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View Article  PA Legislators Vote on Gay Marriage Amendment on 3/15/2006

Take Action!

On March 15th, the Pennsylvania House of Representative's State Government Committee will be voting on HB 2381, the anti-LGBT, anti-family constitutional amendment that would prohibit recognition of same-sex marriage and all unmarried relationships in the Commonwealth.

We need your help to stop anti-LGBT activists from writing discrimination into the Pennsylvania Constitution. Pennsylvania state legislators are attempting to amend the Pennsylvania state constitution to deny gay, lesbian and unmarried families legal recognition.

We need you to call your state Representative immediately and ask them to oppose HB 2381, known as the "Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment."

The amendment's text states, "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this Commonwealth, and neither the Commonwealth nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals."

Ask your legislators to protect all of Pennsylvania's families and not harm some by writing discrimination into Pennsylvania's constitution. Pennsylvania law already stops gay and lesbian couples from marrying, and this amendment is not necessary.

So-called marriage protection amendments affect all families in our state, not just same-sex families. While supporters in other states have said these amendments are only about gay marriage, this is not true. In Ohio, courts have ruled that unmarried people, including unmarried heterosexual couples, may not seek protection from abuse orders. In Michigan, groups are challenging domestic partner benefits for employees. Virginia's recently enhanced amendment is so broad that it may interfere with the rights of all Virginians to create wills, medical directives, powers of attorney, child custody and property arrangements, and even joint bank accounts!

Thank you for your support. Please forward this information to friends, family, and other people in Pennsylvania who believe in civil rights and equality for all Pennsylvanians.

View Article  Another PG letter defending African intolerance

Today's Post-Gazette includes a letter from Scott Means, Administrator of the Seeds of Hope Fellowship in Bloomfield.  Seeds of Hope is a mission church of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. 

As a member of the Episcopal Church, I was ashamed to read Bishop Chane display his ignorance of African culture. He clearly presumes that it is acceptable to hold Africans to the moral standards of his own Western culture. Bishop Chane is guilty of the very same intolerance of which he accuses Archbishop Akinola.

Shame on you, Mr. Means!  Shame on you for dressing up your homophobia in the guise of cultural relativism.   Bishop Chane rightfully calls out Archbishop Akinola for  his UNCHRISTIAN stance with regard to the welfare of homosexual Nigerians.  This isn't about disrespecting the African culture underpinning the Nigerian homophobia.  This is about a man of the cloth failing to uphold his moral obligation to the vulnerable members of his community. 

It is xenophobia to claim that African's are culturally wired to be homophobic.  Even if they are, it doesn't absolve Archbishop Akinola from his MORAL obligation to protect the human rights of Nigerian homosexuals. 

Shame on you, Mr. Means!


View Article  ACLU honors Pittsburgh gay activist Randy Forrester

American Civil Liberties Union - Greater Pittsburgh Chapter - Logo(Pittsburgh) - The Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) will hear ACLU national president Nadine Strossen discuss "Taking Liberties" at its Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 26, at 1 p.m. in McConomy Auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University. Highlighting the free public event is the presentation of this year's Marjorie H. Matson Award for Civil Liberties and Civil Rights to Pittsburgh gay-rights pioneer Randal G. Forrester.

Pittsburgh's "Civil Libertarian of the Year", Randy Forrester, has been a definitive leader in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual community since his founding of the first gay and lesbian rights organization in Western Pennsylvania, Mattachine (now defunct), in 1969. He co-founded (with partner James Huggins) Persad Center Inc., a community mental health center for sexual minorities, which since 1972 has helped hundreds of HIV-AIDS patients and delivered mental health services to thousands in the GLBT community. He retired in 2001 after

28 years as Executive Director during which Persad grew to a multi-program agency with a budget over one million dollars. Mr.

Forrester ? a former member and officer of both the ACLU's Pennsylvania Affiliate and Pittsburgh Chapter boards ? also conceived and founded the Lambda Foundation, which funds programs relating to the GLBT community; helped to create the Pennsylvania Governor's Council for Sexual Minorities; served as chairman of Pittsburgh's Human Relations Commission; and famously ran for Allegheny County commissioner in 1979. For these and other accomplishments, Mr.

Forrester was named #53 in Pittsburgh Magazine's 1999 list of the 100 most influential Pittsburghers of the 20th century.


The Annual Meeting of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU-PA With keynote speaker Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union 1:00 p.m. Sunday, March 26, 2006 McConomy Auditorium, University Center Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland Free and open to the public.

For more info, contact the ACLU at 412-681-7736.

View Article  PG Letters to the Editor: Shout Out to the Homos!

In today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, we find two (2) letters to the editor responding to A Gospel of Intolerance.

Susan J. Boulden of Oakmont writes " As a 20-year member of Integrity, the Episcopal Organization of Gays and Lesbians, and a 35-year member of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, I had been praying that someone in our church would address Archbishop Akinola's complicity in the legal persecution against homosexual people in Nigeria."

She goes on to chastise Pgh's own Bishop Duncan for leading a war against the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Church of England

.Bishop Duncan

Jno and Anne Hunt of McCandless (wow - Malicious Hart territory) clearly get it.  They write "It is tragic for Archbishop Akinola, a professed Christian, to promulgate doctrines of bigotry and hatred instead of the gospel of love, acceptance and respect for all of our fellow men that is the heart of Christ's teachings. "

But here's the best line .... Since silence is consent, how can we possibly tolerate their acceptance of Archbishop Akinola's doctrines of hatred and prejudice?

One more time --   Since silence is consent, how can we possibly tolerate their acceptance of Archbishop Akinola's doctrines of hatred and prejudice?


View Article  60 Minutes "Something" before birth determines sexual orientation

Sunday evening's edition of 60 Minutes included Lesley Stah's report "The Science of Sexual Orientation"  in which she explores recent research into sexual orientation. 

Today, scientists are looking at genes, environment, brain structure and hormones. There is one area of consensus: that homosexuality involves more than just sexual behavior; it?s physiological.

The show interviewed two sets of male twins to explore issues of nuture vs nature. While overall the piece is interesting, I was somewhat disturbed by how close Stahl danced to the line of stereotyping, such as when she tried to identify gay mannerisms in an attempt to understand how gay men are "feminized" physiologically. 

I was also somewhat disappointed that Stahl neglected to clarify sexual orientation from gender identity.  One of the younger male twins is very "girly" and clearly said he is like a girl, even that he thought he was a girl in the womb but became a boy b/c his mother preferred boys. 

Lesley, wanting to be a girl is not the same thing as being gay. 

Other nuggets ...

* Sexual orientation may be more closely connected with hormones than genetics.

* The more older brothers a man has, the greater his chance of being gay.

* Well, only for man who are right handed.




View Article  Miami Columnist - Bible Bashing Gays is Hypocritical

This is awesome. I found this through Pam's House Blend

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. takes a local homo-hater to task. 

An open letter to Donna Reddick:

I'm writing this for Desiree. She's a student at Miami Sunset Senior High, where you teach business technology. A few days ago, she sent me an e-mail recounting an incident that happened on campus last week.

It seems that on three successive days, the morning announcements, which are televised throughout the school, featured student-produced segments on the subject of gay rights.

On the first day came comments from students who took the pro position. On the second day came remarks from a counselor who spoke of the need for students to respect one another. On the third day came you.

You and a few students, actually. One told classmates homosexuality was ''unacceptable in the eyesight of God.'' Another said gays were ``unrighteous.''

The coup de grace, though, was you invoking Sodom and Gomorrah and telling students homosexuality was ''wrong

And then this wonderful ending

Just once, I'd like to read a headline that said a Christian group was boycotting to feed the hungry. Or marching to house the homeless. Or pushing Congress to provide the poor with healthcare worthy of the name.

Instead, they fixate on keeping the gay in their place. Which makes me question their priorities. And their compassion. And their faith.

If you love me, feed my sheep.

For the record, Ms. Reddick, the Bible says that, too.

Just go read it.  It is a great Sunday evening post!  

View Article  Catherine Specter defends premarital tweezing

Hurrah for Catherine Specter! This week's version of the PG column Cat's Call manages to avoid being racist or sexist.  She even musters up a little "catty" rant that is mildly amusing if not actually funny.  Otherwise, it was boring as can be. I guess that's the best we can expect. 

Note that this week Cat adroitly defended her advice on premarital tweezing.  I can't wait for her to defend her advice on kowtowing to racism.    She should talk with Jane Little of Mt. Lebanon about complicit silence.

View Article  Christian Gay Intolerance: Why Remain Silent?

In today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jane Little of Mt. Lebanon responds to the question of why the worldwide Christian community remain silent about the homophobic outrages in Nigeria which are endorsed by the Nigerian Anglican Church.  (One response appeared last week.) 

Ms. Little writes " Surely the bishop knows that the tension within church communities is so great that to rise up against Peter Akinola could pull down the churches in a battle for the soul of the church, and that is the reason for the silence. We are not "cowed," but cautious in the face of an evil almost beyond comprehension."

Her letter ends with this statement. "The heavy task is to find a way out and to continue in a mission that befits the church and its followers, being not cowed, but cautious."

Ms. Little, you forgot to include the gay community in this pronouncement.  What about us lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people -- what response befits us in the face of this great evil?   Here in America, WE are the ones being stripped of our civil rights, our families, our access to health care and equal opportunity. WE are the ones being beaten up by off duty soldiers. WE are the ones being denied lifesaving CPR.  Our LGBT brothers and sisters are facing criminalization of their very identity in Nigeria. 

How much outrage will it take Ms. Little for you to agree that the "the reason for the silence" is no longer acceptable?

View Article  Save the Date: Art for Aids



UPMC?s Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art 2006 ?
an auction to benefit Persad Center

The Patron Party*

Friday, April 7, 2006

Society for Contemporary Craft
2100 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

The Auction
Monday, May 15, 2006

Carnegie Museum of Art, Oakland
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

View Article  Catholic Church Hates Gays More Than It Loves Children

The Catholic Church strikes another blow for homobigots everywhere.  365gay.com reports that Catholic Charities of Boston will no longer provide adoption services because they choose not to comply with the states human rights law requring them to not discriminate against GLBT parents.  The Catholic Church wants a special exemption from the law. 

They want to be free to discriminate AND accept state funding.  Only in W's America!

Today in Pennsylvania, there are over 21,000 children in the foster care system (I know this from my day job).  That is in a state that ALLOWS gays to foster and adopt children. 

It is pathetic -- absolutely pathetic -- that the right wing is trying to use CHILDREN as leverage against gays.  Vulnerable children are fodder for their latest attempts to paint queers into a corner or back into the closet.  They are going to keep these kids in foster care for years longer by turning away gay foster and adoptive parents.  That's some family values for ya.

I'm looking forward to Bishop Wuerl's response ....


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