Saturday, August 4, 2012

PFlag National Statement on Chick-Fil-A

Contact: Liz Owen |> | (202) 467-8180 ext. 214

WASHINGTON, DC—PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)—the nation's original family and ally organization, and the largest grassroots-based non-profit for families, friends, and allies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people—issued the following statement today
regarding the recent Chick-fil-A controversy:

“While we find his beliefs and actions to be deeply damaging, PFLAG National supports Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s right to freely express those beliefs, religious or otherwise. And no matter how destructive the action, or how much we disagree with it, we support his right to funnel profits from his company into that company’s charitable arm (WinShape) which subsequently donates dollars—over five million of them and counting—to groups that openly work to deny basic rights to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) loved ones.

But let’s be clear: It is also the right of millions of LGBT people and their families, friends, and allies to use this same right to free speech to protest that position, and to educate the public as to just where the revenue from Mr. Cathy’s business is going.

Dan Cathy may say that his company has never discriminated against an LGBT person, but WinShape’smassive financial contributions to organizations that advocate for the passage of laws that would make such discrimination legal (or in some cases, keep discrimination legal) say otherwise. WinShape has funded numerous organizations that oppose efforts to protect LGBT youth from bullying in schools, support “exgay” groups, and bankroll efforts to allow international laws enabling the execution of LGBT people to stand. Educating people as to this reality isn’t about crushing freedom of religion— it is about exercising the right to free speech…just as Mr. Cathy has done.

For many years, anti-equality activists have used boycotts and protests against corporations to voice their opposition to LGBT-inclusive practices. Ironically, when Americans who support equality use this same strategy, it is called discrimination.

As this issue continues to be discussed, PFLAG members everywhere will continue to exercise their right to free speech and dialogue, sharing the truth about this situation: Chicken, speech, religion…these are simply a distraction from the real issue: a well-funded campaign against equality for all people.

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of families, allies, and LGBT people represented by PFLAG, PFLAG National President David M. Horowitz welcomes the opportunity to open a dialogue with Mr. Cathy about these issues.”

Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally
organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with LGBT people, PFLAG is committed to
advancing equality through its mission of support, education and advocacy. Now in its 40th anniversary year, PFLAG
has more than 368 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban
centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states. To learn more, please visit

Friday, May 4, 2012

GENDA and New York State Equality and Justice Day

Okay, as I posted in the Facebook group, I plan on attending the New York State Justice and Equality Day in Albany (May 8th) and encourage other members to do so as well. I would be interested in organizing carpools if there is enough interest. Just email us at and I'll see what I can do.

Furthermore, I plan on printing out and bringing with me the GENDA petition so if you have not already signed it, please do so by Monday (May 7th). Also please share it with others as appropriate so there are as many signatures as possible.

Furthermore, there will be a Pflag Caucus at 11am, I do not know exactly where yet, but I will let people know when I do.

Thank you all!
-Jeremy Redlien

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Please note the changes for next meeting.

This is just to let you all know that after talking it over with Pathy
and Swamp Webster, we will be holding our next meeting at the UU
Socieity's Olympia Brown House on Ford Ave. following the regular LGCN
Potluck. The Olympia Brown house is between the YMCA and the UU
Society's Main Sanctuary, just park in the Ford/Dietz parking lot and
you'll see it. I hope making two changes to our meetings in as many
months does not confuse anyone

So to be clear:
The Next Pflag Meeting:
When: 7:30pm, Monday, January 16th.
Where: Olympia Brown House on Ford Ave.

For the LGCN Potluck (for those who are interested in attending both),
people usually arrive at 6pm. to set up and start eating around
6:30pm. Those who are able to bring a dish to pass are encouraged to
do so but it is not required. In order to ensure that there will
enough food, I will be picking up pizza beforehand, using Pflag funds
for those who wish to attend but are unable to bring a dish to pass.
Let me know ahead of time if this applies to you, so I have an idea of
how much pizza to pick up.

The Next LGCN potluck
When: 6pm (arrival), 6:30pm (chow down), Monday, January 16th.
Where: Olympia Brown House on Ford Ave.

Attendance at one event is not required for the other. Any questions
or concerns, feel free to ask or to bring them up.

Edit: Please note, I previously had put January 18th which is not a Monday, I have since corrected the post to reflect the correct date.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Next Meeting

Just a reminder that our next meeting will be Monday December 19th at 6pm in the Dauly Rm. of the United Methodist Church on the corner of Church St. and Chestnut.

-Changing to 4th Monday, rather then 3rd Monday as LGCN Potlucks are the 3rd.
-Glenn Burke, Baseball Hall of Fame Petition, plans for.
-GENDA Petition
-Future events
-Other Goals
-Pride Event for June

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Positive Connections in Need of Help

Hello everyone,

I received the following from Bill Phar, the head of Positive Connections. I hope people can do whatever they can to help:

The state of Positive Connections

In the spring of 2009 after the closure of CRAS (Catskill Rural AIDS Services), a person approached me to start another
group to offer a place for infected individuals to have a place to meet and socialize in a safe environment. Positive
Connections started to do some of that. We received space in
The First United Methodist Church to meet. Initially, we met every Saturday for a month or two. That was a bit too
much and it we decided to meet the last Saturday of the month. Also, we had some events that were just to relax and
unwind—picnics, barbecues, holiday dinners and other events. We received a generous donation to help to provide
food and money to produce and send out a monthly newsletter.

The organization started out with about four to five key individuals doing most of the organizing and planning. I did
about 90% of writing the newsletter each month, copying it and mailing it and went to those infected, affected and
supporters. The committee worked to write a grant proposal to a local church to receive more money to keep the
operation going. It did receive it. We do not have a 501c3 status, so fund raising it a tough chore. After awhile key
organizers stopped being involved for personal, health and work obligations. No other volunteers stepped up to fill
some of the void. Most of the work landed on my shoulders. Towards the end of 2011, this responsibility started to feel
overwhelming and quite tiring.

Also, during 2011 STAP out of Johnson City had two part-time employees that worked out of a remote office in Oneonta.
Eventually, STAP eliminated these two positions and occasionally a staff member would travel from the Southern Tier
to meet with a consumer. STAP offers social/supportive events mainly in their region. Most clients do not have the
means to drive to these occasional events due to lack of transportation and the rising price of gas. The need to have
events in this area is still important. Also, AIDS Services has an office in Catholic Charities building and offer mainly
case management. Though people living with AIDS are living healthier and more productive lives, the stigma still exists.
If someone receives the diagnosis of cancer there is usually immediate symphony and support. In the case of AIDS,
probably the first question that arises, how did they contract it—unprotected sex or drug use. Some are just victims
of another person’s carelessness. Recently, there is the case in Pennsylvania of a student denied attending a private
school in Hershey, PA because he was infected with AIDS. I thought in two decades, we had gotten further than that.
Ignorance is still out there.

So back to Positive Connections, there is a need for an organization in this area. The immediate demands to keep it
going are the following:

Persons to help plan events
Persons to find sources to procure donations
Newsletter helpers and writers
Support staff
Persons to host events
Persons to help with other various talents
Persons who can do PR and write articles for local papers

Please get the word out for any that would be interested.

Thank you,

Bill Pharr


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Upcoming Business Meeting and Facebook Group.

First, our next meeting will be Nov. 13th, at 4:30 in the Parish House at the First United Methodist Church at the corner of Chestnut St. and Church St.

Reminder (since we recently changed locations) parish house the part closest to the Library.

-discuss possibly changing meeting times
-Ideas for fundraisers
-Community Pride event for July
-Old business

We have a facebook group now as well:
People with Facebook accounts should be able to click here to see it.

Or search for Pflag Oneonta/Otsego in the searchbar in the upper right hand side of the facebook site.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

New York State: Pass Genda! Help end discrimination against transgender individuals!

As one of our goals that we decided upon at the last meeting was the passage of GENDA, I have taken it upon myself to create this petition on as well.

From the Empire State Pride Agenda:

"The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (A.5039/Gottfried)(S.2873/Duane) is a bill that would outlaw discrimination in New York State based on gender identity and/or expression. Currently it is legal in New York to be fired from your job, kicked out of your home or be denied credit or public accommodations (like service in a restaurant) simply for being transgender. GENDA also expands the state’s hate crimes law to explicitly include crimes against transgender people.

The Facts
Transgender New Yorkers face severe discrimination. For example, a report released this year by the Empire State Pride Agenda showed that: 20.7% of transgender New Yorkers have incomes under $10,000 a year. Most recently, in 2011, Findings of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey completed by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force report that 74% of transgender New Yorkers experienced harassment or mistreatment on the job, 20% lost a job and 37% were not hired at all. An alarming 18% of transgender New Yorkers had become homeless because of their gender identity or expression. Health care discrimination for transgender New Yorkers is also very alarming with a 17% rate of individuals who were refused medical care due to their gender identity or expression.