Saturday, December 12, 2009

Good news

To: HeartBeat, PFLAG Olympia
From:Gery Gerst, Olympia
Re: Welcoming Statement Adoption by the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd on North Street
Our congregation, after almost a year of deliberation, prayerful consideration and education forums has voted overwhelmingly to adopt and publicly display, as an expression of its mission and vision, the following affirmation of welcome:

A Welcoming Congregation. Here's the announcement sent our way by Gery Gerst:

The Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd welcomes all people,
• the poor and the rich, the young and the old,
• people who are single, married, blessed, divorced, separated, partnered, or widowed,
• people of all abilities,
• people of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
• people of all nations and ethnic backgrounds.
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

We are now listed on the Reconciling in Christ roster of congregations on the Lutherans Concerned website:
We will next move to place the welcoming logo and affirmation in readily viewable places, and more importantly strive to fully practice our welcoming of all, as the affirmation states.
Gery Gerst for the Reconciling in Christ task force at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

President Obama tells the story of PFLAG

President Obama shared the story of PFLAG as "the story of America" in a speech on October 10, 2009.

PFLAG National Blog: Janice Langbehn Hospital Visitation Case Dismissed

A federal court in Miami threw out the case of Janice Langbehn, a lesbian denied the right to visit her dying partner in a Florida hospital, saying that no law required the hospital to admit visitors.

Langbehn, a Washington state resident, filed the suit against Jackson Memorial Hospital after Lisa Pond, her partner of 17 years, died there in 2007. Pond suffered a brain aneurysm prior to a Caribbean gay cruise with their three children, and a hospital social worker refused to let Langbehn visit her dying partner, allegedly saying that Florida was “an antigay state.”

The court ruled in favor of the hospital, according to The Miami Herald, in a decision that Langbehn’s attorney called “extreme.”
Read more:
PFLAG National Blog: Janice Langbehn Hospital Visitation Case Dismissed

Thursday, September 10, 2009

APPROVE Referendum 71 on the Nov. 3rd Washington State ballot.

From Aberdeen to Zillah there are registered domestic partners in Washington State.

PFLAG-Olympia is one of the coalition partner organizations that endorses Washington Families Standing Together.

This coalition of community partners is committed to working together to protect Washington’s families and has formed a coordinated campaign to help keep the law from being repealed.

Opponents of civil rights for LGBT people in Washington State have qualified Referendum 71 for the November 3rd 2009 ballot. The referendum seeks to repeal the domestic partnership bill which was passed by our le
gislature and signed by the governor.

Now we will have to
VOTE Approve Referendum 71.

This election will be held with mail-in ballots only, and those will be mailed out in October. People will be mailing them back before November.

Please be sure you are registered (and your friends and family members are) and that you vote to APPROVE.

Please help us with this. When you talk to people, please say "Protect all Washington families and vote Approve on Referendum 71 to affirm to retain our recently passed Domestic Partnership law.

For more information see

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Picnic preparation

We have to start planning now for the annual PFLAG-Olympia picnic.

First, mark your calendar: Sunday, Aug. 9. 1-5 p.m.,Priest Point Park, Kitchen #3

It's potluck, but we need to coordinate somewhat to make sure we don't have 40 desserts and no main course dishes.

We're trying something different this year. Rather than grilling burgers and hot dogs, we're asking people to bring things that don't have to be grilled, such as crock pot dishes, casseroles, pasta, salads, etc. Plus breads and desserts.

Plus, we will need paper plates, plastic forks, napkins, soda -- and somebody needs to bring a big ice chest with ice to keep the drinks cold.

Please let us know what you can bring. E-mail Alec at On the website I will post a list of what we need and what's been promised, and update it as often as needed so you can see what's needed.

Please help us out to make this the best picnic ever. And don't forget to invite your friends and family.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gay plays

Two of Olympia's community theaters are presenting gay themed plays this summer.

First, Olympia Little Theater is doing the outrageous comedy "The Little Dog Laughed."

Here's the info on it from their press release: "If you like to laugh, if you like outrageous satire... don't miss "The Little Dog Laughed" said Liz Smith doyenne of Hollywood gossip columnists about Douglas Carter Beane's 2007 Tony and GLAAD ( award nominated play, opening June 5th at Olympia Little Theatre. The play all Broadway was talking about in 2007 has come to town!

The show runs June 4th through 21st at Olympia Little Theater with shows Thursday through Monday at 7:55pm and 1:55pm Sunday. Tickets are $10-$12 and available at Yenney Music Company, 1404 Harrison Ave NW, Olympia, 360-943-7500 (cash & checks only), on-line at (Credit cards only, add 10% service charge.) or at OLT on the night of the show (when available) 1925 Miller Avenue, Olympia, WA 98506 360-786-9484

Regular Performance dates: June 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 20 at 7:55pm:
June 14, 21 at 1:55pm.

There will be a special benefit performance for Capital City Pride Friday June 19, 7:55pm. Contact CCP for tickets.

Next, Theater Artists Olympia presents "Romeo and Juliet" done with a fresh, intriguing perspective: the title roles are played by two young men. The director, Chris Cantrell, has emphasized that this is not a "drag show," but a serious production. According to TAO' publicity, "He is handling it with the utmost sensitivity and care."

Where: Minnaert Performing Arts Ctr, 2011 Mottman Rd SW, Olympia (South Puget Sound Comm College)
When: June 25 - July 11 at 8:00 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.) / July 12 at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $12 at door or / Pay What You Can on 7/8
Info: or 360-357-3471

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Steve Schalchlin: Live Online May 22

Were you at the Olympia concert and want more?
Did you miss the Olympia concert?
There is going to be a Steve Schalchlin webcast!

Steve Schalchlin: Live Online from Kulak's Woodshed.
May 22 - 8 pm Pacific time. More information: here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Steve Schalchlin: The Big Voice in Olympia

Earlier today in his blog - South Sound Arts etc. - PFLAG-Olympia chapter president (and local theater reviewer) Alec Clayton wrote a review of our very special Mothers Day benefit concert:
The Big Voice in Olympia

Steve Schalchlin posted Alec's review on his own blog - Living in the Bonus Round - with more photos and his own comments. Check it out:
A Review of My Olympia Concert.

Both Steve and Alec love comments which you can do on their blogs.


Monday, April 27, 2009

PFLAG National Blog: Speaking Out for Equality on the Global Stage

Clinton's strong condemnation of anti-gay discrimination comes on the heels of the announcement that the Obama administration plans to reverse the long-standing U.S. opposition to a United Nations proposal supporting equality for LGBT people.

According to The U.N. Dispatch, the United States recently voted in favor of the measure, after voting "no" on the 13-point proposal during the Bush administration.

The declaration, the Dispatch reports, is "to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention." The resolution also, "...Recognizes that experiences of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance are aggravated and intersect with discrimination on grounds including sexual orientation and gender identity, and condemns all forms of discrimination and all other human rights violations based on these grounds."
Read all of
PFLAG National Blog: Speaking Out for Equality on the Global Stage:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dignity, Dogmatism and Same Sex Relationships


Dignity, Dogmatism and
Same Sex Relationships
by Gilbert Rossing

Reviewed by Alec Clayton

Gilbert Rossing, known to local PFLAG members as Gib, has recently published a fascinating book titled Dignity, Dogmatism and Sam Sex Relationships (subtitled What Science and Scripture Teach us). This long title clearly maps out what the book is about.

Gib is a retired Lutheran minister who with his wife, Beth, has two gay sons and two straight daughters. When their sons came out, the Rossings had the experience shared by many PFLAG parents of learning about GLBTQ issues. As a scholar and theologian, Gib found himself struggling to understand apparent contradictions between what the Bible said about homosexuality — and more specifically the common ways many people interpreted scripture — and what his heart and scientific studies told him. In his book, he carefully examines these issues from both theological and scientific viewpoints and illustrates his commentary with personal narrative.

The facts are interesting, well researched and clearly presented, but they make for somewhat dry and academic reading. The dryness, however, is alleviated by the personal narrative.

We have two copies of this book in the PFLAG library (although as of this writing they are both checked out). They are also available at Orca Books and online at (or Google Dignity-Dogmatism).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Celebrate Mother's Day with Steve Schalchlin and support PFLAG Olympia!

In his April 03, 2009 blog post: Personal Appearances., award-winning lyricist, composer, singer/songwriter and storyteller Steve Schalchlin wrote:
This whole new wave of personal appearances, culminating in the creation and design of a new live solo concert, began with a simple request. Gabi Clayton -- do I have to remind you who she is? -- approached me about going back up to Olympia, the place where I played the "Imagine" piano, to sing a new concert as a benefit for PFLAG-Olympia. Given the fact that I'll do anything, anywhere, for any PFLAG, my answer was yes.
So we are very excited to announce that Steve will be the very special guest at our Sunday, May 10th Mother's Day meeting.

Then he'll perform a very special benefit concert for PFLAG at Capital Playhouse at 7 p.m.
Tickets are limited so get them as soon as possible before they sell out.

Lot's more information is posted on the PFLAG-Olympia website.

Please join us!
It's an absolutely fabulous way to celebrate
Mother's Day and PFLAG.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Honoring a Very Big Heart in the Heartland"

I very much recommend reading this wonderful story which was published in the National PFLAG blog today:
Honoring a Very Big Heart in the Heartland
by Kenny Michael Murrell, posted and introduced by Steve Ralls.