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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rally for LGBT Rights offers a REAL "big tent"

Posted By on Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 4:28 PM

More than 75 intrepid souls attended today's Schenley Plaza rally on behalf of equal rights for the LGBT community. Happily, a large tent kept out a cold rain, though it also resulted in speeches being punctuated with occasional avalanches of snow from the sloping roof.

We have video highlights from the rally here. (UPDATE: And a more in-depth treatment of the protest here.) This is sort of a placeholder post to see if I can beat Sue Kerr to being the first one to post. (I'm at a disadvantage in that, true to alt-weekly form, I took the bus from the rally to the office, which necessitated 20 mintues of standing in the rain.)

Anyway, the usual crowd of progressive politicans were on hand, with their presentations livened up by an on-her-game Gab Bonesso and the head of the newly created Pittsburgh chapter of Dykes on Bikes. As for news, there were a couple tidbits: 

-- City Councilor Bruce Kraus announced plans to introduce a council resolution expressing support for the county's proposed anti-discrimination ordinance, which would establish legal protections for lgbt residents and other minority groups. Kraus says the measure, which Kraus will introduce early next week, already has support from 7 city councilors, and that he hopes to make it unanimous. 

-- City Controller Mike Lamb, who has been a vocal supporter of city-county consolidation, says that unless the county's anti-discrimination measure DOES pass, he will oppose further attempts to consolidate city and county services. As controller, Lamb's ability to do act on this position is limited. (And by limited I mean "non-existent.") But he was backed up on this position by City Council President Doug Shields -- who has long been wary of consolidation.

Also attending the rally -- and this is not necessarily an exhaustive list -- were: state Reps. Dan Frankel and Chelsa Wagner; city councilor Bill Peduto; county councilor Amanda Green (sponsor of the county's ordinance) and county council president Rich Fitzgerald; Presbyterian minister Janet Edwards, who has presided over a same-sex marriage ceremony; city council district 2 (EDIT: that's district 4 -- the cold obviously numbed my brain) candidate-to-be Natalia Rudiak, potential GOP mayoral candiadate Kevin Acklin, and a slew of equal-rights groups.

Not to mention a handful of CP staffers gradually losing sensation in their extremities.

UPDATE: Ha! I won!

Also, it might be worth noting two people who WEREN'T there ... Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Dan Onorato. (Though Bonesso, acting as emcee for the day, DID try to leave a message for him at work.)

 

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