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SPLC Urges Amazon to Drop Boy Scouts From Charity List Over Anti-gay Policy

The Southern Poverty Law Center has written a letter to Amazon urging the online retailer to drop the Boy Scouts of America from its charitable program AmazonSmile over the BSA’s discriminatory policy towards gay adults.

The letter came in response to an Amazon spokesman who was quoted earlier this month saying that the company relies on lists published by the SPLC to determine if certain organizations are ineligible to participate in AmazonSmile – presumably to prevent contributions going to designated ‘hate groups’

Boy scoutsWrote SPLC Co-Founder and General Counsel Joe Levin: 

It is true that we do not list the BSA as a hate group. We define a hate group as one that attacks or maligns an entire group of people, typically because of their immutable characteristics, or that knowingly spreads falsehoods in an attempt to denigrate a group of people. The BSA does not meet those criteria.

But the lack of a hate group designation for the BSA does not mean we condone the organization's discrimination and intolerance. The BSA's policy of barring openly gay adults from participation in leadership positions is inconsistent with the SPLC's mission of tolerance, its efforts to end prejudice, and its history of opposition to discriminatory treatment of gays and lesbians. [...]

We further believe that BSA does not meet the criteria for eligibility stated on your website, specifically that participating groups cannot "engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities."

There is no question that the BSA's policy toward gay men qualifies as intolerant - by anyone's standards, but especially ours.

We believe the BSA should not be eligible for AmazonSmile. And while we appreciate the fact that Amazon uses our hate group list to disqualify certain organizations, the lack of inclusion on that list should not be read as an endorsement. Thank you for your consideration.

In a similar move last week, LGBT scouts and advocates hand-delivered more than 125,000 petition signatures to Amazon’s company headquarters in Seattle urging the online retailer to drop the BSA from its charity list.  


Amazon Receives 125K Hand-Delivered Petitions to Drop Boy Scouts Over Its Anti-gay Policy

Scouts

Earlier this week, LGBT scouts and advocates hand-delivered more than 125,000 petition signatures to Amazon’s company headquarters in Seattle urging the online retailer to suspend its financial support of the Boy Scouts of America until the organization lifts its ban on gay adults.

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 10.45.35 AMGay Eagle Scout Pascal Tessier (above, center) launched the Change.org campaign on Tuesday in support of ousted gay Scoutmaster Geoff McGrath (above, right). In April, the BSA removed McGrath from his leadership position in the first enforcement of last year's new rules barring openly gay adults. 

Head over to GLAAD’s flicker page to see more photos from the event.

On Friday, Former Secretary of Defense and newly elected Boy Scouts of America president Robert Gates said he would have pushed for openly gay adults to be allowed the organization had he been in charge last year, but opposes any attempts to re-address the policy at the moment.


Gay Eagle Scout Urges Amazon to Drop Boy Scouts from Charity List

Tessier

Gay Eagle Scout Pascal Tessier has launched a campaign protesting Amazon's support of the Boy Scouts, the Washington Post reports:

Pascal Tessier, a 17-year-old from Chevy Chase, Md., who made history when he received the Boy Scouts’ highest ranking earlier this year, held a news conference Monday in front of Amazon.com’s office in Northwest Washington. At the event, he announced his intent to deliver more than 120,000 signatures to the company’s Seattle office in an effort to encourage the online retailer to drop the Boy Scouts from the list of organizations that can benefit from its charitable program, AmazonSmile.

Amazon spokesman Ty Togers told the WaPo that it's the Southern Poverty Law Center's responsibility that the charity is on Amazon's list: "We rely on lists published by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control to determine if certain organizations are ineligible to participate."

Tessier plans to travel to Seattle on Wednesday to petition the company and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the WaPo.


Jeff Bezos Shows Off the Future of Amazon: Drone Delivery - VIDEO

Drone

On last night's 60 Minutes, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos showed off a "surprise" for the first time, delivery drones the company is developing that will make their service even snappier.

Maybe Bezos fot the idea from...Dominos?

Watch the videos, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jeff Bezos Shows Off the Future of Amazon: Drone Delivery - VIDEO" »


New Kindle Ad Features Gay Husbands: VIDEO

Kindle

The new ad for the Kindle Paperwhite (which aired during last night's American Idol) features a gay married couple as its twist. Bravo, Amazon.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Kindle Ad Features Gay Husbands: VIDEO" »


NEWS: George W. Bush To The Rescue, More Arrests In Russia, And A Long Goodbye To Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Brevegarciamarquez

Towleroad-roadicon Brother of Gabriel Garcia Marquez publicly acknowledges that the author is suffering from dementia, and no longer writes:

"He has problems with his memory. Sometimes I cry because I feel like I'm losing him," he said.

... invited to talk about his relationship with Gabo, as the writer is affectionately known in Colombia, Jaime said he could not hold back from talking about his illness anymore.

"He is doing well physically, but he has been suffering from dementia for a long time," he said. "He still has the humour, joy and enthusiasm that he has always had."

RussiaArrests Towleroad-roadicon Eight more gay activists arrested in St. Petersburg.

Towleroad-roadicon The New York Times on the fracturing of the "ex-gay" movement; and an interview with Exodus International's Alan Chambers:

Only a few years ago, Mr. Chambers was featured in advertisements along with his wife, Leslie, saying, “Change is possible.” But now, he said in the interview, “Exodus needs to move beyond that slogan.”

“I believe that any sexual expression outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage is sinful according to the Bible,” Mr. Chambers emphasized. “But we’ve been asking people with same-sex attractions to overcome something in a way that we don’t ask of anyone else,” he said, noting that Christians with other sins, whether heterosexual lust, pornography, pride or gluttony, do not receive the same blanket condemnations.

Towleroad-roadicon London Pride.

Towleroad-roadicon CNN on the push to eliminate the United States' gay blood-donor ban:

... Since the 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic decimated their community, gay men -- or MSMs (men who have sex with men) as they are called by federal agencies -- have not been allowed to donate blood. In June, a group of 64 U.S. legislators led by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services encouraging it to move forward with a study that may lead to the end of the decades-old ban.

"This is a matter of life and death and we are turning away over 50,000 healthy men who want to donate blood," Quigley told CNN. "A straight person who has unsafe sex with multiple partners can give blood, and that creates a greater risk than a gay person in a monogamous relationship."

Towleroad-roadicon Obamafan serves the President eggs, bacon, toast, grits; dies happy.

Towleroad-roadicon Henceforth, 17 Magazine shall use only un-airbrushed, well-fed models.

Towleroad-roadicon The Guardian's Tom Shone goes gay for Magic Mike, and a lot of other movies, too:

The screen is an equal opportunity seducer – polymorphically perverse. If you are a man (or a woman) and you watch the famous scene in Notorious where Cary Grant nibbles Ingrid Bergman's ear while she is answering the phone, you don't feel two different things depending on which half of the screen you look at. I don't look at Bergman and go "yummy" and then look at Grant and go "shame about him."  Such is the heat of the movie screen that every grain and pixel is suffused with longing. The fact is: I have spent as much time in the dark of the movie theatre watching men kiss and be kissed, and getting a kick out of it, as I have women.

Towleroad-roadicon Amazon to enter the smartphone market.

Towleroad-roadicon George W. Bush spent the 4th in Zambia:

He worked alongside other volunteers in Kabwe - Zambia's second-largest city - to renovate a health clinic which specializes in the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer.

“You're always the former president but I wanted to come here as a laborer...I do want to say that on this particular trip that myself and friends have left behind a clinic and hope to inspire others to come and refurbish clinics as well,” Bush said.

Bush is helping lead the fight against cervical cancer in his post-presidential years and has so far helped raise more than $85 million ...

 


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