Mark My Words

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at

Have you ever thought about combining politics and a hobby with community service, and at the same time being a cog in the wheel that could bring us all equality? Well, here’s how you can do just that.

If I was a national political pundit, this week would be a bonanza for comment.  What about Trump de’dumbly (trademark) telling America that he’s bringing our troops home, while at the same time sending 3,000 of our service members to his good friends in Saudi Arabia. And what about him allowing Russia to partner with Turkey to take control in Syria and telling our troops to move out fast.

There are so many issues I’d love to touch on in this week’s column: The LGBT Presidential Town Hall held by CNN, family leave for LGBT couples, Log Cabin Republicans, foreign aid and even violence against our community.  That’s quite a list, but I’m lucky because one country gives me the ability to address every single one of these issues: Uganda. The country’s Members of Parliament are pushing for “Kill the Gays” legislation.

Spilled blood over the May Democratic primary between LGBT rivals seems to have cast a shadow over this November's election for LGBT voters, as Sherri Cohen runs as the only OUT LGBT person for City Council after a lengthy legal battle to get on the ballot as an Independent.   

There isn’t one, that we know of.  Those being investigated during Trump’s impeachment inquiry are not LGBTQ, as far as we know, and most are one-man, one-woman conservative Republicans.  All or most are opposed to marriage equality and the Equality Act, as well as trans rights.

Now the fun part.

Did you know there’s a jail in the basement in The Capitol?  It hasn’t been used since the 1930s, but it’s for those who have been found in contempt of Congress.

This week, we learned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied about being on that infamous phone call with the Ukrainian President.  Attorney General William Barr has been implicated in obstruction of justice.  Both and their staff members will be called to Congress as will be the looney-tune Rudy Giuliani.  This time if they refuse to testify or turn over documents, Congress can get a federal judge to compel them, and if they don’t, Congress can send U.S. Marshals to take them to that jail in the basement of the Capitol. This is not far fetched. I expect it to be used at least once to make a point that Congress is not going to roll over.

Now, most likely it will not be a big name whose taken to jail, since both Barr and Pompeo have Secret Service protection, and that would create a standoff between the Secret Service and U.S. Marshals.  But those not under protection, not an employee of the federal government and therefore not able to use the term “presidential privilege” — watch out and pack your toothbrush. 

The homophobic Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles J. Chaput — a major conservative critic of Pope Francis and leniency in the Catholic church’s LGBT positions — is about to retire.  His record is not decent, from his days in Denver to his time in Philadelphia.  Along the way, he’s proven to have no heart.

Last week, Philadelphia Gay News reported that the local chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans (LGBT Republicans) are going along with the national organization and endorsing Donald Trump for re-election.

If you’re a member of the LGBT community, you’re affected by HIV/AIDS in many ways.  And if you needed information related to AIDS/HIV when the crisis emerged, there was only one reliable place that you could turn: your local LGBT newspaper, like this one.  At that time, the mainstream media, even The New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer, were derelict in their duties as media sources and journalists. If you needed to know where to receive treatment, what drugs were available to help, and new organizations that were formed to help support the fight, the only place you could find information on a regular, reliable basis was your local LGBT newspaper.

Welcome back from summer.  What did you miss?

Let’s see Marvel announced another LGBT character, scientists say there’s no one single gay gene, rather a combination of genetic factors, and it was announced that the TV show you should be watching, “Pose” was renewed for a third season.

My Labor Day weekend column is always one that muses on topics that just don’t make it in during the rest of the year.  Little tidbits and thoughts that might give you an idea of what I’m thinking and an opportunity to debate the issues.

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