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 July/August 2015 Print Edition

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Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Choose the Stream

We have all seen televangelists or motivational speakers. Some of them seem to have the same smile on their face constantly. I find that kind of perennial “happy go lucky” or “everything is just wonderful all the time” attitude incredibly unbelievable. No one is happy all the time.When we admit that the only constant in the universe is change we also realize that “shift” happens and we are not always going to like it. In the Science of Mind philosophy we do not ignore the facts. Ernest Holmes…See More
Monday
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Choose the Stream

We have all seen televangelists or motivational speakers. Some of them seem to have the same smile on their face constantly. I find that kind of perennial “happy go lucky” or “everything is just wonderful all the time” attitude incredibly unbelievable. No one is happy all the time.When we admit that the only constant in the universe is change we also realize that “shift” happens and we are not always going to like it. In the Science of Mind philosophy we do not ignore the facts. Ernest Holmes…See More
Friday
Profile IconJustine Kompare and Derrick Moore joined Central Voice
Jul 23
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Weeding Your Garden

Are you clear about what you want in life? We might think we are, but the proof is whether or not our lives are reflecting that belief.How often have you heard someone say, “If only I’d win the Lottery my financial problems would be over?” Can we win the Lottery? Sure. People do it every day. However, the majority of people don’t win much of anything, except disappointment.Believing that our good, financial or otherwise, is “out there” is a consciousness of lack. That may sound harsh, but it’s…See More
Jul 20
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Default Thinking

How easy it is for you to change your opinion? It can be a very difficult thing to do if an opinion has been cultivated over time, often as a result of what other people have convinced us is the truth.I once knew a woman who thought “The National Inquirer” was gospel. If she read something in that newspaper it was fact. It seemed ridiculous to me, even naïve. Unfortunately, that same line of thinking is seen today in what people believe after reading something on the Internet, see shared via…See More
Jun 29
Andrea Glass updated their profile
Jun 24
Andrea Glass is now a member of Central Voice
Jun 24
Terry Drew Karanen posted a blog post

Rewards and Consequences

Whether or not we are aware of it, the Universal Law of Cause and Effect operates at all times in our lives. Our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, are constantly forming our reality. The results of those thoughts produce what we think are rewards and consequences. It is our ego that is into judging, not the Universe. We judge some outcomes and situations as rewards, sometimes even miracles. Other results we deem consequences or occasionally disasters. It is easiest to understand this…See More
Jun 21

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Comic Suzanne Westenhoefer Appears Aug. 15 at Ephrata Performing Arts Center

Comic Suzanne Westenhoefer Appears Aug. 15

at Ephrata Performing Arts Center

By Central Voice

"The entire population of Columbia, Pa. will be running for president on the Republican ticket by the time I get there," Suzanne Westenhoefer tells Central Voice.

 

The Columbia native appears Sat., Aug. 15, 8 p.m. Ephrata Performing Arts Center. Westenhoefer is known as the first out-lesbian comedian although "there will be laughs for everyone, mom, dad, siblings, gay, lesbian, and straight people," she says. Her family will be in the audience that night - mom, sisters, cousins. They've always been faithful to her act.

She's been married to a woman, and now divorced, and will have hilarious commentary on the recent US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

 

Her humor springs from a strong sense of activism - she's a veteran ACT UP and Queer Nation member - and a ridiculous sense of the funny. Westenhoefer's been doing comedy for 23 years, having performed NYC stand-up and now living on the West Coast.

 

"Sometimes I want to change the world. Sometimes I want to make people laugh. Both at the same time would be nice, right?" she says giggling. And some days she doesn't know what to think about the current state of LGBT affairs.

 

Westenhoefer thinks there's a false sense of calm and understanding around LGBT issues for both gay folks and the general public. "It's like 'So we were all downtrodden and now that we can get married all is well. No it's not!'" she says. "Of course, marriage is important but in so many states you can still get fired for being gay, or be refused services," she explains. "It's not all over," she laments.

 

And the laughing is just getting started on Aug. 15 when she appears locally.

 

Ticket price includes a wine and cheese reception with Westenhoefer.

 

Box office: 717-733-7966; ephrataperformingartscenter.com

 

Members

Blog Posts

Choose the Stream

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on July 27, 2015 at 3:00am

Weeding Your Garden

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on July 20, 2015 at 9:15pm

Give It Up?

Posted by Terry Drew Karanen on July 13, 2015 at 3:00am

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 Author's Book Makes Top 10 Gay Non-fiction List

Called a "must read," Michael Long's book on gay pioneer Frank Kameny has been chosen as one of the Top 10 gay, non-fiction books for 2014. Gay Is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny by the Elizabethtown College professor is a "must-read for anyone interested in the history of the gay rights movement” says Publishers Weekly.

Harvard University's Michael Bronski, a staple in the world of gay history, said: “The LGBT movement has been blessed with an amazing array of passionate, provocative, colorful, dedicated, and sometimes infuriating women and men. Frank Kameny is certainly one of the most important. Michael Long’s magnificent book captures the breadth of the movement and the specificity of Kameny’s life and importance.”

Long tells Central Voice about his editing of Kameny's historically rich letters, 150 letters from 1958 to 1975, that reveal some of the early stirrings of today’s politically powerful LGBT movement. The letters are lively and colorful because they are in Kameny’s inimitable voice, a voice that was consistently loud, echoing through such places as the Oval Office, the Pentagon, and the British Parliament, and often shrill, piercing to the federal agency heads, military generals, and media personalities who received his countless letters. Long is the author and editor of several books on politics, religion, and civil rights. He is the editor, most recently, of Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball.

Central Voice: What has the response been to your work on Kameny? from the academic community? from the LGBT community?

Michael Long: The book has just been released, but the response thus far has been so positive. Kameny's close friends, like Charles Frances and Bob Witech of Washington, DC, have been generous in their praise of the book.

 

CV: Some advocates are outright sending the book to others?

ML: Malcolm Lazin of Equality Forum has decided to send the book to leading LGBT activists across the country. Early reviews have also been positive, identifying the book as a "must read." I'm pleased about this mostly because it helps to advance the rich and inimitable legacy of Frank Kameny. This of us who fight for LGBT rights stand on his shoulders, and the book helps us understand how incredibly broad his shoulders were. 

CV: Currently, there is lots of dialogue about the intersections of race and LGBT issues. What are your thoughts?

ML: One of the most important things about Kameny is that early on he, like Edward Sagarin and others, identified gays and lesbians as an oppressed minority. That was no small move, and it allowed him to analyze discrimination against gays and lesbians as somewhat akin to discrimination against people of color. It also helped him articulate the need for civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians early on.

CV: Wasn't Kameny an early petitioner of the US Supreme Court?

ML: His 1961 petition to the US Supreme Court--a landmark document--did exactly that while at the same time telling the justices that homosexuality was moral. It's breathtaking material. Kameny also turned to the civil rights movement for inspiration and instruction for advancing civil rights for oppressed gays and lesbians. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Stokely Carmichael are among those who influenced his deliberate efforts to politicize the homophile movement and turn it into a political power that politicians could no longer ignore. So Kameny actually helped to create the intersections of race and LGBT issues that we continue to experience today.

SIDEBAR

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Things you may not know about Franklin Kameny -

*During the height of the Lavender Scare, openly fought the US government for firing him because he was gay (1958).

*Led a long campaign to force the US Civil Service Commission to permit the hiring of gays and lesbians individuals for federal jobs, including those requiring security clearances (1957 on).

*Filed first US Supreme Court petition arguing that gays and lesbians were an oppressed minority deserving equal treatment under law, and that homosexuality was moral (1961).

*Co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, the nation’s first organization dedicated solely to securing civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians (1961).

*Co-founded regional and national gay and lesbian groups designed to politicize the movement and secure and advance political power in government and civil society (1963 on).

*Organized the first White House picketing by a group seeking civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians. Similar picketing soon followed in front of the US Civil Service Commission, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and the Pentagon (1965).

*Criticized numerous leading media personalities, including Ann Landers, Johnny Carson, and Rona Barrett, for their anti-gay views (1966 on).

*Staged protests (“zaps’) for gay rights at American Psychiatric Association conventions, eventually forcing the APA to delist homosexuality as a mental disorder (1971 on).

*Became the first openly gay candidate for the US Congress (1971).

*Acted as counsel to numerous gays and lesbians facing discrimination in the US military and served as a driving force behind the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

 

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