Without this video, the officer would likely have gotten away with it.
Without this video, the officer would likely have gotten away with it.
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.
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.
Sarah Brady, longtime advocate for gun control, dies at 73 http://t.co/yAYTLogeLz— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 3, 2015
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.
This delightful clip of Pat Buchanan schooling Sean Hannity on Iran makes me think that a reality show called "Battle of the Wingnuts" could be a smash hit.
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."
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:
To those who say there's not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans regarding the Middle East because both support Israel and both use American military, look at this: a Democratic president using multilateral diplomacy while Republicans, aggressively and willfully ignorant of recent history, clamor for another preemptive war. This negotiation is not finished, but congrats and thanks to the president and Secretary of State Kerry for their persistence.
NYTreports on a horrific attack in eastern Kenya.
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.
I love this story.
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.
Trevor Noah, the young South African comedian chosen as Jon Stewart's successor as host of the Daily Show, has stirred some controversy due to his past material. Here he talks about race in South Africa and in America. Not the safest of subjects, but he is smart and has a facility for voices. His black Hitler is quite good.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Michael K. Lavers at the Blade reports:
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed into law a controversial religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow businesses to deny service to same-sex couples.
We have a lot of fighting ahead. It is not religious freedom our opponents want, but religious supremacy. And we've got to say so. We've got to challenge editors and headline writers to stop swallowing the right wing spin. I don't mean to pick on the Blade, where I am a columnist. Almost everyone is making this mistake. We have to stop parroting this false framing of the issue. The public desperately needs to be better educated on what is truly at stake.
Norman O. Scribner, founder and artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, one of the region’s preeminent symphonic choirs, died March 22 at his home in the District. He was 79.
The cause was a heart attack, said a son, Matthew Scribner.
The late Washington Post music critic Paul Hume once called Mr. Scribner “one of Washington’s finest musicians and one of the most gifted choral conductors in the country.”
Rest in peace, Norman. I sang under him for a while in the 1980s, which enabled me to experience some great music and musicians from the stage. At one point we were doing a Russian piece, possibly Boris Godunov (Washington's symphonic choruses sang many Russian pieces during Mstislav Rostropovich's tenure at the National Symphony), and they had scores in Cyrillic for the purists, one of whom was a ferocious Zionist who told me that Democracy was inimical to Israel's interests. I haven't seen Binyamin since then (I'm kidding, Bibi Netanyahu as far as I know never sang with Choral Arts). Anyway, Norman was a big guy and could be intimidating, but was a pleasure to work with.
In 1986, when I was promoting the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington's first concert in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (featuring guest soloist Maureen Forrester in the Brahms Alto Rhapsody), Norman graciously lent us the Choral Arts Society's mailing list. I remember him telling me that the flyer we mailed "struck all the grace notes."
Once in the 1990s, the Gay Men's Chorus sang Norman's setting of the "Ode to St. Cecilia," the patron saint of vocal music. Jim Holloway, GMCW's director at the time, was often a rehearsal accompanist for Norman, and they struck up a musical friendship. So after several weeks of rehearsing, Norman joined us at the dress rehearsal for a run-through. He was delightful as always. But I remember teasing him during a break by saying that a line from the text, which (regarding St. Cecilia) mentioned "her sacred organ's praise" (meaning she sang), came out "her sacred organ sprays" if we didn't enunciate clearly. He reacted with mock horror. Choristers find ways of amusing themselves during long rehearsals.
(Postscript: the ferocious Zionist I mentioned might have been from what was then called the Oratorio Society, which I also sang with in the 80s. It's hard to keep my symphonic choruses straight, especially since they joined forces for large works. The guy was bearded, and had the look of a deranged prophet. He was a good singer.)
(Photo by Neshan Naltchayan/Courtesy of Choral Arts Society of Washington)
Salman Rushdie delightfully recounts how he cured his writer's block in 1986 by going to a revolution. The punchline is great even though you can see it coming a mile off.
My column this week examines the Mattachine Society of Washington's amicus brief in the marriage cases before SCOTUS--featuring newly unearthed original documents that show decades of anti-gay animus in the federal government--animus dismissed in 2013 by Chief Justice Roberts in his dissent in Windsor as "snippets of legislative history."
Cropping up again and again is Frank Kameny, original MSW founder, whose fearlessness, brilliance, and doggedness was a continued thorn in the side of those persecuting us. Bravo to Charles Francis and Pate Felts for their sleuthing, and to McDermott Will & Emery as counsel of record.
Here is the lede:
The late gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny's exhortations ring in my ears as I anticipate arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license same-sex marriages.
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.
The LGBT media outlets speculating about Schock are doing so because we’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends. Ask David Dreier, Mark Foley or Larry Craig, to name a few. Schock invites this speculation with the obnoxious, preening persona that he’s cultivated via Instagram, Twitter and Men’s Fitness photo shoots. He has spent more time developing a social media following than on crafting legislation in Congress.
Naff has much more, all of it spot-on. If Aaron Schock is a victim, I am a power forward for the Blue Devils. For some reason, the Post has become a throwback to an earlier time when "gay" meant "icky" and the Establishment wagons were circled as in 1942 with Sen. David Walsh. 73 years later, some things haven't changed.
Starbucks scraps their "Race Together" initiative http://t.co/ItpvqSHTNt— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) March 22, 2015
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.
Indiana House approves sweeping religious freedom bill - See more at: http://t.co/zJL4giu3ai— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) March 24, 2015
This new trend in statehouses is as radical as it is popular. It is not about religious freedom, but about religious supremacy. It is an assault on the secular sphere where citizens of many backgrounds and faiths encounter one another. Such laws would undermine any civil society in which everyone is not the same. What other reckless measures will the far right think up?