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View Article  Altoona Finds Soldier Not Guilty of Sexual Assault; Complaintant Forced to Come Out

An Altoona jury found that an Army Reserve officer was not guilty of sexually assaulting a female officer.  He said it was consensual sex.  She claimed otherwise.  Guess who the jurors believed?

During the trial, the woman soldier testified that she had not wanted to file charges for fear that it would come out that she was a lesbian which would impact her career.  Her testimony surprised the courtroom, but she simply stated "You asked, and I told."

So now its more of a "Don't Tell and They Won't Ask" policy where soldiers are protecting their assailants in order to protect themselves.  What the hell kind of twisted logic is that? 

A 2006 study from the Pentagon indicates a 40% increase in the reports of sexual assaults within the military in less than one year.  40% increase!  While I'm glad people are reporting it, it makes you wonder what the hell was happening before 2005 AND who else isn't reporting it.   Advocates express concern over how the female soldier victims are being treated by the military throughout the internal investigations.

Apparently, in Altoona, it ain't so good.  Because guess what?  This female soldier is going to be investigated for outing herself.

Before the verdict was announced, Army Reserve spokesman Jack Gordon in Coraopolis told The Associated Press that the woman's testimony would be reviewed by military officials.

Thus, LGBT soldiers are caught in particularly vicious catch 22:  report sexual assault and risk their orientation being revealed OR keep quiet and risk being further assaulted.  What a wonderful environment for female soldiers of any orientation. 

Not that I'm surprised that Altoona "We have more in common with Alabama than Philly or Pittsburgh" is the locale for this particular travesty of justice.  Friends of mine who are a heterosexual, biracial couple have wonderful stories of tolerance and openmindedness from their brief sojourn in Altoona.  It was awful enough to make Pittsburgh a sort of beacon of acceptance when they relocated to this part of the state. 

 

View Article  Thugs Linked to Government Attack Polish Gay Marchers

From 365gay.com, we find this morning that marchers in a Polish gay tolerance parade (Equality Days) were attacked by youth "counterprotestors" (thugs).  Dozens of the parade's 1,000 marchers were injured.  Media sources indicate that there is a link between this particular group of thugs and Polish President Lech Kaczynski who has a history of oppressing gays.

The Polish government is under warning from the EU that it may lose its voting rights if it continues to oppose gay rights.

Interesting links on Polish LGBT issues

Warsaw Pride (in English)

Network of East-West Women

ILGA Europe (Equality for LGBT people in Europe)

 

View Article  Lesbian Correspondent Goes National!

I want to thank the man who made it all possible for this little correspondent to hit the big time .... soon to be former US Senator Rick Santorum!  

Yes, folks, I am doing a one month guest stint as a lesbian correspondent for a NATIONAL blog (ooohhhhhhh!).  :-)

It is called Big Gay Picture and we've linked to it from almost Day One.   Founding lesbian editor Sarah has to attend to other priorities, so the dynamic duo of Brent and Michael sought out some new lesbian blood (oh, those gay boys and their lesbian blood fetishes!).  Voila!  I'm joining Christie Keith (fellow dog lover) in a one month guest stint. 

Don't worry Pittsburgh!  I'll still be taking care of my correspondent duties both here and on KDKA's The Flip Side with John McIntire.  Big Gay Picture is all about the national issues like Rene Portland's lesbian baiting, Rick Santorum's reelection campaign and attempts to pass marriage protection amendments ... its like the Big Pennsylvania Gay Picture. 

Obviously, I'm just the woman for the job!   Read often and make lots of comments. 

My mother would be so proud if I could get her to understand what a blog is ...

View Article  Hypocrites in right winger land

As a member of the female species and a feminist I have been paying attention to the furor in Mt. Lebanon. I have some friends who live in Mt. Lebanon and my grandfather lived there for many years. It's a nice place. Lately it has also provided a lesson in good ole fashion hypocrisy, one of my favorite subjects.

It's a favorite topic because I always have to laugh at how people can condemn and bash gay people for supposedly being morally bankrupt. And then turn around and do the same thing (or worse) they condemn others for doing.

Mt. Lebanon--white, rich, Christian and right-wing republican has a group of boys (sorry, they don't qualify as young men) rating the girls of their school on such wonderful areas as their breasts, buttocks and whether they perform oral sex and do drugs. A lovely, lovely way to think about their female peers. I'm sure the "women" at Concerned Women for America are very proud. Anyway, to illustrate my point, I can't think of a better way to do it then the following quote--published in today's Post Gazette from Attorney William H. Difenderfer, who represents one of the boys involved in making the list:

He added, "I'm very fearful with this publicity that the administration will go over the top with these boys. They're very good kids. I know them well. They all are college-bound. They all have very constructive lives ahead of them. ... These kids are all decent kids. My client is extremely remorseful."

Here is what these "decent kids" were talking about in their list of "Top 25" females:

The list includes grades for girls' faces, breasts and buttocks and talks about drug use, oral sex, sexually transmitted disease and weight.

So, these are what the right-wing republicans of Mt. Lebon consider to be "decent kids?" Well, it makes me feel better that they are college-bound and have constructive lives ahead of them--doing what? Writing for Hustler Magazine? Playing lacrosse for Duke? Ohhh, low blow!!

These are the same, smug people who, with their Bibles in hand, will vote to ban gay marriage so those deviants don't harm our society! 

See, ain't hypocrisy grand? And I will say this. I will pit all of my gay friends (and most of gay society--LOL) against these "decent boys" any day of the week.

 

View Article  AFA of PA: Being Queer More Risky Than Bullying and Harassment

I just have to post the whole damn message I received as part of my subscription to the American Family ...   more »

View Article  City Paper - Marriage Amendment Could Hurt A Lot of Heterosexuals
We've said it before, but it bears repeating .... Metcalfe's Marriage Amendment could hurt tens of thousands of unmarried heterosexual couples.  The City Paper does a nice job with this.

U.S. Census 2000 estimates there are roughly 240,000 Pennsylvania families ? about 5 percent of the state?s 4.8 million households ? made up of unmarried couples. Many of these were grandfathered in as common-law marriages before a new state law abolished this marital arrangement last year. Among them are widowed seniors who never formalized their marital bonds, and who might have no redress if the proposed amendment negates every form of marital arrangement but traditional matrimony.

 

Seniors? ?property, pension and Social Security are possibly at risk because they?re survivor benefits,? explains Karen Buck, executive director of the Philadelphia-based SeniorLAW Center, a statewide advocacy group that objects to the amendment


 

We can only try to convince the moderate Republicans that this bill is going to negatively many of their constituents.  And protect no one's marriage.

Meanwhile, over at the Vox Pop column, lesbian fan John McIntire takes homobigots to task ...

I know the homophobes don?t care about whether gays and lesbians have the same rights as the rest of us. Discrimination against anyone different is a grand American tradition. But here?s what they should try to understand: There?s nothing to ?protect.? Legal gay marriage will have absolutely no effect on hetero marriage.

 

You still don?t have to mix with the homos. You can still look down your noses at them ?cause ?it just ain?t natural.? (?Course there are millions of them on the earth, you know. God sure must have screwed up a bunch of times.)


Stay tuned for an update on the marriage amendment passage through the Pennsylvania Republican Caucus.

View Article  Big Lesbian Welcome to Correspondent Shelly
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents is pleased to welcome our newest
correspondent Shelly. We've known Shelly for several years -- she is very
active in the local LGBT community. Her writing, you will find, is
articulate, insightful and from a slightly different perspective than Ledcat
and me.

Three's Company, too!

Welcome aboard Shelly!

Sue
View Article  A Reply to Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe wrote an op-ed piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that defended the proposed amendment to the PA Constitution regarding gay marriage. His piece was full of fear-mongering and inaccuracies that are exposed in this article.   more »
View Article  Anti-Gay Graffiti at Geneva College

From the KDKA.com website comes this brief story about a second round of hate laced graffiti in one month on the campus of Geneva College in Beaver Falls.  The first time, it was solely racial slurs, now its expanded to anti-gay and anti-Semitic remarks as well.

Geneva officials and students state they are trying to avoid responding in anger or hate, thus not giving the vandal the reaction he or she desires.  The signs have all been cleaned or replaced. 

Is keeping cool the best response in this situation?  Has the hater mongered intentionally tried to broaden his scope of hate to provoke a response?

This did get a bit of national LGBT attention

View Article  Is America headed toward 1870 and 1930 era Germany?

My partner and I went to see the play "I am my own Wife" last night. I know it didn't get a good review in the City Paper, but we both liked it. But, of course, this little post isn't about reviewing a play. According to the program that gave the history of the play, in the 1870's, the German government enacted so-called morality codes that outlawed anything different that wasn't "German" enough. Gays and lesbians of course were out and were made second class citizens. Although other European countries were moving toward tolerance, Germany was moving backward. There was a period of time from 1919-1933 where gay society flourished, but, alas, in 1933 that great moralist named Hitler made homosexuality illegal again and punishable by death in the concentration camps. Still, homosexuals survived. When the godless commies came into power after World War II, homosexuals were again criminalized as "anti-German." Still, despite the repressive regime homosexuality survived.

I see parallels in the great US of A. Yesiree, homos, trannies, bi's and all the other deviants are labled anti-American by folks such as the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America. Now they want to ban our ability to get married, a basic human right. They say we're a threat to America. And while Europe and most civilized countries are moving forward on gay rights, guess who's moving backward (or at least stagnant?) I couldn't help thinking last night as I watched the play that America could be on a very dangerous course for those of the homo persuasion. And it's really scary. And people like Darryl Metcalfe posit their anit-gay, hate rhetoric in reasonable tones. Will the people in this state swallow his crap? Is the illegalization of homos really far behind? Or am I just being hysterical?? Still, as history clearly shows, despite Mr. Metcalfe and the other homo haters, we will still surive. And they say this is a lifestyle? A choice? Can someone explain to me why given hate, death, intolerance and recriminaiton why anyone would chose to be gay?

Finally, the incident at my beloved alma mater, Penn State, shows, we have a long way to go. Rene Portland should have been fired. And PSU should be ashamed of itself for not doing so. Can anyone explain to me why Ms. Portland hates lesbians? This, to my knowledge, has never been fully explained.

Well, that's all for now folks.

 

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