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View Article  Washinton Time ENDA EDITORIAL: Discrimination is necessary Subjecting kids to weirdos undermines standards of decency

Here's the link to the usual transphobic stupidity, although this headline is pretty awful.

First-graders should not be forced into the classrooms of teachers undergoing sex changes. Religious broadcasters and faith-based summer camps should not be forced to hire cross-dressers. Women should not be forced to share bathrooms with people with male body parts who say they want to be females. Yet those are some of the likely results if Congress passes H.R. 3017, the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which is due for a vote this week by the House Education and Labor Committee.

Do you see the theme ... transpeople are "weirdos" and ENDA is going to protect their dysfunctional identity, rather than simply protect our community's right to our jobs. When the media (such as this past week's episode of Accidentally on Purpose) are saturated with caricatures of the stereotypical crossdressing man (ugly man in dress) for the cheap laugh -- people laugh, but they also clutch their children a little closer because they continue to wallow in fear and misunderstanding.

Similar problems abound in this bill, which treats a conscious decision to choose a new or different sexual identity as if it were an inherent, unavoidable condition. But it's not. It's actually a psychological disorder, officially listed as such by the current American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Our children and our co-workers should not be forced by law to be held hostage to such disorders, nor should employers be forced to have psychologically troubled persons as the public face of their businesses.

Yes, Gender Identity Disorder is still classified in the DSM, including the soon to be published version 5.  However, there are very good reasons for this based on meeting the psychological needs of individuals. A very good explanation can be found at the Transgender Workplace Diversity blog.

Those of us who have transgender friends, acquaintances, coworkers and neighbors recognize this as a distraction tactic to get the focus off the economic development aspect of the legislation by tapping into the "bathroom/dressing room" fears of those who do not know any better.  This galvanizes them to advocacy and backs down the legislators wavering on a "jobs" bill.  Sigh.

Are you disgusted/angered/disappointed?  A few things you can do.

Call or email Jason Altmire's staff person TODAY.  Politely ask him to support the legislation - inclusive ENDA. You can email at this link. Ideally, use your free cell phone long distance to call at 202-225-2565


Bloggers and media can contact Tess Mullen can be reached at 202-225-2565 and tess.mullen@mail.house.gov   It would be appropriate to mention the Washington Times article to Tess and explain why we need positive support in the media from our elected officials. 

Politely remind Congressman Altmire that workplace protections in Pittsburgh and Erie have not generated any of these situations.  It is fear based ammunition not grounded in fact.  His district is buffered by these protections so he knows this as do his constituents. This is not risky. This *is* essential for our community. 

Remember, Jason has been an ally.  He voted for ENDA in 2007.  He voted for Hate Crimes Protections in 2009.  He's attended LGBTQ events, even before running for office.  Yes, there's health care which even more reason we should invite him back to the equal rights table. 

Updated: Regarding the Washington Times, Editorial Page Editor Brett Decker, Tel: 202/636-4814; Fax: 202/715-0037, or submit a letter to the editor: yourletters@washingtontimes.com.

View Article  Hello... (pink, pink) is this thing on?

My name is Sarah and I am excited to announce that I am the newest Correspondent.  I hope to provide a witty and insightful look into how I view the world.  So, bear with me and feel free to comment at will


View Article  What would you sacrifice for your LGBT community?

View Article  ENDA and DADT

My brain is really tired so I'm giving this my best shot.

First, the follow up from the White House DADT protest yesterday.  The protestors have been released and preliminary reports on how the transwomen and transmen were treated in the jail system are additional sadness related to this entire issue.  Additional reasons for outrage.  I encourage you to read Pam's House Blend for updates.

Pam has an interesting post up on the fallout of the Get Equal activists tactics on mainstream LGBT groups, mainly the Human Rights Campaign.

When the White House comes to the defense of HRC and Joe Solmonese in particular, it's pretty clear both parties feel under siege. In an article "HRC head gets praise, flak for Obama's gay-rights initiatives," by Lonnae O'Neal Parker, it's a surreal profile with great attention to detail to fawning, with a couple of dashes of criticism -- classic CYA journalism.

This debate is playing out throughout the LGBTiverse today.  The end of my day was filled with dozens of tweets and scores of email messages as folks wrestle with the consequences of the White House protest and related action. 

The reality is that the activists are back.  Word has is that there will be no White House action on repealing DADT in 2010 in spite of all those promises.  Imagine the shakeup in the queeroverse as the go-to-gays begin to lose control?

Imagine if that happens in Pittsburgh?

<stops to imagine>

You can get  a little taste of that vibe on Friday night. 

The second area for debate today has been ENDA. The House is working to pass inclusive legislation out of committee and for a full vote, but debate rages on over the unity of the LGBT community ... do we stand behind our WHOLE community and require an inclusive bill or descend into the madness of 2007 when a non-inclusive version passed.  Uggg. 

Great video on the issue.

ENDA is about job discrimination. Keep that in mind. It isn't about bathrooms and the mental health of transpeople and the other litany of hateful distractions being lobbied our way. 

ENDA is an economic development issue. 

OK, I'm done for the evening.  The only reason I'm looking forward to plowing through another 100 email messages is the sheer joy of knowing so many bright people are working on these issues each and every single day.  They make it a pleasure to be an activist.

Happy Earth Day, my friends!

View Article  They may be a necessary evil ...

I don't like political surrogates. This came up at the Steel City Stonewall Democrats meeting tonight with regard to PrideFest.  I suggested allowing only elected officials to speak which didn't go over very well.  However, I can tell you from last year, the decision to allow people with no name recognition to speak on behalf of judicial candidates no one ever heard from was a decision to send people scurrying to the food booths. 

I know everyone is earnest and I get the vagaries of the statewide race. 

I just don't care. Seriously. Surrogates are not interesting.  They may be necessary.  But I don't have to like them.

View Article  Some folks went to DC and reminded us how to spell Pride.

Did you hear about the protest in DC where six members of our Armed Forces chained themselves to the White House gates to protest Don't Ask, Don't Tell? 



Some disagree with these tactics, but I suspect that we will continue to hear more from these folks ... AMEN!

View Article  State Rep Dan Frankel commends Obama on hospital visitation

State Rep. Dan Frankel
D-Allegheny      www.pahouse.com/Frankel



Frankel applauds Obama's directive for equal hospital access

for same-sex partners, commends Pa. sponsors of non-discrimination bill


HARRISBURG, April 19 ? State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, applauded President Obama's recent directive to provide same-sex partners access to their loved ones in nearly all U.S. hospitals.


At Obama's direction, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will issue regulations binding on all hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. The new policy will give same-sex partners the same visitation rights that blood relatives enjoy.


Frankel said, "This is something for which I have long advocated at the state level and I commend President Obama for using his authority to provide this protection nationwide. One of the reasons I have long opposed tacking a discriminatory 'marriage amendment' onto the state or federal Constitution is that such an amendment could deny many Americans access to their loved ones at critical times in their lives.


"I am also pleased that the federal government appears to be moving forward on another way to guarantee equal treatment for LGBT Americans ? the U.S. House is expected to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the near future. I commend Senators Specter and Casey for co-sponsoring the Senate version, and Congressman Doyle and the other seven Pennsylvania members who are co-sponsoring it in the U.S. House. The federal legislation is similar to House Bill 300, which I have introduced in Harrisburg."   


View Article  Because Rape is Funny if its GAY ...

I saw this last week, but it is all over the place now and just thoroughly vulgar and disgusting. 

The reputation of the Pittsburgh Steelers likely took another hit today with the news that Steely McBeam, the team's official mascot, has been accused of sexual assault in an incident late last night at a downtown Pittsburgh gay bar.

According to a police report, McBeam was performing in a Village People revue at Steel Rodds Bar. During a brief intermission, he followed another performer into a small bathroom where they were planning to change -- McBeam into the Indian costume, his accuser into the construction worker -- and allegedly forced himself on the man. 

"The accuser describes the assailant as 6-foot-4 with a large, cotton-poly blend, stuffed penis," said Pittsburgh police chief David Palambo at a press conference this morning. "He claims McBeam held him down with a Styrofoam, faux-steel bar and assaulted him."

I realize it is intended to be a joke, but it isn't funny.  It might be funny if Steely were caught sending stupid text messages like Santonio or making a jackass out of himself like Jeff Reed, but rape?  Really? And it has to be in a gay bar because it is FUNNY that the Steelers mascot is gay.  Or likes gay sex. Or has a giant styrofoam penis.  Funny.


View Article  Gay- Friendly College Fair

The Post-Gazette reprinted a piece from the New York Times on what amounts to a gay college fair in Greenwich Village.

Very interesting read. While not everyone can get to Greenwich Village for a college fair, you can do some internet searching to determine which colleges thought it important enough to attend and follow up. 

View Article  Wee update on ENDA

The unofficial whip count is in my left column (you can click the buttons to see the House and Senate).

Have you identified one person to contact House Reps Jason Altmire or Kathy Dahlkemper yet?  Those are the PA folks we need to fuss about.  Alternatively, have you called you WV friends and asked them to get in touch with Senator Byrd? 

Now is the time folks.  Literally.  Now as in this week

Legislation aimed at ending employment discrimination against LGBT people will be marked up in committee ''this week or next,'' according to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

Frank, speaking to Metro Weekly after his appearance at the Victory Fund's annual Champagne Brunch, said the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) ? currently in the House Education and Labor Committee ? has been ''promised'' a quick vote in the full House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) once the bill leaves committee.

Noting that he's been speaking to Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) ''constantly,'' Frank said of the ENDA mark-up, ''It will be this week or next week.''

I was at a Victory Fund luncheon one year when I attended a national LGBTQ blogging conference.  Congressman Frank was there, too.  That's really got nothing to do with this post, just a pleasant memory. 

ENDA means we get and keep jobs.

Of the opposition he's faced from anti-LGBT forces in Congress, Frank told the crowd, ''Here's my radical homosexual agenda: Let us get married, join the military and hold down a job.''

As the applause subsided, he added, ''Very few radicals in history would have thought much of that.''


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