Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate reports:
Police arrested a man for allegedly threatening to shoot up a Washington County polling place on Tuesday. Christopher Queen allegedly arrived at the South Franklin Fire Hall just before 9 a.m. and told workers he was promised a gun and money if he voted “straight party.” Poll workers say he became angry when they told him he wasn’t registered to vote and allegedly threatened to come back shooting.
Since has was voting for the “straight party,” Let me guess: A Republican?
A former student is suing the prestigious Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania for forcing him to watch a video meant to convert him from homosexuality.
The school originally called the allegation “outrageous” and said it would never condone such behavior. But now in newly released court documents, the school’s lawyers admit that such a video was indeed used by Hershey house parents and that it was shown to at least one student.
Adam Dobson contends that he was forced to watch the hour-long gay conversion tape as punishment for downloading gay porn as a freshman, which was flagged by the school’s IT department, and that the video was followed by a campaign of prayer sessions and other efforts to get him to change his sexual orientation.
“We would pray together to have God help me from being gay,” Dobson told his lawyers. Dobson said he was told by his house parents of “terrible things that happened to other gay people.”
In a statement Friday, Hershey School spokeswoman Lisa Scullin said “unequivocally, the school does not promote or endorse any program that could be remotely characterized as gay conversion therapy. Any suggestion otherwise is a gross mischaracterization of our values and the environment on our campus.”
Scullin said in her statement that the Hershey School has “high measures of success in all areas” and a staff with “unwavering commitment to helping children find their unique gifts and passions in order to break the cycle of poverty and lead fulfilling lives.”
The Hershey School house parents are identified in discovery documents as Deanna and Andrew Slamans. A Hershey School graduate, Deanna Slamans was promoted to curriculum supervisor for social emotional learning in May 2014, but left the school suddenly last month.
The Hershey School enrolls 2,000 children from kindergarten through senior year of high school. Students live on campus in about 175 individual homes, staffed by surrogate parents who are school employees and who teach the students values. Costs are well over $100,000 a child.
Pennsylvania GOP Governor Tom Corbett who recently appeared on a morning talk show and equated same sex marriage with incest, has filed a legal brief claiming that he is exempt from being named a defendant in any marriage equality lawsuits filed in the federal court system.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s legal team argued that the U.S. Constitution provides state officials immunity from being sued in federal court without their consent. The governor’s lawyers contend that Corbett and Health Secretary Michael Wolf should be dismissed as defendants because of a 1972 Supreme Court ruling that says federal courts lack jurisdiction over state marriage laws. In a separate filing, lawyers for state Attorney General Kathleen Kane argued that she should not be a defendant because she is not enforcing the law. In addition to Corbett, Kane and Wolf, two county officials are named in the lawsuit. Lawyers in the case are scheduled to meet on Wednesday with Judge John E. Jones III to discuss scheduling matters, including the timing of a trial.
Corbett is a graduate of the Sarah Palin School of Government Accountability.
On the same day that Pennsylvania’s Office of General Counsel sent a letter to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, chastising her “improper” declaration that she would not defend the state against marriage lawsuits. Pennsylvania’s Department of Health today filed suit to stop Montgomery County from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
The lawsuit, filed this morning by the state Department of Health’s chief counsel, asks that the court immediately force Hanes to “comply with the [Pennsylvania] Marriage Law and to direct the Clerk to immediately cease and desist issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.” The Health Department filed the suit because it processes and tracks marriage records for the state. “Compliance with Pennsylvania law by its public officials is a mandatory obligation,” the suit states. “Ours is a government of laws, not one of public officials exercising their will as they believe the law should be or will be.”
Bruce Hanes, the register of wills, in Montgomery County who began granting marriage licenses last week stated “While it comes as no surprise that the Corbett Administration has filed an action seeking to enjoin marriage equality in Montgomery County, the petition filed today in Commonwealth Court by the state Department of Health has serious flaws,” County Solicitor Ray McGarry added that. “Montgomery County will be filing a response shortly. In the meantime, the Register of Wills office will continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”
It seems that GOP Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration which knows hat same sex marriage is popular and fighting it directly would give the Democrats ammo against him he is having Michael Wolf who he appointed as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health in 2012 do his dirty work for him.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Attorney General Kathleen Kane of Pennsylvania is expected to announce today that her office won’t defend the state in a federal lawsuit that challenges Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage.
Kane, is named along with Governor Tom Corbett as a defendant in the suit
Kane, a Democrat, supports gay marriage. Pennsylvania law includes a provision allowing the governor’s legal team to defend state law in her place, should it be more “efficient,” or in the state’s interest to play it that way. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett opposes gay marriage, but due to some recent Republican politicians “change of heart” at this time it is unsure if Corbet who is facing a very tough re-election in 2014 will defend the law.
The suit was filed in Harrisburg and is believed to be the first federal case on the gay marriage issue since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Article 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit, known as Whitewood v. Corbett, on Tuesday on behalf of 21 state residents. The plaintiffs are 10 couples and one widow who want to marry here, want the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages or want equal protections granted to straight married couples.
Pennsylvania, the only state in the northeast without provisions for same-sex civil unions or marriages
The Namey family of Western Pennsylvania woke up on Independence Day morning to a swastika burning on their front lawn.
Namey states that the family isn’t Jewish and while he said he was not sure why the family was targeted, his daughter is openly gay and has been threatened with violence in the past.
“I have a 16-year-old daughter who is openly gay, and is proud, and we are proud of her,” Namey told the local newstation KDKA-TV.
“She’s a little more open with her sexuality — of course that sheds a spotlight on her,” Mr. Namey said. “She kind of just takes it in stride,” referring to the swastika incident. “She’s not going to let that change who she is.”
The bullying started to become a problem when she came out about three years ago and it got so bad that she became uncomfortable riding the bus to school.
On Tuesday, the silver Chevy Silvarado Mr. Namey’s 16-year-old stepson uses to drive his daughter to school, was covered with coins that were glued in the shape of a middle finger followed by the letter “u” and followed by an exclamation point, and doused in pink paint Mr. Namey. The word “think” was also scratched into the paint.
“We were just kind of dumbfounded,” Mr. Namey said.
“We don’t raise our kids to hate or treat people differently because of who they are. “That’s not something we’re used to being around.” Namely said.
The FBI and Buffalo Township police are investigating whether any federal hate crime laws were violated (Duh. You think?)
Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, who is the first openly gay lawmaker elected in Pennsylvania history, is asking the PA legislators to censure ultra-conservative Rep. Daryl Metcalfe who blocked him from making remarks about the SCOTUS rulings on gay marriage. Metcalfe’s blocked Sims because he was preparing to make remarks that were “open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law.”
In a part of the house session where members can speak on wide-ranging topics, Sims had just begun his remarks when he was shut down.
“I wasn’t planning on chastising anybody. I wasn’t planning on discussing how far we have to come in Pennsylvania or that we really have no civil rights in Pennsylvania,” Sims said. “It was really just going to limit my comments to how important the cases were.”
It takes just one legislator to end the impromptu remarks. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe was one of the House Republicans who objected.
“I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law,” said Metcalfe, R-Butler.
Two more Democratic legislators got up to speak in support of Sims. Neither was allowed to proceed.
Sims has officially requested that Metcalfe be censured for his behavior the AP reports:
On Thursday, House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, told Sims the proper procedure under the circumstances would be either going through the Ethics Committee or seeking a House resolution. Sims said he plans to pursue the matter.
“This is a guy who hates women, he hates gay people, he hates minorities and he hates immigrants,” Sims said. Metcalfe is among the most conservative state lawmakers. He has sponsored pro-gun-rights rallies and organized opposition to people who enter the country without legal permission.
Metcalfe said he regularly attends a nondenominational Christian church near his home in western Pennsylvania. He said the comments Sims would have made about the high court’s decisions would have been “ultimately offensive to the majority of my constituents, and myself.”
Said Sims on Facebook last night:
A quick thought before I head to bed: What happened the last two days in Harrisburg wasn’t a Democrat vs. Republican thing. This was the State House vs. a few tea partiers. From the Speaker handling all of this appropriately to the many members of the Republican caucus I’ve heard from who’ve apologized for the lack of decorum, it’s clear to me that the entire State House was angered by the shenanigans. That’s the progress I’m looking for and I’m thankful to be finding it! Lots to do but lots to celebrate these days…
I don;t know about you but I, for one, would be more than happy to be in open rebellion of God’s Law with the WOOFY Brian Sims any day.
Even though the Federal Equal Access Act of 1984 requires schools districts to either allow Gay Straight Alliances s to form, just like other extra-curricular student club, or suspend all non-curricular activities. The Chambersburg Area School District in Franklin County, Pennsylvania has targeted students from Chambersburg Area Senior High School and voted 5-4 against the The “official” formation of a gay-straight alliance at a high school where LGBT students and straight allies have already been meeting informally for two years.
“The Chambersburg Area School Board sent a disturbing message to their school community that essentially denies the existence of LGBT students,” remarked Jason Landau Goodman, director of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC), a youth-run organization defending the rights of young LGBT people.
The students have vowed to fight and will pursue legal action if the board doesn’t reconsider by its next meeting on March 27.
PLEASE USE THIS PAGE to contact the members of the Chambersburg Area School Board and let them know that we stand with the GSA students and WILL NOT stand for their small mindedness and bigotry.
Igor Volsky over at Think Progress reports that during an appearance on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Wednesday night, “surging Santorum” said that while he does support annulling every same-sex marriage in the United States through a constitutional amendment same sex marriage, that he hasn’t been stumping on anti-gay issues and has been focusing on economic issues instead:
O’REILLY: To rescind — rescind it after a licenses already given. That’s a big deal.
SANTORUM: The federal government would have to pass a constitutional amendment and if the Constitution says that marriage is between a man and woman, then things that are inconsistent with that would not — would be inconsistent with the Constitution so –
O’REILLY: Would you be doing that if you were elected president? Would you be campaigning for a constitutional amendment in that way?
SANTORUM: I would — well, if you pass a constitutional amendment that says marriage –
O’REILLY: So would you — would that be — would that be in the forefront of your — of your administration?
SANTORUM: As you know, Bill, if you’ve been following me out on the trail, I haven’t been talking a lot about this. Although I strongly believe in it. What I’ve been talking about as I did last night on my acceptance speech where didn’t talk about this issue, I talked about the importance of getting this economy going and talked about my grandfather and coming here for freedom. And this is the fundamental issue in this campaign is whether government is going to be big and obtrusive and telling people how to manage their — their lives or — and are they going to support the basic values of faith and family that allow government to be limited and allow our economy to be strong. Those are the things I talked about and did across Iowa. I’ll be talking about those things here in New Hampshire.
What a fucking liar. As if creating a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as a man & a woman, ISN’T the government getting involved in people’s lives?
Rick’s Santorum is so back up its spewing out of his mouth.
You can watch the entire O’Reilly/Santorum interview over at ThinkProgress And see that even Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like Santorum!