Friday, April 30
by Sue on Fri 30 Apr 2010 08:04 AM EDT
Good for Thomas Hutter for stepping forward and standing up to discrimination and harassment.
It takes courage to file a complaint, much less go public with your story. Everyone who worked to pass this ordinance should feel good that your work paid off for Mr. Hutter and others.
This also reinforces the need to keep working for similar protections across Pennsylvania (HB 300) and the nation (ENDA).
I urge you to click through and read the whole story. Sad experiences.
by Sue on Fri 30 Apr 2010 07:57 AM EDT
HOEFFEL TO CHALLENGE CANDIDATES ON NATURAL GAS EXTRACTION:
Joe Hoeffel will discuss drilling in
Who: Joe Hoeffel, Democratic Candidate for Governor
Terri Davin, Friends of Dunkard Creek
What: Joe Hoeffel, Democrat for governor, will discuss the economic development potential and challenges to environment and infrastructure related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale.
Where: Joe Hoeffel 2010 Headquarters,
When: 12:00pm, Friday, April 30
* PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - Following the press conference, Joe Hoeffel and volunteers will make calls to voters around the state to discuss the Marcellus Shale issue.
The press is invited to observe.
The extraction of Marcellus Shale natural gas represents a new economy for
Thursday, April 29
by Sue on Thu 29 Apr 2010 09:36 PM EDT
The good word from this week's Pittsburgh City Paper is good for Pittsburgh's Progressive Community ... the Gertrude Stein Political Club of Pittsburgh has found new leaders to keep this legendary institution going strong.
Gertrude Stein has been THE political voice for the LGBT community for 30 years, a role they now share with the Steel City Stonewall Democrats. The prospect of losing that rich history, including a significant level of participation by the heterosexual community, would be a travesty.
You can check the slate cards yourself here, dating back to 1999.
The Club hasn't been afraid to take hard stances when it comes to their endorsements. In 2003, the Pittsburgh Tavern Guild barred the Club materials from their businesses and forbid their entry for the traditional "bar crawl" to promote the endorsed candidates. The Tavern Guild objected to the group's failure to endorse then City Councilman Gene Riccardi. Riccardi is against a woman's right to choose, thus conflicting with the Club's stated values.
The bar owners were incensed and did not hesitate to flex their considerate political muscle.
Sad that otherwise educated men fail to recognize the political connection between LGBT equal rights and choice. This disconnect continues to amaze me, but that's another post.
Gertrude Stein perservered, remaining committed to the member driven priorities. And here we are ... they are still considered a progressive powerhouse in this region.
Kudos to Todd Bryner for stepping up to maintain the credibility and authority of the Gertrude Stein club to Pittsburgh's LGBT community. I encourage you to join the organization and help build up the ranks. I look forward to what the future brings in regard to LGBT politics.
I also want to give a little shout out to the City Paper's Lauren Daley, a relatively recent addition to the City Paper staff. I was very impressed with the time and energy she's invested in getting to know the LGBT community. Sitting through a two hour political meeting to simply get a feel for the local LGBT political scene speaks volumes about the quality of the City Paper and the increasing significance of our community, politically speaking.
All in all, a good week
Wednesday, April 28
by Sue on Wed 28 Apr 2010 07:56 AM EDT
The Post-Gazette has another look at the Governor's race with an emphasis on economic issues.
Here's there take on Hoeffel ...
We don't often talk about progressive economic issues. We also don't talk about the connections between social issues and economic issues. HB 300 which would protect our jobs, housing and public accomodation is grounded in strengthening the economy. It is a jobs bill, for God's sake. The data shows the contributions the LGBT community make to the locals in which they live; improving our access to good jobs, decent housing and opportunities to spend our money in public is good for the economy.
All of the candidates say they support this, but I trust Joe to see its relevance to turning Pennsylvania around and using his office to get the legislation passed instead of waiting for someone else to bring it to his desk.
I want a good budget and I believe Joe Hoeffel is the smart candidate who sees the connections between social and economic issues.
Here is Joe's plan.
Tuesday, April 27
by Sue on Tue 27 Apr 2010 08:59 PM EDT
Tobias has given permission for this to be published.
Please read this ...
by Sue on Tue 27 Apr 2010 08:34 AM EDT
No one from the Pennsylvania delegation serves on this committee. Would you participate if they did? Would you risk arrest and/or being cited?
When I think about this, I have to keep in my mind my career as a social worker. I have to maintain my criminal history clearances, both in PA and through the FBI. Given the disparity with which arresting officials and the courts respond to these demonstrations ... it is a tough call.
Or I am just taking the easy way out? We don't have a direct action group in Pittsburgh except for Bash Back and that's not quite what I'm looking for. It would be great to sit down with the old school activists and have that conversation.
Monday, April 26
by Sue on Mon 26 Apr 2010 08:53 PM EDT
What do you think of the new look? May is Ledcat's birthday and blue is her favorite color. Don't worry. I have a real gift hidden ... well, I can't tell you because she does read this. I think. At least she fakes it well. Nonetheless, blue.
Today seemed to be the day of multiple links I won't have a chance to discuss.
The Phelpsians are going to picket the graduation ceremony of Constance McMillen.
Iraq. It ain't pretty. Be grateful and keep pressing on here in America so have more power to advocate for our sisters and brothers struggling around the world.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is coming up on May 17, 2010.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi plans a 2010 vote on repealing DADT.
The Washington Blade is back.
Locally, Pittsblog 2.0 comments on increasing solicitations of bloggers. I don't have this problem. :-)
Ms. Mon is sticking by her Buccos.
Potter has a little delve into the continuum of anti-choice candidates, including the "recovered" lifers. Prochoicifers is my choice term.
by Sue on Mon 26 Apr 2010 03:22 PM EDT
Attached is the letter to Senator John McCain from First Class Petty Officer Lonnie Allen.
Update 4:45 PM
The protestors are not from Get Equal or Equality Across America. They belong to an Arizona organization called HERO (Human and Equal Rights Organizers) based on Phoenix.
The protestors are reported to have been arrested, cited and released.
Photo from the event courtesy of Luis Garcia.
Meg Sneed, Jimmy Gruender, Lee Walters, (Lonnie) Allen Howard-Stidham and Luisa Valdez
More photos here. (h/t Feast of Fun)
Five protestors are staging a sit-in at Senator John McCain's office to demand the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Staff is threatening to have them arrested. They are demanding to speak with the Senator.
Also, new group - Equal Across the US in the spirit of Get Equal.
Follow on Twitter
No hashtag yet.
by Sue on Mon 26 Apr 2010 08:50 AM EDT
I saw this a few days ago on Facebook, but lost track of time posting. It was picked up by the Post-Gazette.
What a twist. The long-time LGBT ally alleges the self-identified bisexual candidate is fraudulently identifying with the LGBT community.
Both candidates' positions feed right into ongoing biphobia pervading the LGBT community. Suggesting someone isn't really part of the gay community because they have an opposite sex relationship is a very common point of view. Using language such as "swing both ways," on the other hand, feeds right into that same mentality and certainly does not convey any sense of dignity or respect for bisexual men and women who don't have the privilege of wealth.
This is particularly interesting given the fact of three bisexual men suing the Gay Softball World Series for saying they didn't count as gay players. The team was disqualified for having too many straight players.
It seems people want some sort of measuring stick to determine if bisexual men and women are "gay enough." The biphobia that pervades Pittsburgh's LGBT community is pretty sad. Women rail against straight women coming into lesbian spaces to "experiment" with very little thought that they might really be struggling to figure out their identity. I agree they should be upfront about their intentions before dating, but sheesh ... do we only want tolerance for people who earn a gay card? How would you do that anyway?
Over a year ago, I was at a community leadership meeting where a respected leader actually said something to the effect that no one bisexual was present because they can't make up their minds, followed by a stupid giggle. It isn't funny and it certainly demonstrates that 1) he thought we'd agree with him and 2) he didn't know much about the folks in the room as there were bisexual persons present. Offensive and damaging to his causes.
Since that was a political meeting, it brings me back to the Josephs/Kravitz race. Babette Josephs is a known quantity who has proven she's qualified and understands the issues. I suspect she's outraged that someone is so blithe about their identity, knowing the struggles many in her district face. Kravitz may be bisexual, but that doesn't qualify him for office. Perhaps this public trial by fire will help him be a little more aware of the discrimination the LGBT community endures.
by Sue on Mon 26 Apr 2010 08:19 AM EDT
Quick notes this morning. Read this account from blogger and transgender activist Autumn Sandeen at Pam's House Blend. It describes her processing by US Federal Marshalls who treated her with disrespect and in direct violation of their own policies for processing transgender men and women. Autumn is a decorated military veteran who engaged in civil disobedience to protest Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This is shameful conduct on the part of the arresting officials.