Friday Round Up

Feministing take on the Uganda Hate Bill.

But it's important to remember that this bill is still AN ANTI-GAY BILL.
No matter the severity of the suggested “punishment” for homosexuality,
the premise is uber-problematic. I also think it's important to
remember that the anti-gay sentiment that created the bill has not been

Good point.

Rachel Maddow urges Rick Warren
to denunciate this legislation on her show.  I also learned through this link that the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Anglican Church, has remained mum.  Anglicans and Episcopalians might want to have a little chat with your church leadership.  Murdering and/or criminalizing gay people is an issue far beyond the pale of gay marriage or gay bishops.

Tonya Payne is running for the State House seat currently occupied by Jake Wheatley.  Her facebook page is here.  Facebook played a part in stripping her of her committee roles so let's see how this plays out.

PA Congress Rep Joe Sestak stops by Pam's House Blend Monday evening for a live chat.

Domestic partner benefits for public employees seem possible in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Meanwhile, back in good old Democratic Allegheny County — nada.  Well, it is an election year so it is possible we'll be thrown a bone to shore up that quasi-progressive image.  Back in 2007, the Allegheny County Democratic Committee hosted what I deemed a “Big Gay Chat” to connect endorsed candidates with the LGBT community. 

At this meeting, I asked Dan Onorato's surrogate about domestic partner benefits.

Dan Onorato:  Said Dan favors extending nondiscrimination protections. 
In his Steel-City questionnaire, Onorato said he's in favor of domestic
partnership benefits if the budget allows.  When he was called on that,
the surrogate got a bit snotty and defensive.  Did he really expect a
crowd filled with domestic partners and tax payers were going to just
let that fly?  I asked a follow up question and he looked none too

Now I am on the record as pointing out that the County's unmarried employees could be replaced at any point by married employees with children who would get benefits, so the budgetary argument was ridiculous (see follow up question).  The surrogate sputtered which only confirmed the “have my communion wafer and eat it, too” mentality of these regressive Democrats. 

I won't bore you with my repeated attempts to address this with the Onorato adminstration over the past several years. Suffice to say, Onorato is being spun as the best gay thing since … Luke Ravenstahl.  I guess.  The benefits will be granted in the near future and Dan will get all the credit. Bah.

Do you read PageOneQ?

Public radio on marriage equality.

The plague of bars in Pittsburgh continues unchecked.  Really, have you tried to visit the Southside?  We visit one restaurant and one restaurant only because the food is good, but we have to mentally prep ourselves for an unpleasant environment.  Hard to understand why the Cultural Trust would let a culturally interesting bar like Pegasus slip away from their part of town, even if it needed some sprucing up while the expanse of sports bars is considered a good thing.

The City Paper unveils Pittsburgh's best as voted by you!  Does it mean anything that they have a category for LGBT friendly bar, but no LGBT specific anything? Well, the staff acknowledged that the Allegheny County anti-discrimination ordinance means Pittsburgh has left 1957 behind forever.  Look out 1980's, here we come? 

Some of favorite restaurants made the cut.  Woo hoo!


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  • The ball should have been rolling a long time ago. Now, all of a sudden when Mr. Onorato wants to become governor, he suddenly needs gay credibility and is now going to get cracking on a beneift(s) that should have been offered long ago. Hopefully the LGBT community in Pittsburgh won't get fooled.

  • Why do you support gay people who support Onorato and Ravenstahl? Why would you go to Spark when the Delta Foundation leaders are in bed with these guys? We need to hold our community leadership accountable if we want to see change. Ask Bruce Krause why he's supporting Wagner.
    Please spare us the bartender defense of the DF. They have right to pick their candidates. They just need to accept consequences if people disagree with them. If anyone pays attention.
    Why spend $50 on PrideFest fundraiser that could go to electing someone who cares about our rights 365 days a year?

  • Candidate for Governor Joe Hoeffel is having a fundraiser on Tuesday evening at the Red Room Restaurant in East Liberty. For $50, you can support a candidate who is an unwavering supporter of the LGBT community. His record shows no pangs of Catholic remorse over treating LGBT persons like we are full citizens in this nation.
    Joe Hoeffel has never been to Pittsburgh's Pridefest, but he has provided domestic partner benefits to his county employees for years. According to this blog, he also provides them to his campaign staff which is very rare. Does Onorato provide health insurance to his campaign staff? If we ask, will he answer or will he continue to ignore us like he did during those silly town hall meetings earlier in the year?
    I agree with Anonymous. We have to stop giving our support to gay leaders who unconditionally support elected officials that do not have our best interests at heart. I'll save my $50 for the candidate who is unafraid to say he supports gay equal rights, not the candidate who comes to a parade and take baby steps toward tolerance. That's balderdash.

  • The gay community has been fooled by Pride for several years. Remember when gay people used to speak about politics? Groups like ACT UP! and Pink Avengers and other leaders used to have an opportunity to talk and challenge us to think. Now we get a bunch of empty words from any politician who wants to speak. That's not political, that's a sell out.
    I challenge the Pridefest organizers to prove that the event is for the gay people by giving the microphone to alternative voices.

  • Gay leaders are planning events that interest gay people. I don't want to go to the Red Room on a Tuesday night. I want to go somewhere “gay” if I'm supporting a fundraiser. Maybe Joe Hoeffel needs to come meet some gay people instead of asking us to come meet him.

  • My opinion on domestic partner benefits is that Onorato and his LGBT supporters lose a little credibility with each passing day that this remains unresolved.
    It won't be progress nor an accomplishment if this is negotiated as part of a “get out the homo” vote effort. It is just an embarrassment that needs to be resolved to give Onorato a shred of progressive dignity.
    Perhaps more accurately, it needs to be resolved to give his LGBT supporters a shred of gay dignity?
    Either way, Allegheny County LGBT folks will get to once again dip our toes into the fountain of equality.

  • Well, Joe Hoeffel came to the Lambda Ball. He's also met with local LGBT political peeps when he's in town. So to be fair, he does come to us.
    By Pride, the primary is over. The next significant event is the Steel City Stonewall endorsement meeting in February or March. I'm secretly hoping Senator Specter or Congressman Sestak show up since protocol dictates they get to speak before a County Executive. Plus, they should show up.
    So my friends, rather than argue about $50 events in December, work to get your political comrades out to this endorsement event and make the endorsement count.
    Oh, hey — that's $50, too. I seriously did not remember that when I began this comment. Huh.

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