Pittsburgh's LGBTQ Blog ... out'n proud in the Burghosphere.

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View Article  Happy Pridefest, Johnstown!

Today marks the 1st Pridefest for Johnstown!   Congratulations.

 

The event is sponsored by the Highlands Community College Allies Club and the Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter. 

Lots of good stuff happening in Pennsylvania. 

View Article  Blog for Equality Pgh 2011 - Tuesday May 10, 2011

(scroll down for links to the 2011 Blog for Equality participating blogs)

When it comes to LGBTQ equality blogswarms in Pgh, we've had good company back in 2008 and 2010. 

I'm sad that we need to rally the troops once again to stand up against yet another attempt to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution in order to "protect marriage."  Sigh.  But I'm happy the troops are there to be rallied. 

Here's how it works

- Your post should be up before or on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

- Any blogger can participate. 

- Write a blog post on any angle of the issue that you like (or don't like).  Length is not important.

- Contact me (email, twitter, facebook) with a link so we can track participation.

- Spread the word to other bloggers who might want to chime in. 

In my recent half dozen posts, you'll find more details including the 5 Western PA legislators serving on the relevant committee alongside the legislation's sponsor and committee chair, Daryl Metcalfe - R, Cranberry.  Let me know if you need more details. 

- This is the Equality Pennsylvania petition to which you may want to direct your readers.

- This is the link to the actual bill should you find that helpful.

That's it!  Once your post is up, please use your social media tools to spread the word.  I can attest that these "swarms" are read over and over and over again throughout the year. Together we can send a message to Pennsylvania that the lives of LGBTQ persons are not political fodder. 

Thanks to Maria at 2 Political Junkies for logo design.

FWIW, there are four separate pieces of legislation that are LGBTQ+ on hate crimes, civil unions, marriage equality and civil rights protections.  I am looking forward to sprinkling some of that goodness into the conversation. 

***************************************************************************************

2011 Participants    **New contributors for 2011

Einstein's Desk **  Blog for Equality Day

Angels of Sodom **  Blog for Equality '11

2 Political Junkies - Dayvoe   Blog for Equality Day

2 Political Junkies - Maria  Signs of Spring in PA

The Pittsburgh Comet  Trib is Succinct, Eloquent on Topic of Liberty

Burgh Baby **  An Equal Opportunity to Suck Face

topherhoff **   Blog for Equality Day 2011 - Pittsburgh

intense chaos ** Blog for Equality

Thomas C. Waters **  LGBT Equality in PA: Far from a reality

Examiner.com (A.J. Mayowski)** Equality and the Killer

Six Kitties (Ledcat) Blog for Equality Day 2011

A Spork in the Drawer The Thing Is, They're Losing and They Know It

After the Bridge Blog for Equality Day

PGH is a City Blog for Equality Redux

Three Rivers Anthology ** Blog for Equality Day

Amadi Talks Blog for Equality Pittsburgh 2011:  Here We Go Again

Ms. Mon's Salon  A Reminder That We Are All Created Equal

Deal Snob  Pittsburgh Blog for Equality Day May 10, 2011 (Blog for Fairness)

The Radical Middle In Honor of Blog For Equality Day

Here's What I Have To Say ** Blog for Marriage Equality Day

The Narrative in the Blog sent in this submission a little late, but very welcomed!  Blog for Equality Day 2011

Other links of note:

The Tribune Review Editorial Board: "But constitutions are not for denying rights; they're for enumerating them. This is poor form, the antithesis of liberty, and the effort should be rejected."

Other shout outs to note:

sdf

View Article  Diane Gramley and the AFA of PA weigh in on "marriage amendment"

They have a fancy new website which makes it easier for me to find the press releases since they keep kicking me off their email lists ...

On HB 1434

?Representative Metcalfe understands the need to do more than simply protect the word ?marriage.?  A strong two-part amendment is what is needed to preserve the institution of marriage.   In 2004 Oregon passed an amendment that simply defined marriage as between one man and one woman and four years later marriage-like benefits were extended to homosexual couples.  Their amendment only preserved the word, not the institution of marriage,? stated Diane Gramley, President of the AFA of PA.

The word "marriage" is the issue.  Marriage a legal term used to describe a civil institution.  I want access to that institution.  I don't give a hoot about the religious constructs of marriage.  But there's no way to parse the word and people who think we can magically come up with a solution which satisfies everyone are thinking desperately.  No one is coming to take over the church ceremonies.  Relax and save your hysteria for the natural gas companies where it is well deserved.

Setting aside the other LGBT legislation, I just shake my head that so many issues will go unaddressed while elected officials rally around this.  I'm sure it will be the toast of Cranberry Township tomorrow night when Metcalfe, the Pennsylvania Family Institute and rightwing darling Lila Rose will be gathering for the PFI Annual Dinner.  I wish I had ability to infiltrate.  With a Flip Cam. 

sdf

View Article  More on Marriage Amendment

UPDATE: I didn't dig deep enough when I originally posted.  Western PA Reps Krieger and Mustio also cosponsor this legislation. My apologies.

**********************************************************************

Metcalfe's plan to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution begins in the State Government Committee of which he is the Majority Chair. As Chair, he has the power to bring the amendment to a committee vote.  It would be best to squelch that and you can help by contacting the other members of the committee. 

The message is very clear.  There are many more important issues than this and we need our elected officials to focus their time and energy on them -- the economy, transportation, taxes, health care, the environment, etc. 

Note that there are several Southwestern PA committe members. It is not too early to galvanize your networks to make the calls and make it personal -- people in our neighborhoods need jobs, healthcare, focus on energy issues, education, etc.  The links will take you to the reps contact page - phone, email, webforms, etc.   Just a few clicks if you live in Moon or Penn Township and you can help put this divisive issue aside to focus on your family priorities. 

Republicans

Seth Grove - York County

Jim Cox - Berks County

Matt Gabler - Clearfield and Elks Counties

Linda Schlegel Culver - Northumberland and Snyder Counties

George Dunbar - Westmoreland County (Jeannette, North Huntington,  Penn Twp, Irwin, North Irwin, Penn)

Eli Evankovich - Armstrong and Westmoreland Counties (New Kensington, Penn Township, Murrysville, Upper Burrell, Lower Burrell, Allegheny Township, Arnold, Export, Bethel Township, Cadogan Township, Parks Township, and Gilpin Township)

Glen Grell - Cumberland County

Marcia Hahn - Northampton County

Rob Kauffman - Cumberland and Franklin Counties

Jerry Knowles - Berks and Schuykill Counties

Timothy Krieger - Westmoreland County (Greensburg, Hempfield Twp, Delmont Borough, Hunker Borough, New Stanton Borough, Salem Township, South Greensburg Borough, Southwest Greensburg Borough. Unity Twp, Youngwood Borough) **COSPONSOR**

T. Mark Mustio - Allegheny County (Aleppo Twp, Ben Avon Heights, Collier Twp, Edgeworth, Findlay Twp, Haysville, Kilbuck Twp, Moon Twp, North Fayette Twp, Ohio Twp, Osborne, Robinson Twp, Sewickley, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills) **COSPONSOR**

Brad Roae -  Crawford County

Jerry Stern - Blair County

 

Democrats

Babette Josephs (Minority Chair) - Philadelphia County

Tony Payton, Jr. - Philadelphia County

Steve Samuelson - Lehigh and Northhampton Counties

Greg Vitali - Delaware County

Tim Briggs - Montgomery County

Eugene DePasquale - Montgomery County

Florindo FaBrizio - Erie County

Kenyatta Johnson - Philadelphia County

Eddie Day Pashinski - Lucerne County

Steven Santarsierio - Bucks County

 

View Article  Metcalfe introduces "Marriage Protection" constitutional amendment

From the Trib ...

Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, who chairs the House State Government Committee, on Monday announced he is sponsoring a constitutional amendment to define marriage. It would need to be approved in two successive sessions of the Legislature and would then be submitted for approval or rejection by the state's voters. The earliest that could happen would be 2013.

The constitution, if changed, would read:  "Marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

The bill's chances are improved in a Republican-controlled legislature, but it is still a contentious issue many lawmakers would rather avoid. As committee chairman, Metcalfe can at least guarantee a committee vote.

It is a bit challenging to come up with someonething new about this one other than quiet disgust.  John Morgan at The Pennsylvania Progressive plans to out closeted legislators who cast any affirmative vote on this one. 

While we can hope this illustrates the distance between Metcalfe and the "rest" of the Republicans, I suspect this will not go quietly into the good night.  Democrats have voted for this in previous terms so we can take nothing for granted.

Please take a moment to sign the petition up at Equality Pennsylvania's site. 

View Article  Uh Huh Her ....

Congrats to our winner: Elena Kuptsynova!

And thanks to http://www.opusoneproductions.com/ for supporting local blogs!

View Article  Winners!

I used a random number generator to select winners for the two giveaways (TOTEM and Uh Huh Her).  The winners have been contacted and I'm hoping they are all sorts of excited.  I'll announce their names as soon as they get back to me. 

Thanks to everyone for playing!

 

View Article  Dreams of Hope - Summer Qamp
Dreams of Hope has a summer camp week that sounds awesome.
 

Dreams of Hope

Summer Arts QAMP!

August 16 - 20th

 

Dreams of Hope is hosting an overnight camp from August 16 - 20th for LGBTA youth ages 13-17. The camp will be held at the Emma Kaufmann Camp on Cheat Lake near Morgantown, West Virginia. Please submit your forms by July 1, 2011 to secure your place!

 

http://www.dreamsofhope.org/camp

 

In addition to Special Workshops designed specifically for Dreams of Hope on Drumming, Spoken Word, and LGBT and Allies Support and Education, camp will include:

 

 High and Low Ropes Course; Athletics; Instruction and Recreational Swimming; Water     Skiing; Canoeing and kayaking; Knee Boarding; Tubing; Arts & Crafts; Hiking; Ceramics;     Campfires; Karaoke

 

Participants will:

Grow their artistic abilities and talents.

Improve their self confidence and self-esteem.

Participate in fun and challenging activities.

Develop friendships with young people from other geographic areas, ethnicity, and socio-economic and racial backgrounds.

Explore issues they face in their schools and neighborhoods, and learn how to combat the obstacles they face.

Have a space where they can relax and be themselves!

 

Cost is $500 per camper, which includes: Three meals a day plus snacks, all camp activities, round-trip transportation from Pittsburgh to camp and memories that will last a lifetime. Need based scholarships available. Please submit a scholarship form.

 

FORMS DUE:   July 1, 2011 - to secure a place at camp

        After July 1, applications will be considered if there is space.

 

Space is limited to 24 campers, so go on our web site, call, mail, or email to request your registration packet. (Please include your name, address, phone and email.)

 

Dreams of Hope?www.dreamsofhope.org/camp? info@dreamsofhope.org?(412) 361-2065

Summer Arts QAMP!?P.O. Box 4912?Pittsburgh PA 15206

 
 
 
View Article  The death of Bin Laden -- queer persectives

I watched the media coverage and Presidential press conference last night with a strange mix of relief and sadness.  I can't rejoice in someone's death, but I am hopeful that his death will lead to a better world for all of us. 

From Pam's House Blend ...

Is this the final proof that Barack Obama is the legitimate President of the United States?

Pam herself posts extensive media clips with a little sober commentary of her own and the transcript of the Presidential remarks.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11.  I know that it has, at times, frayed.  Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete.  But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.  That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are:  one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you.  May God bless you.  And may God bless the United States of America.

Towleroad has clips of the spontaneous rally at the White House last night.

Politgot from Metro Weekly has similar clips with much more detail and on the ground interviews.

Thoughts from Bilerico

And from The Advocate a hat tip to President Bush

The president reiterated that this war is, in no way, a war with Islam, and that bin Laden was not a religious leader, describing him as a mass murderer, and that his victims included many Muslims. The President continued, "So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity."

"Tonight we are once again reminded that American can do whatever we set out mind to," the President continued. "That is the story of our history, whether it?s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens, our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the word a safer place. Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power but because of who we are, one nation, under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Authorities have been searching for the terrorist leader since the September 1, 2001, attacks. Capturing or killing Osama bin Laden fulfills a goal first set by President George W. Bush.

Finally a few reminders of the losses to the LGBTQ community from LezGetReal.

So what does all this mean?  A simple reminder that while these are LGBTQ media outlets, they do step outside of the "gay agenda" to report.  Clearly, this is a significant moment in American history, including the LGBTQ community.  I'm not seeing references to "agenda items" like the repeal of DADT or the repeal of DOMA to provide family benefits to LGBTQ soldiers. I'm reading good reporting and interesting commentary on an event that transcends our identity as gay Americans.  But those are valid issues to raise in the coming days and returning to our struggle for full equality in our nation, a nation a little more secure, is one of the things that does make America great.

View Article  A Third Chance To Win

Adagio Health is offering two free tickets to their 40th anniversary party on May 19, 2011 at Rodef Shalom. Keynote speaker is Victoria Kennedy.  The tickets are coutesy of the Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society.

Click here for more details

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The Correspondents