May, 2012 News (77 Articles with 136,320 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for May, 2012 LBT Women pose with comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer after her show at Clarion University Venango Campus. Suzanne is an alum of Clarion University. She is the blonde with black top between Laurie Finch and Peggy.

This is the second run of Erie Gay News, which began publishing again in December of 2002. This is the current publication for the region. The co-editors are Deb Spilko and Michael Mahler , with Mike Lipiec handling graphic/ad layout.

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Local Faces and Photos

Michelle Michaels FACE Show with Destiny Divine

On Sunday, April 15, 2012, Michelle Michaels' FACE Show welcomed former Miss Erie Destiny Divine, who had not performed in 18 year. After the show, Destiny had a book signing copy for I Was Born This Way - The Book. Photos are by Erie Gay News co-editor, Michael Mahle
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LBT Women go to Suzanne Westenhoefer Comedy Performance, Latonia Ballroom & Event Center

On Friday, March 23, 2012, the LBT Women of Erie had a wonderful time at the Suzanne Westenhoefer comedy performance at Clarion University - Venango Campus. They then got together at The Latonia Ballroom & Event Center in Oil City. Photos are by LBT Women coordinator, Laurie Finch.
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Local/Regional News

Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art is May 14! Did you purchase your tickets yet?

Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art is Persad Center’s premiere fundraising event.  Now in its 24th year, this annual art auction has successfully generated over $3.5 million to benefit Persad Center’s specialized counseling, HIV prevention, outreach, education, training and advocacy services.
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Obituary for Karen DeCarolis

Obituary for Karen DeCarolis
Karen DeCarolis, age 62, passed away at UPMC Hamot on Monday, March 26, 2012. She was preceded in death by her partner, Diedra "Dee" Hoyt on October 5, 2010. We know that Karen is truly happy to be back together with her beloved Dee, whom she had missed so much. Karen was a kind and caring soul who touched the lives of many. Memorials may be made to the ANNA Shelter 1555 E. 10th Street, Erie, PA 16511 or the Emmaus Soup Kitchen, 218 East 11th Street, Erie, PA 16503.
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Drag Queen Bingo! on May 19

On Saturday, May 19 at NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. will present Drag Queen Bingo! The Pride fundraiser will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 New Perry Highway, Erie PA. Doors open at 5 PM and Bingo starts at 6:30. Admission is $20 and there will be yummy baked goods! Please help support 2012 Pride events while having fun with friends old and new! This fundraiser will help us bring you the 20th Annual Pride Picnic on June 16 and the Parade and Rally on August 25! Sequins, glitter and Bingo daubers! Together again, as it was meant to be! For more info, contact Michael Mahler at (814) 456-9833 or email [email protected] or browse to http://www.nwpapride.org
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LGBT Community Safe Zone Training

Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) is sponsoring an "LGBT Community Safe Zone Training," on May 30, 2012, at 21 la rue dix, 21 W 10th St, Erie PA from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. The training will feature Special Agent Denise Holtz (FBI), Ted Hoover of the Persad Center Pittsburgh, and Joe Aguglia, the executive director of the Erie County Human Relations Committee. The event is free and open to the public.
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Melissa Etheridge To Perform Live on Liberty Avenue at Pittsburgh Pride's Street Event

Pittsburgh, PAThe Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh is pleased to announce that Academy Award® and two-time Grammy® winner Melissa Etheridge will be the featured entertainer at its “Pride in the Street” event, on Saturday, June 9.  Tickets will go on sale on Friday, April 20. Etheridge will perform a 90-minute show with a full band on the outdoor stage at Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh between 9th and 10th streets. Last year’s event drew a record 4,500 attendees with headliner Patti LaBelle.
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PFLAG - Ohio State Conference

PFLAG - Ohio State Conference
The annual state conference of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians , Gays and Transgender persons (PFLAG) was held on Saturday, April 14 in Lima, Ohio. The president of Youngstown area Pflag, Marguerite Felice and past PFLAG youth Board member, current Ohio State sophomore and recipient of the OSU "Scarlet and Gay" alumni scholarship Javonne Lafontaine attended. PFLAG leaders and members from throughout the state were in attendance. Sessions included African American story circles, bullying prevention, grantwriting and Faith in our families. Our local chapter holds monthly support and education meetings the first Tuesday of the month, 6:30 pm, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave., Youngstown, next to the Main Library. For further information, call Help Hotline @ 330-747-2696 or "211" and you will be connected to a PFLAG member.
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Drenched Fur 8 Had a Great Weekend

The bears of Drenched Fur 8 enjoyed a great weekend at the end of March for fun and good times. On Thursday, early arrivals for a bar night outing at The Zone Dance Club to kicked off the run events. Then on Friday run registrants gathered together for an indoor pool party at the Bel Aire Hotel followed by a musical performance with the return of vocal/guitarist Jeff RockCub. The fun continued the following night, on Saturday with a Gilligan's Island Themed Buffet Dinner and Comedy Game Show Combo at the Bel Aire Hotel. And of course, that night was the exclusive event at the Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort where over 200 guys from around the USA had the entire facility to themselves! The event weekend also included a winery tour, casino visits, charity auction, vendor mall, and other activities. The Drenched Fur 8 Committee hosted one of the biggest events for Erie's GLBTQA community and thanks all the individuals and businesses that helped make this year a success. To find out more about Drenched Fur and to review our photo gallery from over the years, you can visit our website at www.drenchedfur.com.
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PFLAG Erie coordinator needed

PFLAG Erie coordinator needed
PFLAG Erie & Crawford is seeking immediate help in chapter leadership and monthly meeting facilitation. Training and guidance is available through PFLAG National and our regional rep, Carole.
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Spirituality and Religion

Catholic GLBT ministry condemns Vatican repression of nuns' group

Following is a statement of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry, (a ministry for GLBT Catholics) on the Vatican's condemnation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The nuns' group has rejected the proclamation (from a press release April 18, 2012): For all of our 35-year history, New Ways Ministry has been strongly supported by Catholic women religious in the United States. This support, manifested by so many generous and courageous acts, has, indeed, been the backbone of our bridge-building ministry for lesbian/gay Catholics and the wider church community.
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Political, Activism and Legal

AFER: Passage of North Carolina Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment a 'Profound Injustice'

Los Angeles, CA – Yesterday, North Carolina adopted Amendment One, a state constitutional amendment that prohibits marriage equality and any form of legal relationship recognition for gay and lesbian North Carolinians. 
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Harvey Milk Street Approved Unanimously – First in the Country happens in San Diego

Harvey Milk Street Approved Unanimously – First in the Country happens in San Diego
SAN DIEGO –  Today, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to give final approval to rename a street after LGBT civil rights hero, Harvey Milk.  San Diego now becomes the first city in the country to have a street named for Harvey Milk.
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Violence Against Women Act Should Include LGBT Protections

Violence Against Women Act Should Include LGBT Protections
WASHINGTON—To better protect LGBT victims of domestic violence, Congressman Jared Polis today sought to amend the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to bar discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity to ensure equal access to the services the legislation supports, such as legal representation, housing, and counseling. Studies show that while LGBT Americans experience domestic violence at roughly the same rate as the general population, less than one in five LGBT victims of intimate-partner violence receives help from a service provider. The amendment to the bill, H.R. 4970, failed on a party line vote of 14-18.
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NC Anti-Gay Amendment Passes, Denying All Protections for Same-Sex Couples

RALEIGH – Today anti-gay forces succeeded in adding a discriminatory amendment to the North Carolina constitution barring same-sex couples from marrying, preventing the enactment of civil union or domestic partnership, and precluding other legal recognition for any “domestic union” other than a married heterosexual couple.   Amendment 1 was pushed onto the ballot on a low-turnout primary election day.
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Caroline Kennedy Joins Call for Freedom to Marry Plank in National Democratic Platform

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Caroline Kennedy joined Freedom to Marry’s Democrats: Say I Do campaign calling for a freedom to marry plank in this year’s national Democratic Party Platform.
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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan Supports Same-Sex Couples' Freedom to Marry

WASHINGTON, DC – Just one day after Vice President Biden spoke in favor of the freedom to marry on Sunday's "Meet the Press," Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, became the second cabinet official in the Obama administration to publicly announce his support for the freedom to marry. Duncan made the announcement on MSNBC’s television program Morning Joe.
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Vice President Joe Biden Supports Same-Sex Couples' Freedom to Marry

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Vice President Joe Biden became the highest ranking U.S. official to openly endorse the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. On NBC's Meet the Press, Biden told host David Gregory that he is “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples having the freedom to marry.
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Ousted Iowa Judges to Receive Kennedy Profile in Courage Award

BOSTON – Three years after the unanimous Iowa Supreme Court decision affirming the freedom to marry, three former justices ousted in a retention election following the ruling will receive the prestigious 2012 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Monday, May 7. Caroline Kennedy will present the award to former Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
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State Democratic Party Chairs Support Freedom to Marry Plank in National Platform

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today 11 State Democratic Party chairs from across the country joined in support of a freedom to marry plank in the party’s national platform. The chairs include John Burton (CA), Joan Wagnon (KS), John Walsh (MA), Ken Martin (MN), Jon Wisniewski (NJ), Jay Jacobs (NY), Meredith Wood Smith (OR), Boyd Richie (TX), Jake Perkinson (VT), Dwight Pelz (WA), and Mike Tate (WI).
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23 Faith and Humanist Groups Call on President Obama to Take Executive Action on Workplace Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A coalition of faith and humanist groups issued a letter this morning, calling on President Barack Obama to use his executive power to sign an Executive Order that would bar discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Federal Bureau of Prisons Requires LGBT Employee Representation in Nationwide Federal Prison System

Federal Bureau of Prisons Requires LGBT Employee Representation in Nationwide Federal Prison System
In a groundbreaking move, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has announced that every federal prison in the U.S. will appoint an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) representative to their long-standing Affirmative Employment Program.  The BOP employs approximately 40,000 nationwide, and until now, the LGBT staff did not have a designated representative in the program.
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Ohio Board Member of Boy Scouts of America resigns following removal of gay mom as a Scout Leader

New York, NY, April 30, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today drew attention to the resignation of a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) following the BSA's decision to oust Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom from Bridgeport, Ohio, as her son's scout leader because she is gay. The BSA currently bans LGBT scouts and scout leaders.
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Transgender Woman Wins Health Insurance Coverage for Mammogram

New York, NY April 30– Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) today announced that it has resolved a claim on behalf of a transgender woman who had been denied health insurance coverage for a mammogram. Beth Scott, a 44-year-old New Jersey resident, underwent the mammogram in June 2010 at her doctor’s recommendation. Aetna denied coverage for the mammogram on the grounds that it fell under her policy’s exclusion for treatments “related to changing sex.” As a transgender woman, Ms. Scott was assigned male at birth and developed breasts after undergoing hormone therapy. Aetna refused to alter its position throughout the lengthy appeals process.
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Equality Pennsylvania President to Attend Democratic National Convention

Harrisburg - On Election Day 2012, 20,992 Democrats in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Lebanon, and Dauphin counties voted to send Equality Pennsylvania's President, Adrian Shanker, to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shanker was elected as an Alternate Delegate committed to Barack Obama, which means that he will attend the convention and will assume certain additional responsibilities if another delegate from the 15th Congressional District is unavailable.
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Equality Pennsylvania and SEIU Advance Strategic Partnership

Harrisburg – Coming one year after their first successful agreement to form a closer working partnership, Equality Pennsylvania (EQPA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have agreed upon additional ways to strengthen and advance their strategic partnership.
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds U.S. Senate introduction of Health Equity and Accountability Act

WASHINGTON, April 27   The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the introduction by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) of the Health Equity and Accountability Act, comprehensive legislation designed to eliminate racial and ethnic minority health disparities. For the first time, the measure recognizes the importance of addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health disparities.
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force congratulates labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta on receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON, April 26   The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force congratulates legendary labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta on becoming a 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association with labor leader Cesar Chavez in 1962. She is a longtime supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Huerta was a keynote speaker at the Task Force's National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in 2009 in Denver, Colo. Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx_468y7El4
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New Study Praised as Further Evidence for President Obama to Sign LGBT Federal Contractor Executive Order

WASHINGTON, DC - April 26 – Yesterday, the Williams Institute released a report finding that 86% of all federal contractors protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 55% on the basis of gender identity.  The combined total represents almost one-half of all federal contractors with LGBT protections, amounting to more than $249 billion in federal spending.  The full report can be viewed here:  http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Sears-Hunter-Mallory-Report-Update-Top50-Contractors-April-2012.pdf

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Social Security Equality Act of 2012 introduced, aims to end discrimination same-sex couples face in receiving Social Security benefits

WASHINGTON, April 26   The  Social Security Equality Act of 2012,  which seeks to end the discrimination same-sex couples face with respect to Social Security benefits, was introduced by U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and includes 90 House co-sponsors.
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U.S. Senate passes LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill

WASHINGTON, April 26 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the U.S. Senate’s passage today of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill, which for the first time includes explicit protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survivors of domestic violence. The 1994 federal law provides funds to enhance investigation and prosecution of violent crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault, and it bolsters victim services programs. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, along with a broad coalition of organizations including the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, has been lobbying for inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the law.
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Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney: Gay people should be able to serve in Boy Scouts

New York, NY, April 26, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today drew attention to a 1994 video, in which Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said "I believe that the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country. I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation."
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President Obama backs legislation to combat anti-LGBT bullying and discrimination in nation's schools

President Obama backs legislation to combat anti-LGBT bullying and discrimination in nation's schools
WASHINGTON, April 20 — President Obama today announced his support for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Non-Discrimination Act, federal legislation aimed at combating anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) bullying and discrimination in our nation’s schools. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is working in coalition toward passage of both these critical bills.
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Governmental Support for LGBT Youth of Southwestern PA on the Rise

PITTSBURGH, PA-- The City of Pittsburgh has made several historic steps toward addressing anti-LGBT bullying this week.
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails EEOC ruling protecting transgender workers

WASHINGTON, April 24 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the opinion by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that transgender people are protected from discrimination by federal law. The EEOC found that an employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person's gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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Teaching Respect Finds Having an LGBT-Inclusive Curriculum Related to Improved School Climate for LGBT Youth

NEW YORK - April 24, 2012 - Attending a school with an LGBT-inclusive curriculum is related to a less-hostile school experience for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth as well as increased feelings of belonging to their school, according to Teaching Respect: LGBT-Inclusive Curriculum and School Climate, a GLSEN Research Brief released today by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
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Statement on 2012 Pennsylvania Primary Results and the Nomination of the General Assembly’s First Openly Gay Member

Harrisburg – Today, Equality Pennsylvania is celebrating.  We think yesterday’s election was a bit of a game-changer.  It is with great pride that we watched our former Board President, Brian Sims, win nomination to serve the 182nd House District.  He has no opponent in November’s General Election and that means he will come to Harrisburg as the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s first openly gay member. 
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Who Inspires You in the Fight Against Bullying?

Haleiwa, HI – The Out In The Silence Campaign announces the Call for Nominations for the 2012 Out In The Silence Award for Youth Activism. The deadline for submission of nominations is June 30.
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Gay mom ousted from Boy Scouts petitions group to allow gay and lesbian scouts and leaders


NEW YORK, NY – More than 115,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org started by Jennifer Tyrrell, a mother of a seven-year-old Cub Scout who was dismissed from her position of den leader by the Boy Scouts of America for being gay. Jennifer was removed from the position in March 2012 after nearly a year of exemplary service, during which her scouts were honored for their commitment to volunteerism, leadership, and community service.
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Hundreds Respond to Organization's Call for Local Actions at OFA Offices

WASHINGTON, DC -- Late last week, GetEQUAL -- an LGBT civil rights organization committed to using direct action and nonviolent civil disobedience to advance LGBT equality -- asked for volunteers to go to their local Obama for America (OFA) campaign office and ask the campaign staff to request that their candidate, President Barack Obama, sign an Executive Order barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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New study finds genderqueer people face unique patterns of abuse and discrimination

WASHINGTON, April 23 — Genderqueer people face distinct patterns of discrimination and violence according to a new study based on the dataset gathered for Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality.
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ORAM releases first how-to guide for US LGBT and accepting communities to support increasing numbers of LGBT refugees

April 18, 2012, San Francisco.... As increasing numbers of LGBT refugees flee to the United States, ORAM (the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration) has released the first ever guide for American LGBT and accepting communities on welcoming people fleeing persecution in their home countries.
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Statement of Equality Pennsylvania on the University of Pittsburgh's Non-Discrimination Policy for the Transgender Community and the Need for Calm

Harrisburg - Over the past several weeks, Equality Pennsylvania has been very carefully monitoring and watching the situation surrounding the University of Pittsburgh’s non-discrimination policy and how it impacts the transgender community.  We have spoken with quite a few people on what is happening, and among them we have discussed ways to find solutions. 
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The Washington Post Joins Growing Chorus in Support of Executive Action on LGBT Workplace Protections

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today the Washington Post published an editorial calling on President Obama to take swift executive action by signing an Executive Order barring federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the second time the newspaper has pushed the President to take this common-sense step -- a step that is supported by nearly three-quarters of likely 2012 voters.
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House Hearing on Federal Contractor Exec Order: 'Not a Single Complaint' on LGBT Provision from Republicans

WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Workforce held a congressional hearing, "Reviewing the Impact of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' Regulatory and Enforcement Actions," which drew no criticism on a proposal to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workforce.
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Tennessee 'Don’t Say Gay' Bill, Fostering LGBT Discrimination And Threatening Free Speech, Moves Forward

NASHVILLE – Yesterday the Tennessee General Assembly House Education Committee voted to recommend the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill for passage, despite prior reports that the bill’s sponsor, Representative Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), did not plan to move the bill forward. The bill is aimed at prohibiting discussion about sexual orientation in Tennessee public elementary and middle schools, regardless of educational purpose.  
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MTV To Be Honored at Trevor Live Presented by Audi of America & Wells Fargo

New York, NY, (April 18, 2012) - On Monday, June 25, 2012, MTV will be honored by The Trevor Project with the Trevor 2020 Award at "Trevor Live" presented by Audi of America and Wells Fargo (60 Chelsea Piers, NY, NY). The annual Pride season event benefits the life-saving, life-affirming work of The Trevor Project, a recent honoree of the White House as a Champion of Change for leadership and innovation in suicide prevention.
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GLAAD joins Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell in calling on Boy Scouts of America to end discriminatory rules

New York, NY, April 17, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today joined Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell in calling on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change a discriminatory policy that prohibits LGBT people from serving as troop den leaders.
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Five members of LGBTQ Advocacy Organization Arrested at Colorado Christian University

Five members of LGBTQ Advocacy Organization Arrested at Colorado Christian University
LAKEWOOD, CO - April 17 - Today, members of Soulforce’s “Equality Ride” and a member of the Denver community were arrested at Colorado Christian University for attempting to engage in a Bible study on campus around 1:45 p.m. Soulforce’s “Equality Ride” -- a national social justice bus tour promoting acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and allied people to discriminatory evangelical colleges and universities -- is in Colorado for it’s eighth stop of the tour across country. The individuals arrested are currently being held in custody at the local Lakewood Police station, and are expecting to receive a citation and release later this evening. 
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force calls for end to racial profiling

WASHINGTON, April 17 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund submitted written testimony for today’s hearing on “Ending Racial Profiling in America,” held by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.
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House Leaders Join Call for Freedom to Marry Plank in 2012 National Democratic Platform

WASHINGTON – Today more than half a dozen Democratic Congressional leaders signed onto Freedom to Marry’s Democrats: Say I Do campaign calling for a freedom to marry plank in the 2012 national platform of the Democratic Party.  The signers include three key contenders for the US Senate from swing states: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Shelly Berkley (D-NV); and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).  Additional new signers include Ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers (D-MI); Judiciary Committee member Mike Quigley (D-IL); former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); and Representative Jared Polis (D-CO).
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Statement of Equality Pennsylvania in Support of East Pennsboro Area High School GSA

Harrisburg:  For more than a decade, school districts across the country have instituted Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) student organizations in their high schools to ensure a safe space for students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. The East Pennsboro Area School Board has chosen once to deny student’s that right.  Equality Pennsylvania asks the Board to reconsider that unfortunate earlier vote tonight.
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Equality Pennsylvania Celebrates Abington Township's Passage of State’s 28th Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Harrisburg – Today Equality Pennsylvania (EQPA) is celebrating the passage of the state’s 28th local LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in Abington Township (Montgomery County). Pennsylvania’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens have no protection in state law against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations if it is based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. With little action to change this sad fact being taken in Harrisburg, many communities have turned to EQPA for help in passing local ordinances to address this inequity.
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Health

I'm A Hater

You’re a therapist, and I need some help, so here goes: I’m a hater: I really, really hate the religious right and all those Focus on the Family kinds of morons out there.  This kind of trips me out, because I try to be a “spiritual” person and see the best in everyone, but these people are just plain evil and stupid.  Whenever I see them in print or on TV, I get so pissed off, and when I see the war on Iraq on TV it makes me even more angry at those right-wing, old-white men hetero war-mongers on Fox News.  What can I do to stop being such a hater?  I feel so helpless.
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Farewell for now from Unknotting by Nyaa

Life has changed, for the better, and for the worse.  But as I tried to express with the D’Sousa quote, I’m simply embracing it all. “Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist.” -Natalie Goldberg That quote has been on my office door since the beginning.
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Skin Cancer Precautions

Get the summer soundtrack revved up!  It’s beginning to look a lot like sun and fun. That also means your skin is going to get bombarded with those death rays from that big yellow ball of fire in the sky. That might be a little drag queen dramatic, but you still want to take some precautions from the sun and its adverse effects upon your skin.
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Entertainment and Travel

Cape Town: Paradise in the Rainbow Nation

South Africa is a country that celebrates diversity. It’s the only country in Africa that allows same-sex couples to marry. Cape Town, the second-largest city in the “Rainbow Nation,” is one of the most popular tourist destinations for straight and gay vacationers alike.
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The Spirit & the Flesh of Sir Ari Gold

We recently had a chance to sit down with Sir Ari Gold and talk about his music
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Logo's 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season Four Reunion Wins the Crown as Highest-Rated Episode This Season

NEW YORK, NY, May 2, 2011 – Monday night’s 9PM episode “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Reunited!” rounded out the series’ highest-rated episode of the season and the highest-rated reunion for the franchise ever -- up +33% in the key 18-49 demo compared to the season three reunion episode. The finale scored a 0.7 in the P18-49 demo and drew 601,000 total viewers (P2+) who witnessed Sharon Needles be named as “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” The fourth season reunion reached 1.1 million viewers on its premiere night.
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GLAAD Announces 2nd Annual National People of Color Media Institute

New York, NY, May 1, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced the 2nd Annual National People of Color Media Training Institute as a part of the organization's National People of Color Media Initiative. The Media Training Institute, funded by the ARCUS Foundation and created specifically for people of color who are LGBT or LGBT allies, develops passionate and visible leaders to speak in national media outlets about issues that impact the lives of LGBT people and their families.
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In The Life Debuts Remaining Vigilant: a Look at Local Battles for LGBT Equality at the State Level

New York, May 1, 2012 –Tonight, public television stations nationwide will begin broadcasting Remaining Vigilant, an episode from the award-winning newsmagazine IN THE LIFE. The episode features two installments of In The States, an ongoing series covering local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists campaigning for equal rights and protections at the state level.
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Out Destination: St. Louis

Out Destination: St. Louis
St. Louis, commonly referred to as “The Gateway to the West” is home to some of the country’s most recognizable corporations including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Edward Jones Investments Energizer, and of course, the city’s most popular company, Anheuser-Busch.  The city is also home to three professional sports teams: The St. Louis Cardinals, Blues and Rams and is one of the LGBT capitals of the mid-west. 
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GLAAD applauds Hulu for launching LGBT genre category offering nearly 100 LGBT films

Los Angeles, April 25, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today applauded Hulu for this week’s launch of its new LGBT category heading on the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus. Implemented as a navigational tool to facilitate easier access to Hulu’s substantial offerings of LGBT films, this new category heading arises out of an initiative spearheaded by LGBT film distributor Wolfe Video. Hulu.com’s LGBT genre category can be accessed here.
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Boy Scouts of America refuse to meet with mom ousted for being gay

New York, NY, April 24, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today responded to a statement that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) gave to CNN.com. The Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its discriminatory policies that led to the removal of Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell as scout leader of her 7-year-old son’s troop because she is gay.
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No Winner Picked In 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season Finale Shocker!

LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "America's Next Drag Superstar" hopefuls Chad Michaels, Phi Phi O'Hara, Sharon Needles and millions of fervent fans were left on the edge of their seats as no winner was revealed on last night's season finale of "RuPaul's Drag Race."
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PrideFest Key West: One Week, One Family

This popular Florida resort town was the first to pursue the LGBT dollar and it continues to be one of the top gay destinations in the United States. An inspirational haven for writers such as Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote, Key West is paradise for the queer literary or history buff. In June, thousands of gay and lesbian travelers from around the world get caught in this intoxicating tourist trap. The occasion? PrideFest Key West!
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HIV+ Kids Win the Fight Against the Virus in Logo TV's 'Positive Youth'

March 2012 - First identified in the United States in 1981, HIV has become one of the world's most widespread pandemics. Wrongly labeled a "gay plague" in its early days, this non-discriminating virus affects more than 41 million people across the globe, regardless of their sex, orientation or socioeconomic status.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Philadelphia, a groundbreaking LGBT-friendly city

Since a list of gayest cities from a national magazine earlier this year demanded a response on so many levels, let me respond with this. Move over, New York City, L.A., D.C. and San Francisco: It’s about time the media, especially LGBT media, took note of what people outside those media bubbles are accomplishing. And we’re not talking about nude yoga as a representative case of progress. Let me present to you ... Philadelphia, the nation’s most gay-friendly city — by a long shot. Here are the facts.
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Michael Dithers

Michael Dithers
Mark Hoovler moving to Alabama; Matthew;s Trattroria closing; Drenched Fur fun; Drag Queen Bingo; Puck returns
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Contests

Win Dressing Marilyn by Andrew Hansford from Applause Books

Win Dressing Marilyn by Andrew Hansford from Applause Books
Win Dressing Marilyn by Andrew Hansford from Applause Books! Erie Gay News is giving away 1 copy of this fascinating book. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from May 18 through June 8.
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Win Ruck's Deluxe Album Set by Joey Ruckus!

Win Ruck's Deluxe Album Set by Joey Ruckus!
Win Ruck's Deluxe Album set, which includes two albums on 1 CD, More Famous Than You and  Roof // Top, by Joey Ruckus, brought to you by Erie Gay News! The 5 contest winners will receive a signed copy of the Roop // Top Deluxe album as well as an inclusion in the fan photo montage in Joey Ruckus's upcoming music video. For more information on Joey Ruckus, check out his bio below or visit JoeyRuckus.com. To enter the contest, fill out the form below between May 11 and June 1.
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Win In The Air by Morgan Page Prize Pack!

Win In The Air by Morgan Page Prize Pack!
Grammy-nominated DJ/producer Morgan Page releases his third solo album, In The Air, which features collaborations with Tegan And Sara, Angela McCluskey, Nadia Ali, Greg Laswell and others.  To celebrate the record release, Erie Gay News is promoting a new contest and giving away the prize pack listed below. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between May 7 and May 28.
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Win Jitters DVD!

Win Jitters DVD!
TLA Releasing presents the powerful coming-of-age drama JITTERS, Directed by Baldvin Z. Erie Gay News is giving away DVDs to 5 lucky winners. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from May 4 through May 25.
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Win Rocky Horror Picture Show: Music on Film by Dave Thompson from Limelight Editions

Win Rocky Horror Picture Show: Music on Film by Dave Thompson from Limelight Editions
Win Rocky Horror Picture Show: Music on Film by Dave Thompson from Limelight Editions. Erie Gay News is giving away 3 copies of this book. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from May 1 through May 22.
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Win Unafraid by Michael Griffo from Kensington Books!

Win Unafraid by Michael Griffo from Kensington Books!
Win Unafraid by Michael Griffo from Kensington Books! Erie Gay News is giving away 5 copies of this young adult vampire novel. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from April 27 through May 18.
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Win Love at the Bottom of the Sea by The Magnetic Fields

Win Love at the Bottom of the Sea by The Magnetic Fields
Merge Records presents Love at the Bottom of the Sea, the tenth album from the beloved band The Magnetic Fields. Fifteen brand new tracks including the blog-buster "Andrew in Drag." Check out www.houseoftomorrow.com for tour dates. Erie Gay News is giving away 3 copies. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from April 24 through May 15.
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Miscellaneous

Equality Forum Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Israel as the Featured Nation

Equality Forum 2012, our 20th anniversary celebrates the transformation from a groundbreaking regional LGBT conference into the premier and largest annual national and international LGBT summit,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director.
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