Archive for January, 2010

Freedom to Marry Events Continue

January 31, 2010

Submitted by FreedomtoMarryPA.org

For 2010, the Freedom To Marry Rally for Harrisburg has exploded into a whole slew of events designed to educate and demonstrate that marriage equality is a civil right and religious liberty issue.

Events are as follows, please note the change in the debate to Monday evening, Feb. 8th instead of Tuesday:

– Jan 30: Session within the PA Progressive Summit
– Feb 6: Social Mixer & Drag Show: Miss Queen of Free Hearts
– Feb 7: Setup PDN Photo Project in the CAPITOL ROTUNDA!! For the Whole Week.
– Feb 8: Meet Your Senator and Representative
– Feb 8: Press Conference
– Feb 8: March & Rally
– Feb 8: Marriage Equality Debate: Sen. Daylin Leach vs. Maggie Gallagher
– Feb 11: Celebration of Faiths that Affirms Marriage Equality
– Feb 13: Central PA Womyn’s Chorus Hosts V-Day Dinner & Dancing
– Feb 14: UU Blessing of Same-Gender Couples
– Feb 16: The Interfaith Alliance Hosts a Discussion on Marriage Equality

For all the details, see http://FreedomToMarryPA.org
or join the Facebook group “Freedom To Marry Rally – Harrisburg PA”

Want to Win Ani DiFranco Tickets at Strand Capitol?

January 30, 2010

Ani DiFranco Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m., Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center

Ani DiFranco appears Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. at York’s Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center. Want to win a pair of tickets? Send an email to – events@strandcapitol.org – and include name, address, phone and email inside the email. Answer the Trivia Question sent to you by Strand-Capitol. Winners will be chosen by Strand Capitol from entries correctly answering the question. Deadline is Tues., Feb. 2, 5 p.m.

DiFranco is a punk folksinger who writes songs that can appeal to old folkies and simultaneously climb the college radio charts. She tours on the acoustic, college, and rock club circuits, shattering stereotypes and winning over unsuspecting fans everywhere.

Check out a video – http://www.strandcapitol.org/currentseason/calendar/view.asp?id=3505

Community Center and Lancaster Pride Announce Partnership

January 28, 2010

Submitted by LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central PA

After several weeks of thoughtful discussion and conversation, the LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central PA and Lancaster Pride are pleased to announce the formation of a unique partnership between their two organizations.

Formally known as a fiscal sponsorship agreement, the partnership creates an arrangement between the Center and Lancaster Pride akin to the project agreements used by a number of community foundations. Basically, the center will manage much of the administrative duties of Lancaster Pride and in exchange receive a fee based on a percentage from their project revenues. Lancaster Pride will now have the ability to operate under the center’s non-profit status and market itself as a “Project of the LGBT Community Center.”

“We reached out to the center to discuss ways we could work together,” says Lancaster Pride co-chair, Chris Baldwin, “and they were really open to hearing our ideas and looking for a solution that would help us both. The conversations that followed were easy and thorough and we talked about everything. It was the kind of open conversations that partners have, and I’m really pleased with the outcome. I honestly think that it will make the lives of both groups better.”

Center board president Ted Martin expanded on Baldwin’s sentiments. “The center is always looking for the best ways to support the community. That is our purpose and all our efforts are aimed at making this one goal tangible. This partnership with Lancaster Pride is a proud moment and it makes our mission of finding common ground for the region’s lgbt community just a little more real. Plus, we are helping a great organization like Lancaster Pride grow and that’s a tremendously positive feeling.”

Under the agreement, Lancaster Pride will maintain all of its officers and volunteer leadership and keep full control of the event and organization. “That’s one of the key elements of the agreement” says Martin. “On a working level, the only major changes will be how Pride’s banking is done and that they can now function as a non-profit organization. We really worked hard to find a way for Pride to maintain its identity, leadership, and place in the community while giving the center the ability to maintain its operational standing.”

“In everything that we talked about, it seemed that the center was always interested in supporting the work that Pride was already doing. They said this repeatedly and stuck by their word,” agreed Lancaster Pride co-chairs Chris Baldwin and Mark Stoner. “That was an important factor in making this agreement happen.”

The missions of both Lancaster PRIDE and the LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central PA, while different in phrasing, both involve the betterment of the lives of the many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender citizens of central Pennsylvania.

For more information on Lancaster PRIDE, go to http://www.lancasterpride.org or call (717) 669-2558.

For more information on The LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central PA, go to http://www.centralpalgbtcenter.org or call (717) 920-9534.

Obama Pledges to Work with Congress on DADT

January 28, 2010

In his first official State of the Union address before Congress, President Obama tonight pledged to work with Congress on DADT in 2010.

In the context of comments on diversity, Obama said: “Abroad, America’s greatest source of strength has always been our ideals. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else.

We must continually renew this promise. My administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination. We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate. This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. We are going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws — so that women get equal pay for an equal day’s work. And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system — to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nations.”

Prop 8 Expected to End at Noon Today Pacific Time

January 27, 2010

With the Prop 8 trail nearing it’s end at today at noon before closing arguments are scheduled, Rick Jacobs, Chair of the Courage Campaign Institute, says “Given the devastating testimony of defense witnesses, it is no wonder that Protect Marriage tried to keep cameras out of the courtroom. If their witnesses had been revealed to the public, Americans would have seen the Prop 8’s fear-mongering campaign exposed.

The trail goes into hiatus until Judge Walker determines a date for closing arguments.

In anticipation of closing arguments yet to be scheduled, Jacobs says “This trial is a historic marker in the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality,” Jacobs says. Given the devastating testimony of defense witnesses, it is no wonder that Protect Marriage wanted to keep cameras out of the courtroom. If their witnesses had been revealed to the public, Americans would have seen the Prop 8’s fear-mongering campaign exposed. The past 11 days of trial laid bare the truth about the Prop 8 proponents. The foundation of the Prop 8 campaign strategy was exposed, a strategy intentionally fueled by lies and misinformation about gay men and lesbians.”

Trail testimony grew explosive when Prop 8 experts witnesses admitted they thought “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the “Defense of Marriage Act” are “official discrimination” against lgbt people.

“We saw indisputable evidence that Ron Prentice and Protect Marriage coordinated closely and relied upon the Catholic Church, the Latter Day Saints Church, the Family Research Council, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and the National Organization for Marriage to get Prop. 8 on the ballot and win through a campaign of lies and fear-mongering,” Jacobs says.

Jacobs noted the “horrifying video evidence that Prop 8 proponents would compare marriage equality to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and imply that marriage equality will open the door to pedophilia, incest and bestiality.”

“The results of this trial are crystal clear to us, thanks to the evidence presented and the work of the plaintiffs’ lawyers to bring the truth to light. The Prop 8 proponents are motivated by deep prejudice with a complete disregard for justice or fairness. Our hope is that we will see a decision based on the facts clearly demonstrating the discrimination same-sex couples face and the need and benefit to society of equal treatment under the law.”

Central Voice Brings You Another Installment of Gay TV News

January 27, 2010

Screen the Jan. 22 broadcast of “Gay USA,” a weekly news-hour, offering comprehensive news and analysis by and about the LGBTQ community, lively repartee between hosts Ann Northrop and Andy Humm and interviews with special guests.

In this installment, Northrop and Humm discuss the federal case against Proposition 8 in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the proceedings can’t be televised; a look back at President Barack Obama’s first year in office on LGBT rights and AIDS issues; a report on LGBT Haiti relief efforts; and an update on the Ugandan bill against gay rights in that country.

Link: http://www.freespeech.org/video/gay-usa-january-19-2010

Explosive Documents Expose Prop. 8 Campaign Tactics

January 26, 2010

“This evidence is not just a smoking gun. It was an arsenal of incendiary devices directed at the LGBT community and voters. This is how the Prop 8 side won -– through fear and lies.”
Rick Jacobs, Chair, Courage Campaign Institute

Rick Jacobs, Chair of the Courage Campaign Institute issued the following statement on the Prop 8 campaign videos and documents introduced into evidence this morning in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial. The new evidence shows how the Prop 8 campaign tried to link marriage equality to incest, bestiality, pedophilia and polygamy:

“This morning’s evidence made the Prop 8 side’s strategy crystal clear –- use fear and lies to promote hate. It is horrifying that Prop 8 proponents would compare marriage equality to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and imply that marriage equality will open the door to pedophilia, incest and bestiality.”

“Ron Prentice, Andrew Pugno and their Prop 8 team — with the highly capable and apparently deeply cynical leadership of Frank Schubert — created a permanent campaign to scare voters into believing that same-sex marriage would threaten children, undermine America and lead to every form of illicit behavior imaginable.”

“This evidence is not just a smoking gun. It was an arsenal of incendiary devices directed at the LGBT community and voters. This is how the Prop 8 side won -– through fear and lies.”

“Finally, this morning we saw indisputable, documented evidence in the form of emails and videos that Ron Prentice and Protect Marriage coordinated closely and relied upon the Catholic Church, the LDS Church, the Family Research Council, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and the National Organization for Marriage to get Prop. 8 on the ballot and to win through a campaign of lies.”

“Last week, the Supreme Court erased decades of precedent by ruling that corporations have the same rights as people when it comes to speech. Let’s hope that the court will as readily see that LGBT people have at least the same rights as corporations and surely the same rights as other people.”

Report LGBT Health Disparities

January 25, 2010

An Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee is preparing the federal government’s first report on lgbt health and health disparities.

The report will assess current scientific knowledge regarding the health of lgbt people, identify research gaps and opportunities related to lgbt health, and outline a research agenda that will assist the government in enhancing its research efforts in this area.

Public comments are being taken until Feb. 1.

The National Coalition for LGBT Health encourages you to make your voice heard by commenting on issues that the panel should take into consideration when preparing the report. Issues that we encourage comments on include:

Gaps in current knowledge regarding lgbt health status, health risks, health disparities, and whether LGBT people have access to high-quality health care that takes all aspects of their lives into account.

The importance of family and social acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity differences on the mental health and personal safety of lgbt people.

The need for research at the intersections of disparity factors such as race, ethnicity, age, geography, sexual orientation and gender identity to determine how overlapping disparities effect the health of lgbt people.

The effects of social determinants and cultural factors, including stigma, discrimination, and violence, on the physical and mental health of lgbt people.

The importance of counting the lgbt community by including questions about gender identity and sexual orientation on federal and state health surveys.

While data-based comments are helpful, we also suggest providing qualitative, “real life” feedback that vividly illustrates the impact of lgbt health disparities on members of our community.

Go here to comment:
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/feedback.aspx?key=49182&type=project

Central Voice Brings Readers Gay USA TV News

January 22, 2010

Central Voice now brings readers and web site members Gay USA TV News. Watch your email for program notices.

The program is a weekly one-hour news program devoted to in-depth coverage of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues on a local, state, national and international level. The format also includes guest interviews.

Invite friends to access the program by going to thecentralvoice.ning.com for a free enrollment.

For the program covering Jan. 15-22, go to
http://www.freespeech.org/video/gay-usa-01-08-10


The program is hosted by veteran lgbt civil rights activists Andy Humm and Ann Northrup.

Gay USA begins with a quick introduction by Humm and Northrop then moves into news segments as viewed from the gay perspective. Regular segments include gay news, AIDS news, and entertainment news.

Longtime journalist and activist, Northrop has worked for the National Journal and has reported on all branches of the federal government including The White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. Northrop has also worked for ABC Sports, Ms. , and Ladies’ Home Journal, as well as a writer-producer for ABC’s Good Morning America and a producer for the CBS Morning News and has worked with Diane Sawyer, Bill Kurtis, Forrest Sawyer, Maria Shriver, Phyllis George, Charlie Rose and Meredith Vieira.

As a gay news reporter, Humm has covered virtually every major gay and AIDS news story since the 1980s. He’s covered Democratic and Republican National Conventions. His interviews include, titled according to their political position at the time of the interview, include Governors Bill Clinton and George Pataki; Senators Bill Bradley, Joseph Lieberman, Chuck Schumer, and Bob Dole; Representatives Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, and Richard Gephardt. Activists interviewed by Humm include Jesse Jackson, Gloria Steinem, Al Sharpton, and Larry Kramer. Humm has interviewed actors Matthew Broderick and Ian McKellen as well as authors Alan Hollinghurst, Ned Rorem, and Martin Duberman.

Humm has been interviewed on the CBS Evening News, the Geraldo Show, Charlie Rose, Fox TVs Hannity & Colmes, America’s Talking with Chris Matthews, The Maury Povich Show, the Alan Colmes and Barry Farber radio shows, all New York City TV newscasts, and is a frequent guest on NY-1 TVs Inside City Hall. Humm’s opinion-editorials have appeared in the The New York Times, New York Post, Daily News and Newsday.

Gay USA is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

Pride Organizations Meet

January 21, 2010

With planning virtually nonstop from one year to the next, both the region’s organizations are busy at work on this year’s events. Both volunteer organizations began their 2010 planning cycle with an open invitation to the community, organizations, leaders, and potential volunteers. “This is great,” said Lancaster Pride chair leader Mark Stoner looking out to room of about 25 people. “Pride is an event put on for the entire lgbt community, our allies and friends,” said Central PA Pride Festival president Jeff Clouser to the 32 people assembled.

Lancaster Pride is June 19, Buchanon Park, Lancaster. Central PA Pride Festival is July 23, 24, 25.