Central Voice

Linking LGBT Communities In Central Pennsylvania And Beyond

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Here's Our May/June 2015 Print Edition


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Birthdays Tomorrow

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Yolanda Edrington is now a member of Central Voice
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Celebrating Our Failures

There is a danger about living our lives in a positive way. What’s that, you ask?We may feel ashamed when things don’t turn out the way we thought they would. We might feel that if our desires are sincere then the outcome should be assured. To avoid the pain we may even refuse to admit the situation.“What a wonderful opportunity I’m having,” we may say when our experience goes south. Okay, I get it. I know bad events, even tragedies, can turn out months or years later to have a blessing of some…See More
May 18
Dr. F. Gianmichael Salvato commented on Terry Drew Karanen's blog post Why Did This Happen?
"Holding you and your family and the families of the other victims in my heart, Brother."
May 15
Rosemary Browne is now a member of Central Voice
May 15
G updated their profile
May 14
No name updated their profile
May 14
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Why Did This Happen?

Why Did This Happen?I originally wrote parts of this week’s blog shortly after Malaysian Airlines flight 370 went missing. A recent event in my own life has had me once again asking the same question - over and over and over again:  Why did this happen?Something very personal in my extended family happened last week. My niece, Kalee Scolatti, was shot and killed along with a long-time family friend, TJ, who was like a big brother to her. Their murders were at the hand of Kalee’s estranged…See More
May 11
Dr. F. Gianmichael Salvato posted a discussion

Alder Health Services

Does anyone know someone at Alder Health, such as an office manager or the assistant to the medical director there? Several of their clients have asked me to talk to the medical director about a new comprehensive pharmacogenetic test that's available, at no cost to doctors or Medicare-covered patients, developed by the Mayo Clinic. As a physician-educator, I have been trying for three weeks to get past the gate keepers and get a five minute appointment with the medical director, so we can do an…See More
May 6

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Amtrak Crash Engineer is Gay Man Who Fought Prop 8

Frontier News Reports: Amtrak Crash Engineer is Gay Man Who Fought Prop 8

Neither the NTSB nor the police have not named a suspect for the tragic Amtrak train crash but the radical right says the gay guy is clearly to blame.


Brandon Bostian

Mainstream media and online blogs have identified the engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed and killed at least 7 people and injured more than 200 Tuesday night in north Philadelphia as Brandon Bostian. The 32 year old engineer and the still unidentified train conductor survived the crash and were taken to a near hospital where Bostina was treated for a laceration to his head. He was briefly interviewed there by police, telling them he didn’t remember much, according to ABC 6. Bostina has since retained a lawyer and there are conflicting accounts as to whether he gave a blood sample and his cell phone to police or whether he declined to give a statement.

According to briefings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Washington DC to New York City passenger train was traveling at a speed of 106 miles per hour as it entered a sharp turn, more than double the speed for that area. Amtrak has the “black box” which contains data about the speed, which indicate that Bostian applied the emergency brakes just before hitting the curve. The black box also has a forward-facing camera, but the NTSB has not yet officially released those images.

There were 238 passengers and five crew members aboard the train’s seven cars, some of which overturned and were ripped apart by the crash.

Bostian has become the subject of hatred and speculation by vile anti-gay bloggers, asJoe.My.God reports:

GotNews, which first reported his name, called him a “gay activist,” and many Twitter users have reacted negatively to his sexuality, claiming he may have been a “diversity” hire by the government-funded Amtrak.

GotNews is a far-right site run by the despicable Chuck C. Johnson, who is loathed even by some of his fellow wingnuts for his habit of trolling the victims of rape.

Bostian’s friends on Facebook, including from his “Amtrak family,” however, have been leaving him notes of well-wishes. Peggy Franklin Ammendola said: “You know, for me, Amtrack is synonymous with Brandon, and as soon as I saw the story this morning, my immediate thoughts were about you and continue to be. Others said:


Bostian graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from the College of Business at the University of Missouri-Columbia, which he attended from 2001-2006, according to his LinkedIn profile.

For one year, from 2005-2006, he worked as a cashier at Target. For four and a half years, from July 2006 to Dec. 2010, he worked as a Passenger Conductor with Amtrak, after which he was promoted to Passenger Engineer, where he’s worked for four years and six months.

The radical right is suggesting Bostian was a “diversity” hire by Amtrak by making it appear he was a “gay activist” who jumped from Target to Conductor in short order.

Prior to moving to New York and joining Amtrak, Bostian lived in San Francisco where he worked fighting Prop 8. In 2010, he explained to New York’s small paper The Midtown Gazette covering a panel on marriage equality at the LGBT Community Center in early October that he was dismayed by having to fight for marriage rights:

While he is still interested in working for marriage equality, Bostian admitted that he is less enthusiastic this time around. “It’s kind of insulting to have to beg people for my right to marry,” he said. “I feel like we shouldn’t even have to have this fight.”

With the election just two weeks away, Bostian is also worried that it may be too late for him to help. “What can I really do?” he asked.

Though NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash, many have already declared it was the result of human error.

According to Tom Cleary, a reporter and editor for Heavy.com, “Bostian changed his Facebook profile picture to a black square at about 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, about four hours after the crash.”

Meanwhile, the Republican Congress cut funding to Amtrak on Wednesday. 



Blog Posts

Celebrating Our Failures

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on May 18, 2015 at 6:00am

Why Did This Happen?

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on May 11, 2015 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

How Big Is Your Package?

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on May 4, 2015 at 3:00am — 2 Comments

Judge Voids PA Anti-gay Marriage Law; Rallies Held Statewide

Judge Voids PA Anti-gay Marriage Law; Rallies Held Statewide

Harrisburg City Hall Open for Marriage Ceremonies

By Central Voice


About 100 people rallied on the steps of the State Capital Building at 6 p.m. tonight celebrating a federal judge overturning Pennsylvania's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that banned same-sex marriage.

More photos below.

Federal Middle District Judge John E. Jones III ruled earlier today (May 20, 2014) that Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.


Jones' ruling overturns the state's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act prohibiting gay marriage and banning recognition of gay marriages performed in states where same-sex marriage is legal.


Jones' decision means that Pennsylvanians can legally marry in the state and have their marriages which were performed in other states recognized. The prohibition against same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania has ended.


Twelve other federal courts have also struck down laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. On Monday (May 19, 2014), Oregon overturned its law banning gay marriage, bringing to 18, now 19 with Pennsylvania's decision, the number of states allowing same-sex unions. Also today the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered expedited review of a federal district court’s decision that overturned Idaho’s ban on marriage equality. At the same time, the court put the lower court’s decision on hold until the appeal is completed. This month is also the 10th anniversary of Massachusetts allowing gay marriage.


Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said he welcomes the ruling. “This is an historic ruling and one that I wholeheartedly welcome,” he said. “The doors of City Hall are open to all couples who want to wed.”


Although there is a three-day waiting period in Pennsylvania between getting a license and completing the ceremony, Dauphin County's Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court Jean Marfizo King said she is ready for a potential influx of couples seeking licenses.


The case, Whitewood v. Wolf, was filed July 9, 2013, on behalf of 23 Pennsylvanians who wish to marry in Pennsylvania or want the commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state marriages.


The lawsuit alleged that the state's Defense of Marriage Act and refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples or recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the fundamental right to marry as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit came in the wake of the ACLU's victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor, which requires federal recognition for lesbian and gay couples who are married in their home states.


Plaintiffs argued that the court should closely scrutinize this discriminatory treatment because the state's Defense of Marriage Act burdens the fundamental right to marry and because it discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation.


Julie Lobur and Marla Cattermole were among 23 people challenging Pennsylvania's anti-same-sex marriage law in court. Central Voice photo


Local Harrisburg couple Marla Cattermole and Julie Lobur were among those challenging Pennsylvania's law in court.  Lobur's partner of 28 years, Cattermole said told Central Voice last September,"...we'd like our relationship legally recognized." They are legally married in the state of Iowa. With today's decision, their marriage is now recognized.


In his ruling, Jones wrote: "In the sixty years since Brown was decided, ‘separate’ has thankfully faded into history, and only ‘equal’ remains. Similarly, in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage. We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”


Katie Somers, Communications Chair for the Capital Region Stonewall Democrats said, "despite many rallies and being a proud activist, today is a day that I've waiting for many years but honestly, didn't think I would necessarily see marriage equality in Pennsylvania in my lifetime. Once the clerks are ready, I will get my marriage license and legally marry my wife."


State Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who declined to defend the state law, says she won't appeal today's decision. "Inequality in any form is unacceptable and it has never stood the test of time," she said.


A spokesman for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said he was "still reviewing the opinion and once the review is complete we'll share his response."


Harrisburg Diocese's newly appointed Bishop Ronald Gainer called the ruling "a redefinition of God's law."


Rallies were held in Harrisburg, Erie, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. About 100 people attended the Harrisburg rally held on the steps of the State Capital building.



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Alder Health Services

Started by Dr. F. Gianmichael Salvato in Uncategorized May 6.

NGLCC Honors Central Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce with National Chamber Excellence Community Impact Award

Started by Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Uncategorized Aug 1, 2014.

Mixer Tuesday Evening, Jan. 15 in Mechanicsburg

Started by Bill Krenz in Uncategorized Jan 14, 2013.

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Local Response to Indiana's Religious Freedom Protection Act

See full story in May-June issue now available at local drop-off locations.

"The truth is that people in Pennsylvania are shocked to learn that it is still legal in our state to discriminate against gay and transgender people," Ted Martin, executive director, Equality PA, explains as he reflects on what happened last March in Indiana when that state passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).


"So what went on in Indiana helps us make sure that people know we need to update Pennsylvania's discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity," Martin says.


Martin note that "The intense and severe backlash against Indiana also serves as an example that discrimination is not the way to move your state forward economically, and I think that our leaders in the state capitol will pay attention to that message."

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