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View Article  Allegheny County Police Continue to Target Gay Men

From Saturday's Post-Gazette comes word that the Allegheny County Police successfully prevented five gay men from having sex.  Or at least they successfully punished five men for having sex by arresting them.  Or somewhere in between.

As we reported last week, these intrepid cops have been monitoring a men's bathroom on Corrigan Drive (the park's main drag - no pun intended) that is listed on an Internet site as a "popular place" for sexual encounters. 

And, of course, it is near a children's playground.  No mention of the fact that most likely the sexual encounters take place after dark when the children are, hopefully, home with their parents pursuing wholesome activities.  If children are lurking on a South Park playground after dark, the Allegheny County Police should probably focus more of the lack of parenting angle than the potential exposure to homosex angle.  But I digress ...

So just in time for park season, Allegheny County decides to flex their homophobic muscles to make the parks safe for breeders everywhere. 

I feel better, don't you?

View Article  Lesbian Bloggers Denied Access to National Stonewall Democrats Conference

The Stonewall Democrats 2006 National Conference will take place right here in Pittsburgh this coming weekend, June 2-4.  Howard Dean will be the keynote speaker with Governor Rendell making an appearance on the last day of the conference.

But you won't read about it here.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents applied for press credentials to cover the conference.  As the region's largest LGBT blog, we believe that covering THE national gay democrat conference in Rick Santorum's hometown would be relevant to our focus.  And that the rest of the LGBT community might want our perspective, especially given Howard Dean's recent headlines on a variety of gay issues.

Apparently, we were wrong.  Because the local chapter hosting the event, the Steel-City Stonewall Democrats. has decided that bloggers will not receive press credentials. 

This in spite of the fact that both parties issued press credentials to bloggers for the 2004 National Conventions. 

I was still invited to attend the conference as a paid attendee. 


DISCLAIMER:  Sue is a former board member of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats chapter.  She resigned this past fall along with most of the Executive Board (before launching this blog).  Thus, she is somewhat biased on this issue. 

View Article  African-American Lesbian Blogger sets the bar high for gay blogs

Pam's House Blend is one of my daily absolute must-reads.  Her take on all things anti-gay, anti-black and anti-woman is smart, insightful and devastating.  I've borrowed her phrase "wingnuts" here and linked to her site more frequently that just about any other except the Post-Gazette. 

The Washington Blade offers up a feisty look at what makes the House Blend tick and what ticks her off.   She's labeled "the most important lesbian blogger in America" and attracts 3,000 unique visitors a day. As an African-American lesbian, her voice is especially unique and a necessary part of the contemporary gay experience.

Given the dearth of LGBT women's voices in the blogosphere (both among gay blogs and feminist blogs), Pam's House Blend sets the bar high for the rest of us.  And I prefer it that way.

View Article  Russian Pride and Shame - Police Stand By While Gays Beaten

As promised, gay activists converged on Moscow to hold the capitol's first gay pride rally in spite of the event being denied a permit and denounced by religious and political leaders throughout Russia.

In preparation for the rally, over 1000 police in riot gear met the activists in Red Square along with hundreds of anti-gay protestors.  In response, police arrested over 120 of the gay activists as they attempted to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

What the police didn't do is protect the peaceful activitsts from the hate-fueled violence of the counterprotestors. 

From Pink News

Volker Beck, a Green member of the German parliament was attacked by 20 religious protesters and punched in the face whilst he was giving a television interview.

?There was no aggression from our side, we were simply there,? Herr Beck told the DPA press agency. ?It is unacceptable that the police offer no protection to gays on the streets.?

Around 100 religious and fascist extremists dressed in black kicked and punched gay activists. ?Moscow is not Sodom!? shouted a group of Russian women clutching religious icons.

"We are Russians. We are Orthodox. These soldiers died so we could live like Russians, not so these people could come here and tell us what to do," one Christian protester told Reuters.

Yet another fine example of the damage of the hate-rhetoric flowly so freely from pulpits around the world.  I wonder how long it will be until Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola teams up with the skinheads to beat down the homos? 


UPDATE: While this story has not caught the attention of the mainstream media (surprise!), you can follow it through the Washington Blade vis a vis live coverage from Scott Long, Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights program for Human Rights Watch
View Article  Right WingNuts Target 2006 Pittsburgh PrideFest for Anti-Gay Protest

A local hate group has issued a call for an "evangelistic outreach" to bring their message of hate, bigotry and intolerance to Pittsburgh's LGBT community during the 2006 PrideFest activities. 

Rescue Pittsburgh is best known for their "blow up the women's health care center" message of Christian love. However,  founder Joseph Parente has tried to hurl  invectives at a homo or two in conjunction with his cohorts at Operation Rescue. 

On his blog, he writes:

The month of June has become, for some, "pride" month, or a time to parade the sin of homosexuality just as they did in Sodom. Under the banner of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender, sin will be lauded as an acceptable alternative lifestyle. God's Word, however, is clear:

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". --Romans 6:23

We must stand in the gap for those trapped in the bondage of homosexual perversion, boldly speaking the truth that sets the captives free. Jesus Christ is the only one who can rescue us from our sin, please join with us as we love our neighbors enough to tell them the truth.

Uh huh.  Well, PrideFest is certainly a good starting point if you are looking for homos in bondage, but most of the BDSM crowd respect the family friendly atmosphere and limit their bondage apparatus.  But I digress ...

You only have to browse through a few of his blog posts to recognize the Parente is no more an authentic Christian messenger than Barney.  Beyond his endless ranting about abortion and baby killing politicians, he actually posts a description and photos of a man who appears to be an employee of the Allegheny County Department of Health and asks his reader(s) to track down information on this person.  Nice.  I guess Parente learned that little tactic in his domestic terrorism classes.  Too bad he ran out of film and only identified one person over the past three months.  Perhaps his mom wouldn't increase his allowance and he spent it all buying anti-choice porn over the Internet.

It takes someone really committed to saving babies to allow three young children (10,12 and 14) to be arrested -- trying to bring water to Terry Schiavo.  That's the kind of good parenting that clearly proves why homosexuals are unfit to raise children!

What you WON'T read on the Rescue Pittsburgh blog is any reference to volunteering at a soup kitchen or food pantry, conducting prison ministry, taking clothing and medicine to the homeless, visiting seniors in nursing homes, OR fostering children.  Nope.  Not a whisper.  Because those are boring run-of-the-mill Christian activities.  Parente and his ilk are in it for the glory and the attention.  Not to mention the unceasing desire to control the lives of other people. 

PrideFest organizers estimate 8,000 people will attend this year's celebration, including several thousand heterosexuals. 

Parente usually attracts two dozen or less wingnuts to his little hatefests. 

I wonder if they will bring the fetus signs?

View Article  Moscow says No to Gay Pride March AND Oscar Wilde?

At the beginning of the month, we reported on ties between Russian skinheads, the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Muslims in the Russian ant-gay movement.   Police had to hold back protestors from the three groups trying to disrupt a gay event at a local nightclub.  Meanwhile, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov refused to issue a permit for a gay pride march, scheduled for this Saturday.

Now a Moscow court has upheld Luzhkov's decision.  And Luzhkov freely acknowledges that the real reason Moscow is the only major world capitol without a pride parade is for morality:

?I believe that such a parade is inadmissible in our country above all for moral considerations. People should not make public their deviations," he said

Well, that's a nifty bit of advice. 

Not content to just verbally demonize homosexuals, Muscovites have taken anti-gay hatred to a level that must be giving Fred Phelps multiple orgasms.

Organizers of a weekend LGBT conference say they intend to march on Saturday despite the ruling. The conference has attracted gay leadership from throughout Europe.

Russian Patriarch Alexy II has denounced the planned festival and parade, and the leader of Russia's Muslims has called for a "violent mass protest" if gay leaders go ahead with Pride celebrations. 

This is an excellent moment to point out that the Christian faction appears to be less violent than the Muslims, a fact that I'm sure many of our wonderful wingnuts here in the US would be quick to exploit.  That's utter bullshit.  The Patriarch should be denouncing those who promote VIOLENT protest, not those who want to conduct a march.  But he doesn't.  Because he is just as much a part of the anti-gay violence as those who are more open about it.  Welcome to the slippery slope of religious based hatred.  Watch your mitre on the way down.

Just for good measure, a group of extreme nationalists attacked an LGBT conference on Friday (remember the time zone difference).  They invaded a speech given by Oscar Wilde's grandson, pelted him with eggs and sprayed an unidentified gas in the room.  There were no reported injuries.  And the conference resumed.

From the site Gay Russia

The Moscow Gay Pride Festival will not be cancelled CLICK FOR PROGRAM

View Article  June 4 is Marriage Protection Sunday - Oh Joy!

Those wild and wacky Baptists are at it again, deeming Sunday June 4 "Marriage Protection Sunday" to rally the troops for the debate on the Federal Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment. From the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission:

?Supporters of traditional marriage need to bombard their senators? offices with e-mails and phone calls,? ERLC President Richard Land told Baptist Press, ?and preachers across America need to let the pulpit ring forth in clear and no uncertain terms on Marriage Protection Sunday, June 4, and help create a groundswell of support for this amendment. I can assure you the opponents of traditional marriage are doing their best to let their voices be heard in the corridors of the Senate. It is up to us to let our voices be heard loudly as well.?

I bring this up because June 4 begins the week when the Pennsylvania Legislature returns to Harrisburg and could potentially bring the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment to the House floor for a vote.  Which means our homegrown PA right-wing nut jobs may ratchet up the anti-gay rhetoric in their so-called Christian pulpits on two fronts. 

Some of those churches might want to focus a little bit of their energy on actual marriages that need some protection.  Like State Representative Ken Ruffing and his wife Karen of my former hometown West Mifflin.  This elected official has had 17 domestic calls from the police over the past 12 months, several involving him breaking down doors.  KDKA caught the latest one on tape. 

This is the kind of married man whois going to decide if my relationship is valid??!!!????

h/t to Pam's House Blend

 

View Article  Gay Friendly Prom This Weekend in Pittsburgh

SA-TUR-DAY NIGHT!

This weekend, the Pittsburgh Chapter of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educatio Network) will host the Safe Prom for All at the Westin Hotel Convention Center. 

This event rocks b/c it celebrates creating safe spaces for ALL kids.  There are many a straight young adult who attends this celebration of diversity rather than the usual 50's throwback prom at the regular high schools.  Especially when kids across the country are refusing to be forced into traditional gender role boxes in the name of conformity.  Just this week a Gary, Indiana lad was booted from his high school prom because he showed up in a dress.  The school claims boys wearing dresses disrupts the learning environment.  Which is very important at the prom. 

So if you have the time to volunteer at the Safe Prom or make a donation, surf on over and do so.  Our kids deserve it.

View Article  Alleg. County Police Target Gay Men Crusing for Sex

In another overt example of homophobic law enforcement, Allegheny County police are "stepping up patrols" around a South Park bathroom suspected of being the location of many a gay tryst. 

The Post-Gazette report hits the classic homophobic note -- the site's proximity to a children's playground.  Because you cannot report on gay sex without making at least one subtle allusion to children. 

Now I understand that having sex in public places is illegal.  But when is the last time you read a story about cracking down on heterosexual public sex?  I guarantee you that there are more incidencts of breeders having public sexual relations than homos.  And I guarantee you that most gay men are not having sex in public restrooms.  But those who do are not guilty of a greater crime than the majority of high school students parked at South Park. 

When I was in high school, we rode the activity bus and had to walk through the parking lot of Sam's Club to get home.  Every day for the entire track season in my junior year (1987), a car was parked in that lot containing an adult man and woman having sex.  We walked right past it every day and they never batted an eye.  They were having sex within eyeshot of the middle school and a half a block from a preschool.  Where was the umbrage?  Who protected me? 

Let's be honest -- this is not a crackdown on public lewdness.  This is a crackdown on the crime of being gay. 

View Article  Rene Portland - Future Pennsylvania Legislator?

She just can't keep her mouth shut.  No matter that Penn State found her guilty of discimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  No matter that she got off with a little slap on the wrist. No matter that she still faces a huge lawsuit. 

Rene Portland continues to trumpet her innocence and has now officially attempted to retaliate against Jennifer Harris.  On Thursday, she issued a written statement disparaging Harris' contribution to the Lady Lions team. 

Harris lawyers point out that Portland had publicly lauded Harris' performance in 2004 and 2005.  They also state that the team statistics attest to Harris' contributions. 

Penn State has stated that if Portland violated the University's nondiscrimination policy again, she will be fired.  Harris' lawyers have filed a formal complaint with the University over the retaliation attempt. 

'Although coach Portland has a right to defend herself against Jennifer's allegations, the law and Penn State policy do not permit retaliation by making false and disparaging allegations,' Doering said.

Karen Doering is  the senior counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Will PSU take action?  Of course not.  I'm sure they will split hairs over what constitutes retaliation, adding fuel to Portland's slow but inevitable self-immolation. 

Don't worry Rene.  This is Pennsylvania so when you finally get yourself fired, you can get into politics and bring your homo-bigotry home to roost in the state legislature.

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The Correspondents