February 28, 2014

NYC and Boston Mayors Will Skip Anti Gay St.Pat’s Parades


 Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is threatening to boycott the St. Patrick's Day parade unless organizers allow a group of gay military veterans to march, joining New York's mayor in protesting parade policies on gay groups.
Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, said Thursday he's been trying to broker a deal with the city's parade organizers to allow a gay veterans group sponsored by MassEquality to march in this year's parade. He said allowing gay groups to participate is long overdue.
"It's 2014 — it's far beyond the time where we should be even having this discussion because they're veterans who fought for this country just like any other veteran," Walsh said.
"I made a commitment during the campaign ... that I would fight for equality and that's what this is all about."
But parade planners appeared unwilling to budge.
Lead parade organizer Philip Wuschke Jr. said gay people are not prohibited from marching with other groups. But he said organizers do not want the parade to turn into a demonstration for a particular group.
"The theme of the parade is St. Patrick's Day. It is not a sexually oriented parade," he said. "All we want to do is have a happy parade. The parade is a day of celebration, not demonstration."
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will skip the nation's largest St. Patrick's Day parade in Manhattan because participants are not allowed to carry signs or banners identifying themselves as gay.
"I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city," de Blasio said during a press conference earlier this month. "But I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade."
The parade dates from 1762, more than a century before the five boroughs linked to form modern New York City. The traditional event draws more than 1 million people every year to watch about 200,000 participants, including marching bands and thousands of uniformed city workers. It has long been a mandatory stop on the city's political trail.
Since the 1990s, the event's ban on pro-gay signs has sparked protests and lawsuits and led to the creation of an alternative, gay-friendly St. Patrick's Day parade in Queens. In recent years, some elected officials — including de Blasio when he was a public advocate — attended the alternative parade and boycotted the traditional parade.
Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio's predecessor, was a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage rights, but still marched in the traditional parade all 12 years he was in office.
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton was asked Thursday at an unrelated press conference in Manhattan if he planned to march in the parade and confirmed that he was. He did not elaborate.
Judges have said the private organizers of New York's parade have a First Amendment right to choose participants in their event. The organizers have ruled that some groups, such as colleges or civic organizations, can identify themselves, but LGBT groups cannot.
The Boston parade, sponsored by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, has had a long and torturous history on the question of whether gay groups can march.
State courts forced the sponsors to allow the Irish-American GayLesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston to march in the parade in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, the sponsors canceled the parade rather than allow the group to participate.
In 1995, the sponsors made participation by invitation only and said the parade would commemorate the role of traditional families in Irish history and protest the earlier court rulings. But several months later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Massachusetts courts had previously violated the parade sponsors' First Amendment rights when they forced them to allow the gay group to participate.
Walsh's predecessor, Mayor Tom Menino, boycotted the parade after the Supreme Court ruling.
The parade has traditionally honored Irish-Americans and also celebrates "Evacuation Day,"George Washington's victory that forced British troops out of Boston in 1776.
In Savannah, Ga., where Irish immigrants and their descendants have been celebrating St. Patrick's Day for 190 years, openly gay groups have long been absent from the city's parade.
Local gay business leaders began lobbying for a slot in the parade in the 1990s, but were told by the private committee that organizes the parade that its applications were denied because they were "pushing a political agenda," said Savannah gay rights activist Kevin Clark.
Clark said the group stopped applying about 10 years ago, deciding that issues such as domestic partner benefits and gay marriage were more important.
"In the big scheme of things, participating in a St. Patrick's Day parade just doesn't rise to the level of being worth exerting a lot of energy," Clark said.
Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire in New York and Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga., contributed to this report.

Uganda Slapped with Aid Cuts over Their Anti Gay Law


KAMPALA- Uganda’s government has been hit with substantial aid cuts after the president enacted a severe anti-gay measure over which some Western governments had warned of consequences.
At least three European countries are withdrawing millions in direct support to Uganda’s government, which depends on donors for about 20 percent of its budget.
The Dutch government said in a statement seen Thursday that it is suspending aid to Uganda’s government but will continue supporting non-governmental groups, joining the governments of Norway and Denmark in taking such action. Norway is withdrawing at least $8 million but will increase its support to human rights and democracy defenders, while Denmark is restructuring aid programs worth $8.64 million away from the Ugandan government and over to private actors and civic groups.
Jim Mugunga, a spokesman for Uganda’s Finance Ministry, said the government is waiting for official communication of the aid cuts.
Washington has also signaled it could cut aid to Uganda over an anti-gay measure the White House described as “abhorrent.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday compared the law to oppressive government crackdowns on German Jews in the 1930s and black South Africans during apartheid, saying he was going to direct American ambassadors to look at “how we deal with this human rights challenge on a global basis.”
Ugandan officials have been reacting with scorn, saying that Western governments can keep their money.
Uganda’s president on Wednesday told African leaders attending a summit in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa that although the matter of gay rights is “dear” to the West, “even the homosexuals need electricity.”
President Yoweri Museveni enacted the bill on Monday, drawing widespread condemnation from the United Nations, rights watchdog groups, as well as some of the East African country’s development partners. In signing the bill, Museveni said he wanted to deter Western groups from promoting homosexuality in Africa. The anti-gay law is widely popular in Uganda, and some analysts believe Museveni’s enactment of the bill boosts his popularity ahead of presidential elections in 2016.
Ofwono Opondo, a spokesman for Uganda’s government, said Thursday that the aid cuts show Ugandans “that the world does not owe them a living.”
“It’s actually a trap for dependence,” he said, talking about donor support. “It’s actually good that they removed the aid, so that we can live within the means we have.”
Uganda’s new anti-gay law calls for life imprisonment for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. It also creates the offenses of “conspiracy to commit homosexuality” and “aiding and abetting homosexuality,” both of which are punishable by seven years behind bars. Those convicted of “promoting homosexuality” face similar punishment.
RODNEY MUHUMUZA, Associated Press

Arss Anti Gay Juan Pablo Galavia Fired from DWS

THE BACHELOR, Juan Pablo GalavisRandy Holmes/ABC

 Juan Pablo Galavis will not be cast on the new season of Dancing with the Stars, multiple sources exclusively tell E! News.
ABC does not comment on casting rumors, however, insiders who work on the show tell us that Juan Pablo initially was under serious consideration for a spot as a contestant on DWTS' season 18, but is "no longer wanted."
"He's just too risky," says one source connected to the show. "There's too much negativity at this point."
Juan Pablo has endured some serious backlash after his comments about why he thinks a gay Bachelor is not a good idea (saying his use of the word "pervert" was because of his language barrier), and two of the women decided to leave him on the show. The most recent, which aired Tuesday, was Andi Dorfman, who called Juan Pablo an "a—hole" who has "no filter," after Juan Pablo told her she had barely made the cut to the final three and that he had spent the night with one of the other women.
As we reported earlier this week, Andi is being set up as the new Bachelorette.
E! News also broke the news that NeNe Leakes (Real Housewives of Atlanta, Glee) andCandace Cameron Bure (Full House's D.J. Tanner, of course!) will be a part of the new season of Dancing with the Stars.
Dancing with the Stars endured a hosting shakeup last week, when Brooke Burke-Charvet confirmed she was being relieved of her post as co-host. She has been replaced with Fox  Sports' Erin Andrews.
ABC will announce the new cast of Dancing with the Stars on March 4 on Good Morning America.
Video Thumbnail: Is Juan Pablo Letting Down Fans?”The Bachelor” has been getting into a lot of hot water this season. Does host Chris Harrison think Juan Pablo is living up to expectations?
The network is also expected to announce the new Bachelorette on the After the Rosespecial, airing March 11 on ABC.
No word yet on whether the woman Juan Pablo chose in the finale has stuck by his side through all the backlash. But suffice to say, that After the Rose special is going to beamaaaaaazing!

US Putting Over 80 Anti Gay Countries on Notice!


The United States is putting nearly 80 countries on notice: If you take away the rights of members of the LGBT community, there are consequences.

In announcing the State Department's annual report on human rights, Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted the persecution of same-sex persons around the world, especially in light of a bill signed by Uganda's president that criminalizes homosexuality.

"These laws contribute to a global trend of growing violence," Kerry said Thursday. "They are a front to every reasonable conscience."

Kerry further called for a world "where professing one's love does not lead to persecution."

Violations against same-sex rights have been a priority for the U.S. in recent years, which particularly came into focus in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russian law "effectively criminalizes public expression and assembly for anyone who would advocate LGBT equality," the State Department report says. The report also goes after other nations for criminalizing same-sex sexual activity in African nations such as Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, and Zambia.

Kerry detailed these violations, along with others seen around world, especially in nations that are superpowers. It's hard for the United States to ignore its strategic relationships with countries such as China and Russia, as both are key players on economic and diplomatic issues. But they are also two of the worst violators of human rights.

China is criticized for its tight control of the Internet and for breaking up protests that criticize government corruption. Russia, for its part, is criticized for going after government opposition, while also violating the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, and the LGBT community.

This report, required by law, is often used by Congress to make its decisions on whether to pass sanctions or provide aid to other nations. Kerry conceded that there's even an "ongoing struggle" here in the United States, listing LGBT rights and equal treatment of women.

"We don't speak with arrogance but concern for the human condition," he said.

What should be concerning for the U.S. is that several nations the Obama administration has expressed faith in continue to violate human rights, including the new nation of South Sudan and an increasingly unstable Egypt, which the State Department notes has used "excessive force" to quell antigovernment protests.

Kerry also mentioned Ukraine; even before it was in the news for cracking down on pro-European Union protests, the Ukrainian government was increasing its pressure on civil society, journalists, and protesters, he said.

Obviously, the report cited the usual suspects, including the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government and the continued oppression by the governments of North Korea, Cuba, and Iran. The State Department calls these violations "deplorable" and does not detail any progress in these places. On Iran, officials say there has been “ ittle meaningful improvement in human rights from the Iranian government" since President Hassan Rouhani took office.

Gay Rights is Now a Foreign Policy Issue


Just as the domestic debate on several major gay issues appears to be entering its end game, it is starting to heat up as a foreign policy issue.
Gay marriage is legal in an increasing number of states, gays and lesbians can now serve openly in the military and a bill to protect gay workers is widely popular with the public
At the same time, other countries are passing discriminatory laws and increasing persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
With broader discretion over foreign policy than domestic laws, President Obama is increasingly stepping up his criticism of anti-gay laws abroad and encouraging countries to promote gay rights.
This week, Obama publicly denounced a new law in Uganda that makes homosexual acts punishable by up to life in prison.
He also sent delegations of openly gay US athletes to represent America in his place at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia this month — a snub at that country’s discriminatory laws against gay citizens and their supporters.
And last year, the president ignored critics at home and abroad to send an openly gay U.S. ambassador, James Brewster, to serve in the conservative Dominican Republic.
Activists say that the new focus on gay rights overseas is a culmination of years of work by Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In 2011, Clinton spelled out exactly that policy initiative in a speech famous among foreign policy circles: “Gay rights are human rights,” she announced in Geneva, echoing another one of her famous speeches in Beijing where she said “women’s rights are human rights.”
That same day, the president released a memorandum instructing all foreign affairs agencies to find ways to promote gay rights abroad.
To be sure, American politics are far from settled on the issue of gay rights. Many Republicans continue to oppose same-sex marriage, and the fight over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will likely take years. But there are signs that the once-hot fight among social conservatives has cooled off, such as Wednesday’s veto by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer Arizona of an anti-gay bill.
American attitudes toward more overt discrimination overseas are much more unified.
That’s because American leaders recognize that gay rights is the next battle front in the ongoing global fight to protect human rights, argued Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality, an international coalition promoting LGBT rights.
“Most countries around the world now understand that there are consequences to disadvantaging women or to treating some of their ethnic or indigenous minorities with contempt,” Bromley said. “But there’s still sort of a free rein in many countries to target and persecute many LGBT individuals.”
He also thinks some leaders, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, foment persecution of their gay citizens to distract from greater economic and political stability problems.
Whatever the reason, it’s jarring to compare American laws that allow gay couples to marry in 17 states with foreign laws that make homosexuality illegal in 38 African countries, said Ty Cobb, who runs the global engagement program for the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.
“Americans are shocked by the contrast between the progress we’re seeing and the backsliding in other countries,” he said.
That may explain why unlike the domestically divisive issue of same-sex marriage, supporting basic gay rights abroad is an increasingly bipartisan issue in Congress.
In 2009, Congress passed a bill aimed at curbing domestic hate crimes based on gender or sexual identity.
Today, it’s become routine for a handful of Republicans to speak out against discriminatory LGBT laws like those in Uganda.
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is a leader on this issue, said in a statement when the law passed Uganda’s parliament: “All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect across every country and continent.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, who regularly travels to Uganda and once described his trips as “more of a Jesus thing,” reprimanded the law this week: “ …[I]t  it is my hope that the country will abandon this unjust and harsh legislation.”
All this isn’t a surprise for Rep. Charlie Dent, a center-right Republican from Pennsylvania who is one of the few House Republicans to support a bill to protect gay workers.
Dent said he and his colleagues recognize that once discrimination of LGBT people becomes a human rights issue, the American government has a requirement to step in.
“I think most reasonable people can distinguish between laws that prohibit gay marriage and laws that criminalize individuals because of their sexual orientation,” he said.
Cobb, with the Human Rights Campaign, agreed.
“I think it’s important that we all stand up for values that someone as a bare minimum should not be murdered for who they love,” he said.
In that sense, America’s newest foreign policy initiative may also be one of its most bipartisan — even when the dust is still settling from its own debate on gay rights.
By Amber Phillips, Digital First Media

Democrats Would Like Credit But It Was GOP Who Stopped Obama from Gutting Social Security


Liberals are taking a big victory lap after the White House announced Thursday that it wouldn’t propose trimming future Social Security benefits as part of the 2015 budget. President Obama had repeatedly endorsed such a measure as part of a “grand bargain” to tame the nation’s growing debt, and he incorporated it into last year’s budget plan.
After word came out, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee blasted a release: "This is a huge progressive victory -- and greatly increases Democratic chances of taking back the House and keeping the Senate.”
Neil Sroka, the communications director for Democracy for America, told Business Insider for an article titled  “How Liberals Won on Social Security”:  “We have changed the conversation in Washington.”
And economist Paul Krugman was up Friday morning calling the decision “a big deal.” 
Sorry, but liberals had nothing to do with the president’s decision. It’s Republicans who killed the Social Security proposal.
In 2011, in 2012 and in 2013, Obama was willing to adopt a chained consumer price index, which would result in lower payouts of Social Security benefits over time. (He would have protected poor seniors.)
Republicans had long demanded it, citing the sustainability of the nation's retirement entitlements. Obama was willing to do it as part of a “grand bargain.” His condition was to scale back tax breaks that benefit the wealthy. He made the case to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)  in 2011 and 2012 and then -- over and over -- to Senate Republicans in 2013.
Democrats hated the idea. Liberals were furious. But the president kept it on the table. What many liberals didn’t understand was that Obama kept it on the table not just as a token to Republicans -- many of his advisers believed that chained CPI, with protections for poor seniors, was a good policy that used a more accurate measure of inflation.
Nonetheless, Republicans didn’t bite. They decided that raising taxes on the wealthy by closing tax expenditures was too much to ask.
The GOP refusal to agree to a deal is the reason why Obama’s Social Security proposal isn’t law. In fact, though he’s not including it in his budget, Obama says the offer is still on the table.

An Elephant That Put it’s Weight on Gov.Brewer: NFL


Knowing that the Gov of Arizona, whatever her name is, was not going to veto a bill she supported unless there was massive pressure from all sides.  But all pressure sides are not created equal. Some are Elephant weight. Some you will never guess. One of those is the NFL….

You have to give the Arizona legislature credit: They saw the way the tide of history was flowing, and they tried to run their state straight up on a sandbar. The legislature passed a bill cleverly named the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which set out to restore freedom by  allowing businesses to refuse to serve anyone on religious grounds. Even Christians! (Let’s all stop for a laugh as we think about how it would go over in Arizona if a business refused to serve Christians.)

Of course, and undoubtedly, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was designed to discriminate against gay people, since in some places they can now get married and be accepted into society and other things that might be uncomfortable to legislators. (And not just in Arizona.) So they crafted a bill that disguised the anti-gay sentiment as a pro-freedom sentiment. This is, sadly, almost exactly the same way that people will still tell you the Civil War was not about slavery, but about states’ rights. Of course the main one of those rights just happened to be the ability to own slaves.

Here’s the good news: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill! Here’s the bad news: She had to think about it for more than three nanoseconds first. It was not exactly, as my man Charlie Pierce says, a profile in courage.

Brewer might have, in the end, felt the bill was morally wrong. But what she unquestionably felt was pressure to veto the bill from a lot of powerful groups — especially the National Football League.

Arizona has hosted two Super Bowls, and of course it loves the money and attention that comes with the biggest event in American sports. On Tuesday, before Brewer’s veto, the NFL issued a statement about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: “Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard. We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

In other words: We’ll take our ball and go home.

That’s not an idle threat. The NFL has already spanked the state once for discrimination — it moved the Super Bowl from Tempe to the Rose Bowl in 1993 because Arizona the state hadn’t yet established a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. And this year’s Super Bowl in New York (OK, New Jersey) shows that the league is expanding its idea of what qualifies a city to host the Super Bowl. For years the league just rotated the game among warm-weather cities, and the Cardinals’ stadium in Glendale was one of the few that met Super Bowl requirements. But if the league is willing to play anywhere, there’s no need to play in a state that discriminates. This is called leverage. People tend to use that in politics.

Some people don’t like politics in their sports — or, I guess, sports in their politics. But there are some moments when sports acts as a clarifying agent. Muhammad Ali gave up his title rather than fight a war he opposed. Nelson Mandela reached out to a white rugby team and helped the healing in South Africa. These past few weeks in Sochi, gay athletes — merely by their existence at the Winter Olympics — showed the profound silliness of Russia’s anti-gay laws. (FYI, Arizona legislators: Vladimir Putin is not the leader you want to find yourself on the same side of.)

The NFL has its own issues to clean up. (Is there a state with the guts to refuse the Super Bowl until the NFL changes the name of the Redskins? Probably not.) But a young man named Michael Sam is about to land on an NFL roster somewhere. There have been other gay players in the past, and there are surely closeted ones on NFL teams now. The NFL is saying, in effect, that it won’t allow its employees to be discriminated against. That’s a simply American value. It’s also the way the tide is flowing, no matter how hard the Arizona legislature tried to bail.

February 27, 2014

The Fat Republican Lady Sang Brewer Vetoes Anti Gay Ban

 Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday that she has vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
Opinions have been sharply divided over the politically charged measure, with both sides ramping up pressure on Brewer after the state's Republican-led legislature approved the bill last week.
Brewer said she made the decision she knew was right for her state.
"I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd," she said, calling the bill "broadly worded" and saying it could have unintended consequences.
Her announcement spurred cheering and hugs by protesters of the bill in Phoenix.
The measure, known as SB 1062, would have given Arizona businesses that assert their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
Opponents said it encouraged discrimination against gays and lesbians, while supporters argued it allowed for religious freedom.
Brewer returned home on Tuesday from a weekend in Washington with her state roiling over a values clash between arch conservatives and gay rights advocates. The state battle has national implications, as the issues it deals with play out in different ways in courts, state legislatures and on Main Street across the country.
The Arizona measure is particularly pointed and has vocal supporters behind it. They contend it's their legal right to oppose what they see as a gay-rights agenda nationally.
Opinion: Why I put this sign in my pizzeria window
In addition to gay rights organizations, many businesses have sharply criticized the measure, saying it would be bad for Arizona's economy and could lead to discrimination lawsuits, boycotts and other disruptions.
Before she vetoed the bill, Brewer wouldn't reveal her intentions in an interview with CNN on Monday in Washington, where she attended a meeting of governors.
"I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona," she said.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer weighs options on anti-gay measure
Economic concerns
The bill also drew fire from some Republican lawmakers with generally social conservative beliefs.
Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake publicly urged Brewer to veto the measure, citing worries about the economic impact on the state's businesses.
Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney recently tweeted that a veto of the bill was the right course.
Romney weighs in, Obama silent on Arizona SB 1062
 Yarbrough: The distortion is stunning Who is behind the Ariz. anti-gay bill? LZ to Cuccinelli: You're a homophobe McCain: Anti-gay law hurts Arizona
Large businesses including Apple, American Airlines, AT&T, and Intel voiced opposition, and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee expressed concerns.
State Rep. Heather Carter, one of three state house Republicans who voted against this bill, said her phone started ringing as soon as it passed the state's Senate.
A "groundswell" of phone calls and e-mails from friends, family, and other people she respects, she said, told her "you can't vote for this bill, it's a bad bill."
This reaction, she said, told her something. She could not vote for the bill if there was "even the off-chance that discrimination could happen."
But supporters of the bill have been just as vocal.
The measure, which was pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage, has also drawn staunch support from those who say the federal courts have increasingly pushed a pro-gay rights agenda.
Freedom or oppression? That's the question for Arizona's SB 1062
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said on his show that Brewer is "being bullied by the homosexual lobby in Arizona and elsewhere" on the measure.
A double standard?
Supporters also see, in the opposition, a double standard in how the rights of gays and lesbians are supported versus those who have conservative religious views.
 Finding lawmakers to defend SB-1062 Conservative groups back Ariz. bill Is Brewer being 'bullied' to veto bill? CEO: Arizona is a welcoming state
"I think what we need to do is respect both sides. We need to respect both opinions," Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann said Wednesday. “ ust like we need to observe tolerance for the gay and lesbian community, we need to have tolerance for the community of people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs."  
CNN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell, Ana Cabrera and Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Editorial and comments from the publisher:SEE: adamfoxie: When Republican Fat Lady Sings

It took her a few (maddening) days, but Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) did the right thing. She vetoed that horrible bill that would have made it legal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by claiming that doing so violated their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” But this sensible and just end isn’t the best part of all this.
Never before have I seen such full-throated tri-partisan opposition to a piece of anti-gay legislation. By tri-partisan I mean Democrats, Republicans and corporations. That Democrats were against the measure was a no-brainer. That Republicans and businesses joined them to not only decry the bill’s passage bill but to also demand that Brewer veto it was remarkable.
Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, John McCain (R) and Jeff Flake (R), urged Brewer to veto the bill. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, did the same. Three state Senators who voted for the noxious statute changed their minds. In a letter to Brewer last Friday, the head of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council warned that the “legislation will likely have profound, negative effects on our business community for years to come.”
Because next year’s Super Bowl is set to kick off in Glendale, Ariz., the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee released a statement to declare “We do not support this legislation.” It added, “We share the NFL’s core values which embrace tolerance, diversity, inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination.” Meanwhile, the NFLspokesperson said yesterday, “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law.” And then there was the cavalcade of corporations, including Apple, Marriott and American Airlines, that reached out to Brewer’s office to urge a veto. Delta Airlines was more blunt in discussing what might happen if SB 1062 is signed into law.

The comments from professional gays and gays on the sides that don’t follow stories until something big comes out and then the comments are sad because they lock background information of the why and how come this or that happened. But setting that on the sides the conversation is been great and representing who we are, a very diverse community with no two alike even though we are portrayed that way. There is one thing in which the community got together in unionism about no more to the closet and no more abuses. You wont sell me a cake for my wedding if you know Im gay or you wont allowed me stay in your motel because you believe Im corrupted and will corrupt your bed.

You have a right to believe that but if you are going to have a public business is going to be for the public and you can’t keep me out if Im just a customer with his money to pay.
That is part of the argument on the Arizona gay ban bill the Gov Brewer’s Veto. 

Let this fool no one that Gov. Brewer is a hater governor tied down to the tea party. However because she is not a super good candidate she needs help from her party on those pesky elections, The core of the Republican party believes that the fight for gay rights in this country, what ever they are is lost. They know they most get on the train before it leaves the station but you have this massive power in money and strings from the evangelicals, they are so powerful that they help make laws in Russia, Uganda, Cameroon to execute gays or put them in jail for ever. 

Just because they are gay and the government thinks is against the Bible the bible they themselves don’t follow.These are the type of people behind the stubborn non common sense battle we fight in the trenches of the halls of governments and court houses in the southern states, where they are based. 

They have a non stop money producing cow with their TV channels and shows asking for donations in the US and around the world. They are involved in programs  “Like’save’ the children” and many others, They try to save the children but they have to take their cut which will always be over 20% and more close to 60%.

The power that they hold is enough to make the Republicans buckle on negotiations on the budget and produce all these strings attached on bans on the state constitutions against gays. Bans that have and will not prevail in court and will be struck down like in Texas and others.

It’s prudent that when someone makes the right decision one should be padded in the back. I personally will not pad in the back a snake that decided not to bite me. Thanks Ms.Anaconda but lunch with a mouse or goat I wont buy you, just in case you going back to being a vicious snake. 

Of all the Governors with the exception of may be Texas, on the 50 states she has been the most vicious against, gay rights, marriage,immigration, helping the poor, schools, housing, medical care.
She will still be against us but probably with less speeches  condemning us. But conversion for this woman is not possible unless she has a gay relative no one knows about. She will still be that Republican Governor that bucked to her interest not to her conscience.

Thank you for reading. The door is open for any comments below.
Adam Gonzalez 

In Depth Reporting in chronological order on Page 10 : http://adamfoxie.blogspot.com/p/page-10-in-de.html

Being S.African is Never Having to Say Sorry


Last week saw yet another storm in a social media Z-cup when Justin Nurse, head honcho of a small company called Laugh It Off, which parodies corporate brands, took exception to clothing label Jay-Jays apparently ripping off one of his designs. A play on the WWF logo, with two pandas in a compromising position and the slogan ‘WTF’, is not exactly earth-shattering satire. Nurse’s response was to pen an open letter to Jay-Jays on the online culture magazine Mahala (for which I also write).* This came along with a parody of the Jay-Jays logo, changing the company’s name to – wait for it – Gay-Gays.

In case anyone doubted his liberal credentials, Nurse explained that he didn’t mean gay ‘in the awesome, homosexual sense, but rather in the lame, weak and creatively bankrupt way’. Unsurprisingly, some actual gay people, who’ve spent the last few weeks worrying about punitive and repressive anti-gay legislation in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa, were not appreciative of this pat on the head and reacted with amusing vitriol on various bits of the internet.

Nurse and LIO have also, to the best of my knowledge, not responded to Jay-Jays’ claim that the image was freely available online before they starting using it. If that is indeed the case then what’s going on here is someone attacking someone else for stealing something that they stole, which was in fact parodying something that they ‘borrowed’ from someone else, all of which is so postmodern that I may need to go and have a little lie-down.

Nurse’s juvenile gaffe is not the point of this article. A few days later an LIO newsletter arrived in my inbox with the title ‘Thick, Black, Gay Brown Skins’. Purporting to be an explanation, it insisted that gay is now universally accepted to mean ‘lame’, citing links to an article in the UK Daily Mail and another quoting a journalist from the UK Telegraph. There was no mention of the fact that both of those august organs are notoriously conservative and list liberal-baiting and gay-bashing as their hobbies on dating profiles. The email’s claim that everything is a-okay because ‘words evolve and meanings change’ was dangerously disingenuous given that gay is also, still and consistently, used as an insult to terrorize people.

The email went on to say that LIO apologises if it hurt anyone’s feelings, immediately after which it launched into an increasing tedious series of defences.Of course LIO isn’t bigoted! It’s just a tiny company trying to fight the good fight! In fact LIO is the victim of online intimidation. And also, have you heard of the Constitution? Free speech, mofos! And then the trump card: not only is the dude writing this gay himself, he’s also BLACK WITH AN ASIAN BABY!! It’s like a royal flush of right-on guiltlessness. Ergo, LIO is a brave, scrappy underdog and those oversensitive gay people who keep mentioning homophobic violence are nothing but bullies. This scores about 9.25 on the Bad Apology Scale.
The debacle recalls the saga of Max Barashenkov and Montle Moroosi and their tasteless corrective rape jokes, which I wrote about for the DM in July last year. Soon after that article was posted M&M published a similarly laughable apology that wasn’t an apology at all, instead positioning them as crusaders for free speech and fighters for constitutional rights. The line here, like the line taken by LIO, is, at base, ‘we’re sorry you were offended but we’re not sorry we were offensive’. Now, I’m not espousing a ban on free speech, nor am I in the forefront of the feminazi political correctness police (no, commenters, I’m really not). But if you say something horrible, and people get upset, and you’d prefer them not to be, why not just take it on the chin, say that you’re sorry and move on, instead of nailing yourself to a metaphorical cross? LIO may have fought the good fight against SAB in the Constitutional Court, but this outraged defensiveness won’t do their reputation (or their sales) any favours.
Back in 2011 Helen Zille found herself locked in a Twitterspat with half the digital nation after she accused the musician Simphiwe Dana of being a ‘professional black’. Whether you think Dana is the authentic voice of a generation or a misguided celebutard who should have stayed out of politics, this is hardly an appropriate statement from an elected official in a country with tricky race relations. But instead of apologising, Zille blamed Twitter: ‘It is possible to ask a complex question in 140 characters, but usually impossible to answer it adequately. Inadequate responses generate many complex misinterpretations (often deliberate) that multiply stratospherically through cyberspace.’ And if that didn’t make the culpability clear enough, she also stated, ‘I worked hard at resisting the temptation to respond [but] I took the bait and replied.’ Not only did the Twit-o-sphere wilfully misinterpret her words, it’s also so darn addictive. Poor Helen, at sea on the irresistible tide of social tech.

Why are South Africans so bad at saying sorry? My guess is that there’s a sort of cultural machismo at work here, an idea that genuine apologies make people in the public domain look weak. But there’s something very worrying about a media and political class that is incapable of admitting mistakes, even when those mistakes clearly alienate so many of the people that they want on their side. And so, in the spirit of ubuntu and reconciliation, I offer a heartfelt apology to any readers I have offended thus far, and any I may offend in future. (Except Steve Hofmeyr. I meant that bit.) DM

*I would like this column to serve as an open letter to all writers of open letters: stop. Just stop. Please. It was bad enough when Miley Cyrus was involved, but this really is scraping the bottom of the barrel of public communication.
    nicky falkoff.jpg
    Nicky Falkof is a senior lecturer in the Media Studies department at Wits. She's recently returned to South Africa after almost 14 years of living mostly in the UK, during which time she was, variously, a journalist, author, student, semi-professional feminist, radio pundit and singer in a Yiddish reggae band. She tweets (infrequently) as @barbrastrident.

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