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Log Cabin Republicans Accused Of 'Bullying,' 'Shaming' Their Way Into Western Conservative Summit

WCS

Earlier this week, we reported that the Log Cabin Republicans had been denied a booth at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this summer.  

After a media firestorm, the Colorado GOP has attempted to quell the controversy by inviting Log Cabin to share its booth at the event — a major conservative conference put on by Colorado Christian University and its Centennial Institute think tank. 

Not surprisingly, rather than apologizing for their bigotry and stupidity, organizers of the summit have responded by trying to play the victim. From The Denver Post

Party Chairman Steve House, who took over in March, made the announcement Thursday afternoon, one day after a firestorm over the snub by summit organizers to the Log Cabin Republicans.

"We're fine with the Colorado Republicans sharing some table space at the summit with all their affiliated groups. We're not fine with the shaming and bullying pressure tactics of Log Cabin Republicans' national office," said summit chairman John Andrews.

I was unable to find any specific examples of bullying or shaming by Log Cabin Republicans National. I did find a long thread of comments in support of LCR on the summit's Facebook page, as well as a few tweets like these: 

The bottom line appears to be that the Colorado GOP — along with many rank-and-file Republicans — has come to realize that alienating LGBT people and their allies is no longer in the party's best interest. But the religious right wing of the party, as well as most of its presidential candidates, have not. Of course, they're still willing to take Log Cabin's votes and money: 

"I hope the state party's sensible approach gives the local Log Cabin folks more reason to sign up" as delegates to the summit," Andrews said.

"We want to be fair to them if they'll be fair to us."

And by being "fair to us," Andrews presumably means not trying to stop them from bullying and shaming LGBT people. 


Colorado Agency Rules in Favor of Denver Bakery Owner Who Refused to Make Anti-gay Hate Cake

Azucar

The Civil Rights Division of Colorado's Department of Regulatory Agencies has ruled that Denver-based Azucar Bakery did not discriminate against a customer's religion when owner Marjorie Silva (far left above) refused to write an anti-gay hate message on a cake back in March 2014. 

KUSA reports:

The customer, Castle Rock resident Bill Jack, wanted a cake showing two groomsmen with a red "x" over them and messages about homosexuality being a sin.

Because the shop would have treated any other customer the same way, the state decided the shop didn't refuse service because of the customer's religion.


Gallup Survey Confirms San Francisco Is The Nation's Gayest City (#7 May Surprise You Though)

Sf
(via babson.edu)

Not surprisingly, San Francisco has the highest concentration of LGBT people of any city in the US, at 6.2 percent, according to a new Gallup survey

However, there are some surprises on the list, including Salt Lake City, which is ranked No. 7.

From The New York Times:

Gallup1It might seem surprising at first that the city most associated with the Mormon Church — which believes that sex and marriage should occur between only a man and a woman — has the seventh-highest share of L.G.B.T. people, at 4.7 percent.

But another aspect of the Mormon culture — the importance of community and family — goes a long way toward explaining the pattern, people in Salt Lake City say.

Though many gay people who were raised Mormon (or L.D.S., an acronym for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) describe feeling expelled from the community, a large number still choose to stay close to their families and culture. “If you grow up L.D.S. like I did, you still have these deep Mormon values that are embedded in your DNA,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, an L.G.B.T. advocacy group.

The Gallup survey includes the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas and is believed to contain the most detailed estimates yet about where LGBT people live. 

Birmingham, Alabama, has the lowest concentration of LGBT people, at 2.6 percent, but according to Gallup, the overall margin is small:  

The distribution of LGBT identity across the largest metro areas in the U.S. is relatively narrow, with a range of 3.6 percentage points from the highest to the lowest MSA among the top 50. This mirrors previous analyses of the distribution of the LGBT population across states, which show similarly fairly even distribution, at least in comparison to the many other pronounced geographic differences found on race, ethnic, political and ideological variables.

The lack of sharp distinctions could reflect in part that the geographic MSAs used in this research are large, and for most areas, include significant suburban populations around center cities. The sample sizes involved do not allow for an analysis of center cities per se, but perhaps the LGBT percentage is larger in these areas than in the metropolitan area as a whole.

Gallup2


Trans Activists Storm LGBTQ Conference in Denver, Demand An End to Police Profiling of Queer Youth of Color

Denver
(twitter)

At the National LGBTQ Task Force's Creating Change conference in Denver last night, a group of nearly 100 trans people and allies rushed the stage to bring attention to the death of Jessie Hernandez, a queer Latina who was fatally shot by Denver police during a confrontation over a stolen vehicle last Monday.

The protesters, led by Bamby Salcedo, chanted "Jessie Presente!" as they stormed the stage with handmade signs, The Advocate reports:

Not only did Salcedo demand better accountability on the part of police and the criminal justice system, she also called for LGBTQ organizations to include transgender people on their boards and staffs as decision makers.

"If you serve us, you need to include us," Salcedo said to a crowd cheering and raising their fists in solidarity.

HancockAnother demonstrator said Denver police have the second highest rate of law enforcement killings. According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Denver County has the second highest rate of law enforcement killings. 

After the activists vacated the stage, [Task Force deputy executive direcotr Russell] Roybal thanked them for the demonstration and then announced that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (pictured right) would not address the crowd as planned.

Later, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza, the three co-creators of #blacklivesmatter, chose to forgo a planned speech at the conference and instead use the time to read off the names of at least a dozen trans women who were killed this year in the U.S.

Activists later took to Twitter to voice their frustrations with Mayor Hancock, the Denver Police Department, and the wider issue of police profiling queer youth of color.


Christian Organizations Misguidedly Defend Denver Bakery Owner for Refusing to Create Anti-gay Cake

Azucar

Marjorie Silva (far left above), the owner of Denver's Azucar Bakery who refused to bake an anti-gay cake for bigoted customer Bill Jack and is now facing a state investigation into the matter, is finding some unusual supporters of her decision not to bake the hate cake. 

JackNBC reports that Worldview Academy, a prominent nondenominational Chirstian organization in Midland, Texas that lists Jack (right) as a faculty member and cofounder, says it disagrees with his complaint and stresses that Jack filed it as a "private citizen."

"Worldview Academy believes that God unconditionally loves every person," it said in a statement. "We also believe in liberty and justice for all. Consequently, we support the Colorado bakery owner's right — and the right of all other bakery owners — to not undertake work which would violate their core beliefs."

The virulently anti-gay Christian legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which fights for the right to discriminate against gays in the U.S. (and put them in jail overseas), is also siding with the bakery, Buzzfeed reports:

“It was clearly Ms. Silva’s right to decline to promote a message with which she so clearly disagreed,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “Ms. Silva should not be forced to use her artistic abilities to further a message with which she sincerely disagrees.”

Tedesco’s group, although not involved in this latest case, has represented bakers in two similar recent cases in which the business owners were Christian: In Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple, and in Washington State, Arlene’s Flowers is currently being sued for denying gay men flowers for their wedding.

ADF's token support of Silva in an attempt to appear consistent in its position that private citizens shouldn't have to do things they disagree with, however, doesn't really hold water, as Buzzfeed notes:

On the other side of the courtroom in both past cases — Masterpiece Cakeshop and Arlene’s Flowers — the American Civil Liberties Union represented the customers. Now the ACLU, which is also not directly involved in this newest case, supports the baker’s right to refuse service.

“Folks are trying to compare the Azucar Bakery story to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case… but in fact the two situations are quite different,” ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in an email to BuzzFeed News.

The baker refusing service, she said, is “based on a neutral standard of taste that she would apply to any customer,” and is different from barring customers “not because of what the desired cake looked like, but because of who they are.”

In other words, if Silva had refused to bake Jack a wedding cake because he's heterosexual, things would be different. As it stands, Silva wouldn't have made a cake with a hate message for anyone - gay or straight - so the two cases are apples and oranges. She's already said she would have made a cake with a Bible on it no problem. 

In related news, Silva has created a Gofundme page to help the bakery with legal expenses related to the complaint which you can visit and donate to HERE. The page has been up for less than 24 hours and has already raised over $5,300. 


Colorado Customer Who Sought To Purchase Anti-Gay Cake Is Religious Educator, Founder Of Christian Summer Camp

Bill Jack

What is it with cake bakeries being the crucible for discrimination cases?

Last week we told you about Bill Jack, a Denver, Colorado man who entered the Azucar Bakery, tried to have a deliberately inflammatory and offensive cake made, and then made accusations of discrimination when owner Marjorie Silva refused to write how god hates homosexuality because they're detestable, disgraceful sinners.

This week Fox 31 Denver reveals that Jack's bona fides come from the nuttiest of wingnuttery. Jack spent ten years as a public school educator, which is frightening enough on its own, but then spent fourteen years with The Caleb Campaign, a creationist youth ministry that has almost no web presence when divorced from Jack, and went on to found Worldview Academy, a "non-denominational organization dedicated to helping Christians think and live in accord with a Biblical worldview."

Wading into all of the nonsense is Colorado Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt, a fiercely anti-gay lawmaker who thinks Obama is demon-possessed. Contrary to what would ever be expected, Klingenschmitt actually sides with Silva, citing what he calls "an existing flaw in Colorado's nondiscrimination statutes," saying that, "The government should not be able to compel bakers to print things that they disagree with."


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