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02/23/2014

Man Claims He Was Fired For 'Feminine Behavior'

An Iowa man says he was fired from his job as a store clerk for "feminine behavior." Twenty-two year-old Wayne Shimer has filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and issued a lawsuit against Casey’s General Store outside of Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register reports:

IowaShimer began working at the convenience store in July 2012, according to the lawsuit.

After approximately a month, the store manager learned Shimer was gay, LeGrant said.

In a meeting in her office, the manager allegedly told Shimer not to act “feminine” in the store, according to the lawsuit. Such behavior would make customers and co-workers uncomfortable, the manager allegedly said.

“She didn’t want his ‘feminine behavior’ to scare off the customers, and she was concerned that it may have some impact on some of the employees,” LeGrant said. “(Shimer) was blown away by that, because it was something that she approached him with completely out of the blue. It hadn’t come up even indirectly before then.”

During the time Shimer worked at the store, the supervisor made “repeated” derogatory comments toward him, including “you don’t fit in normal society,” according to the lawsuit. Shimer’s husband wasn’t allowed by the manager to visit Shimer while he worked.

Shimer says he hopes this lawsuit will further deter anti-gay discrimination.

“It is my hope that this civil action will open the eyes of employers and the community and serve as a reminder that sexual orientation and who we love should not disqualify anyone from employment.”

Posted Feb. 23,2014 at 11:17 PM EST by in Discrimination, Iowa, News | Permalink | Comments (24)


Jason Collins Debuts for the Brooklyn Nets, Making History as the NBA's First Openly Gay Player: VIDEO

Collins

Here is Jason Collins' historic debut with the Brooklyn Nets at the Nets vs. Lakers game tonight.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Feb. 23,2014 at 10:37 PM EST by in Jason Collins, NBA, New York, News, Sports | Permalink | Comments (34)


LGBT Community In India Protests Country's Anti-Gay Law

A historic decision in 2009 legalized gay sex in India for a few short years. Last year's stunning ruling by the Supreme Court of India once again made gay sex illegal in that country. The law, which is part of section 377 of the Indian penal code, was introduced way back in 1861.

The Independent takes a look at how the reinstatement of the law has affected gays in India:

India...many young people had taken the decision to come out in the aftermath of the 2009 decision by the Delhi High Court. Now they found themselves criminalised.

Campaigners believe the decision will put up to 75m Indians at right of harassment. The threat of discrimination and harassment is particularly high in the country’s more conservative smaller towns and villages.

They also believe its significance reaches beyond India. Following the decision, both Uganda and Nigeria signed into law harsh anti-gay legislation and campaigners believe the move was influenced by the decision of the Indian court.

Activists will file a fresh “curative” appeal to the Supreme Court. Yet they are not optimistic of success. “I think we have a good case but we have bad judges,” said Anand Grover of the Delhi-based Lawyers Collective, one of those who has been leading the legal fight.

New Zealand's Channel 3 news reports on one conservative group's monstrous point of view.

"Let them do whatever, but in their homes," says Champak Rai, general secretary of right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad. "But if they do it in public, we will beat them up. After all, alcohol and smoking is banned in public. There are limitations to fundamental rights."

The December ruling has apparently bolstered gay rights activists. From the piece in the The Independent:

Campaigners in India insist they will not deterred. Ms Esteves, who had been present for the historic judgement in 2009, said the day after the supreme court judgment she and others had been filled by new determination.

“[We decided] we would keep raising our voices across the length of India, that we would raise them together and so loud that not even the supreme court would be able to claim that they can’t hear us,” she said.

And in Hyderabad, activists will on Sunday march in the city’s second gay pride event. One of the organisers, Sai Tejo, a 19-year-old sociology student, said he believed people would make a special effort to support the event in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling. “One thing the judgement did was to bring the topic out into the open and put it on the agenda of ordinary people,” he said. “One thing’s for sure, no-one is going back in the closet. It means people will fight it out.”

Posted Feb. 23,2014 at 7:49 PM EST by in Discrimination, India, News | Permalink | Comments (4)


BBC's Graham Norton ‘Furious’ Over Irish Broadcaster’s Payout to Anti-gay Catholic Group

Openly gay BBC presenter Graham Norton is reportedly “furious” about Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to pay a $116,000 settlement to anti-gay Catholic lobbying group, calling the decision “absolutely moronic.” The settlement came after Catholic lobby group Iona Institute and two prominent Irish journalists threatened legal action after being described as homophobic and “horrible and mean about gays” during a program on the flagship Irish public broadcaster channel last month. BBC reports:

Graham nortonIn his Hot Press cover interview Norton said he was disappointed that the journalists had decided to take legal action instead of examining why they might be accused of homophobia.

Although he said he has no desire to get married himself, Norton added: "I want to ask these people, 'Why are you so scared and intimidated by the idea of gay marriage?'" [...]

He added: "This tiny minority can yell all they want, but it's over. It's all done. The Iona Institute, and people like that, are like rats trapped in the corner of a barn. They know the jig is up. That's why they're screaming so loud."

However, he added that he was glad gay marriage opponents existed as "they drag everyone towards the centre".

"You hear their opinions and suddenly you're a little bit more tolerant - because you don't want to be them!"

Posted Feb. 23,2014 at 6:42 PM EST by in Catholic Church, Graham Norton, Ireland, News | Permalink | Comments (6)


Thomas Roberts Interviews New GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis: Video

Glaad
Thomas Roberts interviews Sarah Kate Ellis, the new head of GLAAD. Ellis reflects that her job is very personal and she also says that GLAAD itself is "an organization about cultural change so it is a very personal organization." Watch the profile, AFTER THE JUMP.

Posted Feb. 23,2014 at 5:42 PM EST by in GLAAD, News, Thomas Roberts | Permalink | Comments (7)


Freedom to Marry Launching $1 million Campaign to Build Southern Support for Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.11.42 AM

At a press conference on Monday, Freedom to Marry is expected to announce a new $1 million television ad campaign in Southern states in the hopes of swaying public opinion and the judges who will decide the fate of state bans on gay unions. As it stands, there are about two dozen lawsuits challenging bans on gay marriage that are pending before state and federal courts in Southern states. The Washington Post reports:

“Freedom to Marry’s national strategy has always been to build a critical mass of states and support to create the climate for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution. We don’t have to win within every state, but we have to win enough states,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.13.09 AMAtlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will join the group at its Monday press conference. The group will also try to tie same-sex marriage to the civil rights movement, by featuring Rep. John Lewis [right], the longtime Georgia Democrat who ran the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in a testimonial.

“I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue. You cannot have rights for one segment of the population and one group of people and not for everybody,” Lewis says in the video.

Watch Lewis' video for the new campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

Co-chairs of the new initiative will include Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), as well as Mark McKinnon, a former senior adviser to George W. Bush and Lance Bass, the ‘N Sync singer.

 

Posted Feb. 23,2014 at 4:40 PM EST by in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Gay Marriage, Georgia, John Lewis, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, News, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia | Permalink | Comments (12)



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