Central Voice

Linking LGBT Communities In Central Pennsylvania And Beyond

Assist, promote LGBT communities and their supporters through social networks that strive to enhance communication, acceptance,equality.

Here's Our May/June 2015 Print Edition

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abiola bawuah updated their profile
Friday
abiola bawuah is now a member of Central Voice
Friday
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

How Vulnerable Are You?

Seeing people with their noses buried in their devices is something I’m becoming more aware of in the past year. When my niece visited last year we saw more of her forehead than her eyes. I knew she was in bed from the radiant glow of her device snuggled in beside her. I now work with a number of 20-somethings that seem to be more connected to their device than to their duties at hand. At the risk of sounding my age I fear I might becoming a crank old man!I have felt for a long time that the…See More
Apr 27
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

The Illusion of Companionship

Are you reading this on your mobile device? Over half of my readers access my blogs and messages via a smart phone or tablet. But does yours feel like it’s surgically attached to you?I sometimes feel like mine is, which is why I’ve been taking consistent and proactive steps to disconnect from the technology in my life…See More
Apr 20
Devin Colley is now a member of Central Voice
Apr 13
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Stop Tolerating Your Life!

In my last blog I wrote about accepting people as they want to be. In other words, stop trying to teach the pig to sing – it doesn’t work and it annoys the pig. Please don’t get self-righteous and tell me I’m calling people pigs, although that wouldn’t be an insult anyway. Pigs are perhaps the most sentient animals that we humans eat – enough of a reason not to eat them according to my friend, Michael! But I digress.I encourage mutually supporting those around us, not pulling or dragging people…See More
Apr 13
Harrisburg Gay Men's Chorus posted events
Apr 5
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Changing Others

"Just who do you think you are to tell God what to do?!?"That's the response I got from a spiritual counselor years ago when I was detailing to her all the ways my lover at the time needed to change to have the life he deserved. "What makes you think what he's going through isn't allowing him to grow in ways you can't imagine?"Dang. I just wanted her agreement to help me help him get off his butt and get a job. Sheesh!You cannot have a relationship with someone's potential.If only my life…See More
Apr 1

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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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How Big Is Your Package?

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

How Vulnerable Are You?

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on April 27, 2015 at 10:46am

The Illusion of Companionship

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on April 20, 2015 at 9:49am

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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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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