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View Article  State Rep. Dan Frankel - A Homo's Best Friend

Dan B. Frankel

Pennsylvania State Representative Dan Frankel (D- Allegheny) released a statement on the proposed state constitutional amendment.  Frankel is a long time LGBT ally and, unlike several of his colleagues, recognizes that there are greater threats to Pennsylvania's families than homosexuals.  Things like the economy, property tax reform, education, healthy care and so forth.

You tell 'em Dan. 

Rep. Frankel Blasts Constitutional Amendment - 1/24/2006

State Rep. Dan B. Frankel

House Democratic Communications Office
Phone: 717-787-7895
Fax: 717-772-9930
Email: bturner@pahouse.net


Frankel blasts constitutional amendment
Says it would harm unmarried straight couples, including seniors

HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 - State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said a state
constitutional amendment being introduced today would harm same-sex
families and unmarried opposite-sex couples, including many senior
citizens. Sponsors of the amendment say it would prevent Pennsylvania
judges from authorizing same-sex marriage.

"The sponsors of the so-called 'marriage protection' amendment are using
gay-baiting, which is bad enough, to hide a wider agenda. State law has
banned legal recognition of same-sex marriage for the past 10 years.
It's ironic that a group of mostly Republican legislators is telling
everyone not to trust Republican judges, including the
Republican-majority state Supreme Court," Frankel said.

The sweeping language of the amendment would ban civil unions and other
legal recognition of unmarried relationships. Frankel said it could
threaten the rights of adoptive parents, as well as health coverage,
medical decision-making rights and inheritance rights. The amendment
also could harm senior citizens who do not marry their partners to avoid
losing Social Security or pension benefits.

"In Ohio, a similar amendment has caused domestic violence cases with
unmarried straight victims to be thrown out - pursuing those cases was
found to be 'legal recognition' of the unmarried relationship. In
Michigan, anti-gay activists are suing to take away health coverage,
even though before the amendment passed, they said those benefits
wouldn't be threatened.

"The supporters of this amendment need to read the state Supreme Court's
2004 ruling in the Devlin case about Philadelphia's domestic-partner
registry. The court clearly stated the partnership registry was only
permitted because it is something less than and distinct from civil

"This amendment should be put aside so we can focus on bills that
actually help people, like property tax reform, raising the minimum wage
after nine years, improving our economy and our schools and making
affordable health care available to everyone.

"The federal and state constitutions should not be used to take rights
away from law-abiding citizens. Our national and state constitutions are
the bulwarks that protect the rights of all citizens."

Frankel is the lead sponsor of legislation (H.B. 1417
) that
would allow unmarried partners in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships
to make critical health decisions for one another and to visit each
other in the hospital. A 2003 poll
found 88
percent support in Pennsylvania for such legislation, and last week,
Maryland's Republican governor announced his support for a similar bill.



View Article  Homophobes in High School - Teachers?

A group of teachers in San Leandro High School (California) are refusing to display posters promoting gay diversity. 

The posters were designed by the school's  Gay-Straight Alliance and show a rainbow flag and bear the words "This is a safe place to be who you are." 

The "educators" are hiding behind the illusion that the posters violate their religious beliefs.  Since when is making school safe for children in conflict with any religion?  Did I miss the encyclical declaring bullying a sanctified activity? 

Here's a breath of fresh air from the school district

"This is not about religion, sex or a belief system,'' district Superintendent Christine Lim told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"This is about educators making sure our schools are safe for our children, regardless of their sexual orientation," said Lim, who sponsored the poster measure. 

I can only imagine what these edu-bigots have overlooked in the way of gay bullying in their classrooms.  Or gender bullying.  Only a truly ignorant rube would object to creating safe spaces for all kids in which to learn. 

How long til the AFA and the Thomas More Center weigh in on this?


<tick tick tick>



View Article  Pittsburgh's Gay Agenda

Tonight is the monthly meeting to plan and carry out Pittsburgh's Gay Agenda.  :-)

Voices for a New Tomorrow:  a collaboration of LGBT organizations and individuals

All are welcome!

4th Wednesdays monthly

6 pm - 8 pm

FSWP East Liberty Offices

Village of Eastside

6401 Penn Avenue, 2nd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15206

voices @ glccpgh.org



View Article  PA Legislators Hate Gays and Have the Amendment to Prove It

Does this look even remotely like YOUR family? 

Today, Pennsylvania legislators unveiled their plan to destroy the families of 20,000 gay and 250,000 heterosexual families.  The heterosexual families, unmarried per the 2000 Census, are the innocent victims in the homo-haters all out war on Pennsylvania's gay families.

Rep Scott W. Boyd, R-Lancaster County and Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County are among the prime sponsors of this proposal.

Butler County.  Here in Western Pennsylvania.  Right up the road.  A place where any unmarried heterosexual couple faces the loss of some pretty basic rights thanks to Scotty and Daryl's hatred of gays.

This could mean that women cannot seek a protection from abuse order from their boyfriends if they are not married.  See the HRC 2005 report on the impact of similar amendments in other states. 

Gay marriage is illegal in Pennsylvania.  This is a non-issue.  It is simply an attempt to rally the faithful around kicking the homos versus taking care of actual legislative business. 

Remember 250,000 heterosexual families will be caught up in this net. 

Read the ACLU response here


View Article  Cleveland LGBT Center Reached Out to Homeless LGBT Youth

From 365gay.com, Cleveland's LGBT Community Center is partnering with Cuyahoga County to determine how many homeless LGBT youth there are between the ages of 14 and 24. 

The study is the first major look at gay homelessness in more than a decade, when one study suggested that almost a third of the homeless in big cities were gay, lesbian or transgendered.

Earlier studies have shown that while some gay youths are thrown out of their homes by parents who reject them because of their sexuality other are on the streets because of abuse, drugs or mental illness.

This is a good sign from the County that they want to reach out to help this particular group.  However, my own limited experiences with homelessness tells me that it is ESSENTIAL for this project to have the buy-in of Cleveland's homeless advocates. 

These kids aren't going to open up just because the person reaching out is gay.  They may have already built some trust with the homeless advocates and that's the best avenue to explore IMHO. 

It is heartening, however, to see a determined social service project emanating from the LGBT Center.  Too often, working class and lower income gays are left out of the loop of services because they simply don't have the time or income to participate in the activities.  Nor the freedom to be out. 



View Article  Steelers and Lesbians

In my family, I am a freak.  Not for the obvious reason.  No, the fact that my girlfriend loves football almost compensates for the whole homo thing.  Because I don't really watch it.  I tune in once in awhile.  I know the tune to "Here we go" and I have vivid memories of lunchroom pep rallies during the Superbowl era of the Iron Curtain.  (see I know that reference!)  But I barely know the name of the quarterback.

In fact, one evening we were dining at PF Changs and in comes Ben with some other large hulking type guys.  They sat in a corner and the buzz around the room clued me into the fact that it was someone important.  My GF was scandalized that I didn't recognize Big Ben.  I was more fascinated by my Kung Pao Chicken frankly.  But once I saw Mario Lemieux at Tambellini's.  That was kind of cool. 

Anyway ... here we go ....

But I did something altruistic today and asked my boss to let us have a tailgate party on Feb 3.  Not only did he agree, but he is willing to give a prize to the staff member with the most Steeler spirit.

Now I guess I have to go buy a Steeler's shirt or hat or something.


View Article  Homo-Good News

The other night some of my homo-friends were griping that the only "news" on LGBT issues is bad news ... discrimination, hatred, conversions, proof that Melissa Hart is gay, etc, etc, etc. 

So for all my "glass is half empty" readers .... here is some good news.  Note:  the good is one small nugget in a very sad story.  But its the best I can do without crowing once again about Brokeback Mountain.

The freeholders (fancy term for mighty whites with name plates) have reversed themselves and extended pension benefits to Stacie Andree, the partner of Lieutenant Laurel Hester.  Sadly, Laurel is dying of cancer.  She is a retired NJ detective who dedicated 24 years to her career.  But the freeholders originally said NO.  A hue and cry ensued resulting in not only the reversal for Laurel and Stacie, but statewide calls for reform to pension and death benefits throughout New Jersey.  Click here for The Big Gay Picture's history on this situation.

Hurrah for Laurel and Stacie to achive this win in the midst of a terrible loss.  And hurrah for all the homo-lovers in NJ who are working diligently to prevent this sort of injustice from ruining other lives.


View Article  Pgh and Gay Movies

Brokeback Mountain came to town two weeks ago and opened in two (2) theatres -- Loews at the Waterfront and The Manor in Squirrel Hill.  That's it.

Fast forward and there are homo curious moviegoeers lined up all over this town.  It is playing in NINE theaters.  Hmmm ....

Another point of interest ... I have not seen a single Letter to Editor about this movie in any local paper.  Unusual, no?  There's a whole cadre of homohaters who seem to live for penning nasty missives condemning anything gay related to the fiery pit of hell.  But nada on this movie. 

What's that about?

One final very important point -- Transamerica opens this weekend here in our fair city.   

Synopsis: A preoperative male-to-female transsexual travels to New York when she discovers she may have fathered a son who is currently in prison. A misunderstanding finds her son believing she is a Christian missionary, and the two travel to Los Angeles together where they begin to build a relationship.

Felicity Huffman took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in this movie.  The critics love her in this role and I am very excited to see a transsexual character generate so much positive buzz. 

Now we need a mainstream movie where the lesbian is not a murderer or a sidekick. 



View Article  Correspondent Screw Up

Last night I accidentally deleted one of my entries.  An entry I thought was witty and insightful.  Something that might entertain the random people who visit this site.  As I watched my words vanish forever from this earth, a curtain of despair enclosed me.  I turned off the PC and went downstairs to sulk in front of the television set. 

I'm sure it was inevitable.  People make mistakes.  Lately I've handled some big screw ups with aplomb far beyond my known capacity.  My partner and my therapist have commented upon it.  So perhaps the universe rights itself by knocking me to my knees with a small, swift kick. 

By the time I pulled my oatmeal out of the microwave this morning, I was over it.  So much for introspection. 


View Article  Trib Columnist Condemns Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

I missed this last week.  The Trib's Dimitri Vassilaros opined against the PA legislative attempt to constitutionalize hate and discrimination.  

Whenever a judge or legislative body in a state say that homosexuals have the same marriage rights as heterosexuals, it promotes more marriage. Denying gays and lesbians that right is anything but protecting marriage -- it's attacking it. The gays are the ones trying to protect it.

Wow ... who would have thought us homos might actually value and respect the institute of marriage?  Or that we could form lasting committed relationships based on trust, mutual respect and love?  Next thing you know, people might start getting crazy ideas about our ability successfully parent children!

Vassilaros then makes a point that in his words that every citizen should find chilling ...

The amendment would prevent a court's "finding" a constitutional right to marriage. In other words, marriage is not a right but a privilege that government may bestow to those it favors.

That's right people.  The amendment opens that ever so slippery slope toward the goverment determining which marriages are valid and which are not.  What big brother giveth, big brother taketh away. 

Ah consistency ... what a sticky wicket. 



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