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View Article  Don't vote for Joan Orie Melvin ... here's why

This is somewhat breathtaking ...

Judge Orie Melvin dissented from an en banc Superior Court decision in Thierfelder v. Wolfert, 978 A.2d 361 (Pa. Super. May 19, 2009), which held that when a physician is providing specific treatment for psychological problems, and has a sexual relationship with the patient, if that sexual relationship directly causes the patient?s psychological/emotional symptoms to worsen, that patient has potentially stated a cognizable cause of action for malpractice.  Judge Orie Melvin joined a dissenting opinion authored by Judge Lally-Green stating that a consensual, non-medical sexual affair between doctor and patient does not constitute the rendering of a medical skill associated with specialized training.

Judge Orie Melvin joined the dissenters in saying that the majority was mistaken in holding that a physician, whether a specialist or not, has a duty to refrain from a sexual affair with his patient even in the circumstances where the physician is treating the patient for an emotional condition or psychological problems and the patient alleges that the affair worsened the psychological problem. 

This is a breathtaking position for Judge Orie Melvin and the other two dissenters to take given that the doctor in question allegedly had a consensual sexual relationship with his patient for one year while she was his patient and being treated by him for anxiety and depression. 

Is this the kind of Judge that women of Pennsylvania want on the court?

Physicians have no duty to refrain from sexual affairs even when they will have a detrimental impact?  Huh?  WTF?  Oh my God?  All of those things to the nth degree! 

And this woman is running for the Highest Court in the Commonwealth? 

Case is attached below.

More?

AFA of PA questionairre.  Jack Panella refrains from pandering as is fitting for an impartial judge.  Joan spews it all out.

 

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View Article  It iS saTurDAY

So much to review and comment upon ... the weeks just fly by these days. 

I have become a devote of The Today Show.  I used to be an avid morning NPR listener, but one day I clicked on the television and Harry n Maggie won my heart.  I don't know why. Is it middle age?  The proximity of the television to my laptop and morning coffee?  I don't know.  But I like it.

The PG profiles a gay couple with Pgh connections in a heartbreakding description of how unfair immigration laws devastate our families. 

Immigration reform is clearly a hot topic and adding the issue of LGBT relationships is bound to stir the pot, the pot that isn't even on the stove.  A national LGBT email list to which I subscribe brings this legislative topic every once in awhile, but it lacks traction.  The PG piece does a heartbreaking job of showing how the lack of legal federal relationship recognition is patently unAmerican. 

Darryl Metcalfe is his ridiculous self, labeling veterans as traitors for embracing the leftist agenda.  Classy.  He finally has a challenger, but enjoys 60%+approval ratings so it is going to take a lot of effort to address that situation.

Laura and I will be joining Mackenzie Carpenter for her Post-Gazette Ominvore podcast this week.  We'll be talking about SisterShout and other LGBT news.  That's a bit of exciting news. 

Pam's House Blend has the story on Maine's battle to maintain marriage equality crossing the $4million threshold, monies mostly raised from individual donors.  The anti-marriage equality opponents have been mostly funded by the looming shadow of NOM which is based in New Jersey.  So New Jersey corporation funding a Maine ballot initiative.  Hmmm. 

Pittsburgh's feminist and female football fan community continue to remain ominously silent on the allegations that Big Ben raped a woman.  They are equally silent on some of his more egregious attempts to quash the case ... well, let me be specific, the feminists have been silent.  Women who believe Big Ben is not a rapist and spew the same 'she didn't come forward quickly enough to have credibility' are pretty vocal.  Shame on all of us.

Let me leave you with this touching video, a reminder that we should never assume who allies themselves with our community.

View Article  Tom Michalow events

Tom got the Post-Gazette endorsement.

Also ..


Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow night the Bellvue Chamber of Commerce is holding a Meet the Candidates night at Bellvue Elementary School this is going to be an important night in this highly contested race because this is a bi-partisan event and we want to have a good showing to give Tom the support he needs to win this race.  For those of you who do not know Tom Michalow (
http://tommichalow.com/), Tom is extremely qualified individual and will bring a fresh view to County Council and a strong and determined work-ethic that will benefit the County as a whole and the residents in his district.  Tom is a dedicated teacher and also a graduate of North Allegheny, Duquesne University, and of VMI.  Myself being a teacher, I know that Tom has the patience and skills to work with a diverse group of individuals and that he has the management skills to encourage collaboration and to get the job done.  So please come out tomorrow and support Tom!!

When:   Tomorrow, October 22nd, 7 PM

Where:  Bellvue Elementary, 435 Lincoln Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15202

Why:     To Support Tom Michalow for County Council District 1

Contact:  Justin Lewis, YDAC Membership Director at
membership@ydac.org or 412-638-8280 for more details

If you cannot attend tomorrow night, please join us next Wednesday for a Rally for Tom (see info below):

Event:    Tom Michalow, Democrat for Allegheny County Council, District 1
What:    Rally
Start Time:  Wednesday, October 28 at 5:30pm
End Time:   Wednesday, October 28 at 7:30pm
Where:        Evergreen Community Park House - 3430 Evergreen Road  - Ross Township, PA  15237

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=157223074422&mid=148861aG3db3f9aG839fc0G7&bcode=tkrO1

Thanks for your support of our Young Democratic Candidates!

sdf

View Article  Some good LGBT news from the federal government

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is making changes to regulations that benefit LGBT families.  HUD administers public housing.

According to today?s announcement, HUD will submit a proposed rule that makes three important changes to federal regulations. First, it includes language that ensures same-sex couples and their children are recognized as families covered by HUD programs, including affordable housing assistance.  Second it requires organizations that administer HUD grants to abide by state and local laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Third it prohibits consideration of factors other than creditworthiness, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in the awarding of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.  In addition, HUD announced that the Department will conduct the first-ever nationwide survey of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing.

This is really interesting news, particularly as ENDA makes its way through Congress.  Housing discrimination typically goes hand in hand with employment as per the Allegheny County non-discrimination ordinance.  Embedding this level of protection into federal regulation when sexual orientation and gender identity are not federally protected classes is a very concrete step forward. 

Another very interesting angle might be in HUD funded homeless service programs which aren't always on the ball when it comes to delivery of services to our community.

There's more.  The Department of Health and Human Services is creating a resource center for LGBT senior citizens.

The LBGT Resource Center will help community-based organizations understand the unique needs and concerns of older LGBT individuals and assist them in implementing programs for local service providers, including providing help to LGBT caregivers who are providing care for an older partner with health or other challenges. 

More good news, especially here in Allegheny County which does have an aging population. I've heard anecdotally that this a very underserved segment of the LGBT community so perhaps this might trickle down to local providers. 

If you still need to call Jason Altmire about ENDA, these are some good points to bring up. 

View Article  Library Questions

Throughout the discussion over the library closures, I keep wondering why we have a beautiful new library on the Northside (total of two now) while other communities may have none.  Perhaps it was dedicated funding? 

I stopped by the new Allegheny branch on Federal Street.  It is big.  I didn't see many books, but I basically order all my books online and just pick them up.  Woods Run (the other Northside library) is a little more cozy and pretty new as well.  Plus, there is parking.  Either way, we were pretty good.  Sure, the War Street folks had to drive or take the bus to Woods Run, but at least we'd have a library.

Maybe someone does need to figure out if all communities are being well served by the closure plan?  I don't profess to know, but I'm not the only one asking.

From my home in Regent Square I can walk to four different libraries: Squirrel Hill, 1.7 miles; Edgewood, 1.1 miles; Wilkinsburg, 0.5 mile; Swissvale, 1.5 miles. Except for Edgewood, all are accessible with one bus ride. How can that be fair when there are city neighborhoods that soon will have no library at all?

I'm truly blessed to have the Squirrel Hill branch. It's a palace. But maybe this $4.4-million renovation in 2005 was overkill favoring an elite neighborhood that already had a very decent 32-year-old facility. Where is the accountability?

WILLIAM McCLOSKEY
Regent Square


sdf

View Article  "Off the Record" Please

The City Paper spilled the beans when they reported that the Mayor went far over the line:

"Off the Record" gives local officials rebuttal time as "guest humorists." And according to several witnesses who contacted us after the fact, Ravenstahl used his moment on stage to send a message to ACLU state legal director Vic Walczak, who has sharply criticized the city's handling of G-20 protesters. According to multiple sources, Ravenstahl said something like this: "I heard we're going to face a free-speech lawsuit. Well, I have some free speech for you -- fuck you, Vic Walczak."

The mayor's office denied nothing. 

"The mayor was pleased to be a guest humorist. He enjoyed himself," said mayoral spokesperson Joanna Doven. "It raised more than $30,000 for the Food Bank" as well as money for the Pittsburgh Promise, the college scholarship fund championed by Ravenstahl and Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt, the evening's other guest.

"People leave the event shocked all the time," Doven added. "The event was meant to be humorous. The mayor was making fun of himself, most of the time."

Ah, so nice to know that Ms. Doven is more than just a voicemail that never returns my calls. 

Most of the time, eh?  <insert evil Beavis and Butthead laugh.  Did I spell that correctly?>

What is all this fuss about Off The Record being off the record?  It is a fundraiser, for God's sake, not a meeting of some executive decision making group.  It is news when the Mayor makes an ass of himself and/or lives right up to the juvenile, frat boy, bar hopping reputation that surrounds his Administration.  That is especially true when he is commenting on a front page story like the G-20 and Free Speech.  The Mayor has a talented, smart staff who could have come up with a far more sophisticated riff for him (Paul?  Yarone?), so I have little doubt that they tapped right into his juvenile ego to take a swipe at the ACLU. 

The whole thing went viral, but so what?  It isn't like politicians need to be idiots to be funny.  They just need to be smart about it.

Off The Record, welcome to the 21st Century. 

View Article  Sunday

I did not sleep well yesterday so my critical analysis skills are limited.  For some reason, Wanda Sykes was my mail carrier and I had to fire her.  She did not take it well. 

Caught this little gem in the Somerset newspaper - http://www.dailyamerican.com/articles/2009/10/17/opinion/letters_to_editor/letter259.txt

Does anyone know that Hitler and Stalin were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize also? Our great president is right up their with them. I am sorry but I did not and would not serve in the military with openly outed cross dressers, homosexuals, transgender, meaning a male with a mutilated penis, and or bisexuals. That is my opinion and also that of hundreds of other soldiers I served with. Maybe in today?s feel good, pansy society we live in it is OK but not to the generation of men that I was raised in.

Jeffrey Podsobinski

Salisbury

Feel good, pansy society.  You can sort of hum that to "Monday, Monday" if you try.  

The Trib covers the attempt to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.   

The homos are at it again.

The Post-Gazette endorsed Ravenstahl.  Yeah, this is a link to the City Paper.  Read on.  Bram has feedback here.  I watched the debate and took a few notes. Why can't KDKA let the female anchors participate in these debates?  Ken Rice is everywhere. 

The Steeler Nation is rolling into the Northside. Why can't we find a way to tax them to pay for our two libraries? Sigh. 

View Article  Sunday's Sister ShOUT - Pgh LGBT Film Festival & Win FREE passes

Tune in Sunday when we talk with Mitch Lieb about Pittsburgh's Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. 

The show is broadcast live at 5 PM  http://sistershout.outonline.com

Courtesy of the Film Society, we are offering two free passes to a Festival film.  The drawing will be live on the broadcast.  To be eligible, you need to follow @sistershoutshow on Twitter.  So head over to http:///www.twitter.com/sistershoutshow and sign up! Lots of great films.

Good luck!!!

 

View Article  HB 300: they just don't understand

Word on the 'net is that this legislation will come to a floor vote in the Pennsylvania House sometime in November.

There are 25 legislators in Pennsylvania who still don't believe/understand that our community experiences discrimination.  This seems to be the core issue -- convincing them that the legislation is necessary to protect against a very real form of discrimination.  It isn't that they want us to experience it; they just don't understand.

The 25 folks in our region?

Chris Sainato (D-9, New Castle/Lawrence County)

Jaret Gibbons (D-10, Ellwood City/Lawrence County)

Brooks, Michele (R-17, Greenville/Mercer County)

DeLuca, Anthony (D-32, Penn Hills/Allegheny County)

White, Jesse (D-46, Oakdale/Washington County)

Solobay, Timothy (D-48, Washington/Washington County)

Kula, Deberah (D-52, West Newtown/Westmoreland County)

Pallone, John (D-54, New Kensington/Westmoreland County)

Haluska, Gary (D-73, small towns in Cambria County outside Johnstown)

So, the only way to change their hearts?  Share your stories.  You know what I mean.  We need to tell them about the times we couldn't rent an apartment because the landlord didn't want two daddies and a baby living next to his family. When you lost out in a job situation because you don't hide your gay identity.  The times someone refused you service because you are a dyke. 

Are you a straight ally?  Repost this.  Call yourself and explain that discrimination is real and hurts your family/friends/community.  Share your stories.  Tell them about the "fag" jokes at the water cooler or the comments about pansys, lesbos and she-men.  We all know it happens.  We all hear it and we don't always step up to shut it down. 

Step up now.  Take five minutes and share your story.

View Article  Steel City Stonewall Slate Card for November 3 elections

Attached is the slate card information for the upcoming General election, including the Steel City endorsed candidates and a detailed explanation on the importance of the Supreme Court election. 

Please download the file,  print out and take with you on election day. 

Keep in mind that one of these elections was determined by 43 votes in 2005.  43 people read this blog.  Be that difference.

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