A Taylorsville, North Carolina teacher has been suspended for showing Macklemore's marriage equality anthem "Same Love" to students, the Charlotte Observer reports:
Alexander County Schools Associate Superintendent Jeff Peal told the Taylorsville Times: “At West Alexander Middle School, there was an inappropriate video shown in class, outside the bounds of the curriculum that called for disciplinary action last week.”
Peal didn’t name the teacher in the article.
Peal also told the Taylorsville Times (which warned that "the song has a theme that is inclusive of homosexual values") that the teacher will be back in school this week.
Macklemore's video, as the paper notes, was ranked 13 on Billboard this week, is the first song about same-sex marriage to hit the top 40, and has been viewed more than 78 million times on YouTube.
Last week we reported on a gay man beaten by a group of youths outside the Cocktails Lounge gay bar in Cleveland. Jared Fox was sliced by his glasses, his eardrum ruptured, and his face bloodied and bruised.
This week, a teen was arrested after the bar released surveillance video showing a large group of youths targeting the bar by throwing rocks, some the size of small canteloupes, over the fence at its patrons.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that there have been at least six attacks since this spring.
Now, Towleroad has obtained a copy of a letter written by the City of Cleveland to the bar's owner Brian Lyons threatening him for calling the police 9 times.
Writes Director of Public Safety Martin Flask in the letter:
"Repeated calls to the same property place an undue and inappropriate burden on the taxpayers of the City of Cleveland and on our safety forces."
Flask orders Lyons to submit an action plan "outlining your strategy to eliminate the problems at this location" or risk action against him by the police.
Says the letter:
Re: Property located at 9208
Our records indicate from September 02, 2012 through September 01, 2013 Cleveland Police Officers and/or Dog warden have been dispatched and responded to your property located at 9208 Detroit Avenue inns for various Calls for service. Repeated calls to the same property place an and inappropriate burden on the taxpayers of the City of Cleveland and on our safety forces. The estimated cost for the city safety forces to respond to your property is approximately $100.00 per call for service.
l am confident that we share the same goal and that you will take the necessary steps to eliminate the repeated calls for police services to your property. Therefore, within 10 days of the date of this letter, you will be required to submit your action plan to the First District Neighborhood Police Commander (623-5105), outlining your strategy to eliminate the problems at this location.
Failure to address these issues, resulting in future calls for police service, will be scrutinized for appropriate administrative or law enforcement action.
Martin L. Flask, Director Department of Public Safety
cc: Director of Law Michael McGrath, Chief, Division of Poke Councilperson lay Westbrook, Ward 16 Deputy Chief Field Operations, Division of Police 1. District Commander
Gangs of youths are beating up patrons of the bar as they come and go, and throwing melon-sized rocks over the fence at its patrons, and the city is putting the onus on the gay bar and its owners to clean up the crime itself or continue to be victimized.
I wonder how this treatment by the city will sit with the Gay Games committee, as they prepare to welcome more than 10,000 mostly LGBT participants from more than 65 countries to Cleveland next August?
Copy of the letter below:
In related news, the Cleveland Plain Dealer just published this editorial highlighting the spate of anti-gay hate crimes in Cleveland's neighborhoods, and calling for a public education campaign ahead of the Gay Games in 2014.
Writes the paper, in part:
Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings and society's generally more welcoming attitudes to gay marriage, there's still a need to address deeply-rooted prejudices against gays and gay lifestyles.
It is time to elevate diversity and address the ignorance that has been making headlines the last couple of weeks in the two-block area around Cocktails, a bar on Detroit Ave. that caters to a gay as well as a neighborhood crowd...
...The police enforcement is welcome but it isn't the full answer. Education and community involvement are the other ingredients. Part of that will come as same-sex marriage advocates launch a statewide educational campaign and the months tick down to the 2014 Gay Games. One of the lessons of the games is the need to foster diversity. That message needs to be delivered as well to the young people who live near West 91st and West 93rd streets and Detroit Avenue.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the bill that would protect federally protect LGBT workers from job discrimination, awaits attention from Congress since it passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee in a bipartisan 15-7 vote in early June.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised in a Pride statement this year that he would bring the measure to a vote "soon" but gave no indication of a time frame. HELP committee chair Tom Harkin has also indicated that a vote could take place in the fall.
and advocates believe its chances are good, the Washington Blade's Chris Johnson reports:
Christian Berle, legislative director for Freedom to Work, said the time has come for a Senate floor vote on ENDA because the organization believes that sufficient lobbying will be needed to reach the 60-vote threshold required to overcome a filibuster.
“Based on Freedom to Work’s outreach to Senate Republicans since ENDA passed out of the HELP Committee, we are confident that we have the 60 votes necessary to advance and pass this critical legislation,” Berle said. “It is now time for Senator Reid to keep his six-and-a-half year old commitment to bring ENDA to the floor of the Senate as soon as possible.”
Moreover, Berle said holding the Senate vote on ENDA as soon as possible is necessary to generate momentum to move the legislation in the Republican-controlled House, where passage of ENDA will be challenging to say the least. Two options that have been floated are attaching ENDA to a larger vehicle bill or a discharge petition.
“The sooner we pass ENDA out of the Senate, the sooner we can begin a robust campaign to get ENDA through the House of Representatives and on the president’s desk,” Berle said.
Read the full piece at the Blade.
JOIN US TOMORROW...
In related news, how we get to that place will be the topic of the first ever ENDA Situation Room, which Towleroad is webcasting TOMORROW at 2 PM ET from New York Law School, hosted by Freedom to Work, the leading advocacy organization for the passage of the ENDA.
The event, a bipartisan discussion about the paths to successful passage to ENDA will be moderated in the first half by Towleroad legal editor and New York Law School Professor Ari Ezra Waldman, and in the second by veteran LGBT activist and journalist Ann Northrop (right).
Towleroad readers can tweet questions they would like answered at the forum to @freedomtowork.
Speakers at the event will include Tico Almeida, President of Freedom to Work; Evan Wolfson, President of Freedom to Marry; Brad Sears, Executive Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law; Gregory T. Angelo, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans; and Melissa Sklarz, Executive Director of Stonewall Democrats.
Join us here LIVE TOMORROW for the webcast, from 2 to 4 pm ET.
A new take on an old favorite.
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