December 2002
Issue No. 43

Post Office Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
Tel: 202-223-6697
Fax: 202-265-9737
Internet: plagal@plagal.org
http://www.plagal.org

A Newsletter for Members and Friends of the
Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians

 

Annual Meeting, Elections and Board of Directors

Where: Comfort Inn Shady Grove
16216 Frederick Rd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Tel: (301) 330-0023
Toll-Free: 888-605-9100
When: Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Time: 7:30 pm
Bring: Your ideas and thoughts for the future of PLAGAL

All members and friends are invited and encouraged to attend the annual meeting of PLAGAL -- The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. This is usually a fun time where our members get to meet each other and socialize while voicing their concerns and ideas for the future of PLAGAL. It is also the time where we recognize the work done on behalf of PLAGAL and accept nominations and vote for the board of directors who will serve PLAGAL for the following year. Some of the items we will be discussing include but are not limited to- the March for Life, short term and long term goals for the organization, projects that PLAGAL may wish to work on, our focus as an organization. We know that it is not possible for everyone to make the trip to Washington DC for the meeting, so we are asking for anyone who wishes to submit your ideas, concerns and opinions or nominations to the board must do before January 18, 2003. Please submit to President@plagal.org, fill out this online form, or mail to PO Box 44313 Cleveland Ohio 44144. Immediately following the annual meeting the newly elected board of directors will have their meeting which is open to all, however only board members can vote at this meeting. This is where they vote on the officers for the next term, and all the ideas that were presented to them at the annual meeting.

 

PLAGAL NEEDS YOU
TO PARTICIPATE IN MARCH FOR LIFE 2003

As you read this latest issue of the Memorandum, PLAGAL is hard at work organizing our participation in the March for Life 2003. You may recall last year's embarrassment to the pro-life movement when members of PLAGAL were arrested at the March for Life because of the misguided belief that some members of the human family are not worthy of openly defending the rights of the unborn. Well, we're back and we're asking that you and your friends join us. We plan to participate in this year's March. We are NOT going to perpetrate violence. This will be a peaceful event in the hope of freeing the March from the vice-like control of narrow-minded extremists. We not only do this for PLAGAL but for others within the pro-life movement who are nontraditional. Despite our letters to Nellie and the board of directors of the March, we have not heard anything and are uncertain of what we face this year at the March. It is our hopes that we can participate in the March as all the other groups do. It is really not our intention to be arrested, but if it comes down to it, members who are willing may be arrested. We know being arrested is not everyone's cup of tea and for obvious reasons we do need people who can participate without being arrested. This is especially important since we may need someone to bail us out. We need people who will keep track of where anyone arrested is taken. We need people to pass out PLAGAL brochures to marchers along the March route and we need people who can head up to the Senate office buildings and bring PLAGAL information to various House and Senate members. Of particular interest this year is Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. He had a strong pro-life record until recently and he is gay friendly. We are hoping that his meeting PLAGAL members will help to show him that you don't have to be of a conservative nature to be Pro-life. We would like to see him come back to his pro-life stance that he held in the past.

Date: Wed., January 22, 2003
Time: 11:40 am
Place: the statue of Benjamin Franklin in front of the Old Post Office at the southeast corner of Twelfth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
We will meet as a group and walk to the march together!

As is our custom, we will gather at the Old Post Office located at 12th and Pennsylvania Avenue on January 22, 2003 at 11:40 A. M. Then, we will go as a group to the march. Due to national security and changes that were made since 9/11, the exact place of the Rally or the starting point of the march is unsure. This makes it difficult for us to have a set location on where we will be standing once we are all gathered together. For those of you who cannot meet us at the Old Post office, just look for the PLAGAL banner. We are assuming after the usual speeches, at about 1:30, the march will proceed up Constitution Ave past the Justice Department Building, the National Gallery of Art, the Federal Courthouse, and the Senate Office Buildings, and will end at the Supreme Court Building. This has been somewhat of a tradition for the march. We do not see that changing. No matter what happens, PLAGAL will still stand at the Constitution Avenue entrance to the Russell Senate Office Building and hand out flyers calling for inclusiveness in the struggle to help women and their unborn children. We will then proceed to the Supreme Court and from there to meet with our elected officials and encourage them to support the right to life.

If you need accommodations please contact us as soon as possible at 216-634-2866, or at plagal@plagal.org, so that we may arrange them for you at no charge. If you have extra room in your house or apartment for a PLAGALite, please contact those same addresses.

We look forward to seeing you in DC!

 

Wearing the name that fits:
Op-Ed Article by Pam Siegfried Alaska contact for PLAGAL

A woman polled after the election said that the abortion issue was the most important to her. Since the Democrats were solidly "pro-choice" she had voted for the Republican candidate for Governor. In other words, a committed pro-lifer had referred to the abortion proponents as "pro-choice." Abortion is not "pro-choice." Abortion denies choice. The baby that is killed in one has her choices taken away. Even for the mother, abortion is less often a "choice" in the sense of choosing white wine over red and more often a "choice" in the sense a wolverine will "choose" to gnaw off its own leg rather than die in a trap. (I forget who said that first.) The ONLY argument that permits making abortion illegal is that abortion kills children. If we allow talk to wander off into "choice" or "privacy" we fight with one hand tied behind our backs. In debate, you never let your opponent define terms. This being America, "pro-choice" feels like a good thing. "Pro-abortion" feels like a bad thing. It almost reminds you of babies and makes you think of death. It's violent and bloody and its proponents don't like being called that even though it is the only term that fits. They are not "pro- choice." They do not support my choice to not spend tax money on killing babies in utero. They do not support someone else's choice to discriminate in hiring and firing. They probably do not support my choice to keep and bear arms and may not even support the choice of gay men and women to marry. There is only one choice they support, and that is abortion. Therefore, they are "pro-abortion" not "pro-choice" and I think they should wear the name.

Respectfully,
Pam Siegfried

Pam has been a member of Right to Life and a participant in the fight for GLBT civil rights protection in Anchorage, Alaska. While Pam herself is not gay she is a proud supporter and member of PLAGAL as well as the local contact for PLAGAL in Anchorage.

 

News From:
Pro Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians Political Action Committee (PLAGAL-PAC)

Submitted by Mike Ferens, President, PLAGAL-PAC

PLAGAL PAC is a separate organization from PLAGAL. PLAGAL PAC is a fundraising and endorsement organization. Funds raised are distributed to assist with financing to organizations and political candidates sharing the ideals of PLAGAL and PLAGAL PAC.

In 2002, PLAGAL PAC finally grew from the dormant stages it had been in for several years to become a real Political Action Committee with real funds and real purpose.

Tim Cravens, Secretary/Treasurer, PLAGAL PAC, held fundraisers in New York and PLAGAL President, Cecilia Brown helped get the word out and the organization was suddenly gaining ground. Thanks to Tim, Cecilia and the many PLAGAL members and friends donating, PLAGAL PAC became a force in the 2002 election cycle.

With the sad news that PLAGAL co-founder Joe Beard had passed away last July, PLAGAL PAC also lost its Vice President. Joe was paramount in the creation of PLAGAL PAC and served as legal consultant in the set up of the PLAGAL PAC bank account. It is under his leadership that PLAGAL PAC exists today.

PLAGAL PAC President, Michael Ferens created the H. Joseph Beard Jr. Memorial Fund and thus far hundreds of dollars have been raised. Funds are still coming in from the Joe Beard Jr. Memorial Fund and will continue to be used for services and political candidates who share the ideals of PLAGAL PAC.

For 2002, PLAGAL PAC has endorsed and donated to the following Pro-Life/Gay Friendly political candidates for office:

PLAGAL PAC exists because of your donations. If you are interested in serving on the board of PLAGAL PAC or can make a contribution, please contact PLAGAL PAC President, Mike Ferens at mtferens@aol.com or PLAGAL PAC Secretary/Treasurer Tim Cravens at twcravens@yahoo.com. Or write to PLAGAL PAC; C/O M FERENS, 1713 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Those wishing to contribute to the H. Joseph Beard Jr. Fund can make contributions through January 2003. Checks made out to PLAGAL PAC Beard Memorial and mailed to the above address.

PLAGAL PAC has made its name known in the 2003 election cycle. We look forward to growing and becoming a powerful PAC.

 

Did PLAGAL Get Ink?

When anything appears in the lesbian and gay media discussing the Pro-Life movement, or in any media discussing PLAGAL, Please, PLEASE send it to us. We do not have -- and cannot afford -- a clipping service or subscriptions to the multitude of lesbian and gay media. We are always discovering -- sometimes months after the event -- that we were mentioned somewhere. As has become our custom, we would also like to remind our readers that PLAGAL needs the names (and addresses, voice and fax numbers, and now e-mail addresses) of local gay and lesbian media.

Meanwhile -

PLAGAL member Megan Wilson helped to start a new pro-life group called The Human Rights Youth Resistance in Cleveland Ohio. Megan and her newly formed group and was featured in an article in the Cleveland Scene magazine in September. Follow up letters thanking the alternative newspaper for featuring nontraditional pro-life organizations were written by Marilyn Kopp from FFL and Cecilia Brown, president PLAGAL

PLAGAL cosponsored Sally Winn, Vice President of Feminists for Life at Oberlin University in Ohio on October 1, 2002. Sally's presentation was on REFUSING TO CHOOSE: RECLAIMING FEMINISM. The presentation was excellent and was attended by approximately 50 individuals. Many PLAGAL members came to hear the presentation. A special thank you goes to PLAGALite Rick Hoffman who did much of the organization of this event.

Joe D'Amour, W. Mass: Has been appointed to chair the Board of Advisors of the IHO (International Health Organization) which is an NGO operating to prevent the spread of AIDS in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. India has been identified by the WHO as the next epicenter of the AIDS epidemic.

The Southern Harbinger, A publication of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus Church in Georgia, made mention of PLAGAL in two instances. First they mentioned the joint venture of a booth at Atlanta Pride with PLAGAL representative Rick Hoffman. Second, they mention the death of Joe Beard. Sts. Sergius and Bacchus Church welcomes all Christians -- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and straight individuals. They have always been a supporter of PLAGAL.

Harmony Magazine, an independent journal promoting a consistent ethic of reverence for life, makes mention of PLAGAL's arrest at the march for life as well as Joe Beard's death.

For the first time this year, Cleveland PLAGAL members were able to participate in the annual AIDS walk. PLAGAL has never participated before because there was an objection to Planned Parenthood receiving funds from the walk. This year participants could chose the organizations they walked for and 100% of the money earned would go to that organization. PLAGAL members Jim Keifer, Rick Hoffman and President Cecilia Brown walked and earned over $400.00 to go to the Gay and Lesbian Service Center in Cleveland. The Center hosts the Living Room, a drop in center for those living with HIV/AIDS; they also have many educational programs geared towards HIV and AIDS.

 

PLAGAL Archives

PLAGAL finally has found a home for our archives. They will be stored within The Northeast Ohio Lesbian/Gay Archives at the Western Reserve Historical Society. The Lesbian/Gay Archives was established in 1991 in a collaborative project of the Lesbian/Gay Community Services Center of Cleveland Ohio and The Western Reserve Historical Society. Materials are non-circulating but can be viewed at the Historical Society's library during normal operating hours.

Items in the archives include photos, news articles, press releases, letters to the organization (both in support and condemnation of PLAGAL), newsletters, op-ed pieces written by PLAGAL members, Board meeting minutes, etc. If you have items about PLAGAL that you would like to have in the collection please write us at plagal@plagal.org and we will make arrangements to get them to the Western Reserve Historical Society. Let us preserve our history so that others may see that there are pro-lifers within the GLBT community. For more information about the society, go to http://www.wrhs.org.

 

Shop online and help PLAGAL at the same time

Are you a person who shops online? Do you find that it is just plain easier to go online to shop and not mess around going from store to store looking for specific items? Would you like to see your online shopping dollars help a cause you believe in? Well you can shop at the Mall at iGive.com and help PLAGAL at the same time. There are over 330 well-known online stores. Places like PetsMart, Eddie Bauer, JCPenney, Toms of Maine, Green Market, Chadwick's, Hallmark...

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Join to support Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians it's FREE, private, & easy
  2. Shop the Mall at iGive.com -- You'll see familiar stores like the Gap, CDNow, JCPenney and more
  3. Watch the $$ roll into PLAGAL -- up to 25% of EACH purchase gets donated!
  4. Get involved with Six Degrees of Donation. Raise $1 for each new shopper you refer! Use this link to JOIN FOR FREE and begin Supporting Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians: http://www.iGive.com/html/refer.cfm?memberid=261518&causeid=3636.

MORE INCENTIVE

 

Official Email List and Listserv

Are you hooked up the Internet? Find out about action alerts and other stuff quickly. Sign up for the PLAGAL official email list. It is confidential and it is an outgoing/information list only. Average mailings: 1 per month. Contact plagal@plagal.org to sign up. If you look at your mailing label it will either have a check mark or an x in a box. If there is an x, then we do not have a valid email address for you. Please consider passing on your email address. We are trying to conserve time and money by doing as much as possible on the Internet versus long distance phone calls and snail mail. Please note that some email addresses we have from you have expired. Please check your mailing label to make sure we've got yours.

Do you like to chat with others about PLAGAL and the pro-life cause? Then the listserv is for you. Average mailings (depending on topic): 2 per day. Contact plagal@plagal.org to sign up.

 

From the desk of the President

Hello Everyone,

It is my hopes that this newsletter is finding everyone healthy and safe this holiday season. Another year is coming to a close and what a year it has been. It is with the help of our board members, local contacts, and our membership that PLAGAL has been able to deal with the ups and downs of the last year. I thank all of you. Some of you have been able to help financially, others with their time and talents. Please know that everything that has done is very much appreciated. As you all know the annual meeting is coming upon us. Please take the time to think about where you would like to see PLAGAL be in the next 5 years. Your input is very important.

Cecilia

 

PLAGAL Membership Form

MEMBERSHIP FORM
2003 DUES ARE NOW WELCOME

Name:______________________________________________________

Address:____________________________________________________

City/State/Zip:_______________________________________________

Telephone:__________________________________________________

Email:______________________________________________________

Status: ______member ___________mailing list only

Dues and Contributions

Annual dues: $20.00 _____________ Contribution: ____________
PLAGAL is a 501c(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowable by law. Make checks payable to PLAGAL.

Participation

_____ I am willing to organize a local PLAGAL group.

_____ I am not willing to organize a group but would be willing to join and participate in one.

_____ I can represent PLAGAL by helping out at Pride and other LGBT events in my area.

_____ I can represent PLAGAL by participating in events within the pro-life community.

_____ I am willing to become a local contact for PLAGAL.

_____ I am an articulate speaker and would love to become part of the PLAGAL's speaker's bureau.

_____ I am willing to be part of a committee if needed.

_____ I am a fabulous writer and would be willing to write op-ed articles and other things for PLAGAL.

Please return form to:
PO Box 33292
Washington, D.C. 20033-0292
or email: plagal@plagal.org.

 

PLAGAL Annual Meeting Input Sheet

Please enter your email address:
And your name:

  1. What do you believe should be the number one goal of PLAGAL? Why?


  2. Do you think PLAGAL should be a service organization, educational organization, or both? Why?


  3. Give a short term goal for PLAGAL:


  4. Give a long term goal for PLAGAL


  5. What do you think should be the next step for PLAGAL if there are arrests at the march for life?


  6. Every organization needs some improvement. Tell us where we can improve.


  7. Where would you like to see PLAGAL in the next 5 years?