June, 2018 News (32 Articles with 84,229 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for June, 2018 BEARS IN SPACE Drenched Fur held its fourteenth annual Bear Run in Erie April 12-15. This year's event was sci-fi themed, called "Bears in Space."

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Local and Regional News

Pridefest and March June 30

Erie Pridefest and March will take place this year on June 30th. We will gather at The Zone Dance Club on 133 West 18th Street 11AM to noon, and step off at noon to march to Perry Square. Once at Perry Square, we will have info tables, vendors and local drag performers, bands and other performers. For the fifth consecutive year we will also have HIV and STI testing provided by the Erie HIV Task Force. Pridefest is Smoke and Vape free for the second year in a row, thanks to the Erie County Health Department. This event is free, family friendly, and open to all ages.
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Drenched Fur 14 recap

This April 12-15, once again the Erie community was host for the exclusive Bear Weekend known as Drenched Fur (DF). It was the fourteenth time the 'Best Little Run for Fun' created a weekend vacation where hundreds of men came from places like Canada, California, Iowa, and around the tri-state area.
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Greater Erie Alliance for Equality Afternoon for Equality June 10

Tickets are still available for Greater Erie Alliance for Equality's (GEAE) delightful summer fundraiser Afternoon for Equality, now in its eighth year. The event will be held Sunday, June 10 at La Rue Dix in downtown Erie. We'll have speakers, scholarship awards, an overview of GEAE's year, and announcements about upcoming events. Plus, there will be delicious food, wine, beer, cool jazz music by Stephen Trohoske, and lots of friends and allies on hand Tickets are $50. Buy online at www.greatereriealliance.com or email geaeinfo@gmail.com your reservation.
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New LGBTQ youth group meets in downtown Erie

Prism LGBTQ youth group will be meeting every other week at the Downtown YMCA teen center, 31 W 10th St, Erie PA. Saturdays from 2-4 beginning June 2 and continued on alternating weeks.
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STD and Hepatitis C testing at M&J's Lounge May 26

STD and Hepatitis C testing at M&J's Lounge May 26
The Central Outreach van will be coming back at M&J's Lounge, 124 Mercer St., Butler PA on May 26, starting at 8PM. The testng will cover all sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and Hepatitis C. The event is free and confidential.
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Velazquez, Clarke Demand Answers After Trump's SBA Deletes LGBT Web Resources

Velazquez, Clarke Demand Answers After Trump's SBA Deletes LGBT Web Resources
Washington, DC - May 10, 2018- Late yesterday, two key Members of Congress wrote the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), pressing the agency on why it has deleted online resources that previously existed to assist Lesbian, Gay and Transgender (LGBT) entrepreneurs. In the Tuesday missive, House Small Business Committee Ranking Member Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY) and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) asked the SBA Administrator why the pages were removed in January of last year, shortly after Donald Trump's inauguration.
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Deadline for June 2018 print edition (issue # 2701) of Erie Gay News is Monday, May 14

Deadline for June 2018 print edition (issue # 2701) of Erie Gay News is Monday, May 14
For the next print edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 271, cover dated for June 2018), please send in calendar events, news items, and other info for late May 2018 and beyond by Monday, May 14. We expect that the next print edition will come out on Tuesday, May 22.
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Political, Activism and Legal

LGBTQ State Legislative Candidates Win Big in Pennsylvania; Primary Victories for Incumbents in Oregon and Idaho

Washington, DC - May 15, 2018 –  Pennsylvania candidates Malcolm Kenyatta and Kristin Seale are on-track to make history after winning their primaries on Tuesday night. Malcolm will become the first openly LGBTQ person of color to serve in the Pennsylvania state legislature if elected in November, and Kristin Seale will become the first queer state legislator. Brian Sims, the first and only openly LGBTQ state legislator in Pennsylvania – won his race unopposed. Six of seven Victory Fund-endorsed candidates with primaries tonight won their races.
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HRC Celebrates Pro-Equality Champions in Pennsylvania Primary

PHILADELPHIA - May 15, 2018 -- Tonight, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released the following statement celebrating the victories of pro-equality candidates Senator Bob Casey, Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-2), Dwight Evans (PA-3), Matt Cartwright (PA-8), and Michael Doyle (PA-18), and Chrissy Houlahan.
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Maryland Becomes 11th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - May 15, 2018 -Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today signed a bill into law that will protect Maryland youth from the practice of conversion therapy by health professionals. Conversion therapy, sometimes called "ex-gay therapy," attempts to change an individual's sexual orientation and/or gender identity and has been discredited by every major medical and mental health organization as an ineffective and harmful practice. On April 4, Maryland Republican Delegate Meagan Simonaire made headlines when she took to the floor of Maryland's House of Delegates to give an impassioned speech about the harm that resulted in her own life when her family, including father state senator Bryan Simonaire, sought conversion therapy for her.
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American Federation of Teachers and Texas AFT on Firing of Texas Teacher

WASHINGTON - May 13, 2018 - American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro, who is an AFT vice president, issued a statement in response to the news that Stacy Bailey, an art teacher in Arlington, Texas, was fired for showing students a slide show that included photos of her wife: "Marriage is protected by the Constitution; this isn't a question. No one should be fired from a job because of whom they marry, and yet, in 2018, there's a school district removing a twice-awarded teacher of the year from her classroom and her students for talking about her family. This not only sends a terrible message to our kids about bigotry, but it flies in the face of the constitutional protections around the institution of marriage. It is exactly these types of baseless assaults on teachers' character that remind us just how critical a union voice is in protecting our educators.
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Nation's Largest LGBT Military Spouse Non-Profit Launches MilPride - A New Program Focused on Families with LGBT Kids

WASHINGTON - May 13, 2018 - Tonight, at the organization's 5th annual national gala, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) - the nation's largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military spouses, families, and allies - announced the launch of a new program focused on education, advocacy, and support for military families with LGBT children. The new program, called MilPride, will be led by Jessica Girven and Amanda Brewer - military mothers of transgender youth who have had to face challenges and discrimination in navigating the military system.
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TLC Condemns Trump Bureau of Prisons Move Exposing Trans People to Violence

May 12, 2018 - Late Friday, BuzzFeed reported that the Trump administration erased federal Bureau of Prisons rules intended to address the health and safety of incarcerated transgender people. These rules, grounded firmly in the Prison Rape Elimination Act signed by George W. Bush, were an attempt to reduce the violence, harassment, abuse and sexual assault that transgender and gender-nonconforming people regularly experience at terrifying rates in prisons and jails.
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New Trans Military Ban Filing from NCLR, GLAD Would Accelerate Final Court Ruling to Permanently Stop Trump-Pence Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 12, 2018 -Transgender military ban plaintiffs in Doe v. Trump, the first lawsuit to challenge the Trump-Pence ban, filed a cross-motion for summary judgment last night in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs' motion asserts that undisputed facts show the ban, including the March 23 Mattis implementation plan, violates their Equal Protection and Due Process rights, and that the court should provide permanent declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the Trump-Pence ban from ever being implemented.
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OK Gov. Signs Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Bill

May 11, 2018 - Equality Federation stands with our member organization Freedom Oklahoma in our disgust at the passage of SB 1140, the first piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation in the nation to become law this year.
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GLAD Calls on U.S. Border Patrol to Allow Entry for Transgender Women Seeking Asylum, Condemns Violent Attacks

May 10, 2018 - Following reports of violent and demeaning treatment of transgender women seeking asylum at the US border, including news of a shelter in which the women were staying in Tijuana, Mexico having been set on fire, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) issued the following statement: The horrifying treatment of the transgender women who have traveled to our border seeking a reprieve from violence should be utterly unacceptable to every American. Our core American ideals of liberty, democracy, and human rights require us to offer refuge to those who face severe threats in their home countries.  Asylum is a life-saving system that is designed precisely to protect the extremely vulnerable. We have a responsibility to ensure that system is open and available to those who need it, including transgender people and other members of the LGB community forced to flee places where they are fundamentally unsafe because of who they are.
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Nickie Antonio Wins Decisive Primary Victory; On-Track to Become First Openly LGBTQ Ohio State Senator

Washington, DC - May 9, 2018 –  Ohio State Rep. Nickie Antonio won the Democratic primary election Tuesday night in a safe Democratic district and will almost certainly become the first openly LGBTQ state senator in Ohio come November. Rep. Antonio – a Victory Fund Spotlight candidate – defeated an anti-LGBTQ challenger who authored an anti-trans amendment to Cleveland's non-discrimination ordinance when a city councilmember. Rep. Antonio is one of nine Victory Fund-endorsed candidates with primaries Tuesday night – all of which advanced to general elections or general election run-offs.
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Recent Preemption Bills Undermine Democracy and Threaten LGBT Equality

Washington, D.C., May 8, 2018-Across the country, cities and counties are taking steps to promote progress and to protect their residents on a range of issues, including workers' rights and benefits, the minimum wage, nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, pro-immigrant policies, environmental efforts, and more. However, a new report examines how many state legislatures are attempting to limit these efforts through "preemption," or state laws that block or prevent local governments from passing their own laws on a range of issues.
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Health

LGBT Divorce: from "I do" to "I'm done"

This is the column that I knew I would someday need to write, so I guess the time is now. Yes, I have already done "Divorce Counseling" for a few LGBT couples (and a lot more for hetero couples for the past two decades) and, unfortunately, I'm seeing more-and-more married LGBT couples who are considering divorce.
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As California STD Rates Skyrocket, AHF Highlights New 'Gonorrhea Alert' Billboards

LOS ANGELES (May 15, 2018) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) launched its latest national outdoor advertising and awareness campaign with new billboards raising an alarm and offering a 'Gonorrhea Alert' about drug-resistant strains of the sexually transmitted disease-including a case of what has been referred to as 'super gonorrhea'  reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by physicians in the United Kingdom earlier this year.
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Gilead Lawsuits: California HIV Patients File Class Action and Personal Injury Cases Over Key HIV Drug

May 9, 2018 - Legal actions filed by patients with HIV from Los Angeles, San Diego & Marin Counties target Gilead over its promotion of HIV/AIDS medication that causes permanent damage to the kidneys and bones AND over Gilead's suppression of a safer version of the drug with far less toxicity in order to maximize profits and extend the sales of the initial drug, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate ("TDF").
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Spirituality and Religion

Kate Buczek Memorial Jazz Concert June 3

The Kate Buszek Memorial Jazz Concert happens at Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 Perry Highway, Erie, PA 4 PM - 6 PM. Featuring "Razzer's Jazzers" Dixieland Band from Jamestown, New York, and the Derf Hopseger Jazz Quintet of Erie.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Michael Dithers

Michael Dithers
Michael dithers about Pride Fest, Drenched Fur 14, youth group, and more 
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Amazon Trail: A Poem and a Plant

The day was typical for the Pacific Northwest. The brightening sky had stopped sputtering its fine dewdrops for the moment, the wind had blown itself out, and the development where I live came to life. People took advantage of the disappearing dreariness to walk their dogs, scurry to our centrally located mailboxes, or meet their step goals.
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When political connections allow discrimination, we fight back

For our family at PGN, this has been what you might call a mixed couple of weeks. It started with the death of one of our extended family members, Mike Petty, the husband of Don Pignolet, who has been with this paper since its beginning. Naturally our hearts and first concerns were with Don. 
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Contests

Enter to win Green Day FAQ!

Enter to win Green Day FAQ!
Enter to win Green Day FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the World's Most Popular Punk Band by Hank Bordowitz! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, June 8 and Friday, June 29.
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Enter to win Later Chapters: The Best Monologues and Scenes for Actors Over Fifty!

Enter to win Later Chapters: The Best Monologues and Scenes for Actors Over Fifty!
Enter to win Later Chapters: The Best Monologues and Scenes for Actors Over Fifty by Diana Amsterdam! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 26.
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Enter to win Mel Brooks FAQ!

Enter to win Mel Brooks FAQ!
Enter to win Mel Brooks FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Outrageous Genius of Comedy by Dale Sherman! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, June 1 and Friday, June 22.
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Enter to win The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai!

Enter to win The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai!
Enter to win The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 29 and Tuesday, June 19.
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Enter to win Night of the Sadist e-book from Riverdale Avenue Books!

Enter to win Night of the Sadist e-book from Riverdale Avenue Books!
Enter to win Night of the Sadist e-book from Riverdale Avenue Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form below between Friday, May 25 and Friday, June 15.
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Enter for a chance to win North Morgan's novel INTO?

Enter for a chance to win North Morgan's novel INTO?
Enter for a chance to win North Morgan's novel INTO? Konrad Platt needs to get out of town. Heartbroken after his boyfriend leaves him for another man, Konrad abandons his life in London for the warm sun and blue surf of LA. He occupies a refined world of hard abs, VIP parties, and designer drugs that's constantly, endlessly documented on social media. You know him from your various feeds – sunkissed, gym ripped and always having a better time than you. Or is he? In INTO? North Morgan spins a darkly hilarious, and shockingly perceptive story of excess and love that's like nothing you've ever read. INTO? is available May 22https://read.macmillan.com/lp/into. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 22 and Tuesday, June 12.
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Enter for a chance to win MEAN GIRLS: The Original Broadway Cast Recording!

Enter for a chance to win MEAN GIRLS: The Original Broadway Cast Recording!
Enter for a chance to win MEAN GIRLS: The Original Broadway Cast Recording!  Based on the iconic film, MEAN GIRLS is now on Broadway! Book by Tina Fey, music by three-time Emmy Award winner Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Tony Award nominee Nell Benjamin, and directed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw.The MEAN GIRLS original Broadway cast recording is available digitally May 18: https://Atlantic.lnk.to/meangirls  To enter the contest, fill out the form below between Tuesday, May 15 and Tuesday, June 5.
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