More on Thursday’s Hearing

Word trickled out Sunday about the upcoming Pgh hearing on SB 1250 which would amend the constitution of PA to permanently ban gay marriage.  And other stuff, too.  But no one on the right is talking about the negative backlash for their families beyond the voo doo protection from homo marriage.

I have had a dozen email messages today from various groups trying to muster the troops for Thursday.  The odds are not good — the hearing is in the middle of the day, we have had four days notice and, frankly, our side is not well-organized. I know that might make me a traitor to the cause to admit that publicly, but someone has to cry wolf.  Because we seemed a lot more organized last time and barely won that round.  This hearing was scheduled on 4/3 and Pittsburgh's queer community first heard about it on 4/6.  We lost three, almost four, days of prep time and no one seems to have a good answer to that.

You know *they* are organized.  And well-funded.   And will be there in full force on Thursday. 

I also know that local bloggers seem very well-organized to tackle this hearing.  No one has to convince them that it is newsworthy which means thousands of blog readers are going to get some insight beyond a 30 second sound-bite on KDKA.  I say work with the bloggers. 

Look at Pam's House Blend.  It is one of the largest sources of LGBT information, period.  We could build on that energy here in Pgh AND tap into the terrific support of our heterosexual blogging allies, who frankly outnumber the gay bloggers.  Far outnumber.

If you can be there on Thursday, it will make a huge difference.  Every gay ally counts.  Don't let parking or crowds or rush hour traffic deter you.  You can be damn skippy sure it won't keep the Cranberry home-schooling Christo-bigot housewives from loading up the SUVs and rolling into town to defend their marriages. 

Our folks are doing their best with really limited resources.  Things need to change and each of us has to step up to be part of that change.  My best suggestion is to join Steel City Stonewall Democrats.  They broke the news about the hearing before any other local source. In some cases, it took 24 hours for other groups to catch up.  Co-chair Kris Rust assures me they are expanding scope to work on issues, not just campaigns.  Go to this hearing.  Wear your sticker and be counted.  Then go home and join Steel City.  Stop by their booth at PrideFest.  Read up on their slate.  See how their endorsed candidates for state offices vote on this issue. 

And, hey, gay groups — use the bloggers.  Not just me, for Pete's sake.  18 bloggers participated in Blog for Equality.  They are paying attention and you just need to send them an email to start a dialogue, potentially reaching thousands of readers. 

Be part of the solution.



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  • I'm really wrestling with my commitment to working against this amendment, and the short amount of notice that we've received. I really want to be there, and I'm much closer to making that decision. We really do need to speak out against this amendment! Why was this scheduled so quickly and kept quiet?

  • Just an FYI,
    I just called as a concerned christian to see how many seats are left on the bus from wexford to the court house… 🙂
    there are 10 people signed up so far. which leave 35 empty seats 🙂
    BUT that is not to say we do not need to be there. Diane and I have already taken off work to be there bright and early.
    Oh and Dan, from Pa for Marriage ,
    If you are reading this, Which I am sure you are,
    I will not be calling you back with names to fill those seats 🙂

  • Attending is important. The short notice of scheduling the meeting is something you should voice. The should notice of telling us about the meeting is also something you should voice to LGBT advocacy leaders. Then when a planned course of action emerges, pitch in.
    Again, the last thing we need is another email list or a new website. Information can be disseminated through existing resources — Queer Events list is a great example, let build that up rather than start our own — the 18 bloggers who participated in Blog for Equality Day are another resource. Duplication seems to be our speciality here in Pgh — parochialism on the Internet.
    Let's find a way to do it better.

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