Showing posts with label Marriage Equality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage Equality. Show all posts

June 5, 2012

Thousands Urge Best Buy to Opposed Minnesota Marriage Amendment

More than 15,000 people have joined a campaign calling on Best Buy to speak out against a ballot measure that would amend the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Its goal is to get Best Buy shoppers to urge the company to condemn efforts to ban same-sex marriage, and by all accounts, customers appear to be listening. On the other hand, last month, Target's "Wear it with Pride" T-shirt campaign donated the proceeds of all sales to groups opposing the marriage amendment. Target also issued a statement, in part saying: “Target does not believe that a constitutional fight over the issue is good for Minnesota or the state’s ability to attract jobs and grow the economy.”
Article adapted by adamfoxie* from original press release
 by Jeff  

June 2, 2012

History of Marriage } How It Has Changed thru Time

Since the ancient world, marriage has evolved from a preservation of power to a personal contract between two equals seeking love, stability, and happiness.
Since the ancient world, marriage has evolved from a preservation of power to a personal contract between two equals seeking love, stability, and happiness.Photo: Ron Royals/Corbis
Has marriage always had the same definition?
Actually, the institution has been in a process of constant evolution. Pair-bonding began in the Stone Age as a way of organizing and controlling sexual conduct and providing a stable structure for child-rearing and the tasks of daily life. But that basic concept has taken many forms across different cultures and eras. "Whenever people talk about traditional marriage or traditional families, historians throw up their hands," said Steven Mintz, a history professor at Columbia University. "We say, 'When and where?'" The ancient Hebrews, for instance, engaged in polygamy — according to the Bible, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines — and men have taken multiple wives in cultures throughout the world, including China, Africa, and among American Mormons in the 19th century. Polygamy is still common across much of the Muslim world. The idea of marriage as a sexually exclusive, romantic union between one man and one woman is a relatively recent development. Until two centuries ago, said Harvard historian Nancy Cott, "monogamous households were a tiny, tiny portion" of the world population, found in "just Western Europe and little settlements in North America."
When did people start marrying?
The first recorded evidence of marriage contracts and ceremonies dates to 4,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia. In the ancient world, marriage served primarily as a means of preserving power, with kings and other members of the ruling class marrying off daughters to forge alliances, acquire land, and produce legitimate heirs. Even in the lower classes, women had little say over whom they married. The purpose of marriage was the production of heirs, as implied by the Latin word matrimonium, which is derived frommater (mother).
When did the church get involved?
In ancient Rome, marriage was a civil affair governed by imperial law. But when the empire collapsed, in the 5th century, church courts took over and elevated marriage to a holy union. As the church's power grew through the Middle Ages, so did its influence over marriage. In 1215, marriage was declared one of the church's seven sacraments, alongside rites like baptism and penance. But it was only in the 16th century that the church decreed that weddings be performed in public, by a priest, and before witnesses.
What role did love play?
For most of human history, almost none at all. Marriage was considered too serious a matter to be based on such a fragile emotion. "If love could grow out of it, that was wonderful," said Stephanie Coontz, author ofMarriage, a History. "But that was gravy." In fact, love and marriage were once widely regarded as incompatible with one another. A Roman politician was expelled from the Senate in the 2nd century B.C. for kissing his wife in public — behavior the essayist Plutarch condemned as "disgraceful." In the 12th and 13th centuries, the European aristocracy viewed extramarital affairs as the highest form of romance, untainted by the gritty realities of daily life. And as late as the 18th century, the French philosopher Montesquieu wrote that any man who was in love with his wife was probably too dull to be loved by another woman.
When did romance enter the picture?
In the 17th and 18th centuries, when Enlightenment thinkers pioneered the idea that life was about the pursuit of happiness. They advocated marrying for love rather than wealth or status. This trend was augmented by the Industrial Revolution and the growth of the middle class in the 19th century, which enabled young men to select a spouse and pay for a wedding, regardless of parental approval. As people took more control of their love lives, they began to demand the right to end unhappy unions. Divorce became much more commonplace.
Did marriage change in the 20th century?
Dramatically. For thousands of years, law and custom enforced the subordination of wives to husbands. But as the women's-rights movement gained strength in the late 19th and 20th centuries, wives slowly began to insist on being regarded as their husbands' equals, rather than their property. "By 1970," said Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the Wife, "marriage law had become gender-neutral in Western democracy." At the same time, the rise of effective contraception fundamentally transformed marriage: Couples could choose how many children to have, and even to have no children at all. If they were unhappy with each other, they could divorce — and nearly half of all couples did. Marriage had become primarily a personal contract between two equals seeking love, stability, and happiness. This new definition opened the door to gays and lesbians claiming a right to be married, too. "We now fit under the Western philosophy of marriage," said E.J. Graff, a lesbian and the author of What Is Marriage For? In one very real sense, Coontz says, opponents of gay marriage are correct when they say traditional marriage has been undermined. "But, for better and for worse, traditional marriage has already been destroyed," she says, "and the process began long before anyone even dreamed of legalizing same-sex marriage."
Gay 'marriage' in medieval Europe
Same-sex unions aren't a recent invention. Until the 13th century, male-bonding ceremonies were common in churches across the Mediterranean. Apart from the couples' gender, these events were almost indistinguishable from other marriages of the era. Twelfth-century liturgies for same-sex unions — also known as "spiritual brotherhoods" — included the recital of marriage prayers, the joining of hands at the altar, and a ceremonial kiss. Some historians believe these unions were merely a way to seal alliances and business deals. But Eric Berkowitz, author of Sex and Punishment, says it is "difficult to believe that these rituals did not contemplate erotic contact. In fact, it was the sex between the men involved that later caused same-sex unions to be banned." That happened in 1306, when the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II declared such ceremonies, along with sorcery and incest, to be unchristian.

April 1, 2012

The Implications of NC Marriage Amendment Will Affect Gays and Straights

State seal of North Carolina

 North Carolina


    Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.
With a 6-3 vote by county commissioners two years ago, Mecklenburg became one of seven N.C. jurisdictions to offer benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of its employees.
A May 8 statewide vote could erase the policy. Voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, but the repercussions seem likely to affect straight and gay couples.
Both sides of the debate agree the amendment would keep the state from recognizing civil unions or domestic partnerships, which convey the legal rights of marriage to unwed couples. The topic is complex and how it affects residents varies, but states with similar amendments have grappled with a broader range of issues, from benefits for same-sex partners to who is covered under domestic violence laws. “It’s not just about same-sex,” said Rep. Paul Stam, the Republican majority leader who shepherded amendment legislation through the N.C. House last September.
The 2010 census reported 222,800 unmarried couples in North Carolina, a 55 percent increase in a decade.
Depending on how courts interpret it, the amendment could also interfere with protection from domestic violence, the ability to make medical decisions for unwed partners and even wills, legal experts say.
North Carolina’s proposed amendment is among four that define marriage as only between a man and woman, while barring legal recognition of any other relationships, said Maxine Eichner, a UNC Chapel Hill law professor who has analyzed the amendment’s legal effects.
The amendment’s reference to man-woman marriage as “the only domestic legal union” to be recognized has never been interpreted by North Carolina courts, she said.
“We know what the dictionary language is. We can assume that the courts will apply that,” Eichner said. “We can assume it will apply to couples who are not married. How broadly it is applied, we don’t know.”
Case law in other states suggests the amendment could cast a wide net, she said.
Ohio’s amendment threw domestic violence cases into turmoil for nearly three years. Michigan’s led to a ruling that public employers could no longer offer health benefits to employees’ domestic partners.
Marriage amendments have not been challenged in many states – proof, Stam said, that they have done little harm. Among them are South Carolina and Idaho, which have amendments similar to North Carolina’s.
Claims of sweeping effects “are definitely based on hypotheticals that aren’t likely to require litigation,” said Jeanette Doran, director and general counsel of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law. The Raleigh institute focuses on constitutional limits to government.
Amendments vary in their wording and scope, as do the structure of state constitutions. Stam, an Apex lawyer who helped craft North Carolina’s proposal, said its intent is to answer the “real threat” to traditional marriage, not to discriminate.
But the lack of legal challenges, lawyers in other states say, doesn’t mean they’re benign.
“Why bring a case when you know you’ll lose?” said Marcia Zug, who teaches family law at the University of South Carolina. Nearly four in five voters approved the South Carolina amendment in 2006.
“There’s just no real support for those types of cases. There never was recognition, so there never was really a taking away.”
In other states
In Lansing, Mich., Krista Rowe is thinking of leaving her life-long home state.
Rowe, 41, and her wife, Susan, were joined in a 2010 commitment ceremony. Susan works for a public health agency. They expect the state to end Rowe’s health insurance, obtained through her wife, and benefits for the children they might someday adopt.
“It would be a very lonely proposition for us to move to another state,” she said, leaving behind family and friends. “But if it became easier for us to have a family or for me to visit my wife in the hospital …”
Rowe already packs her copy of a medical power of attorney whenever Susan seeks treatment for a chronic inflammatory disease.
Michigan legislators last year passed a bill, touted as cost-cutting, that prohibits state and local governments from providing benefits to same-sex partners. The state Supreme Court issued a similar interpretation of the Michigan marriage amendment in 2008.
Though it’s unclear whether the measure applies to them, state universities “fear a brain drain,” said John Holmquist, an employment lawyer in Troy, Mich. “It becomes a less favorable place to come and teach.”
Family-law experts in other states cite similar experiences.
In Nebraska, according to UNC School of Law research, the attorney general opined that the marriage amendment would bar legislation to let a domestic partner decide how to dispose of a dead partner’s remains.
In Idaho, the University of Idaho dropped plans to offer domestic benefits to unwed couples, said Liz Brandt, a law professor there. Some judges have persuaded same-sex couples to drop adoption petitions, she said, rather than deny them for violating the amendment.
“Gay people are not mentioned in the amendment anywhere, so what it really ends up doing is causing problems for other couples,” said state Sen. Nicole LeFavour, the legislature’s only openly gay member. “It just creates confusion and contention up and down society.”
No legal challenges have been filed, but LeFavour said debate over the marriage amendment has taken the focus off basic rights for gays. State legislators this month refused to even consider an anti-discrimination measure. State legislators in February refused to consider a measure extending human-rights protection to Idaho gays.
Domestic violence cases
After Ohio passed its amendment in 2004, defense attorneys argued that domestic violence laws on the books since 1979 no longer applied to people in relationships but not married. Courts ruled in their favor at least 27 times, the UNC Law research found.
“Most of us had no inkling this would happen,” said Michael Smalz, an attorney at the Ohio Poverty Law Center, a legal aid agency in Columbus. “It was a like a thunderbolt – all of a sudden, these cases were being screwed up.”
Most of the thrown-out cases involved heterosexual relationships, Smalz said. Some prosecutors declined to press charges, he said, and some of his own colleagues decided not to seek protective orders for their clients.
After nearly three years, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that domestic violence law applies to unmarried partners. On Monday, a petition filed with the state’s attorney general called for another amendment vote, this one allowing gay marriage.
With 73 North Carolina homicides last year resulting from domestic violence, advocates fear Ohio’s experience could be replicated here.
“Based on what we’ve seen in other states that passed amendments, there has really been some damage to victims of domestic violence and how those laws are applied,” said Beth Froehling, executive director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Stam, the House leader, calls such fears far-fetched.
“There’s no jurisdiction that I know of where (amendments) have affected domestic violence laws badly,” he said, noting that Ohio’s high court resolved legal conflicts there. “Nobody is saying that we want it to upset domestic violence law, zero.”
North Carolina’s domestic violence law covers an array of relationships, including family and household members, but refers only to opposite-sex living and dating relationships.
“Most judges judge with a common-sense perspective,” said Doran of the state’s Institute for Constitutional Law. “Just because people aren’t married doesn’t mean they are not entitled to protection from battery, threats or stalking.”
Mecklenburg County issue
About 10 Mecklenburg County employees use the county’s benefits for same-sex partners. They may find out how long the benefits last in May.
Stam said the amendment would prohibit government benefits based solely on domestic relationships other than marriage. Mecklenburg’s policy appears to fall into that category, offering benefits to employees with same-sex partners who share “exclusively mutual commitment.”
“It’s clearly a matter of interpretation, and I would have to leave it at that,” said county attorney Marvin Bethune.
A second sentence of the amendment, which will not appear on the ballot, says the measure “does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party.” Stam said that wording is intended to clarify that private businesses may offer benefits if they wish.
Eichner, the UNC law professor, thinks it’s highly likely the county policy would be overturned. Less certain, depending on how courts interpret them, she said, is the amendment’s effect on adoptions, custody rights, medical powers of attorney or wills.
Stam is adamant that none of those areas would be affected. The amendment, he added, “doesn’t stop same-sex relationships, it doesn’t criminalize them, it just says don’t call it marriage.”
The real result of such votes, said Christine Johnson, director of the gay-rights South Carolina Equality Coalition, is social distrust. Many of South Carolina’s gays and lesbians, she said, are already afraid to come out to their own parents.
“To wake up the morning after an amendment like this and not know if it’s the person in the grocery store or the woman you carpool with who voted against you, it’s incredibly hurtful,” she said. “It’s a reality that other people don’t feel you’re the same.”
By Bruce Henderson

Read more here:

March 27, 2012

An Unusual Move } Government Asks Court For Faster Review of The Case Of Gay Discrimination (includes Marriage)

 SAN FRANCISCO -- The Obama administration asked a federal appeals court Monday to speed up its review of a San Francisco gay-rights case and consider tough scrutiny for laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation - a standard that could legalize same-sex marriage.

The Justice Department made the unusual request to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which is considering the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that denies federal benefits to same-sex spouses.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White declared the law unconstitutional Feb. 22, calling it an irrational act of discrimination. He ordered the government to allow Karen Golinski, a federal court attorney in San Francisco, to enroll her wife in a federal family insurance plan.
Lawyers hired by House Republican leaders, who have defended the law since President Obama switched sides a year ago, have appealed White's ruling to a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit.

But Obama's Justice Department asked the full appeals court Monday to bypass the customary three judges and convene an 11-judge panel.
That procedure would not only expedite the case - the larger panel is the last step before Supreme Court review - but also enable the court to set a stricter standard for laws that deny equal treatment. The panel could overturn the circuit's 1990 ruling allowing such laws to be upheld if they have any rational justification.

Adoption of a more demanding standard, like those used to scrutinize laws based on race or sex, would increase the likelihood of future rulings declaring a right to same-sex marriage. California's Proposition 8, which banned such marriages in 2008, was struck down by a Ninth Circuit panel in a 2-1 ruling last month, but sponsors of the initiative are seeking review from an 11-judge panel.

Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.

March 26, 2012

Santorum, Gay Marriages and Faith

When it comes to the issue of abortion, faith, and gay marriages, it is no longer a surprise to find Republican campaigns that strongly oppose these issues. This is why many candidates of the presidential contest are asking for the support of their evangelical voters.
Recently, Rick Santorum had a number of boost of support among prominent Christian conservative leaders. This was a last-ditch effort to unite social conservative voters who plan to stop or at least slow down Mitt Romney’s approach to Republican nomination.
However, it was still unclear whether it was the decision of around 150 conservatives meeting in Texas will result to the change the shape of South Carolina’s race. Since the powerful evangelical vote of this state is divided, Santorum is fighting it off with four other candidates as they try to overtake Romney’s current lead.
According to Santorum, his shifting position in such social issues make him insufficiently conservative as the Republican Party’s standard bearer.
The establishment is trying to ram Governor Romney down the people of South Carolina and everybody else’s throat as if he is inevitable,” Mr Santorum said. ”We’re not a secular nation,” he said. ”We’re a nation that believes in a provident hand.’
Meanwhile, other Republican candidates are still trying to scrutinize Romney’s changing position in such social issues.

March 25, 2012

NC Refusal To Turn Back The Clock on Gay Marriage Struck A Discordant Note on The South

State seal of North Carolina

 From Texas to Virginia, the South has spoken with almost one voice on same-sex marriage, amending state constitutions to ban the practice in hopes of blocking court decisions that would allow gays and lesbians to marry.
It's "almost" one voice because there's a discordant note in the Southern choir.
North Carolina, which likes to distinguish itself as a "vale of humility" surrounded by more bombastic neighbors, is the last state in the region without such an amendment. That fact is repeated constantly in the debate over a May 8 referendum when voters will have a chance to change the situation. But while it's bandied about by both sides, it's less clear what the distinction means.
Is it simply because the North Carolina Democrats who controlled the Legislature until 2010 had no interest in putting the amendment up for a vote? Or does it reflect the history and outlook of a state where leaders shepherded desegregation into law during the 1960s with little of the violence that broke out elsewhere?
Both explanations have merit in a state where Republicans waited nearly 140 years to take full control of the General Assembly and in which the political careers of moderate Democrat Jim Hunt and conservative Republican stalwart Jesse Helms could flourish at the same time, thanks to some of the same voters.
"North Carolina is an ambivalent state," said Harry Watson, director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. "It's got very strong conservative instincts, and it's got very strong liberal instincts. It's one of the things that's peculiar about Tar Heel politics that voters can go either way depending on the issue or the politician."
Raleigh resident Molly Beavers, 25, whose front lawn is adorned with a sign urging voters to reject the amendment, summed up that paradox in contemporary politics.
"In some ways I feel like we've made a lot of progress and I know we voted as a state for (Barack) Obama in 2008, which was a big deal," she said. "But now our state Legislature's kind of gone the other way."
The state will be front and center in September, when Charlotte hosts the Democratic National Convention at which President Obama is nominated for a second term.
Missouri became the first U.S. state to pass a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage in August 2004, less than a year after the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that that state's constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry. The first Southern state to impose a constitutional ban was Louisiana, voting a month after Missouri. They were followed in November by Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas and others outside the region.
By the end of 2008, every state in the South had an amendment except North Carolina. West Virginia also lacks a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but that state — which was created when it broke away from the rest of Virginia to fight alongside the Union in the Civil War — culturally shares as much or more with Rust Belt neighbors like Ohio and Pennsylvania as with Dixie.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley recently signed legislation legalizing gay marriage, but opponents are seeking to overturn the law through a ballot vote.
In North Carolina, there's little doubt the immediate reason for the absence of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is that Democrats controlled the General Assembly until 2010. A bill that would amend the constitution was first introduced in May 2004 and in every subsequent session. While the party includes many social conservatives, each time the issue arose, the Democratic leadership made sure it stayed bottled up in committee.
"It hasn't passed here because it wasn't on the ballot, and it wasn't on the ballot because Democrats in the leadership had no interest in seeing it on the ballot," said Gary Pearce, who worked for Hunt, the former four-term Democratic governor.
That's all that needs to be said on the subject, according to Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of Vote FOR Marriage NC, the coalition leading support of the amendment.
"It's entirely political," she said. "The problem is that the legislative leadership wanted to keep voters with strong beliefs on social issues away from the polls."
But the very fact of such tenacious Democratic control, though it ended two years ago, shows how North Carolina differs from most of its Southern counterparts, Pearce said. While Republicans have come to dominate Southern politics over the last 30 years, North Carolina still elects Democratic senators, governors, state lawmakers — and, in 2008, gave its 15 electoral votes to Obama, who condemned the proposed amendment last week.
That's the context stressed by opponents of the amendment. The Coalition to Protect All NC Families, the main group rallying opposition to the amendment, also points to ties with the NAACP and endorsements from business executives, town governments and hundreds of members of the clergy as signs North Carolina is not like its neighbors on this issue.
"You wouldn't see this happening in another Southern state," said Jeremy Kennedy, the group's campaign manager.
North Carolina's civil rights history is one of the themes regularly invoked by opponents of the measure. The bombings, mob violence and official defiance of desegregation that marked states like Mississippi and Alabama were largely absent from North Carolina, where then-Gov. Luther Hodges and other leaders courted business development by promising North Carolina would remain free of the chaos erupting elsewhere.
"It's fair to say that North Carolina has been seen as more progressive or at least more moderate, even if the reputation and the reality haven't always matched," said James Cobb, a professor of history at the University of Georgia and the author of "Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity."
Whether North Carolina remains an outlier in the South will be up to voters on May 8, when immediate circumstances, including a contested Republican presidential primary, could help determine the outcome more than more abstract factors.
"I think the chances of it passing are pretty strong here," said Pearce, veteran of numerous North Carolina elections. "It's a tough issue for any Southern state, even one that's more progressive than the others."
Associated Press writer Allen Breed contributed to this report from Wake Forest.

March 17, 2012

Pres. Obama Opposes NC Gay Marriage Amendment

ap barack obama ll 120315 wblog President Obama to Head to Oklahoma Site of Southern Portion of Keystone Pipeline Project

 President Barack Obama took a stand Friday against a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in North Carolina, a state he won in 2008 that remains crucial to his re-election hopes.
"While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples," said Cameron French, the Obama campaign's North Carolina spokesman, in a statement. "That's what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do — it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples — and that's why the president does not support it."
Same-sex marriage is already illegal by statute in North Carolina but not in the constitution. Last year, lawmakers approved a referendum question that would amend the state constitution to say, in part, "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."

But opponents contend it's a discriminatory measure aimed at same-sex couples, and on Friday they welcomed Obama's statement.
The state is the only one in the Southeast without such a constitutional provision, and supporters say it protects traditional marriage from being redefined by the courts.
"The president's support is proof that Amendment One, which could take health care away from children, put domestic violence laws in jeopardy, in addition to hurting all unmarried couples in North Carolina, has far-reaching, negative consequences," said Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families, in a statement.
Supporters of the amendment say warnings about potential side effects on domestic violence protection orders and other areas of the law amount to empty scare-mongering, and said Friday they doubt Obama's statement will have much effect on the May 8 vote.
"I believe President Obama has no business inserting himself into the people's business here in North Carolina," said Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of Vote FOR Marriage NC. Fitzgerald said she thinks most voters have already made up their minds on the issue, with early voting due to start in just over a month.
Obama has been praised by gay-rights advocates on some of his administration's actions, but has said he is still "evolving" in regard to same-sex marriage and isn't ready to endorse it.
North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes occupy an important place in Obama's re-election strategy. After narrowly winning the state in 2008, Obama has repeatedly visited North Carolina and the Democratic Party will hold its presidential convention in Charlotte in September.
By TOM BREEN Associated Press

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March 14, 2012

Ben & Jerry's Renames Flavor In Support of Marriage Equality


Ben & Jerry's is renaming its Oh My! Apple Pie ice-cream to "Apple-y Ever After" in the U.K., in support of proposed legalization of same-sex nuptials. It has also redesigned the product's packaging with a motif of two grooms atop a wedding cake.
The move echoes its 2009 effort in the U.S., when it renamed Chubby Hubby to "Hubby Hubby" to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in its home state of Vermont.
Ben and Jerry 8The U.K. government opens a consultation this week on how to implement the law giving equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. The Unilever-owned ice-cream brand, in partnership with gay-rights charity Stonewall, is encouraging consumers to use the #applyeverafter hashtag on Twitter to register their support for the legislation.
Ben & Jerry's came under fire recently when its Harvard Square location began selling "Taste The Lin-Sanity," a limited-edition flavor containing fortune cookies, in honor of New York Knicks basketball player and Harvard alum Jeremy Lin. Critics complained about stereotypes associated with fortune cookies and Asians, and the brand changed the ingredient item to waffle cookies.
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