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Buffalo / Niagara
PO Box 617
Buffalo, NY 14207
We meet because we
have learned that
someone very close to
us is Gay, Lesbian,
We try to help one
another deal with this
information in a
Although we do not
agree at all times, we
try to be
We offer help to those
who seek it, but do not
force ourselves on
We strive to maintain
sharing on a level that
is comfortable for all of
We encourage all to
attend meetings for
their own benefit as
well as that of the
It is our hope that when
each of us reaches a
point of understanding
and acceptance, we
realize that this is when
others need us the
Monthly Meeting Schedule
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Kenilworth United Church of Christ
45 Dalton Drive
Tonawanda, New York 14223
Please join us as we welcome families and friends to share their personal
stories with us. As always, newcomers will be offered the alternative of
meeting privately with a PFLAG parent.
Kenilworth United Church of Christ is located two blocks west of Niagara
Falls Boulevard at the corner of Decatur Rd and Dalton Dr. Decatur runs
off of Niagara Falls Boulevard about 0.8 miles south of Sheridan Drive and
about 0.8 miles north of Kenmore Ave.
Our monthly meetings are in the library, which is near the parking lot
entrance. The facility is handicap accessible.
New Parents Meetings are scheduled as needed at a location convenient to
those involved. These self-help one-on-one meetings deal with the concerns of
parents and family members who have recently learned that a loved one is
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered.
June 2014 Page 2
PFLAG’s Amy Fularz, Ann Carrier, John
and Diane Covert stand alongside
Sweet Home’s Seth Rait, in middle.
From Left: Brian Carrier and Ann
Carrier (PFLAG), Dylan Corbin, and
Tina LaMendola, Hamburg HS GSA
PFLAG BUFFALO-NIAGARA AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
PFLAG members announce scholarship winners during
visits to winners’ Gay Straight Alliance meetings
By Phil Salemi
May was an exciting month for our PFLAG chapter when our
previous board president, Kristian Rickard and board member
John Covert saw their dreams and hard work come to fruition as
we awarded our first ever scholarships for college bound seniors
in the WNY area.
Scholarships were awarded to high schools seniors, Dylan Corbin
from Hamburg, and Seth Rait from Sweet Home High Schools.
These $500.00 awards acknowledged their academic success as
well as their work and involvement in their schools respective
Gay and Straight Alliance organization.
Their dedication to the advancement the missions of the GSA and
PFLAG, as well as their public support of issues and legislation
that impact LGBT people, were instrumental in their being
chosen to receive these awards.
The PFLAG board of directors was challenged with choosing these
2 students from the many applications that were received, and
we wished we could have provided awards to everyone who
We applaud all of the students who submitted scholarship
applications and wish them all success on their college journeys;
we look forward to their continued support of the LGBT
Congratulations to all of our WNY graduates and allies!
June 2014 Page 3
A TRIP TO NYC – PFLAG’S 6
ANNUAL STRAIGHT FOR EQUALITY GALA
By Amy Fularz
Along with my most recent honor of being elected to the PFLAG Buffalo Niagara Board of
Directors, I was also recently honored with a seat on PFLAG National’s Business Advisory Board
(BAB). Much like our Buffalo board the BAB offers guidance promoting PFLAG’s vision to
advance equality in our communities. Straight for Equality is one of the many programs PFLAG
has to assist in their mission.
Allies that may not even have an LGBTQ relative but feel compelled to advocate or just stand
proudly for and with the gay community can get involved here and are then honored one night
a year at the gala. I had the great fortune of attending PFLAG’s 6
Annual Straight for Equality
Gala in New York City this past April. It was a fantastic night!
I was in awe as the evening took place in a ballroom of the gorgeous New York Marriott
Marquis. The food was decadent, the décor was elegant, and the company electric. Awards
were received by Johnson & Johnson for their understanding and dedication to the importance
of the LGBTQ ally in the workplace and engaging anti-bullying efforts with PFLAG.
Ruth W. Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), was honored not only
for dedicating her long career to ending poverty around the world but in using this experience
more recently to push for LGBT rights globally.
And in entertainment I was delighted to see one of my childhood icons, Ally Sheedy, honored.
The quiet Alison I adored from The Breakfast Club grew into an advocate. Today she fights for
homeless LGBTQ youth by not only speaking in Washington D.C. to educate, or sitting as an
honorary board member to the Ali Forney Center, but also working at this center to help
provide children with the support and housing they need. Awards, singing, dancing, auction,
the list goes on! It truly was a fun evening.
But I think the highlight was hearing the success story of Sophie DiCampalto. Sophie is a
transgender woman who proudly took the stage to thank PFLAG and Straight for Equality for
helping her workplace incorporate trans-inclusive policies and training, thus facilitating Sophie’s
It was devastating to hear her struggles as she began telling the story of her transition. But her
story did have a happy ending. This was largely in part to the work of the Straight for Equality
project working closely with Sophie’s workplace to ensure she didn’t have to be afraid and she
could be herself at work by having the support she needed.
She stood proud and strong because of PFLAGs “life-saving work” and I couldn’t help but get
choked up as she thanked PFLAG, knowing I am also part of this group. That night we were all
a part the gala and of PFLAG. We all could see that over the years PFLAG has helped so many
lives, just as it did Sophie’s.
What a night! We all listened to the acceptance speeches of the honorees and applauded the
numerous ways these advocates take a stand for or hold out a hand for the LGBTQ community.
We heard Sophie’s story and her thank you to PFLAG for finding her support at work.
June 2014 Page 4
And as we said our good-byes and finalized our networking we saw the PFLAG marquee in
Times Square “Support, Educate, Advocacy” and we all left feeling a little more honored to be a
part of that night and a part of PFLAG.
Ally Sheedy speaks at PFLAG’s Straight for Equality Gala
Inside the gala
Marquee in Times Square
June 2014 Page 5
PFLAG Buffalo Niagara Members ready to march with Pride
BUFFALO PRIDE WEEK AND PARADE- Proud Out Loud
annual Pride Week and the culminating Pride Parade took place from its May 25
kickoff at City Hall until the parade and festival took place on June 1st. Pride Parade day was a
perfect opportunity for all in the city to support our LGBT community in many ways. Some
marched, others attended with family, friends, and cheering, waving flags. The streets were
crowded on both side; porches and lawns held many celebrating and cheering as well. We at
PFLAG Buffalo Niagara marched with our biggest group in years. Two members of PFLAG
Toronto stopped by to say hello as they were marching with a local veterans group.
The parade this year began on the Burchfield- Penney Campus and to Elmwood, ending at
Allen. PFLAG members and marchers tossed beads all along the way, and on each string was
information about PFLAG. It was such a wonderful day and a highlight of a week where rainbow
flags flew at City Hall and along so many local streets and in front of businesses.
Johnson and Johnson’s Care with Pride program supports PFLAG in an ongoing fundraising
event; Care with Pride posters, tee-shirts, and the banner were sent from Johnson and
Johnson and used in the parade and the after festival at Canalside. Later, at the Canalside
festival, PFLAG had an informational booth in the marketplace with many other LGBT
community groups. But it was at the beginning of the parade that a very special moment
occurred. As the first groups turned from Rockwell Road to Elmwood, there was a rainbow, a
real, perfect rainbow in the sky.
There had been no rain at all, but this rainbow still shone down on the day and the marchers. A
message from above of support, love, and a harbinger of things to come this year? We at
PFLAG certainly think so!
June 2014 Page 6
GAY MARRIAGE BATTLE SPREADS TO MONTANA, BEYOND
By BRADY MCCOMBS and LISA BAUMANN with Kevin Burbach, Associated Press
Montana on Wednesday joined 28 other states with legal battles over gay marriage, while
same-sex couples in Pennsylvania spent their first full day applying for marriage licenses
knowing the governor wouldn't stand in their way.
A federal lawsuit filed by four gay couples in Montana leaves just two states — North Dakota
and South Dakota — with gay marriage bans and no legal challenges aiming to overturn them.
But that's likely to change as same-sex marriage advocates there gear up for a legal fight.
State marriage bans have been falling around the country since the U.S. Supreme Court last
year struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Gay and lesbian couples can wed in 19 states and the District of Columbia, with Oregon and
Pennsylvania becoming the latest to join the list this week when federal judges struck down
their bans and officials decided not to appeal.
The Montana couples say their state's constitutional ban denies gay couples the freedom and
dignity afforded to other Montanans and robs them of the legal protections and benefits that
come with marriage. Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock released a statement supporting their
cause, while the state's Republican attorney general said he would vigorously defend the ban.
Meanwhile, a lesbian couple from Rapid City, South Dakota, said they also plan to challenge
their state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in the coming days, along with a
provision in federal law that lets states avoid recognizing gay marriages performed elsewhere.
Their attorney said he's contemplating filing a lawsuit in North Dakota, too.
Here's a look at where things stand with other legal challenges across the country:
Arkansas: A state judge in Arkansas' largest county earlier this month struck down the state's
gay marriage ban, saying the state has "no rational reason" for preventing gay couples from
marrying. The state Supreme Court brought the marriages to a halt and is weighing state
Idaho: State officials announced this week they will appeal last week's decision from a federal
judge overturning the state's same-sex marriage ban. The appeal goes to the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals.
Indiana: State attorneys have asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to review
a federal judge's recent order requiring Indiana to recognize the out-of-state marriage of a
lesbian couple in which one woman is terminally ill. That ruling applies just to one couple — not
June 2014 Page 7
to others who were legally wed elsewhere and are seeking to have Indiana recognize their
Kentucky: After a federal judge ordered Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed
in other states, attorney general Jack Conway said he would not defend the state's law. But,
the state has hired outside attorneys to handle the case and is appealing to 6th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which has not yet scheduled a hearing.
Michigan: The 6th Circuit is reviewing Michigan's same-sex marriage ban that was overturned
by a federal judge in March following a rare trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex
parenting on children. Arguments have not been scheduled.
Nevada: Eight gay couples are challenging Nevada's voter-approved 2002 ban that was upheld
by a federal judge in 2012. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco hasn't
scheduled arguments yet. Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is refusing to
defend the ban.
Ohio: The 6th Circuit appeals court is reviewing two gay marriage cases from Ohio. The
first involves recognizing gay marriages on death certificates, and the second involves an
order for Ohio to recognize all out-of-state marriages. Arguments have not been scheduled
in either case.
Tennessee: A federal judge ordered the state to recognize three same-sex couples'
marriages while their lawsuit against the state works through the courts. Tennessee
officials are appealing the preliminary injunction to the 6th Circuit.
Texas: A federal judge declared the state's ban unconstitutional, issuing a preliminary
injunction. The state is appealing to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans.
Utah and Oklahoma: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is reviewing same-sex
marriage bans that were overturned by federal court judges in these two states. The
appeals court heard arguments on both cases in April, and a ruling is expected soon. Utah
and Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly passed the bans in 2004
Virginia: The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard arguments this month
about Virginia's overturned ban and is expected to rule soon. Virginia's attorney general,
Mark Herring, is one of seven in the country who has refused to defend a state gay
marriage ban. A county clerk who was sued in Virginia is defending the ban.
Other states with court cases demanding recognition of gay marriage are: Alabama,
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri,
Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Most
lawsuits challenge same-sex marriage bans or ask states to recognize gay marriages done
in other states.
June 2014 Page 8
Please circle item(s) JOIN US! PFLAG BUFFALO/NIAGARA
Please join our PFLAG chapter to support our mission at whatever level membership you can:
Lifetime Membership .......................... $500 New Renewal Change of Address
Benefactor Membership ….................. $250
Sponsoring Membership ……….……. $100 Advertising member (Business Card Advertisement $100 for 10 issues)
Supporting Membership ....................... $50
Household Membership ………………. $30
Newsletter Subscription Only……….. $15 Please contact me about volunteer opportunities
Donations of $50.00 or more can be included in the chapter newsletter. Please circle. OK to publish Do not publish
Your National PFLAG membership is included in your local chapter dues. You will also receive the quarterly PFLAG-Pole Newsletter delivered to your home or
by email from the national office. Circle here if you don’t want to receive the PFLAG-Pole Newsletter
Make checks payable to PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara and mail to: P.O.Box 617 Buffalo, NY 14207
PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara is a non-profit 501(c)3 and donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Please write clearly
Name (s) ___________________________________________________________________________ Date ________________
Address______________________________________________ City _______________________________________________
State _____Zip ______________ Phone (____) __________________E-mail address___________________________________
Buffalo Gay Men’s Chor
ALL YOU CAN EAT SPAGHETTI DINSunday, April 6, 2014
3pm - 9pm seating
Boomerangs Bar & Grill
995 Niagara Street; Buffalo NY 14213
Tickets & info: 883-1277
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian and Gays,
Buffalo-Niagara, is a non-profit, all volunteer,
community-based organization not affiliated with
any ethnic, religious, economic or political group.
Membership is open to all. PFLAG membership lists
are kept confidential and mailings are sent in plain
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