Thursday, August 27
by Sue on Thu 27 Aug 2009 05:23 PM EDT
I am lurking around picking up juicy tidbits. Caught Doug Shields on his way in to meet with Public Safety Director, Michael Huss. So he stopped to give KDKA an interview. He assures civil rights will be balanced with public safety. He also claims police are there to protect the G20 folks not crack down on the dissenters.
I think that is a bit rosy. They are there to keep most of us out. IMHO
I just got a press kit. More later after I look at it.
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
by Sue on Thu 27 Aug 2009 05:07 PM EDT
Al Hart from the UE comments that losing two days pay is a hardship. They are asking City Council to speak up for the average people.
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
by Sue on Thu 27 Aug 2009 05:02 PM EDT
I am downtown at City County Bldg for the Thomas Merton Ctr press conference. I am blogging on blsckberry so I hope this comes thru. If u could send me a tweet or text telling me you can read this, that would be awesome.
So far, WPXI and WTAE are here and a handful of folks gathered. I am early thanks to traffic gods. More later.
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Tuesday, August 25
by Sue on Tue 25 Aug 2009 07:50 AM EDT
Ann Rodgers talks with a few local Lutherans about their reaction to the recent decision to accept partnered gay clergy. The language of acceptance was carefully tailored to allow those who object to equality on the basis of their religious beliefs to be free to continue to associate their bigotry with the Lutheran denomination.
Wow. That's not a very reconciling sentence is it? Still, I'm tired of being tiptoed around by frightened Christians, so whatever. The trends in Christianity as a system are less and less relevant to my day to day life. The behaviors of Christian-identified individuals is much more relevant. Most people that I know who identify as Christian are relatively cool people who can compartmentalize their regular attendance at Mass with their true social justice beliefs. That's fine with me. Let's have dinner.
I mean who has time for this.
They didn't win, is how I read it, so now they are voting themselves off the island. More battles over properties and endowments will ensue. Mainstream Christianity will continue to breakdown as millions of Americans are led along by warring factions. Reverend Gleason doesn't say what he did to educate his parishioners on the fact that gay persons are human beings to or to prepare them to embrace differences with open arms and hearts, rather than gathering their toys to take them home.
One serious issue the LGBT community faces is that too many people within the mainstream congregations remain silent. Someone at Reverend Gleason's church has a queer kid or sibling. Was their a dialogue? Do heterosexual Christians strive to put human faces on "the issue"? That's what Janet Edwards keeps calling folks to do. Are you up for the challenge?
Ann Rodgers is a good writer on religious issues, but I don't see how she has the patience to do it.
On a related note, Geoff Mackey of Mt. Lebanon writes in to the Post-Gazette, taking Diane Gramley and the American Family Association of PA to task for co-opting the term family.
He also wonderfully takes the bull by the horns when it comes to her "poor Boy Scouts" argument
Yes, finally someone is acknowleding that the Boy Scouts are making a conscious choice that makes them ineligible for public funding. We've spent so much time here downplaying the issue of Boy Scounts being denied public land for their camping trips, that many queers have lost sight of the fact that the Boy Scounts DISCRIMINATE against kids and adults who are gay, not to mention damage the heterosexual kids who are taught that being gay is a bad thing (too bad if that includes your older brother). I refuse to support them. I don't buy their junk. I don't toss money in the collection box. I would battle professionally against allowing them to use space that is dedicated to nondiscrimination against the LGBTQ community. It isn't just a theory way above the kids' heads. It sends a clear message to the 12 year old trying to figure out what's going on inside his heart that he better keep his mouth shut if he wants to enjoy the perks of Scouting.
Great job, Geoff.
Here's some hilarious feedback from PG readers who clearly don't have enough work on their desks in response to a letter affirming the LGBT community. I'd almost prefer someone to tell me they hate me for being gay, rather than hide behind "I don't approve of your lifestyle choices, but I tolerate you. And by the way you can't be a Christian or have any rights until you embrace the truth and the light."
A recent post about recycling even drew out the homophobia, including this:
I bet this guy would deny being a homophobe. He would point out that he has gay friends; he's just labeling a specific bunch of women with whom he disagrees and that's not homophobic. There's a big assumption on his part that any one of the other commenters are lesbians, but also the handy label of being "angry."
Monday, August 24
by Sue on Mon 24 Aug 2009 08:14 AM EDT
Good news this Monday morning, especially for those of you wishing OUT in Pittsburgh media had more lesbian content and coverage. I've been invited to be a recurring guest on their biweekly podcast, PRIDEcast with Jason Lucarelli.
This will be a great chance to talk about important issues such as HB 300, the formation of the County Human Relations Commission, the March on Washington planned for October and other important social/political issues as well as some of the everycday things happening in Pittsburgh.
While this will be separate and distinct from Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents so I'll have to save some of my opinions for the blog (ahem), it does bring at least one new lesbian perspective to the new social media realm and the OUT family. (Jane Muder does a great job in the print version).
OUTonline is forging some new territory in this regard, including a mini-social network with a gay twist - somewhere to hang out online and get to meet other LGBTQ persons.
Check it out and tune in Sunday, September 6 for my second appearance. We are planning on a great discussion about getting more members of the community involved in advocacy - promise it won' tbe all preachy and boring.
More issues to cover, but this is my first day back at work after my grandmother's funeral and my bout with bronchitis so I must roll off to the office.
I'm quite excited.
Sunday, August 23
by Sue on Sun 23 Aug 2009 05:52 PM EDT
I am thrilled with today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I don't agree with all the content (the gushing over Stanley Lowe made me choke), but the fact that we have content on a Sunday rather than New York Time reprints is wonderful.
My delight was tripled when I read the piece on the G-20 by arguably the best writer in the region, Dennis Roddy. To put this topic in his hands lends credibility and sensibility to what could otherwise be lost in the ongoing hysterical media coverage of the baby-eating anarchists.
The issues, my friends, are quite varied as are the groups lumped together under the banner of "protesters." You should understand that the G-20 dissent is not an attempt to influence a particular decision, but an opportunity to highlight significant social justice and related issues that fly in the face of democracy and human rights, allegedly represented by the democratically elected members of the G-19 nations (plus the EU).
That's a real concrete connection. Does it mean you should don a mask and charge the barricades at the Convention Center? Of course not, but it hopefully makes you take a step back to realize that many, if not most, of the folks making time to take a stand against injustice are just like you and I. Just like my steelworking father who can't retire because of the health insurance mess. Just like half the folks shopping at Wal-Mart in spite of the irony that the low wages make it affordable to the masses who likely also live at poverty level.
Read Roddy for a coherent explanation of American's love-hate relationship with world economies.
There's a sidebar in the print edition which summarizes some of the major issue-clusters.
One which I believe you really need to consider is the environmental agenda. We here in Western Pennsylvania had a humbling dose of the international realities with the EarthEcycle debacle. Hundreds of local residents were duped into donating electronic goods for recycling only to have the toxic elements dumped in South Africa and caught en route to Asia. We were fooled by our willingness to accept the free lunch and EarthEcycle's mad-genius idea to affiliate with reputable non-profits.
We were also fooled by our ignorance on the issue, in spite of major media attention and powerful images of children playing in toxic dumps. We trusted the non-profits, who failed to do their homework. They trusted the company who promised to help them help others. We turned a collective blind eye and children in the two-thirds world suffer, children whose parents probably don't even have access to the $3.00/hour jobs.
By definition, we need to include Homewood in this two-thirds world analogy. EarthEcycle took advantage of our blind eye to dump computers in Homewood.
Perhaps it makes sense that environmental activists team up other groups to draw attention to the fact that not everyone is fooled, as well as their faith that we can be educated about the myriad of issues. Their faith that we can take control of our economic destinies, on the personal level of where we choose to spend our hard-earned dollars and on the systemic level of demanding fairness and justice in labor policies. Their stubborn willingness to sleep in tents in order to pass out pamphlets and carry signs in hopes of reaching some of us, in spite of our disdain for the ensuing traffic jams and access to Starbucks.
Yes, the G-20 will be a pain in the ass for a lot of us, but that's mostly due to the actual summit rather than the protestors. I'm just saying that perhaps we can be part of the dialogue by getting ourselves informed on the issues instead of bemoaning the tactics.
Let's not turn a blind eye this time folks.
Saturday, August 22
by Sue on Sat 22 Aug 2009 11:50 AM EDT
You may have heard some rumblings that there's a ballot battle up in Maine. Perhaps you wonder what its all about and what it means for Pittsburgh.
Maine affords marriage equality to all residents. This means same sex couples can marry and enjoy the privileges and rights associated with that institution, both legally and personally.
There's a movement, Proposition 1, to repeal that law and strip citizens of their rights.
There's a countermovement to protect and preserve marriage equality. Maine Freedom to Marry.
The battle will be fierce and the first since Prop 8 successfully repealed marriage equality in California.
This is the epicenter of the battle for equality. You can cheer them on from afar or you can make a modest donation of $10.00 to prevent the injustice of our brothers and sisters having their equality determined by public opinion.
This battle sets the tone for our own battle here in Pennsylvania where we have HB 300 struggling in the PA House and two opposing marriage equality bills duking it out in the Senate. The marriage battle, IMHO, is pointless and won't get any traction other than sorting out who among the Pennsylvania Senators has the courage to stand up for our equality. The real battle is HB 300. More on that later.
Our great victory from November, 2008 is losing ground. Health care reform has been politicized to the point that it may actually hurt us in the long run. We are the generation that won't retire with the guarantee of pensions and health insurance from our employers.
Back to Maine. Please take some time to educate yourself about this political battle.
by Sue on Sat 22 Aug 2009 11:12 AM EDT
The Post-Gazette has a little blurb about Obama's flip-flop on DOMA, making the excellent point that toning down the support requires action on the promise to repeal.
There's a Michael Vick dog chew toy and dog jersey. Like it or not, he's part of Pennsylvania now and we have to suck it up. But unless those proceeds are donated to the Humane Society, the Eagles are idiots. (If Big Ben can use his power to intimidate an alleged rape victim, I'm sure the Eagles can handle this.) I bring it up because so many of you are dog lovers and sports fanatics, not to mention women (or friends of women) who've been victims of sexual assualt who also probably wouldn't be believed. Yeah, keep that last point in mind. Go Steelers.
August 29, 2009 is moving day for the GLCC. I tried to line up a sneak peek of the new digs, but that didn't work out. If you can help that day, it is a great way to "help the community," something I hear many people wishing to do.
P.S. Tonight is OUTrageous Bingo at Rodef Shalom.
Another opportunity to get involved - Pittsburgh's Gay & Lesbian Professional Networking Group is meeting at the Firehouse Lounge on August 28, 2009.
GLENDA has moved their annual fundraising event, Dining 4 Diversity, to April because of the GLCC move (GLENDA rents space).
The Lambda Ball is coming up in November. You can get involved in the planning committee (a way to channel all those "they should ..." thoughts) and help make Pittsburgh's premiere social event a huge success. To get involved, contace Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I understand that the County Executive is working to create the County Human Relations Committee. I know of two nominees, Hugh McGough and La'Tasha Mayes, both of whom would represent us well. No word on the timeframe. No word from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Administration on the GLBT Advisory Committee. (I'm so used to my inquiries being ignored by Joanna Doven that I'm starting to feel we are engaged in a dance.) BTW, G-20 is no excuse for delay when you've had the nominations since January 15, 2009. Pick some people and move on. I'm fairly certain they won't wear masks to the meetings. Or bring eggs.
Thursday, August 20
by Sue on Thu 20 Aug 2009 03:01 PM EDT
I'm not sure Allegheny County Council should brag about adopting the "Philadelphia" model of non-discrimination legislation. First, there was the private swim club that refused to honor a contract to let children swim there because it (let me make sure I have the quote right) ... "changed the complexion" of the pool.
Now comes another Philadelphia story courtesy of Pam's House Blend.
Wow. That pretty much sums up why HB 300 is important. If Sapa/Manpower can get away with this, what else can happen? It is exactly the sort of hysteria Diane Gramley dredges up when she terrorizes good Christians with the sphecter of men-in-skirts creeping into the bathroom to peep under the stalls. It is also illegal.
It should be illegal across the state to demand anyone produce a photo of their genitalia in order to hold a job.
Wednesday, August 19
by Sue on Wed 19 Aug 2009 06:16 PM EDT
It has been a hell of a week. On top of everything else, my "little cold" escalated into bronchitis, a throat infection and an ear infection. I'm on antibiotics and couch rest for a few more days. This is a busy time at work so I'm pretty frustrated.
I tried blogging but IE kept closing so I think my topics were not appeasing the blogging goddess. I'll try again tomorrow.
A few random thoughts
* Acklin and Harris have done a good job incorporating new social media into their websites. Acklin's is especially shiny.
* The inability to figure out a space for lawful dissent is mind boggling, both for the locals and the Obama Administration. I guess if he sells us out on healthcare, what's a few civil rights, huh?
* A woman in Philadelphia filed suit alleging discrimination because her employer fired her for being a transwoman, insisting she provide photographs of her genitalia to be reinstated. More on that tomorrow.
* PittGirl has come out. I like her now that she's a real person.