FYI, here's the Southwestern Pennsylvania Democrats who want to protect marriage from homosexuals:

Vincent Biancucci of Aliquippa  (Beaver county)

James Carorio of Irwin  (Westmoreland county)

Peter Daley of California (Fayette and Washinton counties)

Anthony DeLuca of Penn Hills (Allegheny county)

Ted Harhai of Monessen (Westmoreland and Washington counties)

Nick Kotik of Robinson (Allegheny)

Victor Lescovitz of Midway (Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties)

Dave Levdansky of Forward (Allegheny and Washington counties)

Joseph Markosek of Monroeville (Allegheny and Westmoreland counties)

John Pallone of New Kensington (Allegheny and Westmoreland counties)

Joseph Petrarca of Vandergrift (Armstrong and Westmoreland counties)

Thomas Petrone of Crafton (Allegheny county)

Sean Ramaley of Conway (Allegheny and Beaver county)

Harry Readshaw of Carrick (Allegheny county)

Larry Roberts of Hopwood (Fayette county)

Ken Ruffing of West Mifflin (Allegheny county)

James Shaner of Lemont Furnace (Fayette and Westmoreland counties)

Thomas Tangretti of Greensburg (Westmoreland county)

and, finally, the mac-daddy of sell outs to the gay community, the Democratic Leader

Bill DeWeese of Waynesburg (Fayette, Greene and Washington counties)

When Dan Frankel was discussing the passage of the so-called Marriage Protection Act in the PA House of Representatives on KDKA last week, he tersely addressed the issue that 20 Democrats voted in favor of the amendment.  Frankel told me (I posed the question) that the burden is on the gay community and our allies to disprove the perception that a pro-homo vote is career suicide in their districts.  

I agree that the community needs to reexamine our ability to mobilize constituents and generate the kind of political grassroots efforts that the AFA of PA and other wingnuts seems to do so well.  We are doing goodwork but obviously we need to do better in order to avoid losing further ground and to unelect Rick Santorum.

But we still need to hold these legislators accountable for their votes.  My comrades tell me firsthand accounts of Thomas Tangretti of Greensburgh repeatedly REFUSING to meet with a gay constituent (how busy could he be over a three month period?).  Or being stonewalled by Joseph Markosek of Monroeville.  I wish I had the opportunity to bring this up to Representative Frankel --- how are we supposed to get their attention when they won't even meet with us face to face?  Is it shame?  Fear?  What?

The Republic of T put the entire issue of Democrats hemming over gay marriage (and other gay issues) perfectly:

The thing is, at the point, I?m not asking anyone to gay on same-sex marriage or even gay issues in general as the issue for their campaign. I?m not even asking that anyone support same-sex marriage. After hearing the same message over and over from the progressive blogosphere during the FMA debate ? that there were "more important" issues to discuss, thus implying that the issue wasn?t even worthy of debate ? I?d settle for Democrats simply not running from the issue when and where it comes up (note, I?m not asking them to bring it up or make it an issue). I?d settle for them not equivocating on the issue when it comes up, and simply calling it out for what it is; calling it discrimination and simply saying that the party doesn?t support discrimination and doesn?t believe it has a place in our laws or our constitution. Unapologetically.

But over and over I basically hear about all of the above "If that?s what we have to do to win ? "

And then I remembered something I hear a certain A-list blogger (who honestly seems to care about these issues, and keeps asking how Dems should talk about them) say a while back: just getting Democrats elected is not sufficient. Certainly not if they?re going to put their constituents and the convictions in the closet in order to win. A party that believes it has to put its own values on the back burner in order to win must not believe that it can and should win based on its values. It becomes something else entirely, and will find it hard to go back if the trick should work.

Like I said earlier, I get the message: the Democrats going to lead on our issues. When I bring up the shift that?s occurring in the party, and the unlikelihood that they will be able to return to their old values if new, more conservative constituents bring them back to power, the answer I get from the netroots is: "it?s your job to shift public opinion and give them cover to make it safe for them to take a stand on those issues."

Well, I?ve been doing that job as an activist for about 20 years now. At this point, as a partnered gay dad, everything we do is an exercise in public education; from a trip to the grocery store to getting the mail. But I don?t think I?m the only one with a job to do. I think Democratic leadership still has a job to if they?re up to walking the (these days, coded and/or whispered-behind-the-hand) talk of their values. It?s called leading by example.

Here's House Blend's Pam weighing in on this issue:

Amen, brother. There you have it folks - it's our job to make it safe for the spineless Dems to say discrimination is wrong. Jeebus H. Christ on a cracker. No, the problem is that we're doing our job, and we need allies, who have the numbers to change minds, to speak up.

Perhaps the "progressive netroots" haven't been paying attention, but the last time I looked, marriage amendments are passing left and right, permanently affecting thousands of taxpayers in those states who happen to be gay. We can't shift cultural numbers to stop the bleeding without help from heavy hitting allies willing to call out the discrimination and campaign for fairness with a better frame. We can affect change on a personal basis, but not when we're up against an organized effort to spread fear and hate and disinformation.

We need leadership from the party, not a bunch of scared, self-serving political assclowns. But I guess we better get back to work on "our job" of shifting public opinions since we're on our own, right?

That's exactly what Dan Frankel told us on KDKA.  Its our job. But we need our allies pure and simple.  And they ain't stepping up.  When Mike Divin votes the correct way and Bill DeWeese panders to homophobia, how do you combat that?  When Tangretti and Markosek duck their constituents, how the hell are we supposed to make an impact?

These 20 Southwestern Pennsylvania Democrats are NOT doing THEIR job.  They are violating the mission and spirit of the Democratic platform. They are hurting Pennsylvania families.  They are counting on hate and fear to keep them in office.   

While Howard Dean is busy "reaching out" to the 700 Club wingnuts, LGBT families are being told that we should do a better job of making the entire socio-political culture in the United States safe for Democrats to defend us. 

We are on our own.