendment sentiment there is in Pennsylvania.
Another interesting read is from Sarah H. Springer, M.D. medical director of International Adoption Health Services of Western Pennsylvania and chair of the section on adoption and foster care at the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Springer believes that marriage amendments will hurt children.
She reiterates that all the scientific research shows that children of homosexual families are just as happy and well-adjusted as kids in heterosexual families.
As Dr. Springer notes, amendments aren't going to suddenly cure homosexuals. We won't disappear and neither will our kids. We will be forced to exist in a second-tier status within this society which of course means so will our children. Haven't we been there already in America? In fact, aren't we still there when it comes to racial divides within society?
Fear and prejudice seem to be American specialities. With the homos attacking our marriages and the immigrants stealing our jobs and tax dollars, who has time to fear a government attacking our privacy, economy and environment? Duh!
by Sue on Wed 07 Jun 2006 07:29 AM EDT
In another stupefying example of right wing homo-hysteria, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed the anti-gay marriage amendment yesterday by a vote of 136-61.
I'll comment later when I've had more coffee and swallowed my disgust. Here's how they voted. (PG) I'll keep you posted on the response from PA LGBT pols.
Tuesday, June 6
by Sue on Tue 06 Jun 2006 08:09 AM EDT
Yesterday, a group of religious leaders formed a coalition to speak out in defense of Pennsylvania families. Not just heterosexual families. (PG)
Among the participants was Pittsburgh's own Reverend Janet Edwards from the Community of Reconciliation. Janet presided at a lesbian wedding ceremony last June.
The coalition will work to defeat the proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Of course, the wingnuts at the American Family Association of Pennsylvania didn't miss a beat, issuing their own press release to condemn this coalition, including a list of details on the homosexual affiliations of the participating faith communities (duh!)
The AFA and some of their zombies will be gathering today in the Capitol to hold their own press conference denouncing gay marriage and state funding for family planning services.
Monday, June 5
by Sue on Mon 05 Jun 2006 03:59 PM EDT
As our friend and blogging colleague David posted over at 2 Political Junkies, a source alleges that a Santorum operative snuck into a Stonewall Democrat VIP party Friday night to secretly record speeches. When approached by the Stonewall Dems, he fled into the night as if the Allegheny County police had surrounded his bathroom.
OK, that was lame.
Anyway, tonight our other good friend John McIntire will talk with a rep from the Steel City Stonewall Demorat chapter about this invasion of privacy. Tune into KDKA 1020 on your AM dial.
AND ... John will check in with your lesbian correspondent (that would be me) about the wild and wacky FMA situation.
All in the 7 o'clock hour.
by Sue on Mon 05 Jun 2006 10:32 AM EDT
Governor Rendell addressed the National Stonewall Democrats Convention on Sunday, urging the gay community to work on turning out voters to secure victory in what's believed to be will be a close election. (PG)
Rendell referenced his own history of strong support for gay issues as proof positive that the vast majority of people are not one-issue voters. Rendell also called for gays to exhibit tolerance.
He commended the LGBT community for building its influence, registering voters and supporting gay-friendly candidates.
Rendell is right on most of these issues. But casual conversation with movers and shakers in the local party (conversations I've had) reveal a widespread awareness of the divide within the LGBT community. None of the political leaders are going to talk about it out loud or on the record, but I think its the real reason we haven't built enough momentum to squash the marriage amendment. Its not the apathetic voters, its the continuous petty infighting driven by personal agendas rather than the common good. (And those personal agendas will be the ones leaving more quasi-anonymous comments on this blog --- behavior that perfectly illustrates my point.)
So how do we as a community break out of this personality driven loop? Where are the solutions?
I look around at the various political themed LGBT organizations and feel like none are quite a good fit. Steel City Stonewall Democrats worked the best for me and I still regret that it didn't work out as I hoped. I've gone to high-end fundraisers, queer activist events, mainstream democrat events, feminist events, etc. And within each context, I feel divided almost as if I have to leave some pretty core parts of my identity at the door.
And I suspect I'm not the only one who feels like I'm not young/hip/old/rich/radical/mainstream enough.
Back to Rendell, I'm glad he came to the convention. In spite of what anonymous commenters imply, I did hope for the convention to be a success. Rumor is that he will be at the PrideFest awareness march on June 17. That's also good news.
Maybe we can find a way to get it together for this election?