LGBT Candidate Winners in Mid-Terms

Let’s celebrate this return to the Cafe with a highlight of the LGBT winners in this mid-term election cycle.

At the National level:

Colorado has it’s first openly gay governor in Jared Polis.
Kansas elected it’s first Lesbian and Native American to congress in Sharice Davids.
New Hampshire has it’s first gay member of Congress in Chris Pappas.
Another Lesbian was elected to Congress representing Minnesota, Angie Craig.

At the state level:

New Hampshire has a pair of transgender women elected to its House of Representatives – Gerri Canon and Lisa Bunker
Kansas also has Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard added to its state legislature.
Malcolm Kenyatta is the first black gay man elected to Pennsylvania’s legislature.
Teri Johnston is Key West, FL’s first lesbian mayor.

And finally, though he is not gay himself, Zach Wahls – who you may recall defended his two moms in 2011 to the Iowa House of Representatives now represents Iowa Senate District 37.

We also saw Massachusettes vote to protect transgender rights.

So not only did the Democrats take back the House of Representatives, both LGBT candidates as well as women in general, won BIG across the country.

signature

PA State Lawmaker Proclaims Straightness

What a douchebag!! Just because someone touches you on the arm does not mean that he (or she) suddenly thinks you’re gay. If you have to stop a meeting to proclaim to one and all that you’re a heterosexual, perhaps you’re not. We’ve seen lots of evidence that the most vocal haters are the ones deepest in the closet.

A meeting of Pennsylvania state legislators that was supposed to be about a land-use bill went wildly offtrack Tuesday when a conservative lawmaker felt the need to loudly proclaim his heterosexuality.

Everything seemed business as usual until Rep. Matt Bradford lightly touched Rep. Daryl Metcalfe on the arm during Tuesday’s discussion. Metcalfe responded by interjecting, “Look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife, I don’t like men — as you might. But stop touching me all the time.”

“Keep your hands to yourself,” Metcalfe continued, as Bradford began to laugh. “If you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle who might like it. I don’t.”

Full story

signature

If you troll, don’t leave a phone number around

If you’re gonna troll someone, make sure your victim can’t repay you by calling family members to inform them of what you’re doing. Clearly “David” has a lot to learn about trolling.

It’s not uncommon for politicians to receive rather unpleasant messages from people who don’t agree with their views, but this comment posted by an internet troll definitely crossed the line. However, the harassed man accidentally brought up a comeback that was brilliant: he called his grandmother to talk about the troll’s hateful comment.

Full story

signature

Co-ed Toilets at DNC

Imagine that! All gender bathroom at the DNC and no one is batting an eye because everyone is there to do one thing: pee.

PHILADELPHIA —Hundreds of men and women shared a big, busy “all-gender restroom” at the Democratic National Convention on Monday — and were seemingly unfazed by the experience.

“It doesn’t make me nervous at all,” Lula Dualeh, a delegate for Bernie Sanders, told BuzzFeed News. “I just need to use the restroom. I don’t care who’s next to me.”

But restrooms have been a hot-button issue for many Republicans. State and federal politicians have politicized bathroom access, saying that allowing transgender women — whom they call “men” — to use the women’s restroom poses a safety threat.

At the Wells Fargo Center, which also had single-sex restrooms, a sign at the entrance of the all-gender restroom featured a figurine in a dress and another figurine without a dress.

Full story

signature

PA High School Students Organize “Anti-Gay Day”

Start the hate and violence young, I always say! Make sure it’s well indoctrinated by adulthood.

Students at a Pennsylvania high school held an “Anti-Gay Day” protest on Thursday, wearing coordinated flannel shirts, writing “anti-gay” on their hands, and sticking Bible verses on LGBT students’ lockers.

“We came in to school on Thursday and found a lot of people wearing flannel and we couldn’t figure out why,” Zoe Johnson, a 16-year-old bisexual student at McGuffey High School in Claysville, told BuzzFeed News. “People started getting pushed and notes were left on people’s lockers.”

The anti-gay protest occurred a day after students with the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) held a “Day of Silence,” an event aimed at drawing attention to anti-gay bullying.

Full story

signature

Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Wow! The good news keeps rolling in!! This is, by no means, the end of the fight in any of the states most recently a part of the same-sex marriage victories, but it appears that things can go in our favor.

WASHINGTON — For the second day in a row, a federal judge — this time in Pennsylvania — has struck down a state ban on same-sex couples’ marriages.

Less than 24 hours after U.S. District Court Michael McShane — an Obama appointee — struck down Oregon’s state constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from marrying, U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III — appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002 — reached the same ultimate conclusion in Pennsylvania.

“We now join the twelve federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage,” Jones wrote.

Like McShane in Oregon, Jones provided for no stay of his ruling, meaning it goes into effect immediately — and same-sex couples should be able to apply for marriage licenses immediately, although there is a three-day waiting period to get the license.

Full story

signature

Gay Catholic School Teacher Fired for Wedding Plans

Okay I’m going to go way out on a limb here, but if Lesbians and gays don’t like being forced to do something, why should we expect others to like it more?

If you work for a religious institution in any capacity, you have to know that they aren’t going to approve of your lifestyle. People may seem “okay” with you being homosexual because it’s not something visible that they are reminded of on a daily basis and they can easily put it out of their minds. Taking it one step further and getting married, though, forces them to recognize something they disagree with.

It would be easier on everyone if LGBT folk didn’t put themselves into a situation where problems like this might arrive. Mr Griffin claims he had no forewarning that he’d be fired, but short of being told, “Hey we’re going to fire you if you get married,” he would be pretty naive to think that his employer would be okay with his marriage.

A gay teacher at a Pennsylvania Catholic school said he was fired after he applied for a marriage license to wed his long-time partner.

Michael Griffin worked at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School for 12 years teaching French and Italian. He said that although administrators, including the principal, knew he was gay, he never had any major conflict with the Catholic administrators until Friday.

Griffin said he was fired on Friday after he had emailed administrators to tell them he was going to file for a marriage license and would be slightly late to work.

Full story

signature

Methodist Minister’s Trial

In a follow up to this original story, it appears the trial has begun. I hope that even if Rev. Schaeffer is found guilty, he will not lose his ministerial credentials.

SPRING CITY, Pa. (AP) — A United Methodist minister who officiated at his son’s same-sex wedding pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he broke his pastoral vows.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon entered his plea at the beginning of a high-profile church trial in southeastern Pennsylvania that is rekindling debate over the denomination’s policy on gay marriage.

Schaefer could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to losing his minister’s credentials if a jury composed of fellow Methodist clergy convicts him of breaking church law that bans clergy from performing same-sex weddings.

The church’s attorney, the Rev. Christopher Fisher, told the 13-member jury in his opening statement that Schaefer clearly violated the Methodist Book of Discipline by presiding over the 2007 ceremony in Massachusetts. He said the complainant — a member of Schaefer’s congregation — was dismayed and shocked when he learned of the ceremony earlier this year.

Full story

Methodist Pastor Faces Trial for Son’s Gay Wedding

It’s so sad that his father followed through with something he believed in and now will pay for it by losing his job. 😦 And the way it was handled seems pretty underhanded.

I’m not familiar with the Methodist teachings, so anyone who is, feel free to comment.

The defrocking of a Methodist pastor for officiating his son’s gay wedding would be worth the attention that his upcoming church trial has generated, the pastor’s son said.

“This is getting the conversation started to revisit really discriminatory policies,” Tim Schaefer, 29, told ABC News. “I think that will have made it worth it.”

The fate of Schaefer’s father, the Rev. Frank Schaefer, will be decided at a Methodist retreat outside of Philadelphia this Monday, six years after he officiated at Tim’s same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.
Schaefer, pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in South Lebanon Township, told his superiors in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference that he was going to perform at his son’s wedding in 2007 and received no warning or reprimand. It was only this April, when a parishioner filed a complaint, that Schaefer was told he would face discipline for violating church doctrine.

Full story

signature

Republican’s Attorneys: Gays, Like Children, Are Simply Ineligible For Marriage

I don’t really know how Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage law came into being. I don’t know if it was the Will of the People or the politicians pushing for it. Right now, I can’t be bothered looking into it, so if anyone reading this knows, please feel free to comment. Either way, it doesn’t surprise me that the ReTHUGlicans aren’t going to let this issue die.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the state are invalid because the couples were barred from marrying, just like 12-year-olds, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s attorneys said Wednesday.

Corbett’s administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in suburban Philadelphia, where Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes has issued more than 150 to gay and lesbian couples since July 24.

State attorneys said in a court filing on Wednesday the gay marriage licenses have no “value or legitimacy” and can’t be defended in court. They compared gay and lesbian couples to children, who can’t marry because a 1996 law says marriage is between a man and a woman.

Full story