Conservatives Visit Nevada in Campaign to Remove Anti-Gay Language From GOP Platform

New York - September 16, 2014 – Today, as part of its "Reform the Platform" campaign to remove anti-gay language from the 2016 GOP national platform, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is visiting Nevada to hold a series of meetings with state GOP officials and like-minded activists.
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The Amazon Trail: The Territorial

It wasn't possible in those days to be young and gay in NYC and not go to bars. One night I ended up at a place in Harlem called The Territorial. It greeted customers in the manner of prohibition speakeasies, with eyes peering through a window in a wooden door.
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Federal Judge Rules Arizona Must Respect Same-Sex Couple's Marriage

New York -September 12, 2014 – Today a federal judge ruled that the state of Arizona must respect the marriage of military veterans Fred McQuire and George Martinez, for the purposes of being listed as married on a death certificate. McQuire and Martinez were together for 45 years and married in California in July. Martinez passed away shortly after being diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, and Arizona state officials refused to list McQuire, the surviving partner, on the death certificate. McQuire, who is also battling a life-threatening illness, is barred from receiving Social Security survivor's benefits or veterans benefits, and is also at risk of losing his home, as a result of not being listed on Martinez's death certificate.
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Utah Submits Final Request Urging Supreme Court to Rule on Freedom to Marry

New York - September 10, 2014 – Today the state of Utah completed the paperwork asking the Supreme Court to review the 10th Circuit's ruling in Herbert v. Kitchen, affirming the freedom to marry and legal respect for same-sex couples' marriages in Utah. The case is now fully briefed and ready to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Herbert v. Kitchen, along with four other marriage cases from Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Virginia, will initially be considered at the Court's September 29 conference.  The other four will soon be fully briefed as well. 
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UN Human Rights Office Celebrates First Year of Global Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality with New Video

NEW YORK CITY, September 10, 2014 – Today, Free & Equal, the United Nations Human Rights Office's global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, releases "UN Free & Equal: One Billion Rising" a video highlighting the campaign's impact to date.
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Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Congratulates Maura Healey on Historic Win in Massachusetts Attorney General Primary

WASHINGTON - September 9, 2014 – Today the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation's largest resource for openly LGBT individuals in politics, congratulated Maura Healey on her victory in the Democratic primary election for Massachusetts Attorney General. If elected in November, Healey will become the first openly LGBT attorney general in the United States.
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ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Hear Indiana and Wisconsin Marriage Equality Cases

NEW YORK - September 9, 2014– The American Civil Liberties Union is filing responses today to petitions from Indiana and Wisconsin seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of a federal appellate court ruling last week striking down bans on marriage for same-sex couples in both states. The ACLU, which represents plaintiffs in both cases, has asked the Court to grant review in order to resolve the marriage equality issue for these two states and for the country as a whole.
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9th Circuit Hears Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii Marriage Cases

New York - September 8, 2014 – Today in San Francisco the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in marriage cases out of Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii, seeking both the freedom to marry and legal respect of same-sex couples' lawful marriages. This is the first time the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has heard a freedom to marry case since holding in SmithKline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories that discrimination based on sexual orientation requires heightened scrutiny – a presumption of unconstitutionality – by the courts.
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Millions to 'go purple' for Spirit Day in united stand against bullying, 10/16

New York, Friday, September 5, 2014 – GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today launched the countdown to Spirit Day, the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that supports LGBT youth.
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Obituary - Janice Louise Hanusik


Obituary - Janice Louise Hanusik

Janice Louise Hanusik - age 57 of Saint Cloud, Fl. passed away Tuesday September 2nd, 2014 with loved ones at her side. Janice was born November 1st, 1956 in Pittsburgh, Pa. but resided most of her life in Erie, Pa. She graduated from McDowell High in 1974 and later received an Associates Degree from Gannon University. Janice worked in the medical field for over 35 years and really enjoyed sharing her life with people in need. Her last job was as a medical assistant at Medicor, where she worked for 13 years in the pacemaker clinic until she had to retire due to her own heart issues.
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Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Marriage Equality Bans in Wisconsin and Indiana

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 4, 2014 -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has struck down marriage equality bans in Wisconsin and Indiana. In response, the National Gay and Lesbian Task has released the following statement:
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Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Indiana, Wisconsin Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

CHICAGO - September 4, 2014 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today affirmed district court rulings from Indiana and Wisconsin striking down the states’ marriage bans. The decision will go into effect in 21 days, unless the defendants seek a stay of the ruling. 
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Amici Briefs Filed With the Supreme Court

(Washington, DC, Sept. 4, 2014) Today, laying out the urgency of bringing an end to tangible harms and national disparities, states, businesses and family groups filed friend-of-the-court briefs with the Supreme Court urging the justices to grant review now in one or more of the cases that have reached the Court and promptly bring the country to national resolution. Although the signatories represent different constituencies and interests, they agree that the continuing injury and indignity inflicted on families by the deprivation of the constitutional guarantees of the freedom to marry and equal protection must end nationwide.
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down Indiana and Wisconsin Marriage Bans

New York- September 4, 2014 – Today the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, upholding lower-court decisions in Indiana and Wisconsin and rejecting marriage discrimination as a violation of the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Judge Richard Posner, appointed by President Reagan, wrote the unanimous opinion for the three-judge panel.
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Erie Pride Fest a Fun Day for All!

On Saturday,On Saturday, August 23, NW PA Pride Alliance held Erie Pride Fest. the day began with the Pride parade from the zone down to Perry square. About 150 people participated in the parade. Parade units included Erie Gay News, NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc., ACLU NW PA, Amisha Tribal Belly Dance, Marriage Equality for PA, Erie Sisters & Transgender Alliance of Western NY, Glass Growers Gallery, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties, PFLAG Butler, M & J’s Lounge, Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie, Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville, LBT Women of Erie, Jamestown Pride Society, and Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition.
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Cartoon Network Enlists One Million People to Share I Speak Up Online Videos to Kick off its Fifth Annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up Initiative

Cartoon Network Enlists One Million People to Share I Speak Up Online Videos to Kick off its Fifth Annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up Initiative
ATLANTA, Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As bullying continues to affect millions of kids nationwide, Cartoon Network is kicking off its annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign with a video call-to-action encouraging people to speak up on behalf of kids who need help. With a goal of attaining the combined voice of one million user-generated videos, the network is giving people the opportunity to say to the world, "I Speak Up." By proclaiming those three words into a mobile device and sharing the video at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com as well as their own social media platforms using the hashtag #ISpeakUp, participants are vowing to say something if they witness bullying.
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Task Force Mourns Loss, Celebrates Life of LGBTQ Community Leader Andrew Cray

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 3, 2014 -- At the end of last week, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force learned about the passing of Andrew Cray, who was selected by the organization as a 2009 Holley Law Fellow and also served as a founding member of Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW) - an organization that provides legal assistance to the transgender community in the DC area.
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REUNITED Drag Show at Dramashop

On Friday, August 22, Lovin Heart & DJ Tony G-Spot produced a joint fundraiser for Dramashop and NW PA Pride Alliance at Dramashop. REUNITED was the first time in a while Lovin & DJ Tony G-Spot hosted a show together as well as it was the first time in a while the performers had shared a stage. The show featured performances by Erie and Buffalo favorites Sasha Alexander, Jill Jamison, Britney Shea-Lace, Keeghan Getit, Cece Deshawn, Spike Flor, Diva D'Vyne-Island, Buffy Lynn Hayes, Fly Guy Shawn, Derion D'Vyne-Island, Mr. Manny, and Miss Erie 2014 Veronica Lace. Over $200 was raised for the two organizations. The evening also featured Lovin Heart, Veronica Lace, and Stephen Wells accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and issuing challenges of their own.
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Community United Church announces Theology on Tap and The Table programs

Community United Church, 1011 W 38th St, Erie PA recently announced 2 new programs, Theology on Tap and The Table
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Gender Non-conforming Teen Files Federal Lawsuit against SC DMV after Being Forced to Remove Makeup for Driver's License Photo

New York, NY - September 2, 2014 - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) today filed a federal lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles on behalf of a 16-year-old gender non-conforming teen who was targeted for discrimination last March. When he attempted to get his first driver's license, Chase Culpepper was told by the DMV that he could not take his license photo unless he removed the makeup that he wears on a regular basis.
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Annual Diversity Service on Oct 26

The Annual Diversity Service at Community United Church will take place on Sunday, October 26, 2014 beginning at 11:00 AM (1011 West 38th Street). The Diversity Service is one of the ways that Community United Church celebrates its mission as an "Open and Affirming" congregation. As an ecumenically Christian congregation, Community United Church believes it is important to publicly speak to--and stand as a witness for--the inclusion of LGBT people. We do so, not only as a matter of social justice, but also as a matter of embodying the Gospel. At Community United Church being LGBT or straight is celebrated as part of the diversity of creation--and we believe that all human relationships are holy that promote love, mutuality, and well-being. Pastors Jean Reidel, Jodi Shay, and Rich McCarty have all publicly signed on as faith voices in support of LGBT equality in PA, and all three warmly invite the LGBT community to attend the October 26 worship service. Community United Church is located at the intersection of West 38th Street and Cascade, a few blocks West of the Liberty Plaza.
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Candidate Night on October 2

Join NW PA Pride Alliance and other area LGBT organizations on Tuesday, October 2 at 7 PM at First Niagara Bank Community Room, 801 State Street, Erie PA. please enter by the door on E. 8th St. This is a great way to get informed about the General Election, which is on Tuesday, November 4. Free refreshments will be provided! This is a great way to meet with candidates who will be voting on issues relevant to our community.
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Catholics United Calls on Archbishop Chaput to Do More For the Transgender Community

Catholics United Calls on Archbishop Chaput to Do More For the Transgender Community
WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 27, 2014 – A transgender teen ended his own life in Croydon, Pennsylvania jumping in front of an amtrak train near Croydon station on Monday August 18th at 1:30 in the afternoon. According to his family and friends, 17 year old Riley Matthew Moscatel had been experiencing depression for years. Moscatel was frustrated about his body and was struggling with his gender identity. According to news reports, he posted on his instagram account that he was a prisoner of his own body not long before his death.
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Prominent Retired Generals: Military is Ready for Transgender Service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - August 26, 2014 – Three retired US military General Officers, including the former chief medical officer of the US Army, issued a joint statement today concluding that the military's ban on transgender service could be eliminated in a straightforward manner that is consistent with military readiness and core values.
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7th Circuit Hears Landmark Indiana and Wisconsin Freedom to Marry Cases

New York - August 26, 2014 – Today in Chicago the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in marriage cases out of Indiana and Wisconsin, seeking both the freedom to marry and equal legal treatment of the lawful marriages of same-sex couples.
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Seventh Circuit Hears Oral Arguments Seeking Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Indiana and Wisconsin

Chicago- August 26, 2014 - The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in lawsuits seeking to strike down discriminatory marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. The three-judge panel included Richard Posner, Ann Claire Williams and David F. Hamilton. Attorneys from Lambda Legal argued on behalf of five plaintiff couples from Indiana and attorneys from The American Civil Liberties Union argued on behalf of thirteen plaintiff couples from Indiana and Wisconsin.
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Detroit Transgender Women Targeted in Possible Hate Crimes

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 22, 2014 -- The Detroit police department has announced they are investigating the shooting of three transgender women that took place earlier this week. While two victims survived the shootings, the third unidentified transgender woman died. Police report all incidents to have taken place in the Palmer Park area and suspect them to be possible hate crimes
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Task Force Lauds American Bar Association's New Policy Supporting LGBTQ Rights

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 20, 2014 -- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is congratulating the American Bar Association (ABA) for adopting a resolution in support of LGBTQ rights.
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LGBT table at Blues and Jazz Fest

On August 2, 2014, NW PA Pride Alliance was proud to once again staff an LGBT info table at the Annual Blues and Jazz Fest in Frontier Park. The Blues and Jazz Fest is organized by Erie Art Museum and other organizations and is attended by over 20,000 people.
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The Only Diet That Works

Pool parties. Pride. Hot weather. Less clothing. We want to look good, particularly at this time of year. Many of us want to lose weight. Work out more. Eat healthier. It seems we try everything to look good. We work so hard to change how we look on the outside. But we forget about the inside. We think that if only we found the perfect diet/exercise plan, that we'd become the person we've always wanted to be.
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Diversity speaker Andrew Solomon at Mercyhurst Sep 24

Diversity speaker Andrew Solomon at Mercyhurst Sep 24
The Tanner Speaker Series will be sponsoring a campus talk by Andrew Solomon, author of the best-selling book "Far from the Tree", on September 24, 2014, at 7:00 pm in the Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University in Erie.
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Erie Transgender Community Included in Trans Across America Documentary

Erie Transgender Community Included in Trans Across America Documentary
Erie Sisters President, Melanie Shubitowski, and Erie Sisters member, Chelsea Jones, were recently honored to be selected for an upcoming documentary entitled "Trans Across America".  Trans Family of Erie founder, Caitlyn Strohmeyer, and Melanie's fiancé, Julie Flagella, were also appearing in this segment of the upcoming film which was filmed at Melanie's home in Conneaut, Ohio. The documentary is headed by Chloe Prince, founder of the PinkEssence Transgender network, and her friend, April Wilks, and is to include multiple stops across America showing selected transgenders throughout the country. The film is being produced by Hollywood producer, T. Smith III, and should be out for viewing in film festivals around the country in late Summer or early Fall. At each filming location along the journey, Chloe and April are doing a bigger, better trade up with participants, where the participants are trading an item acquired for something bigger, better and of more value. At the end of the tour, Chloe and April will donate the final item collected to charity. Look for "Trans Across America" later this year in your area.
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