Saturday on the couch with a cup of coffee

The boys decided they really had to visit the backyard at 6:30 AM so up I got.  Now I'm coffee'd up and had the wonderful joy of listening to my neighbor laying on her horn for ten minutes to get her kids out of the door. 

Which brings me to the number one topic of the morning, the Pennsylvania Governors Debate last night at the PA Progress Summit 

I followed last night on Twitter.  The hashtag for upcoming debates is #pagovdebate, btw.  Next debate is Sunday here in Pittsburgh.

Anyway, here's the Morning Call wrap up.

In response to a question from an audience member, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty and Hoeffel said they would support marriage rights for homosexual couples.

''As the only one here who performs weddings, I don't have a problem with same-sex marriage,'' Doherty said. ''People have a right to be happy. This is America. We should provide everyone with the same equality and respect.''

Onorato stressed his support for anti-discrimination measures in Allegheny County, and would also favor civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

Auditor General Jack Wagner said he believes marriage is a union between a man and a woman, but also voiced support for protection from discrimination for the state's gay and lesbian community.

This is what I'm afraid of … people out East are going to fall for Onorato's “pragmatic progressivism” which in the case of anti-discrimination legislation means jumping on the bandwagon at the last possible moment and then taking credit for the heavy lifting.  He's a liar, but he's feeding them lies they want to hear so how on earth will the truth get out?  I would love to invite a leader from Philly's LGBT political community to talk with some of the LGBT folks who can't necessarily afford to jet out to Philly for the high profile fundraisers and house parties, but have been present at critical junctures. We are at the mercy of political dilettantes who have a hell of a lot more money than we do.  All we have is a voting record and an informed populace of LGBTQ leaders who are being excluded from the Onorato table because they seemingly are more Q than G. 

Even Team Luke invites the Qs for God's sake!

Is that what Philly wants in our next Governor?  Is that what you want?

Three of the four candidates – Hoeffel, Doherty and Onorato — all said they would veto legislation criminalizing abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court votes to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Wagner said he would work to improve services for children and pregnant women.

''I'm for less abortions…but at the same time, I strongly support existing law,'' Wagner said. ''But it's more than that. It's more than simply a law. It's about supporting children. It's about supporting women with good health care choices. It's about supporting existing laws on the books.''

If I were anti-choice, I'd be howling except I know this is codespeak for get the progressive vote and then let the conservative Senate do what the hell it wants so its really all okay for the fetus. 

Wagner's right that we need better services for women and children, period.  Not just pregnant women.  Women who need access to safe, affordable healthcare across the board so they can make informed decisions about their lives, including their reproductive choices.  There's a lot we can do to reduce the number of women who have unwanted pregnancies, but it doesn't start by squelching their Right to Privacy.  It starts much much further back along the line, probably somewhere that led to four white men standing on a stage in 2010 discussing their bid for Governor.  Until they acknowledge that privilege, this “support for existing law” needs to be called out for the ridiculous non-position that it is.

Back to Onorato, from the Post-Gazette coverage of the debate (big emphasis on Liquor Control Board)

Why doesn't the Post-Gazette ever mention that Mr. Onorato has not supported domestic partnerships for the past six years that he has been the boss of County employees?  Why does the Post-Gazette edit out references to gender identity and gender orientation?  Why do they obsess about marriage equality instead of finding out for themselves what the key indicators of LGBTQ quality of life are in the local gay community? 

Because marriage equality is sexy shorthand for the mainstream media too lazy to do their homework on these issues. 

Look, I don't have patience for the plodding along from “gays are okay” to marriage equality continuum, but supporting civil unions doesn't give you a pass on other issues.  It may be smart strategy in Pennsylvania where civil unions or marriage won't see the light of day for a decade so you won't actually have to vote on it.  But smart strategy is probably good enough for the affluent gay men who have the bounce of a thick wallet to take the sting out of being kicked in the ass by a politician who tolerates your campaign contributions. 

Smart strategy doesn't help actual gay people here in Pittsburgh.  We aren't getting married anytime soon, but we do have to feed our families, keep our jobs and figure out healthcare.  Plus, catch a bus to work, prevent our kids from being swept away in Wal-Mart landslides, pay for childcare, take care of our senior family members and find somewhere safe to live.  Whew.  We are busy.

I cannot wait for the Steel City Stonewall Democrat endorsement where I will finally get to ask Onorato to publicly explain a six year (and counting) lag on domestic partner benefits in contrast to Mr. Hoeffel's County providing them for the past nine years. 

There is more to my concern than choice and LGBTQ civil rights.

I'm getting tweets and FB notes from LGBTQ folks also concerned about the environment, job development, health care, public transportation and so forth. 

It is heartening that people are paying attention and, as I've said before, social media is driving more people to this election. 



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  • The gay support for Onorato is rich in irony. Not only has he done almost less than Luke Ravenstahl for the gay community, but his biggest gay supporters are bar owners. Remember the drink tax?
    What are you thinking, Pittsburgh?

  • Vegetarians, bus riders and local business supporters. With one decision, you ensured say 50% of the folks who would show up to vote can't or won't get there.
    The vote is already stacked against Joe Hoeffel and it is two months away. I'm not bothering to renew my membership. I'll give it to NOW.

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