Wednesday, January 27
by Sue on Wed 27 Jan 2010 09:59 PM EST
I'm very pleased that Steel-City Stonewall Democrats are on the search for a volunteer to focus solely on social media. I've been working on this project with other local LGBT social media users and really want to applaud the group for embracing these tools to support their mission. The job description is also attached to this post as a Word document that you can circulate.
This is a concrete way someone who has social media experience and a desire to be part of the solution can get involved. There are also opportunities for folks to serve as "aggegrators" to help keep the organization's followers, fans and tweeps well informed on issues related to the group's mission. What an excellent opportunity for Pittsburgh!
Please repost this information.
Volunteer Description: Social Media Editor for
Steel-City Stonewall Democrats, a chapter of the national Stonewall Democrats, is looking for an experienced social media user to coordinate social media activities for the organization. This position will require daily monitoring of political and LGBT information on a local, statewide and national level and the dissemination of this information to the members of the Steel-City Stonewall chapter. Steel-City Stonewall is a regional chapter of a National organization with over 90 chapters and offers a unique opportunity to engage individuals at a grassroots level to be involved with the LGBT movement and the political process.
This position will require daily monitoring of political and LGBT information on a local,statewide and national level and the dissemination of this information to the
members of the Steel City Stonewall chapter. The editor will recruit and oversee
volunteer aggregators who will feed relevant information to the editor to be reviewed and filtered by the editor for dissemination. Aggregators can include members of the organization as well as allies. Posting to Twitter/Facebook/related feeds twice
daily on weekdays and once daily on weekends. ** Can be shared duty. Monitoring
comments section of blog to ensure compliance with guidelines.
The editor will chair a social media committee and attend board meetings on a
bimonthly basis to coordinate projects with the organization leadership. S/he will maintain regular contact with the Executive Committee as well as the board liaison to the committee. The board will make themselves available to provide guidance as needed.
Posting priorities will be coordinated by the board. For example, if the board
identifies a critical race, the status updates should educate followers on relevant
mainstream media and blog coverage of said race. The individual should have experience using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Flicker among others and be able to commit to 5 hours per week with primary duties during weekday hours.
The editor will recruit and oversee volunteer aggregators who will feed relevant information to the editor to be filtered for dissemination. Aggregators can include members of the organization as well as allies.
Responsibilities will include:
Interested persons should contact Lance Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org Please provide links to your twitter feed, blog and/or facebook page for review.
Tuesday, January 26
by Sue on Tue 26 Jan 2010 10:19 PM EST
Peduto endorses Joe Hoeffel.
It is very sad to hear my fellow queers say things like "We have to be realistic" about a primary. In January. Did you learn nothing from Natalia Rudiak's election? Seriously people ... that was a year ago.
Joe Hoeffel's County has offered domestic partner benefits since 2001. He offers them to his campaign staff. His campaign staff, for God's sake.
Joe Hoeffel likes gay people. He thinks we deserve jobs, housing, health insurance and marriage equality. He includes us fully in his vision for Pennsylvania, not just to the extent permitted by the Pope.
Really. It is January. Senator-elect Brown has not wiped the progressive slate clean. Calm down and realize that nothing is inevitable in January.
The Trib runs a piece on the Prop 8 Trial.
Ah, but Daniel Haggerty of Chippewa begs to disagree (yes, I had to look up where Chippewa falls in PA).
At least he has the cahones to lay it out there. We are not decent human beings. We deserve second class status lest we spread our indecency to other people's children. Daniel Haggerty isn't inching along to thinking we deserve a few rights. He doesn't give a flying fig what conservatism means. His a faith-based hatred fueled by half-truths and misunderstandings.
Adoption is not a religious process. The Diocese of Boston Catholic Charities was contracted by the state to provide this service to children in the community. The law said that those children deserved homes based on certain criteria. Sexual orientation of the adopters is not a legal reason to deny a child a home. The Diocese opted not to participate in a civil process that violated their religious beliefs. Someone else picked up that contract. There's no "right to run an adoption program" that I'm aware of.
But you can't get around it. If you think LGBTQ folks are indecent, any weapon is fine.
But, heck, Bill Gates isn't worried that Uganda wants to make homosexuality punishable by death. Why should I worry about a little indecent slur?
Friday, January 22
by Sue on Fri 22 Jan 2010 10:03 AM EST
From the Orlando Sentinel comes a thoughtful story on an impending court ruling regarding the constitutionality of a statewide ban on LGBT adoption.
This has relevancy here in Pittsburgh where so many folks have stepped forward interested in adopting the Haitian children from the Bresma Orphanage. From the PG:
It is very unclear if LGBTQ families or individuals can adopt from Haiti. It is highly relevant given the probability of a significant number of children being orphaned by the earthquake and their proximity to the United States, especially Florida. Bringing children into the US foster care system under orphan visas does not trump the adoption policies of their home countries.
Wikipedia has an interesting chart of how LGBT rules role out in different nations.
As many countries will permit single parent adoption, there is a line of thought that LGBT couples can have one partner complete the adoption process and subvert the law by completing a second parent adoption back in the US. That's fairly repugnant to me because the entire adoption is based on a lie and could be legally challenged by the child's country of origin. Bilerico has more on this approach and the pending impact of Haitian orphans.
It is also repugnant to me because of the 125,000 American children needing homes. Going overseas to lie about your family while children in your own nation are ignored is borderline immoral. Mind you, it is the lie that bothers me more while the simple pursuit of transnational adoption just bugs me.
We can help the children of Haiti by investing that $20,000 into relief efforts.
by Sue on Fri 22 Jan 2010 09:34 AM EST
The Philly Gay News is reporting that the federal judge who recently issued an injuction in a case involving the City of Philadelphia and the Boy Scouts was himself a Scout official. The twist is that his time with the Scouts did overlap his time on Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.
Philadelphia has been providing a City owned property as Scouting headquarters at below market rent. In recent years, they decided that the Scout sanctioned discrimination against sexual orientation conflicted with the City's non-discrimination policies. In other words, while the Scouts as a faith based organization are not required to comply with the law per se, they should not receive public subsidies (aka rent subsidy).
The Scout cried foul and off to Court everybody went.
I'm assuming the bond would be the technical way to ensure the Scouts pay the back rent if the Court decides it must be so? Regardless, the federal court has now made it possible for the Scouts to continue to reside in Philadelphia tax payer property without paying fair rent.
Can Buckwalter remain objective given his affiliation with the Scouts while serving on the Court of Common Pleas? The City attorneys have raised no objection. It was awhile ago, after all, but it does go to show just a lack of common sense. If you aren't supposed to be affiliated with groups that might come before you, it just seems ridiculous. At least he disclosed now.
The bigger issue this brings to light is this claim that the Boy Scouts have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ persons AND receive public subsidies. They claim that paying fair market value on the property is violating the constitution. It is so utterly ridiculous.
So continue to not support the Boy Scounts. Not only do they teach intolerance and bigotry, but they want your tax dollars to do it.
Wednesday, January 20
by Sue on Wed 20 Jan 2010 01:08 PM EST
Major fail on the part of CBS with regard to accepting faith based advertising.
You might recall back 2006, the United Church of Christ wanted to run a series of ads reaching out to the "unchurched" with a bit of pizzaz. CBS rejected the advertising, deeming them "too controversial" for network television. Here is one of the ads:
Fast forward (recurring meme this week, eh?) to the 2010 Superbowl set to air on CBS. Focus on the Family is set to spend $2.8 million on this ad. Video not available, but here's a description:
Change.org weighs in.
So what to do? One thing you can do to weigh in locally is call the local CBS affiliate ... yes, that would be KDKA and let them know if you think CBS should be carrying such a controversial ad, especially given their history with UCC. The number for KDKA is +14125752288. You can weigh in via email here.
Weigh in with CBS here.
You can also join a national petitions at Change.Org here.
The Facebook page is here.
One point to keep in mind is there is no move from the UCC to run their ads (4 years later). It is simply a point of reference to hold CBS accountable for consistent decisions with regard to advertising decisions, especially those that promote a social issue agenda. So the message is clear -- don't run the Focus on the Family ad.
by Sue on Wed 20 Jan 2010 09:53 AM EST
I am so tired of reporting on this, but I suppose I must.
Another church gone. This is boring me. I really wish Pittsburgh's church beat reporters would examine the faith based homophobia with a more critical eye than discerning who gets to keep the marital assets.
I recognize that these are painful decisions for people who belong to churches, but WHAT DO YOU EXPECT when your faith community endorses bigotry and intolerance?
Sheesh. Wake me up when a Catholic parish figures out how to wrest themselves away to join another diocese... now that would be interesting? Who keeps the bingo chips?
Tuesday, January 19
by Sue on Tue 19 Jan 2010 09:27 PM EST
Yesterday, I wrote about the ACDC's failure to put information about committe folks on the website. Blah, blah, blah ... accountability, transparency, connections. All that jazz.
Today ... the information is available on their website. Here's the link. It is actually the same link as in my original blog post so I need to fix that reference.
To be safe, I've attached the actual Excel spreadsheet to this post.
Kudos to the women of Run, Baby, Run who worked hard on this. They are a determined group who have just shown that things can happen. (Oh, those women's groups!)
From what I can tell, there are 277 vacancies. So who is ready to step up and get some good progressive voices bringing change from within?
by Sue on Tue 19 Jan 2010 03:31 PM EST
As you may know, California is the scene of a critical trial on Proposition 8 right now. It was originally supposed to be broadcast, but the US Supreme Court nixed that. Your best bet is to follow the live Twitter feed vis a vis #Prop8. Contributors/observers include the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Advocate as well as a host of individuals.
Live tweeting sure has revolutionized legal proceedings. The Post-Gazette has been embroiled in a bit of a hue and cry over Tracie Mauriello's tweeting from the Bonusgate trial. With PA House elections right around the corner, folks should be paying attention.
What does the "Coakley Effect" mean for the LGBTQ community? More of nothing. Maybe I'm ridiculous for thinking Onorato will do something about domestic partner benefits ...
She hasn't even lost at this point and the vulnerability means well, how do you do "less than nothing" in terms of LGBTQ civil rights?
Other stuff of interest
Feministing has an interesting and oft-overlooked perspective on abortion.
by Sue on Tue 19 Jan 2010 10:23 AM EST
There is no such thing as gay sex. Any sexual act performed by LGBTQ persons can be performed by straight persons. Anal sex is not gay sex. Oral sex is not gay sex. Swinging from a trapeze wearing a dildo is not gay sex. It is simply sex.
In today's column you made this slip albeit in a slightly different context - the gay sleepover.
Cat, this sort of shorthand is problematic for me. It feeds into the perception that "gay" means different, lesser, strange. Yes, the concern about her husband's sexual orientation is worth addressing, especially if he's engaging in sexual contact that could put her at risk. Keep in mind, Cat, that contact with other women can also put her in danger.
Monday, January 18
by Sue on Mon 18 Jan 2010 07:46 PM EST
Over the past four years, I've made no bones about my dissatisfaction with Allegheny County Democratic Committee.
Back in 2007, I tried to get information on my committeepersons. First attempt. Received a call back with my particular information, but no systemic response as how to access this information independently. I received another phone call with a bit more information that served to reveal how poorly the ACDC was utilizing social media (pre-Twitter/Facebook surge) as basic as a website. I failed to understand why there was so much secrecy about the committee composition, deducing that business as usual meant "trust us to take care of you, little voters."
Also in 2007, the ACDC hosted what I called the "Big Gay Chat" to connect the endorsed candidates with the LGBT community. End result? Nada. I am not aware of a single thing that came out of this conversation except the ACDC's ability to delude itself that it is a bit more gay-tolerant. The party has done nothing since then, not even another candidates forum. (Hint, hint. Not too late to remedy that this year. I'd love to bring some of these House Dems into a gay chat. If Len Bodack can do it, they can, too).
To be fair, individual elected officials did make promises they have also neglected:
To my knowledge, the sit down with Mr. Cherna has yet to take place. It simply hasn't been a priority of the community or County Council. That's not to say DHS is terrible on LGBT issues, but there's certainly room for improvement. Lamb has told me he's working on it, but I'm not going to bother bringing up County domestic partner benefits issues for fear I'll lay my head down on the keyboard never to blog again.
Back here in Allegheny County, it seems doubtful that LGBT money is pouring into the party coffers, but focusing instead on individual candidates.
Fast forward to 2010. It is the year we elect committeefolks. There are vacant seats as well as the opportunity run against incumbent party peeps, most of whom seem to be entrenching themselves behind ... silence.
Local advocate Gloria Fourezan has been working over the past two weeks to obtain a list of the current committe representatives with no luck. This information is supposed to be available on the ACDC website (click here to see what happens if you attempt to access it). As I outlined above, this has been the state of affairs since 2007 and, I'm guessing, since the dawn of time.
Why is the list unavailable to members of the Democrat Party who live in Allegheny County? Gloria postulates ..
Mind you this is a member of the same County Council not providing domestic partner benefits to his employees. Hey, I wonder if the ACDC provides domestic partner benefits? I'd ask my rep but she unfriended me on Facebook and I've never actually seen her at the polls. Outreach isn't her strong suit.
Anyway, back to the status quo. If I understand correctly, Burn needs to fill the vacant seats by February 5, leaving 30 days for them to get up to speed and participate in the endorsement process in an informed manner. That's naive at best and suspicious to someone grumpy like me.
Then there's the matter of the election of the committepersons themselves. Without a list, how would anyone know that they are represented or not? How can they know to toss their hat into the ring (take "ownership" of their party)? How can they seek out their committeeperson to even talk about the endorsement?
It is perplexing, but not surprising. As I've been tweeting, the RCAC attention on statewide and national elections results in groundbreaking usage of social media to share information.
The ACDC? Nope on Twitter. Nope on Facebook. Website that does not provide email address for staff or leadership.
This is why Scott Brown gained on Martha Coakley. This is why conventional wisdom says we have to elect a socially conservative Democrat. This is why the LGBTQ community has to fight back marriage amendments.
Complacency. Laziness. Disregard for the voters outside of the machine.
Come on, folks. It is 2010 and I'm betting there are dozens if not hundreds of techie, social media savvy folks in the party who could make these changes happen in a matter of hours. It is simply unacceptable that the ACDC continues to remain inaccessible to voters. It is actually shameful and completely disengenuous of Jim Burn to claim: