Above the Fold: Prominent Pittsburgh Gay Owned Business Questioned by PG Investigators

UPDATE:  I'm deleting comments.  If you have an opinion, fine.  If you can prove wrongdoing, contact the MSM or email me privately.  Otherwise, stick with opinions not unsubstantiated accusations.  If you see something that needs deleted, email or call me — I'm trying to keep up with it.


Even though I had a call about this story last night, I have no idea what to say about this.  I really don't.  From above the fold on Page A-1 of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A racy Strip District club at which a man died Sunday was threatened with closure by the city of Pittsburgh in August but it was allowed to continue to operate after its politically connected owners approached city officials.

Although Club Pittsburgh is zoned as a health and fitness center, the city initially ordered it to close because of other adult-related activities that didn't comply with its operating permit. The club's Web site has pictures of nude and partially clothed men in erotic poses and a complaint filed with the city claimed there was open sexual activity at the club.

Those owners, Peter Karlovich and Steven Herforth, hold political fundraisers at their Mount Washington home, including one for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in May 2007. When the Bureau of Building Inspection threatened to close the club, they appealed to Council President Doug Shields, and then to the mayor's Chief of Staff Yarone Zober, who connected them with city lawyers.

After talks with the club, the city lawyers told building inspectors to let it stay open pending discussions that never occurred.

Sadly, none of the owners or their representatives expressed regret over the fact that someone died on their property.  That's pretty tactless, especially when you are claiming people hate you for being rich (which is probably true).  Even one sentence expressing condolences to the family of Cleophus “Jaylin” Pettway for his death would have been classy. 

Ironically, this article demonstrates that the gay community has reached some level of equality.  The police raided the Stonewall Inn.  The Bureau of Building Inspection sent a letter to Club Pittsburgh.  Stonewall patrons and owners fought back using direct action.  Club Pittsburgh fought back by placing a call to the Mayor's Office and changing their website. 

They did exactly what any other heterosexual owned business would do when facing a threat to their business. They made a few calls and there was no need to take the streets to get BBI to back off. 

Sources tell me that there is some sort of “Save the Bathhouse” committee forming in an attempt to turn this into a gay civil rights issue. 

So, we have a lot of gay issues on your menu.

* a county ordinance to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression under siege by the right wing.  This ordinance is losing more sponsors and is being threatened to be stripped of the trans inclusive pieces.

* a statewide battle over Hate Crimes and Anti-Discrimination legislation

* the inevitable attempt to pass another Marriage Amendment in Pennsylvania

* federal battles over an inclusive ENDA, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and DOMA

* the need for a new home for the GLCC

* the Mayor's GLBT Advisory Council (too bad on that whole campaign contribution issue transparency, huh?)

* funding struggles for human service providers like Persad, PATF, Shepherd Wellness and more

* saving Pittsburgh's Bathhouse from zoning and ordinance inspections.

Sadly, the last item makes the front page of the Post-Gazette which has barely mentioned any of the other issues.  And they pretty much like gay people.  Sigh.  We get on the front page because of the implication that gay money is compromising the ethics of Mayor Ravenstahl.  I wonder where I've read that before?

I have no idea if the City looked the other way any more than they look the other way for heterosexual business owners.  Was this just an attempt to sensationalize the unfortunate death of Mr. Pettway?  Sex and ethics scandals sell papers, especially if they involve gay sex and Mayoral ethics.  They don't even have to be true.

I've never been to Club Pittsburgh so I have no idea what kind of business they run.  I only know the philanthropic side of Steve and Peter and have been a guest in their home one time.  If they bought off the Mayor, shame on them. 

Now do you see why I kept harping on the need for full-disclosure on the campaign contributions for anyone associated with the Mayor's GLBT Advisory Council?  I'm just gonna finish my coffee and know that my gut instincts and those of many commenters on this blog were right. 

I do have a pretty reliable source telling me that the digging isn't going to stop here.  I sincerely hope there's nothing more to find. 


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  • They omitted a lot out the article for strategic purposes. The primary purpose was to attack the city. The article barley mentions the death of our friend. Please don’t' assume that anyone not remorseful. I can assure you are wrong in your assumptions. I ask you to retract your statement as a friend.

  • I don't think it is fair to claim that the owners didnt express regret that someone died at their place of business. It was a political piece on pay-to-play and we just dont know everything that the owners said to the reporter.
    Every single name of every contributor to Mayor Ravenstahl's campaign is on file on the 6th floor of the County Office Building. I'm a little confused on why you think there is not full disclosure. Please consult those files. Love the blog.

  • Dear Anonymous,
    Jerome Sherman and Rich Lord put their byline on the story. You did not. If anyone from Club Pittsburgh would like to give me a statement about the death of your friend, I would print it. Clearly, I can't retract something based on an anonymous comment.
    I myself have stated that the death of this young man was a tragedy, regardless of the circumstances. Perhaps the PG went with the quote about other's being jealous over their wealth to reinforce the story angle, but it was a tactless thing to say when someone has died.
    And, please, feel free to post about your friend. I'm sure that no one employed by the company is permitted to go on the record while this is being investigated, but if anyone wants to tell us about Jaylin and how he will be missed, please do so.

  • Unfair? It is a little unfair that the wealthiest people in our community bought access to the Mayor and Doug Shields to keep their business going and then whine about being targets. If BBI had been allowed to do their job, perhaps this guy might not have died. Isn't that we are all wondering?

  • But you can based upon the fact that you dont' have enough facts. Nor have you spoken directly to anyone. Thanks for listening.

  • She didn't say they aren't remorsful, you idiots. Just that it wasn't in the article and it was incredibly stupid to give them a comment about being the poor persecuted targets of people who hate them for being beautiful. That's right out of the Paris Hilton book on media interviews.
    It was incredibly stupid to tell Doug Shields they were going to call Yarone. The Mayor just blew his gay support in the 2009 primary.
    No one prevented Club Pittsburgh from making a public statement on this death. It wasn't the Post-Gazette's job to do that. Do you even understand how media works?

  • That Lord / Sherman piece isn't the only coverage this death has received; it was on all 3 television stations and mentioned previously in both newspapers. It could be that the P-G edited everything out of that story that wasn't relevant to politics (and legitimate to run a story about the politics), but if the owners expressed regret elsewhere it should be easy to find. I'd do it myself but its about time I got out of my jammies.
    Speaking of which: Sue, I've got to agree with Anonymous of 11:11. There are a million boards and commissions in the city (many of which are not window-dressing) and none of them have ever practiced “disclosing” the political contributions of nominees. All contributions by everyone are public record but governments generally make those interested do the work.
    I'm headed to the 6th floor of the County Office Building for the first time tomorrow or Friday to do research on candidates for the special election in District 2; if you'd like to come along so we can both learn how to research campaign contributions, that'd be fun.

  • Everyone has the same access to all of our political officials. They are not THE wealthiest people in our community, maybe the most visible to you. The artcle they stated the donations were made in 2007, and how far do you think that $2,000 goes in a campaign, maybe a new suit?

  • Bram. The issue is that the Mayor's office just refused to answer questions. Telling Sue the same information you shared would have been an answer. Refusing to comment is not an answer. That's the underlying point. Treating Sue like she is politically naive and foolish detracts from the issue that the Mayor is creating a “window dressing” committee. At least she had the balls to stand up and ask a question that pointed out the Emperor is wearing no clothes (at least when the Emperor is in the Strip District). Everyone else just takes the donations and turns a blind eye. WTF, gay community?
    Remember a little thing called HIV? How is a sex club that “rents” boys for entertainment purposes consistent with the missions of Persad and PFLAG and PATF? Do you think we just buy into the health club concept?

  • Sue,
    As one of the owners of Club Pittsburgh, let me first say that everyone associated with the Club was very saddened by the death of one of our members this past weekend. I told the reporter that but he chose to use other quotes instead (the media is not interested at all in this unfortunate death; they're just out for political blood to sell newspapers/TV time). And we have already had conversations with a representative of the member's family about holding some sort of fundraiser to help pay for his funeral expenses. I'm sure you and many of your readers would like to help; please contact us through the Club website (www.clubpittsburgh.com).
    Now, to address the issue directly: the city did not look the other way. They received an anonymous complaint that they followed up on. They sent us a letter, which contained a number of factual errors. We met with the city solicitor to address their issues and identify what, if any, actual violations existed. We identified some minor issues to be resolved, and we corrected them. This type of thing goes on all the time with all sorts of businesses. We have done nothing wrong.
    To address your issue of campaign donations, you now know how much we have given to the mayor and the president of city council ($2000 and $500 respectively). We have also contributed to the campaigns of literally dozens of other political figures, locally, statewide and nationally. Are you suggesting that since we have given them money (and a small amount at that) that we are no longer permitted to use the services of these political entities? We are not permitted to meet with our elected officials? Our rights and freedoms are to be stifled because we contributed to a campaign? Have you ever contributed (cash or otherwise) to a campaign? Does that mean you “bought off” the person you helped? Should you be prohibited to conducting business with a government entity because you have contributed?
    Or, should the outcome of any interaction with a government agency always be against us, because otherwise that would be showing favortism? The posters on this blog seem to suggest that because something goes in our favor that there is some sort of corruption going on. Why don't we have the right to engage governmental agencies to redress our issues or grieviences?
    Anyone can hurl insults and accusations (especially anonymously: I thought this country was founded on a principal of being able to face your accusers…). There have been quite a few of them here on your blog. You say that your “gut instincts and those of many commenters on this blog were right.” Right about what? You've already had the trial and determined the outcome. What exactly was done wrong?
    I will thank you for your statement about our “philanthropic side” and that you list “saving Pittsburgh's Bathhouse” on your gay issues menu. We do appreciate that. We have done nothing wrong. We love this city and our community. We will continue to do what we can to improve this city as a whole and our gay community in particular.
    Peter Karlovich

  • At the Mayor's Meeting it was discussed that the City Paper has an online searchable database. It was also discussed that anything over $50 donation was public.

  • Henry,
    We do not “rent boys” as you state in your post. We are a private club that has a variety of amenities for the use of our members. Just like the Duquesne Club or the Rivers Club. Except that we're a gay club, not a straight club (although anyone is welcome; we have never turned anyone away).
    Peter Karlovich

  • Mr. Karlovich,
    This country was funded on many things, but the quote you specifically reference is meeting your accusers in court. You aren't in court. You are the reaping the seeds of landing on the front pages of the newspaper. Suck it up. You aren't the one burying a dead child.
    Stop targeting Sue with your little jabs. Just stop it. You and your partner make us all look really bad. Deny all you want but everyone knows what happens in bathhouses, everyone knows what Rentboys is about and everyone knows that you will continue to use your money and access to get away with it. Your defenders have been anonymous, too. Except for your paid employees and Lance. He is the only one who defends you publicly and maybe you should be grateful someone does.
    Thank you, Mr. Karlovich, for giving Diane Gramley front page material for her appearance at City Council next week. Thank you from everyone in the suburbs who supports your Delta Foundation. You have done us all proud. No contribution you can make to any local charity will offset this disgrace.

  • Sam,
    Yes, we are in court. This blog is a court of public opinion. And you apparently have convicted us. Are you the executioner too?
    As for Rentboy, we have no connection with them. I don't know why you brought it up. The rules of the Club clearly prohibit alcohol, drugs and solicitation (i.e., paying for sex) of any kind. Those rules are posted on our website as well as various places in the Club. They are referenced on the waiver that each member signs to gain membership. If we discover that someone is breaking one of these rules (which does happen regularly), those folks are barred from the premisis. We have zero tolerance when it comes to these issues.
    What is it again that we have done wrong?

  • Oh, honey, please spare us the drama. You told the Post-Gazette that people are persecuting you because you are so prominent. What next, Peter? Tell us to eat cake when we can't afford bread because Club Pittsburgh got greedy and destroyed the chance for equal job treatment in the County?
    I usually stay out of this muckracking mob, but you completely overestimate yourself, Peter. Some of us “old farts” actually know how to use a computer. When I opened the paper, I thought it wasn't possible for you to hit any further bottom, but you are doing a superb job of digging yourself into a grave of pity and self-persecution.
    Not all the old queens think this way, dearies. We want you to have your rights and get married and all the things we never had a chance to do. And for the little guy who keeps piping up about the right wing, please calm yourself and know that Peter is quite capable to defending himself from a church lady. He just doesn't know how to defend himself from the truth. And the truth is that the hey days of Pittsburgh bathhouses are gone. Let's just move on and figure out how to tackle the rise of AIDS among these stupid young kids who don't know any better.

  • Google was named in a lawsuit over an anonymous blog dedicated to insulting Canadian model Liskula Cohen. The blog, hosted on Google's subsidiary Blogger.com, has several anonymous posts including candid snapshots and insulting prose implying the statuesque blonde is past her prime (a “forty something” who “may have been hot 10 years ago” shouldn't be, “still going to clubs at her age, skank”) and unattractive.
    Her lawyer, Steven Wagner, filed a defamation suit in the Manhattan Supreme Court to compel Google to force the identity of the anonymous blogger.
    Though Google has no response to the specifics of the case, Wagner hopes the courts will agree with his client's complaints that it's “libelous, its defamatory and you shouldn't just get away with it.”
    Internet queries on search engines for Cohen and her anonymously appointed “title” have skyrocketed.

  • Well, this is an interesting comment. If you are implying the Peter and Steven might sue me or my blog host, I should point out that I am not anonymous. My name is all over this blog. I have deleted the really hateful stuff, but we've been over and over the whole anonymous comment thing. If you ignore them, they eventually stop and go find someone else. If you threaten to sue them, they just laugh and post ever more scintillating stuff. It is Gossip 101, guys.
    However, if I am sued about anonymous comments, do you think we could dig up the info on who anonymously posted that whole death wish to Sue thing? Cause that would be good information to have. For reference purposes. At parties and potlucks and stuff.
    Listen, I'm working on some posts to get our energies focused in a different direction. And …

  • Hey Anonymous… Club Pittsburgh does not “rent boys” and the Allegheny Co. Health Dept. works w/ the Club to provide safe sex information, free and confidential HIV & Syphilis testing and free condoms are provided to all members. Do your homework before expressing your uninformed opinion. And it is decidedly cowardly of you to list yourdelf as “Anonymous”.

  • My earlier comment disappeared. Peter, Gary and Steven should stay away from the rally. Stay away from the hearing. Stay away from the Mayor. It doesn't matter if you did nothing wrong. You are hurting my family by trying to have your cake and eat it too. The mainstream community will never embrace gay men who permit pornographic films (A Night at Club Pittsburgh by Factory Films which took two minutes to find online) to be made in their business, no matter how much money you give away and how earnestly Kathy Boyle and Bruce Kraus defend you.
    I need my job. I can't work as a bartender in a gay club. I need the job I have and I need to be able to keep finding landlords that rent to a lesbian family. I need these things and I need you to fade into the background if you really believe in the missions you support philanthropically.
    Please. You have done enough damage. You have a beautiful home and all the creature comforts in the world and lots of friends to stand up for you. Can't that be enough? I have a two bedroom apartment, no health insurance for my partner and the constant struggle to make ends meet. Make the Delta Foundation go away before it destroys everything. Please.

  • Sir,
    This is my opinion. You might both be good men, but just hopelessly naive about how perception shapes reality. However, this media coverage is a good example of why you have to make a choice. If you continue to try to have it all, you are knowingly hurting people.
    For the record, I like sex and I watch porn. I go to clubs. I just recognize that I can't bring that up at the dinner table. Unfortunate, but true. The good news is that my partner and I can dine in public, we can share an apartment and we can rent a one bed hotel room without a second glance. We can call each other in the workplace and we can attend weddings, birthday parties and children's events together with no problem. That's not a bad trade. And it is reality, Peter.

  • there are bathhouses in almost every city in this country and in the industrialized world. the supreme court has ruled that adult businesses have a right to exist under our constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. people of all sexual orientations engage in recreational sex. people of all sexual orientations sometimes party too hard and die of overdoses. closing bathhouses will not change that. if a person doesn't want to go to an adult oriented business that is their right, but they have no right to close them then. denying consenting adults of access to adult businesses is no different then denying gay people the right to marry. the city obviously needs to zone club pittsburgh as an adult entertainment venue and move on. in addition, as I understand it, a private club is like a private residence in that people can legally engage in conduct normally considered to be “private”. those who are so opposed to bathhouses are just sex-phobic and need to get over it.

  • according to the article from kdka the woman who originally filed the complaint said she just wondered into club pittsburgh while looking for a fitness center. this is obviously untrue as anyone who has been to club pittsburgh knows. you have to be “buzzed” through 2 locked doors on 2 different floors before you are in the club. you can't get through the 2nd door unless you have paid a fee and have shown your membership card. the only conclusion I can reach is this woman found out there was a bathhouse here and decided to file a fabricated complaint. this seems to me like a case of a few homophobes trying to create more problems for the gay community, and we need to stand up to that.

  • Peter Karlovich, you are absolutlely right, the local media is all about political blood & selling print. I'm well traveled and the PG is without question the most biased newpaper I've ever laid eyes on. However, that doesn't mean it isn't interesting, sort of like a car wreck…you can't help but look.
    Your comments that I've read are defensive and as so, playing right into the media's hands. This is a “hot button” issue and they know it. Those at the PG are probably salivating right now waiting for your next comment. I'm astounded to be reading the THIRD article on this in as many days. And all of them on the FRONT PAGE no less!
    Everyone that knows Club Pgh, knows what goes on in Club Pgh, especially local government and law enforcement, and those activities would be considered morally despicable to the average Pittsburgher. Gov know that, and push come to shove, they will NOT be on your side. You cannot win this battle. Politicians in this community (and any rust-belt city for that matter) cannot afford to be seen in the media as condoning what the majority of their constituents see as unspeakably disgusting.
    I understand why you are on the defensive, but you cannot come across that way. Here's a good political trick…no matter what question the media asks, answer the question YOU wanted the media to ask, don't answer the question they did ask.
    You, and everyone interested needs to bid farewell to Club Pittsburgh. It was fun, but the party is over. You got the bucks to open another club, a better club, so do it. I know what makes an awesome club, what keeps 'em coming back in droves. How's the song go?…
    “I know what guys like…
    I know what guys want”
    Putting together an awesome gay club has been a fantasy of mine for some time now. I would be very interested in meeting with you to discuss the possibilities. Lunch is on me.

  • I am very saddened at your viewpoint: that your ability to work, live and be happy is dependent upon what some unknown segment of the population may feel regarding gay boys having sex.
    If you were heterosexual, you would never, ever, feel the need to apologize for the behaviors of students having sex in their cars every weekend around Pittsburgh, or adult “swingers” or wife swappers (they had a club in the news not long ago), oral sex at heterosexual adult theaters, public nudity and sex at Carnival in Rio, or a myriad of other types of naughty play.
    Your viewpoint is one of defensiveness instead of self esteem, one of fretting over stereotypes instead of standing up for yourself, what's good about you and your life, and demanding basic respect for YOU as a human being.
    I wish you reflection and growth on this. Whatever your viewpoint on Club Pittsburgh, if it's not your thing, you have nothing to apologize for. And, frankly, neither does anyone who has patronized the club.
    It was a bunch of “freak” men in wigs and heels who started the movement for your rights. I suppose you would have been one of the people on the sidelines outside the Stonewall bar going “tssk tssk” as people with nothing left to lose but their human dignity were battered and loaded into paddy wagons?
    People on the fringe worked for the rights you have today. And you show ingratitude, and lack of self esteem, to play school marm now.

  • I wonder why “lesbian-mom” can't work in a gay bar? not capable? never bothered to apply? or too homophobic? I wonder why “lesbian-mom” thinks her job is in jeopardy because of club pittsburgh? the only people who's jobs are in jeopardy are the employees of club pittsburgh. I've been an out gay man for almost 30 years and have never lost a job because I am openly gay. if “lesbian-mom” has such a tenuous employment situation she might want to look for a more enlightened employer.

  • People need to stop being so selfish. What's happening to Steven and Peter is unfortunate considering how much they have done for the Pittsburgh community as well as the gay/lesbian community. It's ashame that before this happened, most people were praising them. I know of MANY people, straight and gay, who were trying to get on their good side so as to benefit from their kindness. It's ironic now how these same “grateful” people are the first to knock them down on a total of two complaints made last year according to PG.
    I agree with everything Peter has stated in his previous blogs on this issue. The bloggers who feel like they're getting attacked on a personal level just for being gay and in the same city as Peter and Steven need to stop talking, or rather typing. If something that Peter and Steven are going through is somehow effecting your life even though they don't know you, then that is unfortunate and the fault of whoever it is that is being bias towards you. Don't blame others and say your misfortunes are ruining my life. Let them deal with their own personal situations that is unfortunately public in the best way they know how.
    I hope Steve and Pete know that they only have to worry about themselves and their issues and don't have to defend themselves to anyone else. They know the truth and shouldn't worry about what other mislead individuals have to say about something that they have no FACTS about. Unfortunately, reporters don't give the news with just the facts as it should be. They give the news with edited facts and their own opinions. That's how they get others to think like they do. Everyone needs to do their homework and get every side of the story before passing judgement.
    Steve and Pete, you're still wonderful men and have my support as well as the support of many, many others. I hope you don't have to close your club down and things get resoved, but if you do have to shut it down, then I'm positive you can move on in a graceful and successful way.
    Never feel like you have to stop helping the communities because without all of your generosity, the city wouldn't be as good as it is today or even have all the chances to better itself. You both as well as other charitable people have given Pittsburgh a great opportunity.
    That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

  • Seen the inspiring movie “Milk” yet? Harvey patronized sex clubs, had anonymous partners, cruised some parks. If anyone's focused on judging his life, or anyone else's life, from only the waist down, that's their problem, not ours.
    And do you realize, the people who do judge gay people that way, will do so regardless of whether Club Pittsburgh and every place like it were shuttered?
    Go to Club Pittsburgh, you get judged, on Page One Debate.
    At the far opposite side of the spectrum, you try to get married, settle down, and have a white picket fence? Page One Debate.
    Let's wrap our heads around that, as we contemplate this supposedly big salacious story.

  • Please stop playing the gay card. The Post-Gazette gave millions of inches to LAMAR advertising and to the URA scandal, including delving into the personal lives. There are two issues here. First, is pay to play. Second, is whether Club Pittsburgh is zoned appropriately. No one is saying that legal sexualized activities shouldn't take place, just that they should be regulated the same as heterosexual activities.
    You want equality people and yet you compare a zoning issue to Stonewall? Who said anything about shutting down Club Pittsburgh? You are intentionally distorting people's disgust with the perceived “pay to play” with the gay sex issue. You are intentionally changing the subject to make Peter and Steven the victims of a gay sting and that is just not true.
    Lesbian mom has a point that you all ignore. She shouldn't have to work in a gay owned business to have job security. It doesn't matter where she wants to work, she should be judged on her qualifications. That's the whole point of all this political advocacy Peter, Steven and Gary have been promoting through Delta, through their political work and their contributions. Right? Isn't that what everyone is saying, that they are helping the gay community with their campaign donations, not buying favors?
    You are all being completely hypocritical. You cry foul when you perceive bias against gays in the media or social judgement about sexual behavior, but you bash a woman for claiming their is bias against gays in her job. Which is it people?
    Defend your friends for their charitable work by all means. Defend our right to engage in lawful sexual activity by all means. But don't play the gay card to do it. Use the facts. The facts suggest pay to play and that is a reasonable story to investigate.
    I hope to come back here on Friday morning and read all of your comments on the public hearing. If you think the Post Gazette and bloggers have been playing the “gay sex is evil” card then you will surely try to help prevent Diane Gramley from doing the same thing. Because if you care enough to be insulted by a newspaper article and a few comments on a blog here and there, you will surely care enough to be insulted when the same thing happens in front of your government.
    And, shel, i haven't read a single blog who feels personally attacked by a bath house. I've read thoughtful commentary on the facts of the story, the media coverage and the impact on our community. The bloggers are the ones who keep bringing it back to the real crime: pay to play. Your comment about people trying to get on their “good side” says everything we need to know about how this duo operates. Why would their be a bad side to get on? They would judge a charity based on its merits, not their personal opinions of the people involved, right?

  • People pretend to be friends or at least will support successful people so that they can benefit from them. A vague example is how someone might try to be Steve and Pete's friend knowing that if any of their friends are ever in a crisis of any sort, they are the first to offer assistance in any way they can. That is what I mean, but i understand that if someone already has their own set opinion, then they will take things out of a statement and make it to their liking to prove something.
    And “how this duo operates”??? That's too ridiculous. There is no operation.

  • What a completely irrational monologue. You implore everyone to remain focused on pay to play, and to avoid the “gay card” but weave it all with:
    “Lesbian mom has a point that you all ignore. She shouldn't have to work in a gay owned business to have job security.”
    We didn't ignore it, we refuted it.
    Then, YOU join a the hip the issue of non-discrimination with Peter and Steven's ownership of Club Pittsburgh.
    Are you asking us to separate issues, while simultaneously joining them?
    Are you asking us to address another commenters opinion, but not if we refute it?
    Some linear thought would be refreshing at this point.

  • here is some “linear thought”
    if you don't want people poking around in your business, don't film pornos in your business.
    if you don't want people to question your authenticity, don't tell the paper people hate you for being rich.
    if you don't want people to automatically assume you pay to play, don't ally yourself with a pay to play Administration
    if your actions lead to several front page scandal articles that threaten a significant piece of gay rights legislation, don't blame the media and the ungrateful little people. get a good lawyer and a good PR person.
    if you have image problems due to bad media coverage, get a good lawyer and a good PR person.
    blaming Pittsburgh for being sexphobic is a silly defense against a zoning violation.
    this whole thing is silly.

  • Sounds like Lesbian Mom's boss is playing the gay card, mac. Just because you haven't experienced homophobia in your workplace doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Unless the world revolves around your experiences. You can parse the posts all you want, mac, but there are a lot of bosses that hate us fags and dykes. And a front page story about gay porn does hurt them by reinforcing the worst stereotypes.
    The fundamental debate is whether Steven and Peter paid to play, right? If they did, they hurt Lesbian Mom. If they didn't, then they AND Lesbian Mom are both suffering. Sucks anyway you wrap it up.
    Stop hating on the little people, mac.

  • Hey, Sue Kerr. You got picked up by tons of gay sites. This is pretty heavy stuff and you are doing a great job covering the issues, both good and bad. I like what you have to say and if people are so desperate to get defensive, you are definitely doing something right.
    If we don't have equal treatment in our jobs, people, your expectation of equal treatment over our leisure activities is simple ignorance. If you want to de-stigmatize “gay sex” then get your ass out in the snow tomorrow to that rally and prove that you are interested in more than fighting for your right to party.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Fringes? Are you mad? Peter and Steven are in the epicenter of the gay community. They have the skin color, the money and the penis to prove it. How many people of color are on the board they control? How many dykes? How many bisexual men or women? How many transgender men and women? How many low income queers? How many queer identified folks who defy category?
    Fringer. That's pretty hysterical. The attempt to position this akin to the Stonewall riots or the assassination of Harvey Milk shows how delusional you people can be. Where was all this “outrage” when the lesbians were dissing a transwoman? Or when a transwoman almost drowned in the Allegheny River? Or when the GLCC got evicted?
    You are quite amusing in your attempts to rewrite gay civil rights history to defend two rich white gay businessmen who have had the Mayor, the Wagners, the Onoratos and many other illustrious people to their home as VICTIMS of gay persecution. That is quite a work of words.

  • Please tell us precisely and specifically how you feel “Lesbian Mom's” job security is connected to this club. And we've already established that she is not employed there.

  • “if your actions lead to several front page scandal articles that threaten a significant piece of gay rights legislation”
    How, exactly, does the operation of this club (in or out of regulatory compliance), threaten a significant piece of gay rights legislation? Which piece of legislation are you referring to, before which part of the gov't does it now rest, what are the estimates of the votes/leanings at this time, and how does a story about this business “threaten” the legislation to which you refer?
    Facts are fun. Let's have them, please.

  • well put. 1st off, Peter and Steve need to realize that the “gay bar community” and “club pittsburgh members” know the truth about what happens in your establishment. So, chose your words carefully. It's tough to defend nor care about what a person(s) says when they are being deceitful. Secondly, here's an issue that I, like many others have had: Own up, admit what you stand for, what your establishment is, and what your events are. Spark and Splash, are they a fun & sexy party that benefits non-profits, like Persad, PATF or Delta Foundation, or are they nothing more than charging for sex party so people can watch strippers get f*cked in your pool?
    It you want to be the so called “gay sex kings” of Pittsburgh, then be it. Larry Flynt & Hugh Hefner never claim to be anything but they are… may it's time to decide where you stand and who you are.

  • Fine, let's assume the club owners are pillars.
    And how does that change the illogic of Lesbian Mom and a few others on here playing the apologist card for anything any gay person does?
    What if, next month, a gay man goes on some bizarre crime spree in Allegheny County? Oh my God everyone would lose their rights, right?
    It's gibberish that I haven't heard in decades. And the Milk connection: he didn't need his activism dance card to be stamped by a nun to put himself–and our message–front and center.
    Fearless v. Nervous Nellie. I know which side I'm on.

  • If I may add my two cents worth:
    It is tragic what happened to this gentleman inside of Club Pittsburgh and my condolences go with the family and friends. With that out of the way…
    I find a lot wrong with the complaint filed by Ms. Diane Gamely and I think one of the posters hit on it a few days back. I think the Post Gazette needs to sit down and ask a lot of questions about this person and how she came upon the activities that go on at Club Pittsburgh. I, for one, have patronized the establishment once or twice myself and I find a lot of holes in her story that lends one to wonder about the journalistic integrity which is the Post Gazette. I would like to point out a few discrepancies in the whole report.
    First, how did she “hear” about Club Pittsburgh? The only way she could have known about it is through PittsburghOUT magazine( a citywide gay publication) or through Club Pittsburgh's own website. I am a regular reader of PittsburghOUT and I know that Club Pittsburgh bills itself as a “private” club(emphasis on the word private). So what gave Diane Gamely the impression that this was something other than a “private” club?
    Second, how was she able to gain access TO the club in the beginning? As one poster has stated, to be able to gain access to the club's inner sanctum one must be “buzzed” in to enter. Ms. Gamely couldn't have just WANDERED off the street and sashayed her way in and then discover the club's proclivities on her own. As I have stated earlier, I have patronized Club Pittsburgh, with my partner, on one or two occasions and we had to be buzzed in to be allowed access. So that, in itself, is another hole in her story.
    Third, how is it possible for her to view all that she claimed to have witnessed inside the club? Upon entering the club, you are waited on in a reception room with a glass partitioned counter area where you are thoroughly screened and asked for identification and proof of membership. From that point-of-view, there is no way she could have seen ANYTHING that suggested that male on male sexual activity was taking place. The security camera's are discreetly hidden from view as is the view of the inside of the club. The only way you can see that kind of action taking place is if you were actually on the inside witnessing it.
    In my opinion, this is nothing more than the Post-Gazette seizing on an opportunity to cast a shadow on the gay community days before the rally tomorrow. It is one woman's attempt to bear false witness to things she is not privy to based on her own religious convictions and morality. Ms. Diane Gamely feels it is her religious duty to rid Pittsburgh of anything that smacks of immorality. If she has such a problem with Club Pittsburgh, then might I suggest that she also look into filing a complaint against The Duquesne Club, as well? That way it looks like she is being fair and balanced in her Quixotic attempts to knock down windmills?

  • The fundamental flaw in your logic, wags, is that if a gay man went on a bizarre crime spree in Allegheny County, gay people would acknowledge and denounce the crimes. I can't imagine gay leaders like Kathi Boyle and Gary Van Horn saying “but he is a nice guy who helps people” in defense of other types of crimes. It wouldn't matter.
    It shouldn't matter here, wags, that the perpetrators of the pay to play are gay men running a sex club, but society says it does. Lesbian Mom is clearly smart enough to recognize that reality. Tsk tsk on you for picking on her.

  • You have got to be kidding me. If a gay man killed people, you feel it would be appropriate and/or obligatory for gay leaders to issue statements of explanation that all gay people aren't like that?
    Oh, YOU understand there's a disconnect, but “society says” there isn't, so you might as well lie down and take it.
    What year is it again?
    “Lesbian Mom” has her focus entirely wrong (not that yours is much more on the mark) and if it's “picking on her” to debate here, well that's to be expected from someone so afraid of ANOTHER gay person's shadow.
    You, Lesbian Mom, and everyone else who wants full gay rights: gay bathhouse owners aren't your hindrance. YOU are. And here's why: if you yearn for all the normal workaday gays to be the image of the community…then…come…out and create that family portrait yourself.
    If you are not out entirely, completely, in every moment and setting, then YOU are the hindrance to gay rights, not two guys with a big house and a naughty club.
    It's easier for some of you to blog, fret, wring your hands, and clutch your pearls, than to write your councilman, sit down a friend or colleague who doesn't know, and encourage them to join you in your request for full rights.
    Get to work. The owners of Club Pgh already have. They've created networks and funded groups and efforts. What have you done?

  • This is ridiculous. Diane Gramley did not go undercover to Club Pittsburgh.
    People think. If there were a conspiracy to target gay clubs, they would have shut it down. Not sent a letter and then look at the outside of the building. How is that persecution and conspiracy? At the very best, it is incompetent bureaucracy.

  • You make a lot of presumptions, buddy. Yet, you remain anonymous. Not “out in every moment and setting” So what does that make you, Mr. Hindrance?

  • It is a “comment” sweetie, not a blog. Peter commented. At least he signed his name even if he does come across a bit noblesse oblige.
    Perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with the other “charitable” people in the community. They remain calmly above the fray.

  • Thanks for staying on focus. The discussion is intersection, if at all, between Club Pgh “scandal” and larger impact on gay rights. If you want to have a discussion over the finer points of handles on blog threads, start a page and I'll jump over there.
    Write your councilman yet? Or is that another question I'm not allowed to ask?

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