Letter from Pittsburgh Tavern Guild (April 30, 2003)
Pittsburgh Tavern Guild
% Chuck Honse
221 South Aiken Ave.
Pittsburgh, Pa 15206
Gertrude Stein Political Club
P O Box 8108
Pittsburgh, Pa 15217
This letter comes to you in response to your failure to endorse Council President, Gene Ricciardi for another term. This action brings to the forefront a long standing problem with your endorsement process. Councilman Ricciardi has been a proven friend and ally of the LGBT Community for many years. He has support many organizations as well as voting for the GLBT Ordinance, The Domestic Partnership Act and the Redefinition of Sex in the Human Relations Commission to include protection for the Transgender Community (presented to the Commission by the author of this letter). Enough is Enough!
While you portray yourself as a Gay and Lesbian organization; you have failed in your mission to educate the voter on Candidates and their positions in regards to our Civil Rights. As spelled out above, Councilman Ricciardi has not just given lip service, but has actually voted on Issues affecting all four segments of the LGBT Community. The Councilman's answers to your questionnaire were all positive with the exception of his response to a woman's right to choose.
There is the obvious problem. It is our understanding that you will not consider an endorsement for a candidate who is not supportive of the Right to Choose. While of interest and concern to many of us, we believe that this is a Feminist Issue. To give it weight over the actual Civil Rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and the Transgender segments is not only wrong headed, but in conflict with what Our Community has come to expect from you. The Community has looked to you for years to know who our friends are. By failing to endorse Gene Ricciardi, you have left the impression that he is not a friend of the Community.
For years, many of us in the bar Community have worked for, contributed to and generally lobbied candidates. Your actions are in direct conflict with ours. As such, we can no longer welcome you into our businesses. We believe that your actions are harmful to the relationships we have built over the years with our political friends and in the long run to the LGBT Community. By permitting you and your literature into our businesses we would be complicit in this farce that you actually represent the Community or are qualified to endorse candidates. Your actions in this matter have proven that you are neither.
Please check directly with the owner or manager of all businesses, personally, so as to avoid an embarrassing situation.
Pittsburgh Tavern Guild
Co-Owner, Holiday Bar and Images
Liberty Avenue Saloon
New York, New York
Real Luck Cafe
Councilman Gene Ricciardi