Showing posts with label Homophobia/Commerce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homophobia/Commerce. Show all posts

July 13, 2018

Homophobic Papa John's (J.Schnatter) Resigns After More Racist Comments

In  2074 at 3am a pedestrian spots Papa Johns pizza dough exploding on a dumpster. If you have been buying pizza from this nazi, the same might happen to you. Picture: Independent


Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned as board chairman from the pizza company after he apologized for using a racial slur on a conference call that was set up to teach Schnatter how to not say offensive things.
This is the latest in the fallout for Schantter, who faced increasing pressure after he admitted using the n-word and described a scene of violence against African Americans on a conference call in May. 
Forbes first reported the call, which was set up to help take Schnatter through a “role-playing exercise” to help him deal with racially sensitive situations. Schantter stepped down as CEO from Papa John’s last year, after he blamed NFL leadership for failing to stop anthem protests, which he said had driven down the chain’s sales.
Schnatter confirmed to Forbes that he made those comments and apologized. “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” he said in a statement. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Papa John’s said it had accepted Schnatter’s resignation and will appoint a new chair. Schnatter — under mounting pressure, including from the Louisville chapter of the NAACP— also tendered his resignation Wednesday from the University of Louisville Board of Trustees.
Schnatter was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Matt Bevin but has long been a fixture at, and financial backer of, the university. The football stadium bears the name of the company he founded — Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium — and he donated millions to found an eponymous Center for Free Enterprise at Louisville. 
Another city also responded: The mayor of Jeffersonville, Indiana — Schnatter’s hometown — ordered his name removed from its local field house on Wednesday. Schnatter had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate the aging facility last year. 
The pizza chain itself was also dealt a blow after Yahoo reported that the MLB had suspendeda promotional deal with Papa John’s. The NFL incident had brought repercussions on the company; the NFL replaced Papa John’s with Pizza Hut as the official pizza of the league, and Papa John’s faced slowing sales
Schnatter created controversy even before his NFL remarks last year. The Papa John’s founder got slammed in 2012 for saying that the cost of insuring his employees under the Affordable Care Act would raise the cost of pizza, which led to pushback from customers.
Schnatter, who notoriously featured himself in lots of commercials, had dialed back his public-facing role with the company after the NFL debacle. But according to Forbes, the founder wanted to stage a comeback. The conference call was an attempt to avoid future PR disasters — and ended up seriously backfiring.
Source Vox

May 21, 2018

Gay Coupled Kicked Out of Lyft Ride by Driver~~A Kiss~

 Ben Martella and Alec Jansen had no reason to believe their ride from Butler University in Indianapolis was going to be anything out of the ordinary earlier this month. But about a mile into the ride, the Lyft driver ordered the pair to get out of the car at a red light. Why? They had dared to share a brief kiss in the back seat of the car, the couple told the Indianapolis Star.
“We basically pecked, nothing out of the ordinary,” Martella, who is a student at Butler, told the paper. “He looked in his rear view mirror. He was yelling. We were stunned. We didn’t know the reason for it. He said, ‘I’m going to end your ride. I can’t have that in my car. I don’t have that here.’ … I was really upset. It was a big reaction for such a small display of affection between two guys.” Jensen agreed on the entire surreal nature of the sequence of events: “We gave each other a short kiss on the lips. … I was just surprised the whole thing happened. It just didn’t seem like it was real.” Martella tweeted about the incident, saying he felt “unfairly judged by this service.”
Lyft refunded their money and said it took “the appropriate and necessary actions.” It was only after the paper contacted the company that it confirmed the driver had been “deactivated.” Considering the discrimination they suffered while using the company’s service though, the couple seems a bit dissatisfied with the company’s response. Martella said that his communication with the company was all “very impersonal. It’s all been half-way responses to the answer I was looking for.” Now he says he’s considering taking legal action. 

September 23, 2017

Judge Rules Against Justice Dept on The Anti Gay Cake Story " Same as Just Serving Whites Only"


A Minnesota couple skirmishing on the front lines of the culture war over a business’s right to say no to same-sex marriage clients suffered a setback this week.

In December 2016, Carl and Angel Larsen, owners of videography company Telescope Media Group, targeted the state in a lawsuit challenging a provision in Minnesota’s Human Rights Act outlawing discrimination. This week, Chief U.S. District Court John Tunheim dismissed the case, ruling that the Larsens’ wish to turn down same-sex clients was “conduct akin to a ‘White Applicants Only’ sign,” according to the Star Tribune.

Despite the ruling, the issue is not likely to fade away soon. The St. Cloud couple’s attorney has indicated that the Larsens plan to appeal the ruling. But on a larger scale, the same powerhouse conservative group driving the litigation has a similar case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The couple’s original suit challenged the constitutionality of the state statute. The Larsens, according to their complaint, were trying to break into the wedding videography business, but the Christian pair wanted to work only with heterosexual couples. To do otherwise would be “promoting a conception of marriage that directly contradicts their religious beliefs,” the lawsuit argued.

But due to an update to the state’s Human Rights Act, it is illegal for businesses to treat people differently because of “race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation,” according to the state’s website. The civil penalties for violators can be as much as $25,000.

In interviews and statements at the time, the Larsens shoehorned their legal argument into terms of artistic freedom.

“Imagine, if you can, government officials sitting down with Alfred Hitchcock back in the day, to tell him that, despite his commitment to making great films of suspense, political correctness demanded that he start making musicals, too. Or else,” Carl Larsen wrote in a December 2016 commentary in the Star Tribune. “Or maybe they’d crack down on Steven Spielberg. If he’s going to make a monster hit about a shark, he’s going to have to do films about dolphins, too. Again, or else.”
(Washington Post Co.)

“Creative professionals don’t surrender their freedom of speech and freedom from coercion when they choose to make a living with their art,” the couple told CNN.


CEO's Neighbor of Kathy Griffin Lost 25%of Bonus for His Anti Gay and Griffin Tirade

 Kathy Griffin, fighter for LGBT Marriage and Jeffrey Mezger, Real Estate Mogul

 You can be a Republican and you can be an anti LGBT Republican, as a matter of fact it usually makes news when someone with a regonisable name for being a republican says they believe in equality for Gays and Lesbians. Jeffrey Mezger is probably a Republican and anti gay. It is his right to be both. What is not his right according to the people that allow him to earn lots of money is to be a loud mouth against any particular group (LGBT)or well kown person(Griffin) with a following . Why? Self explanatory, it cost money with people who follow the famous person when they refuse to buy from you and your company. Jeffrey's tirade against Kathy Griffin and Gays was professionally unjustified no matter how much this guy loves Trump and has contributed to his campaing. If he was hurt he should have given the billionaire more money or stay at the Trump Tower more. He could not do that; You see it seems Jeffrey has a bigggg😆 mouth with a big softie heart for the billioniare on a tweeting war with the other billinaire head of North Korea(with the bomb💣) I call this story the bomb. The details are very interesting:    adamfoxie*

The bonus of Jeffrey Mezger, one of the most powerful people in real estate, will be slashed by 25% after he went on an anti-gay tirade against his neighbor, comedian Kathy Griffin.

Mezger, the CEO of homebuilder KB Home, used multiple homophobic and sexist slurs against Griffin and her partner. The tirade was caught on a security camera and a two-minute clip was published on Tuesday by HuffPost.

"Let's declare war, ass---- ... Let's bring it on, you b----," Mezger said during one of the tamer parts of the security camera audio recording.
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The verbal outburst occurred last weekend after Griffin and her partner called the police to report a noise disturbance on Mezger's property.

KB Home (KBH) revealed on Thursday that its board of directors decided to cut Mezger's 2017 bonus by 25%. It warned him that a similar incident will result in his firing.
"Mr. Mezger's recent behavior in his personal dealings with a neighbor is unacceptable and a negative reflection on KB Home," the directors wrote in a filing. 

But KB Home's board, which is responsible for holding its CEO accountable, stopped short of firing Mezger, its chief executive since 2006.
The board said Mezger "has always conducted himself in a professional manner" during his tenure at the company. It also said Mezger has the "full and complete confidence" of the board.

KB Home's board is led by Dorene Dominguez, who serves as its chair. It also includes Melissa Lora, president of Taco Bell, and BET founder Robert Johnson.
Some think the board didn't go far enough.

"Any CEO who goes on that kind of a tirade deserves to be fired," said Sandra Davis, chief executive of MDA Leadership Consulting. She called the 25% bonus cut a "small slap on the wrist."
Davis, who advises companies on management issues, said KB Home's board had an opportunity to show a commitment to inclusion and diversity.

KB Home did not respond to a request for further comment.
In a statement provided to HuffPost, KB Home said Mezger apologized for "losing his temper over a supposed noise complaint involving his three young grandchildren in his swimming pool around 8 p.m. on Saturday, while they were being supervised by their mother and grandmother."
"He apologizes for the language he used," the statement said, "as it does not reflect who he is or what he believes."

Griffin was fired by CNN in May after posting a photo of a bloody head resembling that of President Trump. During the tirade, Mezger alluded to Griffin's firing from CNN, which occurred after she posted the bloody photos resembling Trump. Griffin has apologized for the incident, which Trump said the comedian "should be ashamed of herself" for.

Mezger called Griffin a "bald" anti-gay slur who Trump "kind of put the heat on."

CNNMoney (New York)

September 22, 2017

Chefs Show Free Speech as Court Decision Nears

[This is a page right of]

Bedecked in fondant and flowers, modern wedding cakes are the centerpiece of the marriage feast – an edible form of art. But are they also an expression of free speech?
This defiant creation by Tressa Wiles of Bayou Bakery features a fist.
Kelly Jo Smart/NPR
That's the question the Supreme Court will consider this fall, when it hears the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple because he said it would violate his religious beliefs.
"You'd think cake would be apolitical, and yet here we are," muses baker Catherine George of Catherine George Cakes.
She was among the Washington, D.C.-area pastry chefs who crafted 18 elaborate, tiered wedding cakes to show their support for marriage equality. Their creations were on display Tuesday night at the sixth annual Chefs for Equality in D.C., a fundraiser hosted by the Human Rights Campaign. Some 140 chefs, pastry chefs and mixologists participated in this year's event. The theme: "Who Can Resist?"
George said her cake – three tiered and adorned with white fondant molding and columns meant to echo the neoclassical architecture of the Supreme Court building – was definitely intended as a political statement.
Catherine George of Catherine George Cakes crafted this Supreme Court-inspired design.
Kelly Jo Smart/NPR
"I wanted to reference the Supreme Court case that's coming up," George says. "Which is funny, because the idea of cakes as art is part of that." She adds: "[I] strongly believe that gay people shouldn't be discriminated against when buying their wedding cake."
Public accommodation laws in Colorado and elsewhere are designed to prevent discrimination by businesses that interact with the public. Five years ago, same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig asked Colorado baker Jack Phillips to make them a custom wedding cake. Phillips refused, saying he didn't want to be compelled to use his artistic talents — his cake creativity — to celebrate an event that violated his deeply held religious beliefs. So Mullins and Craig filed civil rights charges against the baker. 
The Justice Department, under President Trump, is backing the baker. In a brief filed with the court this month, it argues that the wedding cake case is at heart about the First Amendment and the right to free expression. Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote:
"The government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write."
A creation from Derkje Steenblik from Bourbon Steak to symbolize "love ascending."
Kelly Jo Smart/NPR
Some of the cakes on display Tuesday were overtly political. Tressa Wiles of Bayou Bakery crafted a blue and yellow cake – the colors of the Human Rights Campaign – with a giant fist sticking out of the top in defiance. "If you like cake and dessert and want to get married or celebrate anything, you should be able to get it — as long as you pay for it, right?" Wiles told The Washington Post. She told the paper she was 100 percent in support of the Colorado couple.
Others took a more romantic approach. Derkje Steenblik, pastry chef at Bourbon Steak, in D.C.'s Four Seasons hotel, says she spent two days crafting her white-tiered cake festooned with hearts, in the colors of the rainbow, ascending to the top. "The hearts ascending," she says, "symbolize love ascending" – and presumably, conquering all.
The wedding cake displays have been a part of Chefs for Equality since the first event was held in 2012, to benefit Maryland's Question 6, the state's same-sex marriage law. The cakes were such a hit that "we decided to do it every year and theme it," says Simone Rathle, who's on the event's host committee. "And this year, because of what was happening with the Supreme Court hearing, the cakes were much more important than anything."

August 3, 2017

Funeral Home Rejects Diseased Because She Was in a Gay Marriage

 Totally opposed to gay marriage wether is the law of the land or not

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville woman claims a funeral home refused to serve her over gay marriage. It happened less than 24 hours after Ulli Sczesni lost her wife Luanne to a stroke.
“I’m hurt. I’m terribly hurt,” Sczesni said. “We were just so connected. She was my soul mate. The term wife was not good enough. You just lose somebody…it hurts. You miss that person and then you’re penalized for it.”
Her wife’s body was transported to Berry Funeral Home in South Knoxville, only to be relocated to Maryville. Sczesni claims a Berry Funeral Home employee told her gay marriage was illegal and he would not provide her with funeral services. 
“He said, ‘I need to speak to her next of kin,’ and I said, ‘That’s me. I’m her spouse,’” she said. “And he said, ‘You’re a woman.’ And I said, ‘Yes I am, but we are legally married.’ And he said, ‘Well I’m very sorry for your loss but that is not legal in Tennessee.’”
The funeral home is calling the situation a misunderstanding, even apologizing to Sczesni for the incident.
“We are dedicated to treating our client families with dignity and respect,” Fred Berry, president of Berry Funeral Home, said in a statement. “As part of our service, it is our responsibility to verify the rights of the individual seeking to make disposition decisions for a decedent. We did not refuse service to the family and they ultimately chose a different provider. We respect their decision and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding.”
As for the legality of the issue, WATE 6 On Your Side legal analyst Greg Isaacs said it will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether it is legal for a private business to refuse service to same-sex married couples.
“The state recognizing same-sex marriages or not is really a separate issue on whether you can deny services if you are a private business or a private individual,” Isaacs said.
The issue of businesses serving same-sex couples is under consideration right now by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court agreed in June to hear a Colorado cake shop case, challenging that state’s law, which requires companies to serve everyone.
Sczesni says her days of mourning are just beginning, but she hopes that lessons will be learned from her funeral home experience, to spare others from similar hassle and pain.
“It’s just not right,” Sczesni said. “I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m hurt. I’m discriminated. It just shouldn’t happen to anybody else.”
By WATE Staff

July 26, 2017

NO Dogs 🐕 No Gays🚫 Guest House in Italy

 Nazi Round Ups separating Jews from others: Because not all people are human?
                                         NO Dogs 🐕 No Gays🚫
The owner of a guesthouse has sparked outrage in Italy after refusing to host a gay couple saying "we don't accept gays and animals".
A gay couple from Naples said they were shocked to be told that they were not welcome at Ciufo guest house near Vibo Valentia, in the southern region of Calabria, because the owners "believe in traditional families".
"It was like getting a silo of ice cold water," Gennaro Casalino told Arcigay, Italy's largest gay organisation.  
"In my mind I could see the infamous images of Nazi signs outside of shops saying 'forbidden entry to dogs and Jews'."But It has been 70 years since then and this cannot be ignored."
Filippo Mondella, the owner of the guest house, told Radio Capital that he wrote the message whilst driving and he did not intend to offend anyone when he told the couple: "This is important and I don't want to appear like a troglodyte, but we don't accept gays and dogs."
Mr Mondella explained that he did not mean to put gay people and dogs in the same category and it was a punctuation mistake.
He also defended his position: "[The guest house] is not a public structure, it's a private house. We are Catholic, devout Christians [...] I have nothing against it, for me they are normal people, but objectively we prefer to keep our faith."
The episode, which the Naples section of Arcigay called "a serious case of discrimination and homophobia", was also con condemned by local authorities.
"We completely distance ourselves from this," Giulia Russo, the mayor of Ricadi, said.
"In Ricadi we are civil and evolved people and such discrimination is not acceptable in 2017."

July 10, 2017

Anti Gay Messaging Really Hurts Kentuckys Economy

 Kim Davis who went to jail for refusing to issue Marriage licences, Presidential runner at the time Huckabee, pastor and a guy who use to dress as a farmer to appear at GOP rallies and take away some the richie smell.

We sometimes disagreed with their approach, but there’s no denying that Republicans went into 2017 determined to put their newly won power into boosting Kentucky’s economy. To that end, legislative leaders and Gov. Matt Bevin spurned attempts to pass a “bathroom bill.”

They wanted to avoid the jobs-killing flak that came North Carolina’s way in response to its bigoted anti-LGBTQ law. To their credit, they succeeded.

Yet, despite their efforts to protect Kentucky’s reputation as welcoming to all, they still managed to enact a law that California has branded as discriminatory against gay and transgender students.

We can’t know how much investment, tourism or business Kentucky stands to lose. We do know that being known as discriminatory is bad for business, which puts the new law at odds with the GOP’s pro-business agenda.

California’s action is arrogant, no doubt. Nonetheless, Kentucky lawmakers should revisit the potentially discriminatory clause singled out by California’s attorney general. The provision serves no purpose, could create unnecessary legal conflicts for Kentucky schools and hurt innocent students.

Because of it, Louisville is already losing conventions, says Mayor Greg Fischer. He and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray sought exemptions from California’s ban on state-funded travel for their cities, but were refused. Home to 1 in 5 Kentuckians, the two cities long ago outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation.

California AG Xavier Becerra based his decision on how Kentucky’s new law, which took effect June 29, might be applied, not on any acts of discrimination.

And, as Californians have said, their new law, which took effect Jan. 1, has problems of its own, such as hypocrisy. Gov. Jerry Brown recently traveled to China to make a speech and promote trade, even though China bans same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. Pressuring other statehouses, even for a good cause, will inflame already painful divisions.

Making all this even more frustrating, Kentucky lawmakers of both parties voted for the new law knowing that it was unnecessary. Kentucky enacted a religious-freedom law four years ago. How many does one state need?

The 2017 version repeats longstanding laws, practices and constitutional protections regarding the religious and political rights of students with one possible exception — the clause that California’s AG identified as a means for discriminating against gay and transsexual students. It requires school boards and higher-ed governing boards to ensure religious or political student organizations can exclude students who are not “committed” to the groups’ missions. Boards also must ensure groups can define their own doctrines and principles. Students could adopt some noxious principles: racial or male supremacy, homophobia. But loathsome beliefs and speech are protected in our free society by the First Amendment, which also protects the freedom to associate with whom we choose.

Still, the clause could create an impossible choice for educators: How to enforce non-discrimination policies while obeying a law that forces them to support discrimination that, while ostensibly based on beliefs, is effectively based on race, gender, sexual orientation or identity. Unless some non-profit raises money by ginning up a test case, a la Kim Davis, that quandary might never arise. Millennials are known for tolerance and few of any age seek associates who believe they’re abominable.

The bill’s text was provided by the Family Foundation and is similar to laws in some states that California is not boycotting.

Rather than breast-beating and digging in, Bevin and Kentucky lawmakers should just delete the objectionable provision, acknowledging that its ramifications were not fully understood.

If schools are violating students’ rights, educating school officials about those rights would be more effective than a redundant law.

Lawmakers also should rethink their habit of enacting “off the shelf” bills supplied by interest groups.

California lawmakers should reconsider as well. Kentucky is one of eight states — including Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina — now under a travel ban that’s riddled with exceptions and appears to be inconsistently applied. Walling off public employees and university scholars from attending conferences in other states is bound to fuel resentments and is a peculiar way to support diversity and tolerance.

July 8, 2017

Chick-Fil-A Still Hates Gays

Remember, every chicken sandwich you buy from Chick-fil-A helps support anti-gay Christian hate groups.
A new report from ThinkProgress indicates that Chick-fil-A, a southern-style chicken sandwich franchise and a self-identified Christian company, continues to support anti-gay groups despite making a pledge several years ago claiming that it had “ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights.”
ThinkProgress reports:
Chick-fil-A Foundation’s most recent IRS filings show it gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2015. Though its website’s FAQ claims the foundation “is focused on helping every child become all they were created to be,” its donations went to groups that do not believe this includes LGBTQ youth.
The report goes on to give several examples of various anti-gay Christian groups that are currently receiving more than a million dollars annually from the chicken franchise with a love for jesus.
In particular, “the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave more than $1 million in 2015 (nearly one-sixth of its total grants) to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,” a religious organization which “imparts a strongly anti-LGBTQ message.”
In addition, the foundation also gave more than $200,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia-based “transformative organization” that operates an anti-gay “Christian residential home for troubled youth” and uses propaganda associated with harmful and discredited “ex-gay” therapy.
Also on the list, “the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave at least $130,000 to the Salvation Army. The religious organization has a long history of anti-LGBTQhousing discriminationopposition to same-sex marriage equality, and supporting exemptionsfrom non-discrimination ordinances”.
Indeed, Chick-fil-A has a long and well documented history of promoting discrimination against members of the gay and lesbian community. In the past Chick-fil-A donated considerable resources to anti-gay causes, including Christian extremist organizations labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
And in the past Chick-fil-A has supported multiple anti-gay Christian extremist organizations, including the Focus on the Family Institute, the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Exodus International and the Family Research Council. These groups are some of the most vehement and vicious anti-gay groups in the country.
Bottom line: The Christian fast food restaurant whose corporate purpose is to “glorify God,” continues to support anti-gay groups and organizations.

May 26, 2017

What To Do If You Re Being Bullied at Work Because of Who You Are

(Orinally published on VICE)

Peter Bryan Torres worked happily at a prominent New York City museum for ten years – one that you and your family have probably visited. But that all changed after a new boss came into the picture and found out Torres was HIV positive after an incident forced him to miss work and become hospitalized.
From then on, he says, it was slamming doors, banging cabinets, and dramatically inching up against the wall when Torres walked past to indicate that he was someone “at risk for infection.” All of this, in addition to making discriminatory comments. When Human Resources allegedly failed to look into and address the matter, he decided to take legal action. His lawyers at The Harman Firm LLP say that Torres’s lawsuit is, unfortunately, just one of many workplace discrimination cases they’re handling this year. One of the firm’s lawyers, Edgar Rivera, says that while our awareness of discrimination is, in general, much higher today than it was a few years ago, and young people especially are tuned in to pick up on unequal treatment.
The changing nature of the workplace and the continued struggle for people to hold onto the human and civil rights they’ve gained in recent years leads us to believe that we need more information on how to best navigate and protect our rights in the workplace, and how we can take action to address any sort of harassment or mistreatment on the premise of one’s sexual orientation or identity. There is no law prohibiting a person from having racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted opinions, and no law exists that requires an employee to believe that all people are equal or deserve equal rights, or to punish people for having prejudiced or backwards beliefs about racial minorities, women, people with disabilities, gay people, transgender people, or any other group that anti-discrimination statutes protect. “The law only prohibits an employer acting on those biases, whether in making employment decisions, for example, the decision to fire or demote an employee, or in their treatment of employees,” Rivera said. “In other words, as far as employment discrimination laws are concerned, people are legally free to be as racist, sexist, or homophobic as they want to be in their homes or elsewhere: they just can’t bring it into the office.” Jerame Davis, Executive Director of Pride at Work in Washington, DC. says that lawmakers often claim LGBTQ harassment and discrimination do not exist, because “so few people who are subject to these things end up speaking out.” In 1999, Davis says, he and two other men were fired for being gay, and happened to live in one of only four cities in Indiana at the time that had protections against LGBTQ discrimination. Due to state law, however, compliance was voluntary. There is no law prohibiting a person from having racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted opinions, and no law exists that requires an employee to believe that all people are equal or deserve equal rights.
“When the company refused to acknowledge our complaint, rather than walk away, we fought back. We waged one of the first online campaigns for social justice, which we won, becoming the first, and possibly still the only, LGBTQ discrimination case settled for a monetary award in the state of Indiana,” Davis said. However, the agreement they signed included what Davis calls a gag order that prevented them from discussing the case for years—ultimately, until the company went out of business. “The other thing that happens is that so many people just don’t want to talk about their experience. It’s usually embarrassing to folks to admit they were discriminated against or harassed. Not only do you have to come out as LGBTQ in a public fashion, but you may also have to admit you were fired from your job. That’s a tough hurdle for many people,” Davis said. For reasons like this one, Rivera advises that if you experience discrimination in the workplace, you bring it to your employer’s attention and take care of yourself by seeking professional help to treat mental and emotional wellness. “Just like after a car accident, the best advice is to seek treatment immediately. Experiencing discrimination and harassment is incredibly difficult; it can be extremely stressful, emotionally exhausting, and even traumatic,” he says, “You just don’t know how you may be affected until much later, and you can prevent a lot of harm by catching things early.” Even before that,though, he cautions people to read over their contracts carefully.
“People are always excited to start new jobs and often ignore the mountain of documents received during onboarding. They shouldn’t. These documents often include essential information about how to deal with discrimination and harassment.” Even in unionized workplaces with strong nondiscrimination and anti-harassment protections, LGBTQ discrimination still happens frequently; recently, the most pervasive issue his organization has been seeing is contention over bathroom access for those who are gender non-conforming. In fact, Davis says, only 19 states, the District of Columbia, and a number of cities and counties have put up protections for LGBTQ working people in place.
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“For some reason, there are a lot of people who are totally onboard with nondiscrimination in housing, employment, and even public accommodations, like being served at restaurants and retail stores, but when the question of bathroom access is brought up, they are adamantly opposed to protecting a person’s right to use the bathroom that best fits their gender identity,” Davis said.
The other issue that is unfortunately prevalent, he says, is harassment in the form of anti-LGBTQ comments or “jokes” at the expense of queer folks, and inappropriate questions. “In many cases, even with employers who offer appropriate protections, managers will neglect to intervene when an LGBTQ employee is being harassed or bullied,” he said. “I would be wary working for any company in 2017 that doesn’t explicitly list sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.”
If you’re already actively working in a specific position, he says, be sure to document anything that doesn’t feel right, and do it in writing, with as much detail as you can – including with whom you’ve spoke, what the content and context of the conversation was, how you feel you were mistreated, the names of any witnesses, and, of course, time and date. “If an employee doesn’t complain about discrimination, then, as far as the employer is concerned, it isn’t happening. It’s amazing what people will conveniently manage to ‘forget’ about witnessing after a lawsuit is filed,” he said. “And while an employee might think that his or her coworkers will stand up and testify about discriminatory conduct, the fact is that many employees aren’t willing to risk their jobs by doing so and will simply say whatever their employer tells them to.” Despite how far we may have come, it seems that the times are indeed lending themselves to a backwards crawl into ignorance and intolerance, even in the most liberal of cities. Then, you must decide if and when the time is right to take action: next steps will depend greatly on state and local law, company policy, and any existing contract language. “If the situation progresses and management refuses to address the situation, you have very limited options going forward,” Davis says. “Once you speak up about a situation, you should be prepared to leave your position, either voluntarily or involuntarily. In cases of harassment, for example, it’s often the case that one party or the other separates from the employer. It’s not always the victim who gets to stay. However, sometimes, the situation you’re up against is affecting others in the workplace similarly.” Despite how far we may have come, it seems that the times are indeed lending themselves to a backwards crawl into ignorance and intolerance, even in the most liberal of cities.
Barbara Belmont , a volunteer at the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals in New York City, says that despite working in a state where it is illegal to discriminate against
people for sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, she has recently witnessed displays of hate. And even though harassment and bullying in the workplace is less common these days, she says many young people are still afraid to be “out” at work. “Well-intended people in positions of power have warned them to ‘be careful.’ I say, bring your whole true self to the table,” Belmont said. “Let your coming out happen organically or make an announcement, or find a way to come out in your job interview to test the water. If you don’t get hired because you are LGBTQ, did you really want to work there anyway?” Her best suggestion for protection is to use the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index to discover which of the larger companies have the best ratings, seek employment with companies with inclusive Equal Employment Opportunity policies, Employee Resource Groups for LGBTQ people, trans-inclusive insurance benefits, and a corporate culture committed to diversity and inclusion. Ultimately, Rivera says, if your employer doesn’t adequately address a complaint about discrimination, speak to a lawyer who specializes in plaintiff’s-side employment law; every case is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution: you have to obtain specific and personalized advice. “When someone is sick, they know that they should go to a doctor and that searching Google or WebMD isn’t going to accurately diagnose the problem. People should view getting legal advice in much the same way,” he said. “It’s not enough to talk to your aunt the divorce lawyer. Go speak to a lawyer who specializes in this work, the sooner the better. It’s amazing the amount of comfort you’ll get from a 30-minute consultation with a professional who is experienced in employment discrimination law.”

May 11, 2017

Jesuit School Sides with LGBT Against Homophobic Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-a in town
jcarillet | Getty Images 
The P.C. police at a university in New York have successfully deprived students of access to a popular fried chicken for all the reasons you’ve already heard before — this time at a college that is Catholic.
According to the Fordham University student paper, The Fordham Observer, and further reported by The College Fix’s Rebecca Downs, the decision to decline a proposal to open a Chick-fil-A on campus came late last month after backlash from students at the Jesuit institution who smeared the corporation as anti-gay.
The student groups that were consulted in responding to the proposal were the United Student Government (USG), the Commuter Students Association (CSA), the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Rainbow Alliance [a student LGBT group].
The Rainbow Alliance was consulted in the decision-making process because of a controversy regarding Chick-Fil-A’s stance on LGBTQ issues that has been stirred up to varying degrees since 2012. That year, the family that owns the fast food chain made public statements against marriage equality, a stance backed up by several million dollars in donations they have made over the years to organizations working actively against same-sex marriage. When the chain opened their first location in New York in 2015, they faced protests on the issue.
Representatives from Chi[c]k-Fil-A offered to collaboratively run unspecified programming with the Rainbow Alliance in conjunction with the rollout of a venue on campus. Due to continued concerns regarding this issue, however, the Rainbow Alliance unanimously voted against the proposal. Several students independently reached out to USG to voice their concerns, according to then-USG president Leighton Magoon, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17.
“If they want to bring in Chick-Fil-A, they can bring in Chick-Fil-A,” Rainbow Alliance Co-President Renata Francesco told the paper. “But we’re not going to partner with an institution, a corporation that has so strongly supported other institutions that work to destabilize and demolish movements for queer equity.” 

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