Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Releases List of 14 'Races to Watch' for 2014

WASHINGTON – The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation’s largest resource for openly LGBT individuals in politics, has announced its “Races to Watch” for the 2014 elections: a rundown of this fall's key races involving openly LGBT Victory-endorsed candidates. Covering 12 states and the District of Columbia, this year's candidates will provide much-needed authentic representation for LGBT Americans at all levels of government. The “Races to Watch” include:
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GLAD Sues Social Security Administration for Denying Survivor Benefits to Disabled RI Widow

September 29, 2014 - Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed suit today against the Social Security Administration (SSA) in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, charging SSA with wrongfully denying survivor benefits to 56-year-old Deborah Tevyaw after the death of her wife, Patricia Baker. The complaint can be read here on GLAD's website.
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GLAAD, HRC Foundation unveil new resource to challenge 'God vs. gay' in mainstream media

NEW YORK - September 29, 2014 – GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest advocacy group for LGBT rights, today unveiled "In Focus: Faith, LGBT People, & the Midterm Elections," a groundbreaking resource guide that empowers journalists to challenge anti-LGBT talking heads who mask bias as a 'tenet of faith'. The resource guide is viewable at www.glaad.org/vote.
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New Poll Shows Plurality of Utahns Ready for Marriage

New York- September 29, 2014 – A new statewide poll conducted by Benenson Strategy Group for Freedom to Marry finds a plurality of Utahns – 49% to 48% – agree that same sex-couples should be allowed to get a state-issued marriage license. Moreover, 61% believe legalizing marriage for same-sex couples in Utah is inevitable and will happen in the state within the next five years. And, by a large majority (67%), they want the U.S. Supreme Court to settle this question once and for all.
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CA Governor Signs Respect After Death Act

CA Governor Signs Respect After Death Act
(Sacramento - September 26, 2014) Today, California's Respect After Death Act (AB 1577) was signed by Governor Brown, having passed in both the Assembly and Senate earlier this year. The long-awaited bill will provide needed guidance to help ensure that transgender people have their gender identity reflected on their death certificates. It was authored by Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins and co-sponsored by Equality California and Transgender Law Center.
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LGBTQ Organization Launches Perkins2016.com to Challenge Extremist Grasp on Republican Party

WASHINGTON, DC - September 26, 2014-- This morning, during the opening plenary session of the Values Voters Summit, GetEQUAL -- a national grassroots organization working to win full federal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans -- launched a website questioning the role of Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, on shaping the future of the Republican Party.
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UN Human Rights Council Votes To Support LGBT Rights

September 26, 2014 - The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) today applauded the United Nations' top human rights body for approving a resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, calling it an important step forward toward progress for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals.
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Freedom to Marry Launches National TV Ad: It's Time

New York - September 26, 2014 – Riding a remarkable wave of 40 rulings across the country affirming marriage for gay couples, Freedom to Marry released "It's Time," a national TV ad highlighting the tangible harms to same-sex couples still discriminated against in many states. The Supreme Court officially begins its new term Monday, with marriage cases from Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin under consideration.
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Congressman Honda, US Representatives, and 23 Organizations Urge FCC To End Discriminatory Blocking of Online LGBT Resources

Congressman Honda, US Representatives, and 23 Organizations Urge FCC To End Discriminatory Blocking of Online LGBT Resources
San Jose, CA - September 25, 2014 – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) today, led 13 Members of Congress and over 20 organizations, in sending a letter to top officials at the Federal Communications Commission, asking them to ensure that online filtering software used at federally funded schools and libraries does not prevent access to sites with important resources for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.
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LGBT Equality Champion Attorney General Holder Announces Resignation

WASHINGTON, DC, - Sept. 25, 2014 -- The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced his resignation as the head of the Department of Justice. In response, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released the following statement: 
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Ralliers call for restoring LGBT protections in Pa. hate-crime law

Ralliers call for restoring LGBT protections in Pa. hate-crime law
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 25 – More than 300 people took part in a rally today in LOVE Park to show their support for restoring protections for LGBT people in Pennsylvania's hate-crime law. State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., organized the rally in response to the recent attack on two gay men in his legislative district.
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Only half of gay and bisexual men diagnosed with HIV received care and treatment in 2010

Only half of gay and bisexual men diagnosed with HIV received care and treatment in 2010
September 25, 2014 - Among gay and bisexual men in the United States who have been diagnosed with HIV, only half are receiving care and treatment for their infection, according to a new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And just 42 percent have achieved viral suppression – meaning their virus is under control at a level that helps keep them healthy and also greatly reduces their risk of transmitting HIV to others.
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New Report Highlights the Lack of Population-Based Data about Transgender People

NEW YORK – September 25, 2014— The Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance (GenIUSS) Group, on which GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is represented, today released a report that highlights the lack of survey measures to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents in most federally-supported population-based surveys.
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PFLAG Butler County screening of For The Bible Tells Me So on October 11

PFLAG Butler County screening of For The Bible Tells Me So on October 11 from 1 to 5 PM for National Coming Out Day. The documentary will be shown at Butler County Community College Succop Theater. For The Bible Tells Me So is an award winner of 7 film festivals and nominee for Sundance Film Festival. Join us for an interesting exploration of the intersection between religion and homosexuality. We will study together different interpretations of the Bible verses most often used to convey critical stereotypes of the homosexuality community. It should be a thought provoking event for people of all ages. Movie first with panel discussion afterward. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Find us on the net at PFLAGButler.com
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SPLC, Civil Rights Groups to RNC Chair: Tell Party Members to Stop Associating with Groups that Defame the LGBT Community

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -September 24, 2014 – The Southern Poverty Law Center and a coalition of civil rights groups today called on the head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) to urge party members to disassociate themselves from groups behind this week’s Values Voter Summit because of their relentless demonization of the LGBT community.
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ACLU Demands Government Provide Chelsea Manning Necessary Medical Care

WASHINGTON –September 23, 2014 - Today, Chelsea Manning filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia against Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and other Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of the Army officials for their failure to provide necessary medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, a condition with which she was originally diagnosed by Army doctors more than four years ago.
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Mayor of Columbia, SC Becomes 500th Mayor for the Freedom to Marry

New York - September 23, 2014 – Today Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina became the 500th mayor to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, a broad-based, geographically diverse group of Democratic, Republican and unaffiliated mayors who believe that all committed couples should be able to marry. Mayoral support has surged, with 100 jumping on board in the past few months.
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GLSEN Calls on iHeartMedia CEO to Speak Out Against Sean Hannity's Anti-LGBT Comments

NEW YORK, Sep. 19, 2014 – GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) today called on iHeartMedia CEO Robert Pittman to speak out against comments made earlier this week on its radio properties by Sean Hannity. The full contents of the letter sent by GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard are below.
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Wolf Releases Statement Calling For Hate Crimes Legislation in Pennsylvania

Wolf Releases Statement Calling For Hate Crimes Legislation in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA – Tom Wolf, Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, released the following statement in the wake of an attack on two gay men in Philadelphia:
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Why has no one been charged in hate crimes attack?

From Philadelphia Gay News: It's been a week since two gay men walking down a Center City street holding hands were asked if they were boyfriends. When they answered "yes," they were beaten by a gang of thugs.
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Task Force Saddened by Tennessee Transgender Woman's Murder, Calls for End to Violence Against All Women

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 18, 2014 -- Earlier this month, Alejandra Leos was murdered in front of her home in Memphis, Tennessee. Alejandra's death is the latest of the tragic string of homicides targeting transgender women throughout the country, taking place in states such as California, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.
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Letters: Warming Center


Letters: Warming Center

For the past 6 years the Mental Health Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania has operated a warming shelter at MHA each time the overnight temperature falls below 25 degrees. The shelter's doors open from 11 PM to 7 in the morning. Last season the doors opened a record 91 times. Therefore it is once again critical that we assist our neighbors in need.
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Dining Out for Life Oct 7 - fundraiser for Evergreen Health


Dining Out For Life is an annual event that is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal at one of your favorite western New York restaurants while also helping those in our community whose lives are affected by HIV and who rely on Evergreen Health Services. Supporters dine out at a participating restaurant and the restaurant donates at least 25% of your food bill to Evergreen Health Services.
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Erie same-sex couple married after first judge refuses

Erie same-sex couple married after first judge refuses
A same-sex couple that Senior District Judge Joseph Lefaiver refused to marry were married a week later by Erie 3rd Ward District Judge Tom Carney on Sept. 8, 2014. Cynthia Baker, 38, and Carrie Ann Loesel, 43, had originally made arrangements with staff at the 5th Ward District office to be married by a judge there. An office staff member said that, as is standard procedure, arrangments were made by staff, including handling of fees. Arrangments were made by phone, and only the surname was taken. When Senior District Judge Joseph Lefaiver realized that this was a same-sex couple, he refused to perform the service, citing personal beliefs. A staff member apologized to the couple and returned the fee. WJET-TV and GoErie covered this story. Lefaiver reportedly refused to comment 
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Breast Cancer Awareness at Zone Oct 10-12


Breast Cancer Awareness at Zone, 133 W 18th St,. Erie PA, will run October 10-12. So come join me and The Zone for our 9th year of raising money for a breast cancer cause.
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Feeling younger - growing older

Some of us spend a lot of time and money to look younger than we are. We want to convince other people that we're not our biological age. While this can be an amusing – and expensive – game, it seems to me that we're missing the point.  Isn't it more important to FEEL younger as we grow older?
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Freedom to Marry and HRC Ask Attorney General Holder to Ensure Federal Respect for Marriages in 3 More States

New York - September 19, 2014 – Today Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign, on behalf of the Respect for Marriage Coalition, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking that the Department of Justice act to ensure federal respect for the marriages of same-sex couples in Arkansas, Indiana, and Wisconsin, consistent with the approach taken by the federal government in other states. Nearly 2,000 couples married in the three states in the past five months before freedom to marry rulings there were placed on hold pending appeal.
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Report Finds Lifting U.S. Ban On MSM Blood Donations Would Increase Total Annual Blood Supply By 2%-4%

LOS ANGELES - September 19, 2014 – If the current FDA blood ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) ban were completely lifted, it is estimated that an additional 360,600 men would likely donate 615,300 additional pints of blood each year. According to a new study entitled, "UPDATE: Effects of Lifting Blood Donation Bans on Men Who Have Sex with Men," authored by the Williams Institute's Ayako Miyashita, Brian Belt HIV Law and Policy Fellow, and Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar, lifting the ban would increase the total annual blood supply in the U.S. by 2 to 4 percent.
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CDC Launches New Communication Campaign Focused on HIV Treatment

CDC Launches New Communication Campaign Focused on HIV Treatment
HIV Treatment Works, a communication campaign focused exclusively on encouraging treatment and care for people living with HIV was launched today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The campaign is the first of its kind by CDC and aims to get more Americans living with HIV to stay in care and take treatment.
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Today's discharge petition on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with narrow religious exemption

WASHINGTON, DC: Sept. 17, 2014 -- "This is a great victory in the work to end employment discrimination for LGBT people once and for all. The new, fair version of ENDA that the Task Force and many others in the LGBT community have been calling for has now emerged in the US House with both strong protections for LGBT employees and a new reasonable religious exemption -- treating LGBT people the same as other protected classes. Thank you Leader Pelosi and US Representative Polis for your moral and political leadership in moving this forward. LGBT people need strong protections from discrimination and we have waited too long for anything less. Legal equality is legal equality. We urge law makers to seize this moment and support the discharge petition."
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Mary Bonauto Named Recipient of 2014 MacArthur 'Genius' Award

New York - September 17, 2014 – Today Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), was announced as one of the 2014 recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Award, which acknowledges the most talented and accomplished artists, scholars, and professionals across the country.
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AJWS and Human Rights Organizations Meet with White House to Make the Case for a Special U.S. Envoy for LGBT Rights

Washington D.C. - September 16, 2014 – American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and a coalition of advocacy and human rights organizations met with White House officials today to ask President Obama to appoint a Special Envoy for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) peoples within the U.S. Department of State.
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Hundreds of Law Enforcement, First Responders, Clergy, Businesses Support Same-Sex Couples in Texas Marriage Ban Challenge

New York - September 16, 2014 - In several unique amicus briefs submitted today to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 5th Circuit, scores of first responders, law enforcement, faith leaders and businesses urged the court to end Texas' ban on same-sex marriage. The briefs show the depth and diversity of support for the plaintiffs in the Texas case and for the freedom of gay couples to marry.
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PFLAG Meetings in Meadville

NEW! There will now be PFLAG meetings the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7 PM at Stone United Methodist Church, 956 S Main St, Meadville PA. The next meeting is Tuesday, October 28. The meeting is co-sponsored by Stone United Methodist Church and Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville. For more info, call (814) 724-6736 or email [email protected] (Stone UMC) or (814) 724-4023 (UU Meadville.) Meetings will also continue in Erie the 2nd Monday of the month at 7 PM at Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie.
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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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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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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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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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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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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 for a meet the candidates night 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! Meet with candidates who will be voting on issues relevant to our community.
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