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View Article  Dan Frankel says we need to vote for Onorato

LGBT champion, State Representative Dan Frankel penned a letter to the Post-Gazette urging Western Pennsylvania to support Onorato because he's the better choice on LGBT issues. The cruz of his arguement is that Corbett thinks existing anti-discrimination protections on the statewide level are fine and has no intention of expanding them.  Onorato has stated he will support the expansion to include LGBT folks.

In contrast, at the same debate, Dan Onorato said of H.B. 300, "As governor, I would sign it into law. ... No one should lose their apartment or their job or their home because of their sexual identity or their orientation."

As chief executive of Allegheny County, Mr. Onorato signed a similar nondiscrimination law that protects the county's 1.2 million residents. As governor, Dan Onorato will be committed to fairness for all Pennsylvanians, which is also vital for fighting brain drain and for our economic competitiveness.

So if Corbett (and the tea bagger commenters) think all is well, that's clearly wrong and dangerous.  However, as wit most Democrats, I believe Frankel oversells Onorato. It took many, many months for him to make a public announcement supporting the Allegheny County legislation. He has a voting record of opposing these protections when he was a City Councilman.  That's not exactly a mindblowing change of position.  It is incremental and it took nearly twenty years to happen.  (Don't forget he lost his cool at an endorsement meeting b/c a certain lesbian blog published his voting record.  Ahem.)

I'm just saying that Onorato's track record AT BEST says he won't stand in the way, but there's no public evidence that he'll work to advance HB 300 or similar legislation.  We simply have to take his word for it.

And truth be told, when you think of all the promises President Obama actually made to the gay community and has yet to work on, there's just no evidence that the Governor of Pennsylvania will do any better.  Obama had significant majorities and poll data to prove that repealing DADT was fine, yet he's actually got the Department of Justice fighting to defend it.  Groan.

My point is that the Governor won't have majorities in both chambers, regardless of who wins.  The Senate still wants to defend marriage from gay people. The House just hasn't had the muscle to push HB 300 through. 

What we need is to unify as a community and put the pressure on Onorato to make this happen.  And I don't think he has the political will or muscle to do it.  He needs our votes and fundraisers on Mt. Washington, but he knows we'll be forced to support him. 

Frankel's point is short, sweet and to the point.  Onorato is the only chance to expand civil protections.  I get that, but I'll be a believer when I see some public action.  More behind the scenes machinations with the elite white gay men on Pennsylvania won't cut it with the suburban soccer mom lesbians and the many, many unemployer and underemployed LGBT folks who face a stagnant economony and the legal realities of being fired for being gay. 

I think Onorato needs our votes b/c Pennsylvania would be better if this legislation passed.  But I also believe a full court press for him to ante up on this issue is necessary. 

How about that?  I think Onorato is like Obama and man that just blows my mind.

Vote.  It is all we got, folks.

BTW, I like Nancy Pelosi.




View Article  The Big Gay 2010 Political Wrap Up ...

I got nothing.  You can vote Team Democrat and hope for the best.  Or you can vote for the best commercial.  Or the candidates least likely to have to defend themselves from being labeled a witch. 

I tried to write a thoughtful analysis, but the only person I have any respect for is Joe Sestak.  Well, I do like Pat Murphy but he doesn't live here and most of you do. 

I say go with the Democrats even though a lot of them suck on LGBT issues and will probably contribute to the Obama Administration complete failure to lead. Yeah, we'll get a few more crumbs.  But, frankly, Onorato's lackluster do nothing attitude toward providing health insurance for his current employees (aka domestic partner benefits) does not bode well for him to develop a spine in the next four years.  Let's hope Dan Frankel and Daylin Leach can beat back the Christian whackos for awhile and someone else emerges in 2014.

You know what I feel like?  The woman who thinks Charlie Batch is the best human being on the entire team and yet has to sit back and watch the most horrible excuse for a man get all the glory.  Does that seem like the American way? 


Go team. 

View Article  First, the banal ...

I've been off the radar for over a week.  I needed to recharge and rethink some of the ridiculous aspects of, well, everything. 

I've half-heartedly paid attention to the polls, but it was just last week I changed my screen-saved from "Elect Joe Hoeffel" to be honest with you.  Hardly a rousing endorsement.

I also had some thoughts about the concept of being "out" and how it really should be open to interpretation of the individual.  The key is that the person has to tell other people if they are our or not.  I think a lot of folks, including myself, sort of assume that out is out.  While we don't parade around (well, only once a year) with banners, it seems like we try to lead authentic lives. 

All of us, I must say, fail.

For example, I work with clients and must maintain certain professional boundaries to provide good services. So our rule is that we don't discuss our families in the sense of sharing the names of our spouses or details about children.  Pretty much we leave it at "I'm married with 3 kids" ... enough for some chit chat, but not enough to interfere with the "we aren't friends" boundary.  Except ... my stating that "I'm partnered with no kids" is a little bit more interference.  My sexual orientation doesn't interfere with my capacity to do my job and it has never been an issue with my colleagues at my current workplace (except Verizon but that's another story).  But it is true that being gay could get in the way of my work with clients so I just say nothing.  They all assumem I'm unmarried with no kids.  It isn't a big deal and I'm more than willling to make that compromise b/c who I am as a person leads to lots of opportunities for that casual chit chat -- I have dogs and cats, I like soap operas, etc.  It is fine. 

But it is not authentic.  It is not authentic because of the social structures that teach people that a gay identity is lesser.  I'm pretty much willing to blame churches for just about anything now since I think gay reparation therapy is one of the leading causes that kids are killing themselves. 

But I also knowingly take the risk that any resident could find out at any time. I have this blog, I'm quoted in the paper, I might be on WTAE this week.  Yeah, it is a risk.  And if it comes up, I'm already prepared to handle it.  Because I don't think it will really be a problem since I've done a good job and I've established a positive relationship with my clients. 

This week, I have a work event.  Ledcat will come (b/c she rocks) and I will be proud to introduce her. 

OK, I gotta blog about politics so enough of this ...


View Article  LGBTQ folks rally to reelect Congressman Patrick Murphy - PA

Congressman Murphy is possibly the only candidate in the entire nation that has the backing of the entire gay community, from Beltway insiders to jailed activists. He's been on the frontlines about repealing DADT and makes no apologies. 

If you've been paying attention to LGBT politics, you're most likely aware that the rift between Gay, Inc and well, the rest of us, is deep and divisive and damaging.  There is no gay body politic and that won't change soon.  Still, something very unique has transpired.  The community has rallied to demonstrate that our collective political will can make a difference by rallying around Congressman Murphy. 

See for yourself.  Recognize anyone?

There's a concerted push to get gay and allied attention on this election.  You can follow Congressman Murphy on Twitter http://twitter.com/patrickmurphypa which helps you stay in touch during this final push but also puts you in the drivers seat in a critical race, rather than continuing to sit back and wait. 

Rather than a laundry list of reasons to support Murphy (watch the video), I want you to consider the magnitude of the video. This is exactly what a defined constituency should be doing ... finding common ground and pouring energy into that cause, both to effect change (electing an ally) and to develop a cohesive identity that is driven by the grassroots and Gay, Inc.  In other words, organizing. 

I do not believe LGBT people should be contributing a single penny to the national, statewide or local party, period.  The Democrat party has abandoned the gay community and doesn't deserve our support.  Focusing on the candidates who have earned our support through their deeds (not just their words) is clearly the best way to go.  We sidestep the ridiculously murky bashing tactics of claiming "any Democrat is better than a Republican" which is an immature attempt by politicos to control your vote rather than encourage you to think for yourselves. 

Your vote is precious and significant.  Those politicos wouldn't be scrambling otherwise, even if their tactics are irritating.  Your participation in an LGBT political movement is equally precious.  Lending your twitter account, your donations and your attention to the Murphy and Sestak campaigns is a way to be part of that momentum on your own terms.  And the politicos will be happy b/c the quasi allies like Onorato will get the coattail effect. 

If Murphy is successfully reelected, it will be fascinating to see if there's fallout for the LGBT community on a national scale.  Locally?  Eh, I'm not too hopeful we'll see any twitches left of center anytime soon.  Too few resources controlled by too few persons.  But one never knows. 

View Article  Spirit Day 10-20-2010

It does get better. You approach your 40th birthday and embrace the gifts of maturity.  My partner and I are living the life, so to speak.  We have good jobs where we can be ourselves for the most part.  We have built a home together filled with a lot of real moments, including moments that have been sad and dark and devastating.  But we have each other.  Life is not perfect, but it is better.  Our parents realized they loved us more than they believed their prejudices.  They don't talk about us being gay, but they are part of our lives and it really is okay.  And for those who don't ... you fill your life with others.  You embrace your friends and appreciate the many ways they support and lift you up. 

I'm a firm believer that sometimes you just need to close your eyes and believe it will get better.  It always has, in some small incremental way. It isn't easy, painless or glamorous, but it is about believing in ourselves in some small way.

My favorite moment of each day is when I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.  I come back to bed and Ledcat is asleep.  I always - ALWAYS - stop and think of how lucky I am to snuggle back into bed with someone who loves me with all of her heart and soul.  That soothes me right back to sleep.  It is the most precious  moment of the day for me and I truly know that it will continue to get better. 

The darkness is real, I know. But there is light and there is hope and there is so much love to surround each of us. Sometimes, you need to let that lift you up and carry you through.  Until it gets better for you.

View Article  PA Senate Race - a dead heat?

Step back, naysayers.  It appears we have a race.  According to poll data released today, Sestak LEADS the race, 46-45. 

You can put Pennsylvania Senate back in the toss up category. Joe Sestak leads Pat Toomey 46-45 in our newest poll of the race, erasing the 9 point deficit he had in an August PPP survey.

Toomey's support has remained stagnant over the last 2 months while Sestak's has gone up 10 points from 36% to 46%. There are three main factors driving the increased competitiveness of the race:

-Democratic voters are getting more engaged as election day moves closer. Barack Obama won Pennsylvania by 10 points in 2008 but our August survey in the state found those planning to vote in November had actually supported John McCain by a point in 2008, suggesting a massive drop off in Democratic turnout. Now those saying they will vote next month supported Obama by 4 points in 2008. The enthusiasm gap is still there but it's not as severe a problem for Democrats as it was 2 months ago.

-Sestak has wiped out what was an enormous deficit with independents. In August Toomey led 50-27 with them. He hasn't really lost any support with them but Sestak has picked up most of the undecided ones and now trails only 49-48 with that voter group. Most Democratic candidates across the country are down double digits with independents so for Sestak to be running even with them is a good sign for him.

-The Democratic base is unifying more around Sestak. In August there was a considerable party unity gap in this race with Toomey winning 74% of Republicans while Sestak was getting only 64% of Democrats. Toomey is still benefiting from greater unity with his party's voters, getting 82% of Republicans, but Sestak is up to 77% of Democrats. While it persists that unity gap is half the size of what it was in August.

Interesting.  Pennsylvania could really be a battleground this year and this data can only help Dan Onorato. 

I'm mulling over the conclusions in my personal experiences.  My enthusiasm gap feels a little less rigid, but I'll admit that the "bash 'em over the head for turning traitor" approach is leaving a sour taste in my mouth.  I'm tired of people with privileges I don't have lecturing me about getting on board. 

The LGBT community is certainly rallying around Sestak from what I've seen in local social media.  It will be interesting to see how this plays our over the next few weeks. 




Received this via email tonight ...

If you are Christian and have struggled with friends, family, or religious enthusiasts that quote scripture to disprove or reject your sexuality,  you are invited to participate in this enlightening 8 week course at First United Methodist Church. We have been adamantly open to the gay community for decades. You are more than welcome. 


CLAIMING THE PROMISE, an eight week Bible study

First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh
Sundays, October 24 through December 19, 9:30-10:45am


First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh invites you to an eight week Bible study exploring same gender love in relationship to Christian scripture.  The course is open to all  who are  looking for words to respond to the seven familiar biblical texts or are struggling with what they have heard others say compared to what they know in their hearts.


 Beginning Sunday, October 24 and ending December 19 (8 Weeks), Jeff Miller, Austin Hornyak, and Bob Wilson will facilitate a Sunday School Class (9:30-10:45).  This class is appropriate for teens through seniors; for persons who have given significant consideration to this concern and for those who are just beginning to reflect on them.


This study will help you

?         Identify assumptions about biblical authority and how to engage in biblical interpretation

?         Examine alternate understanding of biblical references that people sometimes apply negatively

?         Explore the place of those biblical references within a comprehensive understanding of the

           Bible's liberating message of justice-love and freedom in Christ.

?        Claim the promise of being God's heirs apparent by as welcoming, reconciling disciples of Christ.


If you have questions, please feel free to contact   Robert Wilson, Pastor, First United Methodist Church  at 412-681-4222  or  a49always@ alum.bu.edu

First United Methodist Church is located at the corners of Baum Blvd. and Centre, Liberty, and Aiken Avenues between Shadyside, Bloomfield, and Friendship (next to the all night Wendy?s)   412-681-4222. wwwFirstUMCPittsburgh.org  

View Article  National Coming Out Day

It is October 11, 2010.

How are you acknowledging or honoring this event?

I'm going to come out to someone.  Not sure whom that will be.  Social media won't count.

Stay tuned ...

View Article  LGBT Sestak Rally

 Joe Sestak needs every one of his LGBT allies to stand with the campaign next Friday, October 8, to show the public what is really at stake.  We will be gathering at 11am in the courtyard of the County Courthouse, 414 Grant St., to deliver a press statement on behalf of the Congressman.  Representative Dan Frankel and Councilman Bruce Kraus will be on hand to speak for the campaign.

Believe it or not, we have less than five weeks until we decide who our next U.S. Senator will be.  The stakes are high; but, I am sure, that with your help, Pennsylvania will make the right decision.  The key word being help.  Now is the time for members of the LGBT community to get off the sidelines and get into the game.  We all know that progress doesn?t just happen; we have to fight for it.  

Joe has co-sponsored a number of bills directly affecting our community that include, but are not limited to, the following:
    *Respect for Marriage Act to repeal DOMA
    *Military Readiness Enhancement Act to end Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell
    *Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
    *Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA)
    *Family Medical Leave Act

With Pat Toomey as the next Senator, the LGBT community will not only fail to gain an ally, we will be up against strong opposition.  Just look at his record.  In 2004, Pat Toomey supported a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as being between a man and woman.  If that isn?t bad enought, Pat Toomey voted to prohibit health benefits for domestic partners and ban adoptions by LGBT couples.  He also failed to support every piece of legislation the Congressman sponsored above, and more.  

*With less than five weeks to go, it is also imperative to bring the necessary attention to our cause.  One of the most effective ways of doing this is to get out as many letters to the editor as possible.  Joe needs every one of his LGBT supporters to send in at least one Letter to the Editor to your local newspapers every week:  http://joesestak.ning.com/page/letter-to-the-editor.  Don't forget to send me a copy as well!
*Help organize friends and colleagues to join us in the final weekend before Election Day on November 2nd to knock on doors, make phone calls, and ensure people are getting to the polls.
View Article  Trib Letter to the Editor

It has been awhile.  Thankfully, Kris Saunders of Squirrel Hill has brought back the homobigot rant to the editorial page of the Tribune Review.  Kris is of the mindset that the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church is a result of rampant tolerance of homosexuality.

But it is odd that the Trib, which has called for a societal endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle by granting same-sex couples the "right" to get married, would attack the church on the basis of the notorious priest sex abuse scandal, in which the homosexual lifestyle played such a major role.

That scandal only proves, once again, that too many Catholics aren't faithful to the teachings of the church and the example of the saints. Indeed, if more bishops had followed the example of Cardinal Peter Damian, a canonized saint and doctor of the church who had zero tolerance for homosexual behavior among the clergy, there would never have been such a scandal -- while the Trib, I suppose, would consider this saint a homophobic "bigot."

Now I'm not quite sure I understand.  Is Kris arguing that the Trib is being inconsistent by lifting up homosexuality, but failing to demonize the homosexuals for destroying the Catholic Church?

Let's take a gander at Cardinal Peter Damian ... from the lovely Wikipedia ... I learned that this is the guy who invented flagellation.

A zealot for monastic and clerical reform, he introduced a more severe discipline, including the practice of flagellation ("the disciplina"), into the house, which, under his rule, quickly attained celebrity, and became a model for other foundations, even the great abbey of Monte Cassino: subject-hermitages were founded at San Severino, Gamogna, Acerreta, Murciana, San Salvatore, Sitria and Ocri. There was much opposition outside his own circle to such extreme forms of penitence, but Peter's persistent advocacy ensured its acceptance, to such an extent that he was obliged later to moderate the imprudent zeal of some of his own hermits.

There's more ... namely The Book of Gomorrah: An Eleventh Century Treatise Against Clerical Homosexual Practices

Clearly, Peter had issues with homosexuality.  What gets lost in Kris' letter is the fact that Peter also had issues with the abuse of power by those in authority.  Would his censure of pedophiles who are homosexual end there or would he have the perception to see the deep corruption that covered up these sins and literally led lambs to the slaughter by refusing to exercise authority in the best interests of children, not the Church?

Who knows?  But it certainly is interesting reading and, as always, I appreciate a good letter to the editor! 




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