One Equal World

We-dont-discriminate-stickerArizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to “exercise their religious beliefs” by not allowing gays and lesbians to frequent their establishments. When Brewer shot the bill 1062 down, gay rights advocates who had gathered outside the Capitol cheered and celebrated along with other opponents of the bill.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, said at the time that Brewer “demonstrated that basic respect for LGBT people extends across party lines, and anti-LGBT bias isn’t just bad politics, it’s bad for business.”

Now in Mississippi, SB2681, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is another discriminatory law set on anti-gay, recently signed by Governor Phil Bryant. Proponents claim the law isn’t as strict as the Arizona proposal, but civil rights advocates says it’s a blatant way to set a path for anti-LGBT statutes.

But now business owners in Mississippi are fighting back, saying they don’t agree with the new law. Stickers stating “We Don’t Discriminate. If you’re buying, we’re selling” are making their ways to window fronts. The blue stickers with the rainbow banner are popping up in urban neighborhoods, is a way for business owners to respond to the law and show possible customers they don’t discriminate.

Eddie Outlaw owns a hair salon and is an LGBT activist. He says the immediate reaction has been overwhelming. “The response has been incredibly positive,” says Outlaw. “Mississippians are taking a stand against discrimination of any kind, and I’m proud to be a part of a business community united in that fight.”

Derrick Gordon promotes #BeTrue Image: Michael S Gordon/The Republican

Derrick Gordon promotes #BeTrue
Image: Michael S Gordon/The Republican

A guard at University of Massachusetts, Derrick Gordon is following in the footsteps of Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins, announcing in two articles on ESPN and OutSports that he is gay. Following his announcement, Gordon becomes Division I basketball’s first openly gay player. According to ESPNW, Gordon told his parents and coach Darryl Kellogg. Gordon later told his teammates on April 2, accompanied by former NFL player and (You Can Play advocate) Wade Davis and high school basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo. Gordon averaged 9.4 points and 3.5 rebound for the sixth-seeded Minutemen.

From Plainfield, NJ, 25 miles west of Manhattan, Derrick Gordon was a standout at basketball superpower St. Patrick High School, where he played with the likes of future No. 1 NBA Draft pick and current Cleveland Cavaliers guard, Kyrie Irving. His senior year with the St. Patrick Celtics was special. They were ranked No. 1 in the country for much of the season, with Gordon the No. 2 man behind Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the second pick in the NBA Draft a year later. That season, which ended in a loss to the nation’s No. 2 team, St. Anthony, was documented in the HBO film, Prayer for a Perfect Season.

“I can finally breathe now and live life happily. I told all the people I need to tell,” Gordon said. On Instagram, following the posting of the stories, Gordon shared this: “This is the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living…No more HIDING!!!…Just want to live life happy and play the sport that I love…Really would love to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for supporting me….I would also like to thank my support team Wade Davis, Jason Collins, Brian Sims, Micah Porter, Anthony Nicodemo, Patrick Burke,Billy Bean, Gerald McCullough, Kirk Walker…You guys are AWESOME!!! Ready to get back in the gym with my teammates and get on the GRIND and get ready for next season!!!! #BETRUE #BEYOURSELF #HONEYBADGER”

What if I told you that one of the most valuable allies to the gay and lesbian community is also a straightGay Marriage, white, powerful, Republican hedge fund manager? Believe it or not, Paul Singer – an American businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the multibillion-dollar company Elliot Management Corporation – is paving the way for same-sex marriage reform, LGBT-friendly legislation, and more. Basically, he is using his clout for good, and changing the way that many policymakers look at gay rights.

According to Advocate contributor Jaime Fuller, whose article “Meet the wealthy donor who’s trying to get Republicans to support gay marriage” details Singer’s efforts, “Since 2010, Singer has spent more than $10 million trying to get states to legalize gay marriage and get Republicans to join the battle.” It’s incredible that someone in the traditionally conservative business sector would be willing to donate such vital funds to marriage equality efforts. Singer’s monetary donations are an invaluable asset in the fight for gay rights, and his willingness to speak up for marriage equality and get others on board makes him not only an equality-minded philanthropist, but also an actual ally.

Singer’s foundation, the Paul E. Singer Foundation, is working with the Human Rights Campaign to help support LGBT people around the world, and the businessman has also donated large sums of money to help more personalized initiatives to fight for same-sex marriage legislation. Fuller explains that throughout most of his career, Singer has been dedicated to helping fund political and humanitarian efforts if they correlate with his personal beliefs.Today, his position as a global leader in business has allowed Singer to become very influential person in politics as well; just like Republican strategist Ken Mehlman and GOP consultant Mark McKinnon, Singer is proving that an anti-gay sentiments and conservatism don’t have to go hand in hand.

Republicans can be, and more frequently are, for marriage equality. Singer is an incredible example of a man of privilege who is using his power and access to try and make the world more equal for other people. His monetary donations to political candidates and foundations that support LGBT rights, as well as his openness about the need for those rights, make him an unlikely but invaluable ally.

A recent hire at Lumberton school district in Texas, a transgendered woman might lose her job next week for being a ‘distraction’ in the classroom. The substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug worked in the 5th grade classroom when parents of her students began to worry that their children would become confused with Klug’s identity.Laura Jane Klug

Klug was asked not to return after complaints were made, and although the school district has stated she hasn’t been fired yet, they are working on a school board decision for next week.

Ms. Klug has worked at the school previously without incident. Roger Beard, a parent whose child was in the class, was quoted as saying:

If it does affect my child and his ability to learn or if it causes questions that I don’t feel are appropriate then undoubtedly there’s an issue with having somebody transgender, transsexual or transvestite, to be teaching that age group.

However many parents were supportive, stating that the teacher’s identify is not a complicated matter, and that other parents need to explain to their children about why it’s not an issue.

“My son knows who he is and I don’t think any outside influence is going to change that.” Said Jammie Marcantel, a parent of 5th grader. “I don’t worry about my son.”

In the state of Texas, such discrimination is unfortunately legal, but it’s up to the school board to decide if Klug will be allowed to continue teaching.

In a poll commissioned by an LGBT activist group, it was suggested that Americans view Evangelicals less favorably than gays and lesbians. The results of a Human Rights Commission poll, released this week, show that 28 percent of Americans see Evangelicals unfavorably, compared with the 18 percent who feel similarly about the LGBT community.

In the poll, just over 50 percent of people hold a positive view of gays, while 42 percent see Evangelicals favorably. Not surprisingly, the poll shows that the majority of those who attended church infrequently supported same-sex marriage at 64 percent whereas 63 percent of weekly church attenders opposed same-sex marriage.

paintings /

Americans view Evangelicals less favorably than gays and lesbians paintings /

Half of those surveyed agreed that “allowing gay marriage helps children by giving the couples of same-sex marriage the same legal rights and sense of family as other families in their community.” Forty-one percent stated that they believe it “hurts children” and that “boys need fathers and girls need mothers.” 42 percent of the surveyors who opposed gay marriage said that they believed it was “inevitable” that the Supreme Court would one day recognize it, while 51 percent disagreed.

The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and surveyed 1,000 likely 2016 voters from March 9th through March 16th with a margin of error at 3.1 percent. Voters 30 and under were over sampled.

On March 10th, Honey Maid, the makers of crackers and cookie nibbles, ran a clip promoting ‘wholesome’, featuring inter-racial and homosexual couples enjoying their snacks. The 30 second spot already has over 4 million hits on YouTube and over 1,000 comments, ranging from support to those condemning the ad as ‘promoting sin’.

The social group One Million Moms have already attacked the ad, stating, “Nabisco should be ashamed of themselves for their latest Honey Maid and Teddy Graham cracker commercial where they attempt to normalize sin,” they wrote on their website. “This commercial not only promotes homosexuality, but then calls the scene in the advertisement wholesome.”

Today, Honey Maid posted a new video, even longer at 1 minute and 44 seconds, acknowledging the haters and essentially saying: It’s okay, we still support what we believe.

Still promoting ‘wholesome’ acceptance, the company enlisted the help of artists who took the comments of hate, found on YouTube, Twitter, blogs and Nabisco’s website, and created an art piece promoting love and support.

The company shows how 9 in every 10 responses were positive, and that encouragement and love out number and conquer the haters and trolls. This is an awesome new trend growing with companies, who don’t back down from negative responses and keep believing in acceptance. Love will always win.

You can watch the clip below:

Legislation was passed this week in Tennessee, known as Tennessee’s Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act, or HB 1547. It was introduced in the house by Rep. Courtney Rogers (R) and is supposedly to combat discrimination against students who want to express their religious view points. The bill steamrolled through both the House and Senate, earning a 90-2 vote in the lower chamber and a 32-0 vote in the Senate.LGBT Bible

At face value, the legislation doesn’t sound very disagreeable, but there are certain aspects that can cause an eyebrow rise. The legislation states:

This bill prohibits an LEA from discriminating against a student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject. This bill requires an LEA to treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the LEA treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject.

The bill comes in a state where there are no problems with anti-religious discrimination in schools. The law then mandates that students can express their religious beliefs in homework, artwork and written assignments. The text says this means children must be free “of discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions.” A student cannot therefore be “penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content” of their work.

The overriding concern coming out of the bill is that it will allow verbal bullying of LGBT children, so long as it is covered with religious overtones.



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