Showing posts with label Commerce Failure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commerce Failure. Show all posts

December 19, 2019

Sheraton Said To The Couple 'They Are Not Specialized on Gay Weddings



Sheraton “Not Specialized” 😏 To Carry Out Gay Wedding 

Josh Rimer, who is a vlogger and Mr. Gay Canada 2019, shared his experience with trying to lock in a wedding venue in a recent vlog.



He and his fiancé, Heath, who lives in Vancouver, planned on having their wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and had reached out to the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center, to host it.

I think it’s worth pointing out that Puerto Vallarta as a destination is extremely gay-friendly, so you’d think this wouldn’t come as a surprising request. It would be like reaching out to a hotel in Palm Springs or Mykonos for a gay wedding.

The first thing worth noting is that the hotel seems to have been incredibly unprofessional all along with wedding planning, and that’s before it was even revealed that this was a gay wedding.

What’s much worse is that in an email conversation with the hotel, the couple was told that the hotel is not “specialized to carry out an equal wedding.” Here’s the email from the hotel to the couple:

“I am infinitely grateful that you have thought of Sheraton for your big day, however, our hotel and our staff is not specialized to carry out an equal wedding and we would not like to take your wedding as a trial and error, and our service could be poor compared to what characterized Sheraton because we know and we are aware that is your special day for you and your fiance, and do not want that by our non-specialed service some conflict can be generated on your big day, my apologies.”
As someone who has gotten (gay) married and has tried to explain to people that a gay wedding is the same as a straight wedding, this Key & Peele skit certainly comes to mind:



A Marriott spokesperson stated the following in response to this situation:

“Marriott has long been committed to providing an environment where all are welcome including our LGBTQ guests and their loved ones.”
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Offers To Host Wedding For Free

The Hilton Puerto Vallarta has capitalized on this opportunity and has offered to host the wedding for free. Via an Instagram post:

Hi @JoshRimer, we’re looking for you! We’ve heard you want to get married at Puerto Vallarta and we want to offer you the #HiltonExperience! 🤗

We want to celebrate with you this special day, so we’ll gladly host your wedding ceremony and feast for FREE for you and your 45 guests at Hilton Puerto Vallarta! 😍🌴 Please send us an inbox! *Restrictions may apply

#loveislove #loveislove🌈

Can The Sheraton Be Given The Benefit Of The Doubt?

I don’t automatically always want to assume the worst in people, so I’ve been trying to think if there’s any world in which this isn’t homophobic.

The person they were in contact with may not have had a great grasp of the English language, so perhaps some benefit of the doubt should be given in regards to how exactly things were phrased.

That being said, I can’t think of any interpretation of the email where it wasn’t intended the way it came across. Josh had no special requests, so it’s not like he was asking the banquet staff to perform a choreographed drag show (though I feel like even that shouldn’t be so hard to find in Puerto Vallarta?).

At an absolute minimum, this situation shows a lot of ignorance on the part of the person they were in contact with. And unfortunately, that ignorance when it comes to gay weddings is pretty widespread. I don’t want to name and shame, but I know when I got married someone who otherwise supports my relationship asked (seriously) if one of us was going to wear a dress at the wedding, given that I was explaining gay weddings are the same as straight weddings.

I suspect it’s still somewhat generational.

But seriously, there’s simply no excuse for this, as far as I’m concerned.

What do you make of this situation? Is there any way to interpret the email from the Sheraton in a way that doesn’t seem terrible?


December 17, 2019

Hallmark is Sorry About Pulling Gay Theme Commercials, The Backlash Made Them Correct The Silly Decision




 Commemorative stamps Celbraring LGBT from the UN


The Hallmark Channel apologized for removing gay-themed commercials from rotation as a backlash against the decision grew over the weekend.
Hallmark's parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, said it pulled ads for wedding planning website Zola -- including one that showed a lesbian couple kissing after getting married -- due to complaints from One Million Moms, a conservative group that is a part of the American Family Association.
The decision to remove the ads sparked major backlash online from celebrities, politicians and LGBTQ advocates, including some who called for a boycott of the family-friendly network.
"The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision," Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry said in a statement Sunday evening. "We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused."
"Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences," he added. 
Perry said the company's mission is "rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions" and anything that detracts from that is "not who we are."
A company spokesperson previously said the ads were pulled in an effort to avoid controversy.
One Million Moms said it complained about the ads to Bill Abbott, CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, who allegedly told the group that the ads "aired in error."
"He reported the advertisement aired in error, but he was informed about it after hearing from concerned 1MM supporters," the organization said in a statement on its website. "The call to our office gave us the opportunity to also confirm the Hallmark Channel will continue to be a safe and family-friendly network."

Hallmark previously confirmed that One Million Moms had complained about the ads, including the one that featured two brides kissing.
The company did not acknowledge the complaints in its statement Sunday, but said it would will always be "committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create."
"It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy. We are an inclusive company and have a track record to prove it. We have LGBTQ greeting cards and feature LGBTQ couples in commercials," the statement said.
It also said it would be partnering with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD "to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands." It also plans to reestablish its partnership with Zola and reinstate the commercials. 
Zola said in a statement, "We were deeply troubled when Hallmark rejected our commercials for featuring a lesbian couple celebrating their marriage, and are relieved to see that decision was reversed. We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola but for all the LGBTQ couples and families who express their love on their wedding day and every day."
The company said Sunday evening it had yet to hear from Hallmark but would be in touch with the company.
GLAAD, which initially slammed Hallmark for pulling the Zola commercials, called Hallmark's reversal a victory for LGBTQ inclusion.
"The Hallmark Channel’s decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to LGBTQ people and represents a major loss for fringe organizations, like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine. LGBTQ people are and will continue to be a part of advertisements and family programming and that will never change," GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement Sunday.
ABC News' Tony Morrison contributed to this report.

May 8, 2019

Black and Gay, Dead From Walgreens Security guards






By Minyvonne Burke at NBC News
The sister of a man shot and killed by a Walgreens security guard after he was suspected of shoplifting has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming her brother was a victim of bias because he was black and gay.
The suit, filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 26, states that Jonathan Hart was "maliciously, wrongfully, intentionally, negligently and/or carelessly" shot in the back of his neck and killed in December 2018 by armed guard Donald Vincent Ciota II.
Ciota, Walgreens and two security companies that work with the store chain are named in the suit.
Image: Jonathan Hart
Jonathan HartCoutresy of Jasmyne Cannick
Ciota, 28, allegedly confronted Hart and two of his friends inside the Hollywood, California, store on Dec. 2 because he thought Hart was stealing. The two men got into a physical altercation, and Ciota allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Hart as he fled.
Carl Douglas, an attorney for the man's family, said Hart, who was in his early 20s, gay and homeless, was hit in the neck and died hours later at the hospital.
The complaint, which denies that Hart was shoplifting, accuses Ciota of targeting Hart because of his race and sexual orientation. According to the lawsuit, Hart and his friends had allegedly complained to a Walgreens employee prior to the shooting about Ciota's "aggressive and hostile manner."
Hart was walking toward an exit when Ciota, who had a Taser and a gun, allegedly grabbed his weapon, yelled "freeze" and then fired a shot, according to the lawsuit.
"Jonathan committed no crime or other act against defendant Ciota, or any other person, to justify the use of deadly force against him. He was unarmed and did nothing to cause defendant Ciota to believe he was confronting an imminent threat to his life or anyone else's life," the lawsuit states. Ciota was charged in January with one count of murder. He pleaded not guilty during a court appearance that same month, NBC Los Angeles reports. Records show that Ciota is being held at a Los Angeles jail on $3 million bail. His lawyer did not return a request for comment by NBC News.
The suit accuses Walgreens of staffing armed guards in stores located in predominantly African American and Hispanic communities or with a high homelessness rate.
Walgreens said in a statement Tuesday that any suggestion that customers are racially profiled or discriminated against is "false and contrary to our deep commitment to inclusive diversity."
"As we stated at the time this tragic incident occurred, we immediately terminated the security company that employed the guard involved," the company said. "We are fully committed to providing a safe environment for our employees and customers in the communities we serve."
Hart's sister, Psykssyanna Hart, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

August 6, 2018

NRA Says They Are Going Through A Financial Crisis Due to Lawsuit From NY Officials


 No Every crazy should be carrying a gun leave a lone an AK 47 as above  (real pic inside a church)


The National Rifle Association says it could soon face a financial crisis that will force it to shut down some of its operations, including broadcasts by its NRA TV division. The gun rights group blames a campaign by Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomoaimed at discouraging insurance companies and other financial institutions from doing business with the NRA. 
The organization has filed a lawsuit against Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services in federal court, alleging that Cuomo and state regulators seek to "deprive the NRA and its constituents of their First Amendment rights to speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment."
Brian Mann, who reports for NPR and North Country Public Radio, says the suit claims Cuomo's actions could "deprive the NRA" of banking, insurance and other financial services that are "essential to the NRA's corporate existence."
The NRA is asking for an immediate injunction to prevent state officials from "interfering with, terminating, or diminishing any of the NRA's contracts and/or business relationships with any organizations." 


"If the NRA is unable to collect donations from its members, safeguard the assets endowed to it, apply its funds to cover media buys and other expenses integral to its political speech, and obtain basic corporate insurance coverage, it will be unable to exist as a not-for-profit or pursue its advocacy mission," the lawsuit states. "Defendants seek to silence one of America's oldest constitutional rights advocates. If their abuses are not enjoined, they will soon, substantially, succeed."
The news that the NRA may be in financial woes is being cheered by student activists and survivors of recent mass shootings, like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg. The advocates from Parkland, Fla., say the news is evidence "the young people are winning." New York's governor doesn't appear to be backing down. In a statement, Cuomo has described the NRA's lawsuit as "a futile and desperate attempt to advance its dangerous agenda to sell more guns."
"In New York, we won't be intimidated by frivolous court actions from a group of lobbyists bent on chipping away at common sense gun safety laws that many responsible gun owners actually support," the governor's office said. "I am proud of my 'F' rating from the NRA, and I will continue to do everything I can to keep New Yorkers safe."
But Cuomo also acknowledged that in April, he directed state regulators to "urge insurance companies, New York State-chartered banks, and other financial services companies licensed in New York to review any relationships they may have with the National Rifle Association." Cuomo argued that such ties could "harm their corporate reputations and jeopardize public safety."
In an email to NPR, the NRA said pressure from regulators amounts to a blacklisting effort. "The NRA has encountered serious difficulties obtaining corporate insurance coverage," the email said. "If insurers remain afraid to transact with the NRA, there is a substantial risk that NRA TV will be forced to cease operating."
The NRA says it has 5 million members, and USA Today reports the organization takes in an annual average of $128 million in donations. 
In 2018, the group set fundraising records, and the NRA Political Victory fund took in $2.4 million in donations during the month of March alone, according to The Washington Post. 
HuffPost reports the NRA typically receives spikes in donations in the wake of mass shootings. After the Parkland school shooting earlier this year, Salon reports donations to the organization increased by nearly 500 percent, compared with the week prior to the tragedy. 
A lot of that money goes toward backing politicians that support the gun lobby. In 2016, the NRA spent $61 million backing current members of Congress, and President Trump received $31 million in advertising from the NRA during his campaign, according to USA Today
In recent years, the NRA has expanded its media outreach, distributing highly-produced videos promoting gun ownership over the Internet and cable.   
Over the past week, protesters have gathered to march against gun violence. On Thursday in Chicago, activists demonstrated over a recent spike in homicides, according to The Independent. USA Today reports that on Friday, during a visit to western Kentucky, Oliver North, the incoming president of the NRA, was met by both "an enthusiastic welcome" and protesters who shouted, "Shame!" 
Survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., organized a demonstration for Saturday outside the headquarters of the NRA in Virginia. 
The Washington Post reports that the "teens will be joined by activists, protesters and survivors of gun violence to protest the NRA's role in blocking gun-control legislation and defending sales of guns such as the AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle used in the Parkland, Fla., massacre."
Lawrence Nathaniel, 25, executive director of the National Organization for Change, told The Washington Post, "The NRA has the ability to be the organization that fights for Second Amendment rights while also fighting to protect each and every American citizen, but they choose not to. They would rather threaten and antagonize us than sit down and talk about how we can work together to make sure every American has a quality and safe life."

July 31, 2018

Alaska Airlines Bumped Gay Couple To Make Room For Straight One to Seat Together









Image: David Cooley



 “I have never been so discriminated against while traveling before,” Cooley, owner of iconic Los Angeles gay bar The Abbey, wrote in a public Facebook post. He said he and his travel companion were “removed” from their flight “to give preferential treatment to a straight couple.”
“After my traveling companion and I had been seated in our assigned seats for a while, we were approached by the flight attendant and my companion was asked to move from his premium seat to coach, so a couple could sit together,” Cooley wrote. “I explained that we were a couple and wanted to sit together. He was given a choice to either give up the premium seat and move to coach or get off the plane.”
Cooley and his travel companion decided they “could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight,” and so they deplaned. 


“I cannot believe that an airline in this day and age would give a straight couple preferential treatment over a gay couple and go so far as to ask us to leave,” he added.
At the end of his Facebook post, Cooley called on LGBTQ people to boycott Alaska Airlines.
“Thank you to Delta Air Lines for getting us home safe,” Cooley wrote. “If you are an #LGBT person, please spend your travel dollars with an LGBT friendly airline like Delta.”
A spokesperson for Alaska Airlines told NBC News the incident is currently being investigated, claiming the situation arose after “a couple was mistakenly assigned the same seats as another couple in Premium Class.” 
“We are deeply sorry for the situation, and are investigating the details while communicating directly with the guests involved to try and make this right,” the spokesperson said. “Alaska Airlines has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind, and our employees value inclusion for our guests and each other.”
The claims against Alaska Airlines are not new to the industry. Over the past several years, passengers flying Southwest AirlinesAmerican AirlinesEmirates and others have claimed to have experienced anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
by Tim Fitzsimons
NBC News

May 29, 2018

Stop Loving Publix For Loving the NRA


                                                                        Image result for publix





Two years later, New Times is still getting hate mail for telling Floridians in 2016 to "stop loving Publix." You all yelled at us then and called us "carpetbaggers" for pointing out that the beloved supermarket chain has abysmal politics. But now, after the Tampa Bay Times detailed the gobs of cash the company is throwing at NRA-loving gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, an official #BoycottPublix movement is brewing, and, honestly, we're a little bitter. Now you all realize that Publix isn't the beloved, benevolent multi-billion-dollar corporation you thought it was?
The Times revealed Publix and others tied to the company have given $670,000 to Putnam in the past three years. Putnam is running a far-right campaign for governor complete with attacks on the so-called "fake news" media, cash from the state's hated utility and Big Sugar companies, and some terrifyingly white campaign ads. Importantly, Putnam said in 2017 he was a "proud NRA sellout" before shamefully trying to walk back that comment after the Parkland school shooting. After the Times article was published, several Parkland and Pulse shooting survivors, including David Hogg, demanded that people boycott the grocery chain until Publix stops funneling cash to Putnam.

Publix is now trying to fend off a swarm of horrible PR by insisting it somehow supports Putnam but not the NRA. Frankly, the chain should have faced this battle a long time ago. Farmworkers, for example, have routinely described Publix as indifferent to the dreadful conditions they face while picking produce. LGBTQ workers have accused the company repeatedly, over multiple years, of discrimination and harassment. m
Here's a primer on why Putnam isn't the only reason to boycott Publix:

1. Publix refuses to join a program guaranteeing farmworkers better wages and protections from sexual harassment. If you haven't seen the 2014 documentary Food Chains, stop reading this article and go watch it. The film chronicles the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers, a labor-rights group in Southwest Florida that formed to protect the rights of people picking produce in the Sunshine State. Tomato and other produce pickers in Florida live in squalor because major grocery chains including Publix demand that produce be sold as cheaply as possible. Many live crammed into trailers with other workers, wake up before dawn, work impossibly long shifts in the sun, and rarely, if ever, see their families.
To help end this system, the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers created the Fair Food Program. Major, multinational corporations, including Walmart and Whole Foods, have joined and pledged to pay workers a penny more per pound of tomatoes picked. Because 80 percent of farmworker women report sexual harassment or abuse, companies that join the Fair Food Program also agree to stop buying products from farms where abuse is reported.
Publix refuses to join the program. (Here's its extremely callous statement about that subject.) The company refuses to even speak to the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers. Food Chains documents a hunger strike the coalition held outside Publix's headquarters, which wound up doing zilch to persuade the company to join the program. Even now that the #MeToo movement has taken hold, Publix has refused this simple step that can help protect farmworkers from sexual violence.
2. Its supermarkets have been repeatedly accused of being hostile places for LGBTQ employees. Last January, the LGBTQ community became enraged at the chain after HIV-positive activist Josh Robbins reported that Publix refused to cover "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP) drugs that prevent HIV-negative people from contracting the virus. Because HIV is more prevalent among gay men, many doctors encourage them to take the drug to prevent transmission. It turns out Publix had no actual reason for refusing to cover the drugs — it simply didn't want to, and reversed its decision after LGBTQ activists became rightfully upset.
Most people suspect that Publix's reasoning was entirely political and that the chain simply didn't want to "subsidize" safe, potentially gay sex. The chain has faced anti-LGBTQ accusations for years: Numerous employees have recounted allegations of unwelcoming workplaces to New Times since 2014. Gay men have been denied bereavement pay to grieve for dead loved ones. Gay men have been awarded money for being needlessly fired. The company says it's "improving" its stance on LGBTQ issues, but as the PrEP saga showed, it's still far behind the times.  
3. The heiress to their founder's fortune hates medical marijuana. Carol Jenkins Barnett, the daughter of founder George Jenkins, in 2016 gave $800,000 to a scare-tactics campaign trying to prevent medical marijuana from becoming legal in Florida. The contribution would seem bad enough on its face, but it looks even worse when you consider that Publix is also a pharmacy and that doctors in medical-marijuana states prescribe fewer doses of opioids, anti-anxiety meds, and other prescription pills when medicinal cannabis is legal.
4. Publix has had a hand in fighting local minimum-wage increases and environmental protections. Publix has, in the past, exerted major influence over the Florida Retail Federation, a pro-corporate, right-wing trade group that really doesn't like when workers in the state ask for things such as fair wages and bargaining rights. After the City of Miami Beach tried to raise its minimum wage to an eventual $13.31 per hour in 2016, the Retail Federation sued. At the time, the federation's five-member board of directors included a Publix executive. 
The Publix-backed Federation also sued the city of Coral Gables after the town tried to ban the use of plastic bags in a bid to help clean up the environment. (For what it's worth, Publix also apparently has a pretty big food-waste problem, too.)
5. The company for years has donated to gun-loving RepublicansThe Putnam campaign is not even close to the first time Publix or its executives have dumped cash into Republican coffers. Sure, it's donating an unprecedented amount of money to Putnam, but the chain has helped prop up a whole laundry list of NRA-coddling GOP politicians, including Sen. Marco Rubio (who accepted $36,500 in Publix cash in 2016) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (who got $31,600 the same year). According to the blog Florida Politics, the company gave $2.6 million to Florida candidates during the 2016 election cycle, and the majority of that money went to the GOP.
Bet that next Pub sub might taste a little different from now on.
[Top Picture: Florida today]
5 Other COmpanies Besides Publix Giving Big Money to the NRA:

Image result for adam putnamFlorida gubernatorial candidate, Rick Scott ally, and self-proclaimed "Proud NRA sellout" Adam Putnam
(on the picture on left) will pretty much take campaign money from anyone. Case in point: He scheduled a fundraiser last week with a man who was previously videotaped repeatedly shooting two dogs. Putnam responded by saying that the donation from said dog-shooter was fine, since his opponent, the Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis, "took donations from Democrats," because apparently, Democrats are morally equivalent to people who shoot dogs.
But one of Putnam's big donors has spent the last week gravely regretting their financial support: Publix faced a "die-in" from Parkland survivors, led by David Hogg, over the $650,000 the grocery chain has given Putnam over the last three years. Gun-control advocates demanded Floridians boycott Publix until the company changes its ways — and, in response, Publix agreed to suspend its political donations and reevaluate where its money goes. 
For gun-control advocates, that's a victory (though it's unlikely Publix will stop donating political cash overall), but there are a whole bunch of other Florida corporations and executives still propping up the "proud NRA sellout." 
Those companies have so far evaded criticism for their donations — here are the most prominent few:  
1. Florida Power & Light. FPL, the company that spent millions trying to con Floridians into giving up their solar-power rights in 2016, runs a nuclear plant in Homestead that polluted Miami's drinking water supply and remains a massive carbon polluter contributing to climate change. According to the Miami Herald, FPL had already given Putnam's "Florida Grown" political-action committee a whopping $587,060 as of March 2017. 
2. Big Sugar. U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals are the only companies that Florida environmentalists hate more than utility firms. Environmentalists blame Big Sugar for polluting the Everglades and the state's drinking-water supply. According to a Treasure Cost Palm analysis from last month, U.S. Sugar has given Putnam's PAC $340,000 since 2017, while Florida Crystals has kicked in $65,000.
3. Walt Disney World. Much like Publix, Disney is another beloved Florida corporation with absolutely garbage politics. The company was the subject of a huge labor protest earlier this year, which somehow didn't get much national press attention. According to Florida Division of Elections, the Big Mouse has pumped $510,000 into Putnam's PAC since 2017.

4. Comcast and AT&T. According to state records, Comcast dumped $75,000 into the Florida Grown PAC in the last 12 months. AT&T pitched in $25,000, too. If you don't already despise these companies, then — congrats! You must be the CEO of Comcast yourself. Your life sounds cool. Can we have $75,000, too?
5. Private Prison Giant GEO Group. GEO Group, based in Boca Raton, is the second-largest private-prison company in America. They control both standard prisons and even a bunch of detention centers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union said that ICE guards at a GEO facility in Arizona were torturing Iraqi inmates. GEO has repeatedly been sued for allegedly forcing immigration detainees to work for food, has been accused of sucking money out of defenseless prisoners for necessary items, has been accused of mismanaging millions in federal money, and operated a Southern California facility that was named the "deadliest ICE detention center of 2017." The company helped prop up Donald Trump's presidential campaign — and has donated at least $50,000 to Putnam's PAC, per state records.

Read Current Sittuations as of Memorial Day: https://adamfoxie.blogspot.com/2018/05/parkland-students-convinced-publix.html


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