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View Article  Trib gives credit to Obama on gay rights .... irony is delicious

Here it is:

WASHINGTON ? President Barack Obama is chipping away at his long list of promises to gay voters but has yet to earn the full-throated backing of the reliably Democratic voting bloc.

The Obama White House has accomplished more than any other on gay rights, yet has drawn sharp criticism from an unexpected constituency: the same gay activists who backed the president's election campaign. Instead of the sweeping change gays and lesbians had sought, a piece-by-piece approach has been the administration's favored strategy, drawing neither serious fire from conservatives nor lavish praise from activists.

Obama on Tuesday planned to tick through some of the accomplishments at a meeting with grass-roots gay activists at the White House. His administration planned to announce Wednesday that the Labor Department would order businesses to extend unpaid leave for gay workers to care for newborns or loved ones.

Spare me the "best gay president ever" whining.  President Obama has failed the LGBTQ community in almost every way possible.  The incremental change is indicative of a cowardly, fearful approach to equal rights, not the fiery advocacy we were promised. 

There are many local and national gay advocates who would have you dance around with joy over being tossed a few crumbs in lieu of a slice of bread. While you dance, people in your community are suffering without healthcare, under tremendous tax burdens, without access to decent housing or job security and the list goes on and on. 

The folks with privilege just don't get it. But they rarely have.



View Article  Stuff in the Post-Gazette

A few things of interest ...

A gay pastor is coming to North Versailles to talk about his experiences being outsted and then reinstated in the Lutheran Church.

Rev. Schmeling at 1 p.m. Saturday. He will also preach Sunday at 11 a.m. in St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Shadyside.

Saturday's event, "Let the Whole Church Sing: A Eucharistic Celebration Embracing Unity in Diversity," is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of Lutherans Concerned, which advocates for inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in all ministries. It's a delayed reaction to last year's decision permitting the call of clergy in committed, lifelong, monogamous same-sex relationships.

Maureen Dowd (reprinted from the NYT) weighs in on the closing of oral arguments over Prop 8.

Some comments from commencement speeches ... again from the liberal rag called the NYT

Gail CollinsNew York Times columnistMount Holyoke CollegeText

You're going to write the next chapter. I can't wait to see what happens. The women who went before you won legal equality for our sex. They opened a thousand doors. But here's what they didn't do. They didn't end violence against women. They tried, but today celebrities who beat up their girlfriends, who sexually harass powerless women in bars, are still treated less severely than celebrities who mistreat animals. So we're going to have to pass that battle on to you. They didn't achieve full rights for gay couples. This is the one area, people, where you can be on a picket line and be totally confident that the winds of history are at your back. And they didn't figure out how to find a proper balance for work and family.



View Article  Peduto and Shields Protecting City

I truly do not understand City Council.  How can only two of our electeds want to keep drilling out of the City? 

The Gulf Oil Spill is still gushing. The corporation and the bureaucrats are bungling the heck out of it.  People's livelihoods are drying up.  And the environment is dying. 

How a man as learned as Councilor Patrick Dowd thinks regulations are the way to go --- in spite of very recent history --- staggers the imagination.  How Councilors like Burgess and Lavalle who represent the economically vulnerable that are always screwed by these situations can not stand up and say that poor Pittsburgh residents deserve safe water undermines their credibility as legitimate students of the history of environmental racism.  But maybe they never claimed to be so. 

I am very sad.

View Article  PG weighs in on the 14th Amendment

Their consensu is that the lack of footnotes precludes distinguishing children of legal citizens from children whose parents are not legal residents.

Mr. Pearce is the author of the divisive Arizona law that puts local law enforcement officers in the unsuitable role of enforcing immigration controls, a federal responsibility. Now he wants to punish the children of illegal immigrants. He proposes to write a law that says the state of Arizona will no longer issue birth certificates unless at least one parent can prove legal status.

The whiff of hypocrisy is more than a little strong. Conservatives like Mr. Pearce make a great show of venerating the Constitution as a sacred text to be followed strictly. They castigate so-called activist judges who would stray beyond the plain meaning. Yet when they face the inconvenient truth that the children of the illegal immigrants become citizens according to the Constitution, which attaches no asterisk to "all persons born," they are eager to forget their own principles.

Of course, the 19th century framers of this amendment did not anticipate that legal immigration would become such a great problem in the 21st century. But it says what it says -- and very plainly at that. The solution to the immigration problem should not involve picking on innocent children born in the United States, American children according to the Constitution.

Good point, eh?



View Article  Touchdown Jesus: Kaboom!

This is pretty amusing if banal.

Religious structures, especially church steeples, are regularly zapped because they are often the highest point in a given area, according to John Jensenius, lightning safety specialist for the National Weather Service. But the same goes for towering secular symbols.

"Oh, she's hit by lightning on a continual basis," says Statue of Liberty spokesman Darren Boch.

When asked whether such lightning strikes might represent a malevolent act of God toward America, Mr. Boch says, "I can clearly state that no one here deems it an act of God."

Which brings us to the main reason for writing this story: Lightning Safety Week starts today!

Summer is a bolt-heavy season for much of the South and the East Coast, so the National Weather Service recommends seeking shelter when there's thunder and waiting 30 minutes after the last flash to emerge.

As for the incineration of Touchdown Jesus, Pastor Bishop isn't reading into it.

"Honey," she says, "it's just some fiberglass."



View Article  PG asks if gay actors can play straight

Honey, most of us play straight at least some part of every day.  Like when someone says 'are you married?" and I know it is not appropriate to disclose because it might interfere with the therapeutic or professional relationship. I play straight just fine. 

Newsweek's openly gay columnist Ramin Setoodeh essentially says gay actors are not convincing as straight characters.

For gay actors, why should sexual orientation limit a gay actor?s choice of roles? The fact is, an actor?s background does affect how we see his or her performance?which is why the Denzels or the Tom Hanks-es of the world guard their privacy carefully.

Sean Hayes' costar Kristen Chenowith fired off a response. Setoodeh defended himself, saying he meant to ask if a macho actor would be accepted as out (I think).  

How can Mr. Catholic Mel Gibson play some of the roles he does and be believable?  Would anyone care if his wide eyed revenge seeking brooder was a Baptist?

The PG brings the Newsweek born dustup to the CLO where openly gay actor Malcolm Gets plays a straight cop.

As for playing a Boston police officer who falls for an actress played by Ashley Spencer in "Curtains"?

"Well, David [Hyde Pierce] won a Tony for this part and he's very open about his life partner, and no one had any problems believing him. And I certainly think that Ashley is adorable and I can happily imagine marrying her."

Excellent point, Malcolm. It is imagination which drives the arts. 




View Article  thank YOU, Joe Hoeffel

I received a voice mail message from Montgomery County Commissioner and former Gubernatorial candidate Joe Hoeffel thanking me for my contributions to his campaign. It was a real lift to me.  That's the reason I'll stick with politics and the reason it matters when you thank your elected officials -- it just feels good to be appreciated and valued.

So, thank you Joe.  Thank you for running a race I wanted to support and thank you being gracious enough to call this little blogger.

View Article  Where have I been?

I used to get up early and try to post something each day before heading out to work, but work has grown more demanding so I'm getting up earlier and heading straight there.  We've been understaffed and there's just a lot filling up my days -- sometime, I can't even read the paper or <gasp> check Facebook or Twitter.

So I am trying to catch up on Saturdays. 

This is my fifth year of blogging so I have to admit that a mental break from LGBT advocacy hasn't been unwelcome.  I've been increasingly aware that Sue the woman has been a little lost in the symbol of Sue, lesbian blogger. I realize I've focused so much on politics that I've lost sight of other equally important issues that matter to me, issues around how people are suffering -- including people who happen to be LGBTQ -- for reasons that have nothing to do with their sexual orientation or gender identity and everything to do with social structures that oppress and discriminate vulnerable people. 

Oh, I'm not quitting.  Work will settle down and I'll get fired up about something.  :-)   I am lining up a great interview, doing some work with CORO around campaign training and just trying to pull out of the soul sucking ventures into things that are more soul sustaining.  I might even go to church.  

For today, however, I must prepare for errands. The joy of the weekend, eh?  :-) 

View Article  DADT repeal - the votes

Just an FYI on how the Pennsylvania House delegation voted on the potential repeal of DADT.  Aye is good, No is not.

I've already discussed the non-surprising NO vote of Critz who has repeatedly told us he is not a liberal.  Another D who voted against the repeal is District 10's Christopher Carney from Northeastern pA. 

I urge you to drop a line to our Western PA allies, thanking them for their support.

Jason Altmire

Kathy Dahlkemper

Mike Doyle

Our parents taught us that a simple thank you is so important for positive relationships. The same holds true for politics. 




View Article  anti-discrimination ordinance in Doylestown

Doylestown, PA is considering an anti-discrimination ordinance, potentially becoming the 17th PA municipality to do so.

The next three Borough Council meetings ? Monday, June 21, Monday, July 19, and Monday, August 16 ? are watershed moments in Doylestown!

Your progressive voices on Council are promoting an ordinance to bar discrimination in our community. Meanwhile, reactionary voices are summoning their troops to fight this. Please contact your Council members to urge their support and come out to these meetings so your voices can be heard or just to show support. Simply stated, we need you!

If you want more information or have questions, contact the lead sponsor, Don Berk at don.berk@comcast.net or 215-340-9355.

The ordinance includes:
1. Assurance that all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry or place of birth, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, age or use of a guide or support animal because of blindness, deafness or physical disability enjoy the full benefits of citizenship and are afforded equal opportunities for: a. employment, b. housing, c. use of public accommodation.

2. We need it because while most of the above minorities have these rights, the LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Ally) community does not. We are about making Doylestown an inclusive community.

3. The Life Partner provisions are designed to provide a benefit to couples to whom the state denies a right to marry and to provide a formal status for benefits providers who required such status in order to provide domestic partner benefits. The goal is also to give them a choice to get public recognition of their relationship. Council will consider separating the Life Partner provisions from the non-discrimination protection, so each measure can be considered on its own merits.

Please reach out to Council members to let them know we expect their support on this issue. It wouldn?t hurt to even e-mail those solidly for it, thanking them for their support.

Thank you,
Don Berk

Councilperson, Borough of Doylestown
Lead Sponsor of Doylestown?s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance
President, Bucks County Boroughs Association

The legislation has drawn the typical support and opposition from those who espouse the 'though police' argument ... it gets tiresome that people cannot distinguish between their thoughts and their actions. 

Doylestown is in Buck County, a Philly suburb.

You can find out more on how to support this effort on Facebook.

Follow PghLesbian24 on Twitter

The Correspondents