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View Article  Lesbian Pastor Not Guilty in Same Sex Marriage Trial

From www.365gay.com comes this great news ...


(Santa Rosa, California) A longtime Presbyterian minister who was the first of her faith to be tried for officiating at the unions of gay couples was acquitted Friday of violating her denomination's position on same-sex marriage.

A regional judicial commission of the Presbyterian Church (USA) ruled 6-1 that the Rev. Jane Spahr of San Rafael acted within her rights as an ordained minister when she married two lesbian couples in 2004 and 2005.

Because the section of the faith's constitution that reserves marriage for a man and a woman "is a definition, not a directive," Spahr was "acting within her right of conscience in performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples," the tribunal said in a written ruling.



The tribunal stated that Reverend Spahr acted within the "normative standards" of her region. The ruling may mean that all ordained clergy are permitted to preside at same-sex weddings. Read the full story at http://www.365gay.com/Newscon06/03/030306pastor.htm

Spahr was charged with using the term 'wedding' not for actually performing the ceremony. Click here for the backstory
http://www.pghlesbian.com/blog/_archives/2006/3/3/1794706.html


A tearful Spahr, 63, a longtime activist who could have faced sanctions ranging from a rebuke to removal from the ministry, rejoiced at the verdict. Flanked by her lawyers and the two couples she married, Spahr said she would continue performing same-sex weddings.

"The church said God loved everyone, and for years I believed it," she said. "Today, for just one moment, to hear this is remarkable."


 

View Article  Gay Bingo This Weekend in Pittsburgh

 

Saturday March 4, 2006    6:30 PM

View Article  The Boondocks: Gay is Okay? Could Granddad be a Metrosexual?

In the final strip from the recent gay cowboy thread, Aaron McGruder's Granddad comes to the startling revelation that he can appreciate gay-themed movies and music without turning gay himself!  GASP!  Click on strip to read it. 

View Article  West Virginia Sheriff Refused to use CPR; Gay Man Dies Suit Alleges

Didn't we leave this behind in the 20th Century? 

According to a federal discrimination suit filed yesterday,  Welch West Virginia Sheriff Robert K. Bowman physically prevented a bystander from performing CPR on Claude Green, Jr. who was suffering a heart atack.  Green died at the hospital.

Sheriff Bowman acted because he thought Green was HIV positive.  Did he have any factual knowledge?  No, he reached this conclusion that b/c Green was gay he MUST be HIV positive.  And, thus, not deserving of CPR for fear of spreading the disease. 

Here's the link to the Welch, West Virginia website. 

Paging Rick Santorum and the Catholic and Presbyterian Church --- this is the other end of that slippery slope of discrimination YOU create with your intolerance and ignorance.  When you send a message that gays are second class citizens, idiots like this Sheriff pay attention and jump to conclusions that are FATAL. 

Claude Green died because of the fear, ignorance and hate lying just beneath the veneer of civility on current LGBT discussions. 

What if Rob Traynham or Mary Cheney were traveling around Welch, West Virginia? 

 

View Article  Pgh Native Presbyterian Minister on trial for gay weddings

In another example of homopersecution, the Presbyterian Church is at it again.  This time, the Reverend Jane Spahr is facing a trial for conducting wedding for same sex couples in 2004 and 2005.  Spahr is a native of Pittsburgh's Northside.

Spahr choose to use the term wedding at the couples' request in order to honor their union and avoid deeming it second class.  The Presbyterian church is arguing that this is not a larger debate over the status of gay weddings but merely a determination of whether Spahr violated the Church constitution. 

Spahr's attorney disagrees, likening the issue to the ordination of women for which there is a need for larger dialogue.


The Presbyterian Church (USA) is among several Protestant denominations embroiled in a bitter debate between liberals and conservatives over what role gays should have in their churches. Under a ruling by the national church's highest court in 2000, Presbyterian churches may bless same-sex unions as long as they do not equate the relationships with marriage.

Ms. Spahr is one of a half-dozen Presbyterian ministers across the nation facing disciplinary action for marrying same-sex couples, although her case is the first to come to trial, Mr. Cahn said. The others include the Rev. Janet Edwards in Pittsburgh.


Click here for the details on situation facing Pittsburgh's Janet Edwards. 

It appears that our community must gird for continuous battle on every front in order to secure our civil rights.  Gay Christians in particular are under siege and hurrah for heroes like Janet and Jane for standing up on behalf of us all. 

I've been noticing more and more references to second class citizenship around gay civil rights issues. The wingnut have done an incredibly good job of setting gay marriage up to foil heterosexual marriage.  But when I  describe the consequences of second class citizenship, I notice a profound difference in the tenor of the conversation.  Separate but equal is not good enough.  We've been down that path and continue to experience the fallout even today. 

I pray for the members of the Presbyterian church as they struggle through this moral dilemna. 

 

View Article  Pennsylvania Lesbian Delight: Jodie Foster to Speak at Penn

Unproclaimed lesbian idol Jodie Foster will be the commencement speaker for the University of Pennsylvania's Class of 2006.  The university will bestow an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree upon Ms. Foster.

My commencement speaker was the CEO of some chemical firm that had financial investments in apartheid South Africa.   :-(

Congratulations to the Penn lesbians!

 

 

View Article  Pittsburgh PG Gay Cowboy Quiz

The Post-Gazette's Scott Mervis faces down Brokeback Mountain's impending dominance of the Oscars ...


With a nod to "Brokeback Mountain," the PG brings you its first-ever gay-cowboy 12-question movie quiz. Because, to no one's surprise, the genre doesn't run deep, our focus here is not on cowboy movies with gay people, but rather, with Oscar-related films with cowboys and/or gay people.


I learned new things about cowboys AND homos.  Click here for the online interactive quiz  

View Article  Rene Portland - Gay Protest ... AGAIN

Big Gay Picture has a little update on anti-Rene Portland protests at Penn State women's basketball games ...

Here's a quote from Rene Portland that sums up the entire situation (and she is oblivious to the irony)


"Can we just talk about basketball? You guys have tried for six goddamn months, excuse my language," Portland said.

Does anyone remember who brough up the whole "no lesbians" policy?  Hmmm ....

Here'a a great photo from the protest ...

 

 

View Article  More Boondocks on Willie Nelson Gay Cowboy Song

This is especially funny.  One of the good things about Aaron McGruder's satire is not having to add much in the way of commentary.  Click on the cartoon to read the strip.

View Article  Pittsburgh: More Gay Friendly than Manhattan?

The PG is all queered up this week ....

L.A. Johnson takes a look at a recent New York Times piece lauding Pittsburgh as more gay friendly than Manhattan. 

The NYT author cites our thriving arts scene, affordable housing and high-profile LGBT events. 

Several local LGBT leaders weigh in with some skepticism that we are more gay friendly than New York City but citing the progress Pittsburgh has made overall. 


Alice Greene, who deals with GLBT youth as a board member of the local Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, says Pittsburgh can be a mixed bag.

"It's fairly easy to find community and there are a handful of relatively high-profile events throughout the year that are positive and bring the gay community together, but there are still an awful lot of closeted gay people and closeted leaders in Pittsburgh," she says. "There's still this parochialism that raises its ugly head with real frequency. ... If you're out and proud, it's a good place, but if you're scared, any place is scary, including Pittsburgh."


I'd agree with Alice.  There is a lot of LGBT activity here in Pittsburgh, but its still Pittsburgh - a very parochial community.  When I moved back to West Mifflin, I suspected that people tolerated my homosexuality because I was one of them (born and bred so to speak).  Whereas a gay couple moving into the community would have been less well-received. 

Our experience this past weekend in Seven Springs gave me a little dose of that. 

As I tell John McIntire all the time, Pittsburgh is a good place to be gay.   

 

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