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View Article  Go Pittsburgh's 19th Ward

h/t Slag Heap 

Pittsburgh's Newest Independent Political Club.

What I consider a very important component to remaining truly independent.

IV. Voting Eligibility

A. Current members (i.e., those who have paid dues within the past two calendar years) may pay their annual dues in full and vote at the Endorsement Meeting.

B. All current members may vote at the Annual Meeting and for bylaws changes.

C. New members must have paid their dues at least 60 days prior to the Endorsement Meeting in order to vote.

It is nice to see some news that doesn't involve political families wailing on one another. 


View Article  Save the Date: June 4 - Divas for Diversity

GLENDA has added a unique twist to the Dining for Diversity event/fundraiser....

Buy tickets here

I'm intrigued, I must admit. I think GLENDA is wonderful and puts such a positive, everyday face on our community through their volunteer projects.  I've had them staff several events I've coordinated and always had compliments from our guests about how nice it is to have people give up their personal time to volunteer, even for small events.  This was especially true when we did appreciation dinners for foster parents.  The foster parents always appreciated someone taking a moment to say thank you and I'm sure it made an impact that it was a group led by LGBT adults.  You never know when you have a chance to make a positive message. 


View Article  Philly Inquirer Op/Ed on Boy Scouts

This is a refreshing take on why the Boy Scouts discrimination against gay scouts and scout leaders and gay people is problematic for all young men.

The Boy Scouts' policy is contributing to the problem of prejudice against gays. Although the organization officially denies making efforts to discover anyone's sexual orientation - much as the military maintains a "don't ask, don't tell" policy - it also doesn't hesitate to expel outed members. It's ironic that the conservatives running the Boy Scouts, who are typically proponents of limited, unobtrusive government, concern themselves with the innermost lives of their members.

If the Boy Scouts is a private organization, as the Supreme Court has held repeatedly, it has every right to enforce its code of ethics and morality. But if it aspires to be a distinctly American institution embracing a democratic, multicultural society, then it should approach sexual orientation not as a church would, but as an accountable public entity that doesn't allow discrimination. Public schools, after all, play host to the Boy Scouts more than any other type of facility; Mormon and Catholic churches come in second and third.

Part of the Boy Scouts' mission has been to protect and project traditional notions of masculine identity. That may be why many local Scout leaders, as well as the central leadership in Texas, resist even acknowledging the possible presence of homosexuals.

But as the Boy Scouts of America enters its second century, it should recognize that, despite all it has done for the youth of this country, it has more to do. Like the U.S. military, it should understand that embracing a broader definition of masculinity can reinforce a public culture in which misogyny and homophobia are no longer welcome. Discrimination is not a value that we should be teaching our youth.

Written by an Eagle Scout in the Philadelphia Inquirer. This is about far more than publicly subsidized rent.  It is about leadership for young men across the nation.


View Article  Federal Lawmakers Ratings

Good resource. 


The Hill has tabulated scores that Washington advocacy organizations give members of Congress, so you can check them at thehill.com rather than roaming the Internet from site to site. We cite 31 organizations, which is a fair cross section rather than a comprehensive list. Click on a lawmaker's name to see his or her page.

Pleased to see the HRC Scorecard included among the 31 ratings. 

Here's what you need to know

Senator Bob Casey - D

Senator Arlen Specter - D

Rep Mike Doyle - D

Rep Jason Altmire - D

Rep Tim Murphy - R

Rep Kathy Dahlkemper - D

And here's a glimpse of the 31 ratings/topics

Issue Organization Rating
Abortion NARAL Pro-Choice America 100
  National Right to Life Center 0
Civil Rights ACLU 100
  Human Rights Campaign 100
Ideology American Conservative Union 0
  Americans for Democratic Action 95
  Drum Major Institute A
  Family Research Council 5
Children Children's Defense Fund 80
Environment League of Conservation Voters 92
Immigration Immigrant's List NR
  Numbers USA D-
  U.S. Border Control NR
Public Health American Public Health Association 100
Senior Citizens Alliance for Retired Americans 100

Issue Organization Rating
Business and Labor AFL-CIO 97
  National Education Association A
  AFSCME 100
  BIPAC 20
  Chamber of Commerce 56
  Club for Growth 0
  National Federation of Independent Business 64
Taxes & Spending Americans for Tax Reform 0
  Citizens Against Government Waste 2
  National Taxpayers Union 5

Issue Organization Rating
Defense and Peace Council for a Livable World 37
  Center for Security Policy 0
  Friends Committee on National Legislation 100
  Peace Action 91
Guns Gunowners of America F
  Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 88

Can you guess whose record I pulled? :-)

Nice to get some multi-issue perspective on our elected officials.  The resource would be strengthened by a little bit of detail on where these organizations are coming from. 

View Article  AFA of PA continues to target LGBT children

You've undoubtedly heard about Fulton, Mississippi -- Meanest Town in America -- which treated a lesbian student pretty poorly.

Never doubt that Pennsylvania can sink to those depths courtesy of our homegrown hatefest, the American Family Association of Pennsylvania.  These are the folks who never miss an opportunity to write a letter to the editor or send an email to their elected official.  They are organized, tenacious and out to corrupt our youth. 


April 8, 2010

Issues  (check corresponding number in ?Details? and ?Action? Sections)

1.)     Will Students Be Silent in Your Child?s School?

2.)    Gay Prom in Harrisburg


1.)     The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will again act as the primary organizer for the Gay Day of Silence which will be observed in most schools on April 16th.  This day is supposedly used to highlight the ?silence? and discrimination that students who identify as homosexual, bisexual or transgender must endure during the school day.  However, the stories out of schools show that it?s Christian students who are being forced to remain silent or be labeled a homophobe or bigot.  The majority of parents/taxpayers have no idea this effort to normalize the homosexual lifestyle is taking place in their local school.  GLSEN used to post the participating schools on the Day of Silence website, but in recent years they have kept that information top secret!  The AFA of PA helped expose Pennsylvania schools which permitted students to remain silent throughout the school day, perhaps this is one reason they no longer make that list public!  Also, remember Kevin Jennings, President Obama?s ?Safe Schools Czar? was the founder and executive director of GLSEN until August 2008 when he left the organization to work for candidate Obama?s campaign. 

2.)    Last month I was contacted by a reporter from the Harrisburg Patriot News about an upcoming ?gay? prom that was being sponsored by local homosexual activists groups (that?s my description, not the reporter?s).  I told her the groups had every right to have such an event, but I believed they were taking advantage of troubled students, that students should not be encouraged to engage in the homosexual lifestyle and the compassionate response to students who are questioning their sexual identity is to warn them of the dangers of engaging in homosexual activity and encourage them to steer clear.  I also told her adults should be protecting students not leading them down the wrong path.  Click here to read the online version of the story (which doesn?t mention my comments, but apparently they were in the print edition, see below) 

Action Steps

1.)    The AFA of PA has joined a national coalition asking parents to be part of the Day of Silence Walkout if their child?s school permits students who are participating in the Day of Silence to remain silent during instructional time.  Click here to listen to my interview with Laurie Higgins, Director of the Division of School Advocacy for IFI.  Go to the Illinois Family Institute?s (an AFA affiliate) Day of Silence Walkout webpage for a list of additional reasons for the Day of Silence Walkout, instructions for parents, and a sample letter to send your school if you decide to keep your child home that day.   What NOT to do:  Don?t call your school and ask if they are sponsoring, endorsing or supporting the Day of Silence.  Their answer will be ?No? because technically it is to be student initiated.  Click here for specific ways to approach your school.  For an idea of PA schools which have participated in the Day of Silence in the past, check out our website here.  But remember GLSEN allowed anyone to register any school, so even if the school is on one of the lists the administrators may not have permitted silence during instructional time.  Call your school to find out what their plans are this year..

 2.)  Note the organizations which sponsored the ?gay? prom:  Allies at Millersville University  (note they have 35 members out of a student body of over 7,300) , Common Roads and TransCentral PA .  As mentioned above my comments were included in the print edition of the article and apparently were not appreciated by a Lancaster County homosexual activist, click here to read that letter to the editor.  Beware that this issue is no longer simply a ?big city? issue, but rural Pennsylvania is also being targeted. The only way to counter this homosexual activism is to be vigilant as to what is taking place in your local schools and community and be a voice for Biblical truth and  PRAY. 

(I don't understand how you are supposed to both call and not call you school about the Day of Silence, but hey ... )

These folks are complete wingnuts, but never make the mistake of underestimating their determination to protect our children from ... us.


View Article  Oh, City Paper, why do you ignore us so ....

Tonight, I made someone's heart leap a little when I clicked an ad on the Slag Heap blog page.  I wanted to check out the "Pgh Grassroots" website so I could be in on the latest events and happenings.  A little ad-click revenue for the City Paper.  Eh.

Then I had to register which is where my poor little alt-weekly paper lovin' heart sank.  Right as I got to "marital status" ... can you see where I'm going with this?

Single - nope

Married - nope

Divorced - nope

Widowed - nope

Engaged - nope

Separated - nope

Annulled - nope

Cohabitating - say what?

They have a category for annulled, but not domestic partnerships or civil unions?  The paper that carries Dan Savage?  The only paper in town with an LGBT beat? 

I think they need to add ...

Common-law marriage

Living in sin

"Roommates" with heavy emphasis on the wink-wink, nudge-nudge

Unable to commit

Serial monogamist


Engaged to be engaged

Any other suggestions? 



View Article  Liberty City Democrats Official Statement of LGBT Endorsement for Joe Hoeffel

Here's the official statement on the gay or LGBT endorsement for Joe Hoeffel from Philadelphia:

Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club Endorses
Arlen Specter for U.S. Senate and Joe Hoeffel for Governor


Philadelphia, PA ?Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, the premiere Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender political organization in Pennsylvania, overwhelmingly endorsed Arlen Specter for U.S. Senate and Joe Hoeffel for Governor at a their annual primary endorsement meeting held at the William Way LGBT Community Center yesterday.

A motion from the endorsement committee to endorse Senator Specter was approved 32-22 and a motion to endorse Joe Hoeffel was approved 32-19. 

"Arlen Specter and Joe Hoeffelboth have long records advocating for the LGBT community and Liberty City is prepared to work hard to turnout voters for both candidates in the May 18th Primary Election,? said Liberty City Co-Chair Micah Mahjoubian.  ?Both men demonstrated a clear understanding of our issues, and the willingness to act, which resonated with our members."

In the other races, former Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel was unanimously endorsed for Lieutenant Governor.  Manan Trivedi received the endorsement in the race for Pennsylvania?s 6th Congressional District.  Incumbents Babette Josephs (whose district includes the William Way Community Center) and Mike O?Brien both received endorsements over open members of the LGBT community.  Members of the organization spoke about the need to elect candidates from the community, but felt strongly about supporting incumbents that have been strong advocates for LGBT issues in Harrisburg.    

Liberty City Co-Chair Adah Bush moderated the first half of the evening and was pleased with the process.  "Even in the middle of some passionate debate from both sides, the level of civility and discourse was great to see.  I know that not all members supported every candidate that was endorsed, but that speaks strongly about the openness of the process and the diversity of opinions represented by this organization,? Bush said.

The club will now begin to implement an aggressive "get-out-the-vote" operation on behalf of all Liberty City endorsed candidates.

The complete slate of Liberty City endorsements are:

?         U.S. Senate-Arlen Specter

?         Governor-Joe Hoeffel

?         Lt. Governor-Jonathan Saidel

?         U.S. Congress (6)-Manan Trivedi

?         State House (26)-Fern Kaufman

?         State House (172)-Tim Kearney

?         State House (175)-Mike O?Brien

?         State House (180)-Jonathan Ramos

?         State House (181)-Lewis Thomas

?         State House (182)-Babette Josephs

?         State House (186)-Kenyatta Johnson

?         State House (188)-James Roebuck

?         State House (190)-Vanessa Brown

?         State House (194)-Josh Cohen

?         State House (195)-Anthony Ingargiola


* * *

Liberty City is a progressive, membership based, political action committee serving the greater Philadelphia region that works within the Democratic Party to achieve and sustain economic and social equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. 


View Article  Planned Parenthood PAC endorses Joe Hoeffel for PA Governor



Harrisburg, PA ? The Board of the Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC announced today that it is unanimously

endorsing Democratic nominee Joe Hoeffel in the upcoming gubernatorial election.


The organization says Hoeffel has been a long-time supporter of reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood

throughout his political career. Both in the State Legislature and while serving as a U.S. Congressman, Hoeffel

was a leader on women?s health care.   


?On behalf of our 140,000 patients and 180,000 pro-choice supporters in the Commonwealth, we are thrilled

to support Joe Hoeffel for Governor. More than any other candidate in this race, Joe Hoeffel understands that

people need information and options so that they can make responsible life decisions,? says Sari Stevens, Executive

Director for the Planned Parenthood PA PAC.


?But we also need responsible government to ensure women and men have access to safe, affordable, preventative care,?

 continued Stevens, ?Joe understands the role of government in private medical decisions and we look forward to working

 with him as Governor of Pennsylvania.?


Joe Hoeffel says that as Governor, he will fight to protect women and men?s choices in reproductive health care. ?I have

been a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood for many years throughout my political career and am excited to receive

this endorsement. As Governor, I will work hard to ensure women and men are able to have the freedom and opportunity

to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.?


The announcement was made at 10:15am at the Philadelphia Planned Parenthood health center at 1144 Locust Street

while Hoeffel and Planned Parenthood supporters looked on.


The Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC, which is the only pro-choice, grassroots, PAC in Pennsylvania, will work

with the Hoeffel campaign to get pro-choice, pro-prevention voters to the polls on May 18th.


View Article  Ladies Unite! We need women to run for Jane Orie's seat

This interesting little tidbit came through my inbox today ...

There is no candidate in the Dem Primary against Jane Orie (40th Senatorial District). Now that she's been indicted, the ACDC is looking for a candidate, and rumor has it that all the people they are talking to are men.
's 40th Senatorial district includes parts of Allegheny County and Butler County
Allegheny County

Butler County

It would be terribly disappointing if the only candidates the ACDC actively courts OR fields are male. 


View Article  HRC Corporate Equality Index

Just a small post.

Did you know you can look up business and corporations to see their ranking on LGBT policies and issues?  Such as whether they offer domestic partner benefits or include transpositive issues in the workplace.  You can even see which companies don't make the list.

Great way to see if your money is going to the company that supports your family. 

When I considered switching insurance, I learned that my current company has a score of 100 and the other company only scored 80.  How awesome it is that they both are even on the index with great scores, but I stuck with my current company AND wrote to them to say why.  If Ledcat or I are in a horrific car accident, I want to deal with an adjustor who has the tools to assist a same sex family. 

A few other examples.  Target where I love to shop has a perfect score.  Wal-Mart has a 40. So YES there is a difference and it isn't just being snooty.

Starbucks scores well.  Panera is not even on the list.  (I'd be guilty of overkill if I pointed out that several Target's have a Starbucks within them, eh?)

We don't eat at many chains so that's not much help, but think of all the ways you can use this ... where to buy your pizza to where to stay on vacation. 

Another important point.  The Index ranks GOVERNMENTAL compliance, too. 

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