414 posts categorized "Consumers and Business"

June 23, 2015

#EqualDreams

From Esurance.

A look at calls to remove confederate symbols across the South

June 19, 2015

Android: And Proud

Another commercial for Pride Month.

Tylenol commercial celebrates gay families

My, how times have changed.

June 13, 2015

Gotti, guns & gay bars: Inside NYC's mob history

June 12, 2015

The Task Force celebrates defeat of #TPP

I am not sure that defeating a trade bill does anything to help the LGBT folk who are oppressed in some of the affected countries; but the National LGBTQ Task Force makes the case.

Rachel Maddow - Franklin Graham's anti-gay banking protest backfires

Warning to silly leftists: this video has something nice about a bank.

June 10, 2015

Franklin Graham moves accounts from one LGBT-friendly bank to another

That'll show 'em!

May 29, 2015

Gay hotelier who hosted Ted Cruz made a campaign donation, too

This should surprise no one. As I wrote in my last column:

Many on the right slammed gay liberals for condemning gay hoteliers Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner after they hosted an event for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. When Reisner's apology was widely panned (he implausibly claimed naïveté about Cruz's anti-gay positions), we were excoriated for our severity, despite Cruz having proposed an anti-gay constitutional amendment the day after the gay event. I am sorry (again), but it is preposterous for tycoons like Weiderpass and Reisner to be painted as victims because they are subject to criticism for their political activity like everyone else.

D.C. Metro suspends issue-oriented ads; Pam Geller cries 'Sharia!'

Pam Geller decries the DC Metro's decision to suspend all issue-oriented ads on Metro trains and buses. She says, "It's sharia law!" Actually, no. Metro isn't obligated to take ads; it just cannot pick and choose among them based on their message. Past cases suggest that if they run any such ads, they have to run her incendiary Islamophobic ones. I think it is better for other groups to place competing ads than for Metro to suspend all such ads.

I wrote about censorship and Metro in the Blade in 2003.

May 27, 2015

L.A. labor leaders seek minimum wage exemption for firms with union workers

As a longtime union member (AFGE Local 12, U.S. Department of Labor) until my retirement in 2011, I will not curse the above-referenced hypocrites. Instead, I simply say to them: you embarrass me.

May 14, 2015

The latest in scapegoating: Amtrak engineer was gay

Brandon_Bostian_0
(Photo via LinkedIn)

The latest thing to make you shake your head. Really: our opponents are this desperate, this unscrupulous, this hateful, this unhinged. Take your pick.

May 13, 2015

The technology that might have prevented the Amtrak disaster

May 12, 2015

Record-breaking art

Could we maybe stop mistreating children with disabilities?

Meanwhile, in Louisiana, police handcuff an autistic girl and pin her to the ground for climbing a tree.

May 06, 2015

America's Motels Keep Exploding Because of Meth

I really don't think this is the best travel promotion campaign I've ever seen.

Carly's name recognition

I am fascinated by politicians' high opinions of themselves, especially when there is so little evident basis for it, as in the case of the golden-parachuted former CEO of Hewlett Packard.

April 27, 2015

Gay businessman who hosted Cruz wants us to believe he was naive

Ian Reisner should have just apologized. Instead, he asks us to believe he was ignorant and naive about Ted Cruz's anti-gay positions. That is just not believable.

April 24, 2015

Wells Fargo Commercial: Learning Sign Language

Another beautiful sign of the culture shift in favor of our families, and the role of business in the shift.

April 21, 2015

Fashion advice we didn't need

I mean this in the nicest possible way: Stuff it, Giorgio.

April 16, 2015

Not a hoax: Jim Graham will promote male strip club

Former D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham is now promoting a gay night at a strip club on Georgia Avenue. Someone was just asking me the other day what he was up to. Now we know. One odd detail:

In a takeoff on his well-known use of bowties as a fashion statement during his years as a Council member, Graham said all of the nude male dancers will be wearing one of the hundreds of bowties he has in his wardrobe.

“They are going to put them on and at some point they will dispose of the bow ties in the audience,” said Graham. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

I look forward to hearing reports of the erotic frisson experienced by customers at the use of Jim's bowties by his dancers. (I'm kidding.) I confess I initially thought the entire story was a hoax.

April 07, 2015

Evan Wolfson eats his Wheaties

EvanWheaties

April 04, 2015

The #Indiana Memories Pizza fundraiser is a conservative media scam

Forward Progressives reports on "another publicity stunt designed to gin up the conservative base."

CO: shop not wrong for refusing anti-gay cake

In the minds of some on the right, a shop that discriminates out of bias against a gay customer is the same as one that refuses to participate in an expression of anti-gay bias. This Colorado ruling shows otherwise.

What the Indiana fix does and doesn't do

HRCIndianaGraphic

The Human Rights Campaign reports:

Facing tremendous economic damage and mounting public pressure from fair-minded Americans and business leaders, today Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed legislation limiting the damage of the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) but falling far short of providing a full solution. The measure fails to explicitly ensure that the RFRA won’t be used to undermine the full scope of Indiana existing non-discrimination laws, and does not add LGBT non-discrimination protections to the state’s civil rights laws.

In response, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a graphic explaining the new law and the risks for LGBT Hoosiers that remain.

April 03, 2015

Sarah Brady dies at 73

One evening thirty years ago, as I approached La Fonda Restaurant at 17th and R Streets NW (which has been gone for twenty years now), a friend and I saw White House press secretary Jim Brady being helped down the few steps into the restaurant and back into his wheelchair by his wife Sarah and a friend. Mrs. Brady urged us to go ahead of them. We said we were in no hurry, and to take their time. I remember the exact day in 1981 when Jim was gravely injured by a bullet from John Hinckley meant for President Reagan, because it was my 25th birthday. The Bradys received bipartisan respect from the people of Washington. No public servant should have to face gunfire. And the Bradys were nice people.

The 1993 Brady Act required background checks on firearm purchasers. In later years, politics shifted to the point where even background checks were blocked. America's Wild West infatuation with guns has only gotten worse. It is a sad thing to contemplate as we mark Sara Brady's passing. Her husband died eight months ago. May they both rest in peace.

Cutting holes in the law

Tattered_flag

Given the persistence of would-be discriminators in portraying themselves as victims, I reiterate what I wrote in December on faith-based exemptions: "To preserve civil society, we cannot permit ad hoc exclusions from equal protection."

IndyStar editorial: A historic step forward for Indiana

For the first time, [Indiana] elected leaders have inserted the phrases "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into a state law that protects against discrimination. And there are promises — credible promises — to go farther in the future.

A note of caution:

Phase 1 reopens

April 02, 2015

Final Four coaches issue joint statement against Indiana law

What a remarkable outpouring we have seen of LGBT-affirming statements in response to Gov. Pence's signing of an anti-gay law disguised as a defense of religious freedom.

April 01, 2015

Ark. Gov. Hutchinson will not sign 'religious freedom' bill without changes

Thanks to Hutchinson's son Seth, and to Walmart and other companies that weighed in with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Below, hundreds rally for changes to the Arkansas RFRA bill. Our voices, and the looming consequences for persisting in bigotry, are having an effect.

Bowser bans D.C. government travel to Indiana

Thanks to Mayor Bowser for this sensible action that makes it clear that Indiana’s extreme RFRA law cannot be squared with the District’s values. She has added our city’s voice to the growing chorus of condemnation around the country. This nationwide reaction is a welcome illustration of how times have changed.

March 31, 2015

Backlash to a bad bill and a disastrous interview

Above is the notorious interview in which Indiana Gov. Mike Pence repeatedly refuses to answer George Stephanopoulos's question on Sunday. Here are several takes on the matter, which has stirred up a huge nationwide reaction:

Here are some thoughts of mine:

  1. Contrary to Gov. Pence, the Indiana RFRA is not the same as the 1993 federal version, nor the Illinois version Obama voted for 17 years ago.
  2. A lot has happened since the 1990s. The religious right routinely plays the victim as a cover. Their real objection is that everyone does not believe the same as they do.
  3. Without an anti-gay motivation, there is no reason for the law at all. That motivation has been amply reported in the past few days--the statements, the 'phobes in the signing photo, the bakers and florists etc.
  4. Most Americans support anti-discrimination laws, which are not just a basis for lawsuits, they are a statement of public policy. It matters which symbolic statement you make.
  5. Indiana has no LGBT protections in public accommodations. If there is no intent to discriminate, they should clarify that by adding LGBT protections.
  6. The libertarian view on anti-discrimination laws is at least coherent, which I respect, but it lost the public policy argument long ago, and I don't see libertarians demanding repeal of the Civil Rights Act beyond its application to the government. It has seeped in too deeply.
  7. The public reaction to the Indiana law has shown a sea change in views on the place of gay folk in society. That is a good thing in itself. If the backlash means businesses making clear their support for their gay employees and customers, and posting "We serve everyone" signs, that is surely welcome.
  8. At the same time, the doubling down by Republican presidential candidates, and by politicians in Arkansas, in their eagerness to pander to their base by making an anti-gay statement, shows how out of step the GOP is politically.
  9. We are too diverse religiously to cohere socially if we go down the road of encouraging people to impose their religious anathemas in the public square, whether that be in shops, pharmacies, or professional services. It is true that much of this can be handled by the market; I certainly would not demand that someone who despises me prepare food for me and my guests. But again, a clear statement of public policy is a good in itself.
  10. Anyone who wants to go off on their own like Thoreau should try it. I don't know where that would be. Short of that, we are interconnected in innumerable ways on a daily basis, and I will not consent to being carved out from equal protection at people's whim.

The telltale bill signing photo

Spot_the_phobe

Crooks and Liars reports on who was standing behind Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in the private bill signing ceremony for the so-called "religious freedom" bill.

Bryan Fischer on #BigGay

March 26, 2015

Quick backlash to reckless Indiana 'religious freedom' law enactment

Advocate reports on the quick and harsh reactions to Indiana Governor Pence signing what is in fact a religious supremacy bill, not a religious freedom bill--unless you mean the freedom to discriminate and split apart our diverse society.

My God is not a bully. I will not worship a god who is a bully. I will not obey a bullying god. I will not attend a bullying church. I will not respect bullying clergy. I will not remain silent as religious bullies seek to impose their beliefs on others in the guise of "religious freedom" bills. I live in a religiously and culturally diverse society, where faith-based discrimination in the public square undermines the civic order and social cohesion. I will fight the bullies. I will demand that editors and reporters call religious supremacy what it is, and not let them swallow the right-wing spin about religious freedom. Please join me in this recognition and this fight to uphold secular American values.

March 24, 2015

Phase 1 reopening postponed

Phase1

Lou Chibbaro at the Blade reports:

The Capitol Hill lesbian bar Phase 1, which has been closed for renovation since early January was scheduled to reopen last Friday, March 20, according to an ad that the club placed in the Jan. 19 issue of Metro Weekly.

But customers attempting to go to Phase 1 on Friday night discovered that the door was locked and noticed through a window on the door that the bar was dark and empty, adding to the mystery surrounding its future.

Apparently, posting a note on the door was too much trouble for the owner.

March 23, 2015

Starbucks ends #RaceTogether initiative

Hardly shocking news, given the mockery Starbucks brought upon itself with this ill-thought-out initiative.

One further thought: The racial oppression in the history of the coffee trade is hardly redeemed by Starbucks hiring lots of black baristas.

March 19, 2015

Fact-checking Obama's critics on the economy

Those who cannot bring themselves to give President Obama credit for anything ever have to work overtime making up excuses for setting aside all the positive news.

Starbucks #RaceTogether conversation starters

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My friend Lateefah on Facebook asked, "Ok, out of sheer curiosity, I have to ask. Have any of you been engaged in a conversation about race while in Starbucks?"

I replied:

I thought of ordering a "Malcolm Xpresso and please don't weaken it with cream," but I didn't want to start trouble, and I don't like Starbucks coffee, so I skipped it. But now I keep thinking of things to say to start a dialog in the coffee line:

  • "Tom Robinson should have been more gangsta and told that cracker freak Boo Radley to mind his own business."
  • "Who stole my black crayon?"
  • "So I told that white b*tch Shirley Temple to take her hands off Bojangles and get over her Mandingo complex."
  • "I would have voted for him, but he wasn't black enough."
  • "Is it racist if I order a pound of Blonde Veranda Blend?"
  • "You know, these 15-second seminars on race are how I am doing my part for reparations."
  • "I know how to pronounce Ta-Nehisi properly. What more do you people want from me?!!"

I'm just trying to help.

(Ducking now)