GSPCGP Response to Pittsburgh Tavern Guild (May 2, 2003)
May 2, 2003
Pittsburgh Tavern Guild
% Chuck Honse
221 South Aiken Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Mr. Honse and members of the Tavern Guild:
We respect your right to not have us in your establishments and we would never consider entering without permission. That is why we requested it in the first place. We also appreciate your timely response to our request and the explanation for why permission was not given. You stated in your letter that we are being denied access to your establishments because we did not endorse Gene Ricciardi. We did not endorse him because of his declaration that he supports the rights of the unborn child.
As long as I have been a member of GSPCGP, we have supported all minority and reproductive rights along with the rights of the glbt community. It is part of the reason that I am a member. Many of our members believe that autonomy over our own bodies is an lgbt issue. People in our community care about birth control, artificial insemination, and abortion. Lesbians who have used anonymous donors have been forced by the courts to raise their child with the donor - a complete stranger to them. A key hate crime committed against lesbians, bisexual women and transgendered people is rape, which may result in pregnancy and abortion. Obviously, bisexual women may care about birth control. And women who don't have children are at higher risk for breast cancer - and when anti-choice leaders keep out drugs that treat breast cancer (like RU486) because it is also used to end/prevent pregnancies, it is a lesbian issue.
As a group we decide which questions will be on the questionnaire. We also use a democratic vote to determine who will receive our endorsement. The questions on our questionnaires are public and accessible on our web site. Our mission and by-laws are also posted there. We also put our mission on the slate cards that we hand out, along with a membership application. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us. We always invite discussion about our process and hold open meetings and have an open membership policy. Clearly, we differ from you on the importance of reproductive rights as a glbt issue, but we should not let this divide our community. I would like to invite you and all the members of the Pittsburgh Tavern Guild to attend our meeting on Thursday May 8 at 7:00 pm at the GLCC. We will discuss your concerns and your letter. We would value your direct input.
We are not contesting or diminishing the efforts or record of Gene Ricciardi by not endorsing him but expressing the will of our membership on the issues that are important to us. We respect your right to endorse and support any candidate that you choose. We received many completed questionnaires for this primary election and it is heartening to know that so many candidates are seeking the endorsement of the Gertrude Stein Political Club and the vote of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community. All of the candidates that we have endorsed answered with their support for all issues important to GSPC, including the question on a women’s right to choose. You are denying those candidates access to your establishments and not taking into account all that they have done for the glbt community. We will be sure to let them know of your position and why they are not welcome in your establishments with us.
Again, I ask that you join us for a discussion at the GLCC on Thursday May 8 at 7:00.
Chair – GSPCGP
Liberty Avenue Saloon
New York, New York
Real Luck Cafe
Councilman Gene Ricciardi