Archive for May, 2009

Alternative Night at Excitement Video & Toys June 18

May 27, 2009

After a crowded first event with 65 people, Excitement Video & Toys holds a second “Alternative Night” June 18, 6-9 p.m. at their retail establishment at 3910 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg. (See photos on thecentralvoice.ning.com)

“Everyone is welcome. We’re here to serve the alternative community,” says Harrisburg manager Keith Sattizahn. The adult store is again offering free refreshments, exotic beverages, and snacks.

“We’re offering 10% off everything in the store,” says Kim Faubel, Excitement Video & Toys regional manager. There’s also Free Raffles for a chance at the Prize Wheel. Winners receive EV & T cash to spend that night on toys and other items.

“We want the community to know they’re welcome here and from the last attendance, looks like word is out,” Faubel says. “We’re a welcoming atmosphere where you can feel comfortable shopping and asking questions.”

The adult entertainment outlet offers DVD titles, toys, and quality lotions, liquids, and playful items, in association with Adult Video News. “We’re a glbt-friendly place,” Sattizahn says of the well lit, clean, and personable retail outlet.

Info: www.ExcitementVideoandToys.com

Calif’s Supreme Courts Takes Easy One

May 26, 2009

The California Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-sex
marriage today, ratifying a decision made by voters last year
that runs counter to a growing trend of states allowing the
practice.

The decision, however, preserves the 18,000 marriages
performed between the court’s decision last May that same-sex
marriage was lawful and the passage by voters in November of
Proposition 8, which banned it.

New Hampshire Says NO

May 21, 2009

New Hampshire House Voted Down Same-Sex Marriage Bill Because it Contained a Religious Liberty Protection Clause

http://www.LC.org

Manchester, NH – By a vote of 188-186, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a same-sex marriage bill because it contained a religious liberty protection clause. The state Senate had previously passed the bill along party lines by a vote of 14-10. Governor George Lynch, who is opposed to same-sex marriage, said he would veto the bill unless it contained a religious liberty protection amendment. The amendment was added to the House version of the bill, and that is where it met opposition by an openly homosexual member of the House, who lobbied against the bill because of the amendment.

The religious liberty protection amendment would affirm the right of clergy and others affiliated with religious organizations to refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. However, an openly homosexual state Representative, Steve Vaillancourt from Manchester, led the opposition to the bill because he was opposed to the religious liberty amendment and said the House should not be “bullied” by the Governor. Vaillancourt supports the prior version of the bill that did not provide protections for clergy. The earlier bill passed both chambers, but the Governor said he would veto the prior bill because it lacked the religious liberty protection amendment. There are not enough votes to override a veto by the Governor.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The good news is that the same-sex marriage bill did not pass. The bad news is that some legislators want to force clergy to perform same-sex marriages. This bill failed to garner enough votes because it contained a clause designed to protect clergy and religious institutions from being forced to conduct same-sex marriages. This should be a wakeup call for people who cherish freedom. The same-sex marriage agenda being advanced is on a collision course with the values and freedoms shared by most Americans. This is clear evidence that the end game is to force clergy and religious institutions to not just accept, but to celebrate and participate in same-sex marriages.”

Interim Program Director Position Available with LGBT Center Coalition

May 14, 2009

The LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central Pennsylvania is pleased to announce its search for an Interim Program Director. The successful candidate will have responsibility for implementing the initial operational and strategic priorities of the organization as determined by the Board of Directors.

The Interim Program Director will be a strong and collaborative leader with a proven track record in supervision, budgeting, and financial management in regard to organizational programming. The Interim Program Director will be responsible for leading the organization through implementation of our strategic plan and goals, particularly in the area of programming; recruiting, orienting, supervising and training staff and volunteers; providing for organizational policy and procedures; developing work plans based on organizational strategic plan; and motivating staff and volunteers in accomplishing responsibilities and goals. Excellent written and oral communications, creativity and networking are skills that will be possessed by the successful candidate.

The position reports to the Board of Directors, and is contemplated as a part-time (25 hours per week), temporary (6-month) position prior to the hiring of a full-time Executive Director. To obtain a full job description, please direct inquiries to lmarven@centralpalgbtcenter.org.

PHOTOS: Pride Dine Out & Stallions

May 13, 2009

Pride Festival of Central PA hosted Dine Out tonight (May 12), benefiting the region’s largest lgbt and allied event July 24-26 along the Susquehanna River. Participating restaurants were Zephyr’s Express, Mangia Qui, Nonna’s, and Liquid 891. The Parade preceding Pride that moves through downtown Harrisburg this year, in honor of the Stonewall Rebellion’s 40th Anniversary, features Stonewall Veteran’s Association members. And, then, of course, we have photos from the ever-popular Stallions Entertainment Complex.

White House Preparing Stonewall 40 Proclamation for June

May 7, 2009

Central Voice San Francisco Correspondent Michael Petrelis tells us President Obama is preparing a Stonewall 40 proclamation. Petrelis has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, CNN, ABC News, and National Public Radio and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Raw Story, The Chicago Tribune, The New Republic, and Stars & Stripes.

As reported by Petrelis:

Back in March, I had an idea regarding some proper national attention for the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City that launched the modern gay political movement – ask President Barack Obama to sign a proclamation commemorating this milestone.

President Obama

President Obama

My friend Patricia Nell Warren, author of the classic gay novel “The Front Runner” and a civil rights advocate for many years, agreed to draft such a proclamation for me to submit to the White House.

Since then, I’ve communicated with Brian Bond, an openly gay man in the White House Office of Public Liaison, about whether the LGBT community could depend on the president to build on the fabulous letter he sent last June to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club of San Francisco.

Today, Brian sent me this fabulous bit of news:

A draft is being prepared as we speak in preparation for June. First one since 2000!

Interesting that Bill Clinton issued a presidential proclamation honoring LGBT pride month in June 2000, his last year in the Oval Office, and Obama is getting ready to put forward a similar proclamation in his first year as president. Nice bit of progress!

Big shout of gratitude to Patricia for penning a wonderful draft proclamation, that got this ball rolling, and to Brian for advocating inside the White House for our president to honor Stonewall 40 next month.

I can’t wait to read the Stonewall 40 proclamation from Obama in a few short weeks. And to also say, “Thanks, Mr. President.”

What Every State Employee Should Know

May 4, 2009

Effective July 1, PA Employee Benefit Trust Fund eligible employees can extend their health benefits to domestic partners (same sex or opposite sex), according to Louis Marven, director of administration and youth programs, LGBT Community Center Coalition.

 

Benefits include:

Medical (HMO and PPO Only)

Prescription Drug

Dental

Vision

Hearing Aid

Many employers allow employees to extend benefits to cover domestic part­ners. A majority of Fortune 500 compa­nies, including Chevron, Coca-Cola, Eastman Kodak, Google, Home Depot, AT&T Inc., Nike and The Walt Disney Co. extend such benefits. A dozen sig­nificant Pennsylvania companies do so. Among them are Aramark, CIGNA, Comcast, Erie Insurance, Lincoln National, Mellon Financial, PNC Financial Group, Unisys and Rite Aid. Additionally, with this program, Pennsylvania joins 15 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – in allowing employees to extend health benefits to domestic partners.

To Apply
An employee may certify that another person is their domestic partner if they provide at least three of the following items:

Domestic partnership agreement as recognized by a governmental entity

Deed or lease evidencing common ownership of real property or a com­mon leasehold interest in property

Evidence of joint title to a motor vehicle

Driver’s license listing a common address

Proof of joint bank accounts or credit accounts

Proof of designation as a beneficiary for life insurance or retirement bene­fits or beneficiary designation under a partner’s will

Assignment of durable power of attorney

To apply for domestic partner bene­fits, employees should contact their human resource office and complete:

Employee Enrollment/Change Form (PEBTF-2)

PEBTF Domestic Partnership Verification Statement and Application for Health Benefits Form (PEBTF-12)

(Please note that the CDHP will not be available for domestic partnerships because the tax laws governing the associated Health Reimbursement Account will not permit its use in the majority of cases.)

Employees may apply for coverage beginning May 1 for an effective date of July 1, 2009. HR offices will not have the necessary forms prior to May 1, 2009.
 
Dependent Children
Coverage for domestic partners’ dependent children is also available. Children must reside in the household of the employee and domestic partner and documentation is required. Your local human resource office or the PEBTF can answer questions about covering these depen­dents.

Tax Implications
Health benefits provided to domestic partners are considered taxable income under federal and state laws. Additional information on the tax implications will be provided at enrollment and is posted on PEBTF’s website: www.pebtf.org.

Retirement
Employees who qualify for the Retired Employees Health Program (REHP) may continue coverage for domestic partners and dependents upon retirement. REHP benefits include medical and prescription drug only.

Termination of Domestic Partner Coverage
If a partnership ends, the employee must notify their local human resource office within 60 days and must complete:

Employee Enrollment/Change Form (PEBTF-2)

Individual Domestic Partnership Termination Statement Form (PEBTF-13)

At that time, a HIPAA notice and COBRA continuation of coverage notification will be mailed to the former domestic partner so that they may elect COBRA coverage if needed. Employees are responsible for reporting changes in a timely manner and are responsible for any claims incurred when dependents are not eligible for such benefits.

Additional information about domestic partner coverage may be found on the PEBTF website, www.pebtf.org, under News.

Black & White Over the Top!

May 3, 2009

SEE PHOTOS – With two big top tents this year, dozens of costumed characters, and outside stage show, a Silent Auction, floral arrangements like no others, restaurants from all over – and Sandra Bernhard inside – 2009 Black & White Party was again the region’s best party. The event supports Caring Together and The AIDS Fund of South Central PA.