Discrimination Hub




New York Wedding Venue Owners Who Discriminated Against Gay Couple: 'We're Not Hateful People' - VIDEO

Gifford

The owners of Liberty Ridge, the wedding venue fined $13,000 by the New York State Division of Human Rights last month for refusing to allow a same-sex couple access to the facilities, are speaking out about the case in a new video for the conservative publication The Daily Signal.

Said Cynthia Gifford:

"We have hired homosexuals. We have hosted parties for same-sex couples. That's not the issue here. The issue is back to our freedom of religion - of our core values...We're not hateful people. We open our doors for a certain part of the year to everyone to come and enjoy God's country that we're so blessed to live on. And in no way would we ever turn anybody away from the farm. We just believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and we don't want to hold a marriage ceremony here on our farm because the state tells us we have to."

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via joe.my.god]

Continue reading "New York Wedding Venue Owners Who Discriminated Against Gay Couple: 'We're Not Hateful People' - VIDEO" »


Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) Claims He Never Called 'Firing Gays' a 'Freedom,' Despite Audio Track: LISTEN

RobertPittengerNorth Carolina congressman Robert Pittenger fell into some hot water last week after a Think Progress reporter asked him his thoughts on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Pittenger responded by referring to the right to employ/fire employees as one of "the freedoms we enjoy." Last Wednesday he attempted to right this wrong by issuing a factually incorrect statement including the line, "Americans are well protected already." Now, though, Pittenger is claiming that he never spoke those words, at least not in the context of gay and lesbian employees.

The New Civil Rights Movement reports:

MSNBC last week reported that Pittenger's communications director denied "that Pittenger discussed 'firing gay individuals,'" despite the fact that the question specified "gay or lesbian" people.

“After the event, a blogger asked for an interview and then asked about [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act]. His opposition to ENDA was ‘translated’ into ‘firing gays’ by that blogger,” the director, Jamie Bowers, wrote in an email to msnbc on Friday.

While Pittenger does quickly veer away from explicitly discussing the rights of gay and lesbian employees in the response, his entire statement is subject to be critiqued based on the question asked. At this point, it feels like a shoddy cover-up for a botched response. 

Listen to the audio of the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) Claims He Never Called 'Firing Gays' a 'Freedom,' Despite Audio Track: LISTEN" »


Detroit Area Catholic High School Administrators to Review Policies After Firing Pregnant Gay Teacher

Webb

Administrators at a Detroit-area Catholic high school have announced they will review policies and procedures following the controversial firing of a gay teacher who claimed she was sacked last month because of her pregnancy, The Detroit News reports:

Mary Jane Herb, president of the Monroe-based Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in a letter to supporters this week referred to "the recent employment matter" and "a complexity of issues" facing the Catholic church and its schools. She did not specifically name Barbara Webb, the teacher who was terminated last month from the private, all-girls Bloomfield Hills school.

"Consequently, we need to have ongoing education and a new lens through which to view issues and situations that are emerging," Herb wrote in the letter dated Monday. "Pope Francis has brought a sense of hope to our lives and encourages us to look at our Church with new eyes. No, it is not likely that doctrine will change, however the Pope emphasizes that the values of mercy, inclusion and compassion need to be included in our response to complex situations."

Earlier this month, Webb revealed that her termination letter didn't give any reasons for the firing, but that previous conversations with school officials pointed to her violating a morality clause allowing for firing over public conduct of "lifestyle or action directly contradictory to the Catholic faith."

The Detroit News adds that a change.org petition asking the high school to end its discriminatory anti-LGBT policies has gathered nearly 70,000 signatures.


Ad Agency in Kazakhstan Fined for Poster of Kissing Poets as Leaders Push Ban on Gay 'Propaganda'

Kazakh

In August we reported that a gay club in Almaty, Kazakhstan was under fire for an online ad banner featuring folk singer Qurmanghazy Saghyrbaiuly kissing Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin, a clever take on the fact that the club is located at the intersection of Qurmanghazy and Pushkin streets.

Conservative Kazakhs and Russians, angry over the poster, filed lawsuits, and now the club has been fined, Radio Free Europe reports:

A court in Almaty found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan Company guilty of "advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan."

The court ruled on September 24 that the company's director, Daria Khamitzhanova, must pay a $700 fine and her company a $1,000 fine.

The case against the company was filed by Almaty youth authorities.

Some politicians in Kazakhstan have recently been pushing for Russian-style bans on gay "propaganda". Dauren Babamuratov, leader of the Bolashak national movement, held a press conference last week calling for the laws and claimed that gay people can be identified by "colored pants" and blood tests for "degeneracy."


Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) Says Firing Gay People Is a 'Freedom We Enjoy' - VIDEO

Pittenger

Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC) is courting controversy for remarks made at a recent town hall meeting in response to a question asking whether or not he supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act - which would protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace.

Responded Pittenger:

"It's like smoking bans. Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property? I think people have the right to private property… If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?"

Backlash was swift, with gay rights groups and even the Charlotte Observer calling out Pittenger's stance. The paper wrote an op-ed Tuesday saying Pittenger's flawed argument could've been made for racial discrimination in the past. 

Watch a NBC Charlotte news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Pittenger2In an attempt to clarify his comments, Pittenger issued a statement to the station Wednesday saying:

"The statutes are clear, that Americans are well protected already. We should fully enforce current laws against discrimination. I hear America's cry for more jobs and a stronger economy, not more federal regulations added to the vast maze of federal regulations we have already. That can only stifle the ability of entrepreneurs to create new businesses and new jobs. It's incredibly hard to operate or start a business already, and I don't think America is begging for more obstacles to an economic recovery. Where does it stop? Is the next regulation going to prohibit a layoff even during an economic downturn? Will the next law mandate full employment? Where does the government's role in dictating our daily lives end? That's the debate we should be having."

Contrary to Pittenger's idiotic follow-up statement's implications, North Carolina and 28 other states continue to have no protections for LGBT people facing discrimination in the workplace. 

An ENDA discharge petition being pushed by Rep. Jared Polis currently has the support of 75 lawmakers - all of whom are Democrats.

Continue reading "Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) Says Firing Gay People Is a 'Freedom We Enjoy' - VIDEO" »


ENDA Discharge Petition So Far Has Support from 75 Dems, No Republicans

A discharge petition for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) being pushed by Rep. Jared Polis has the support of 75 of 218 lawmakers it needs to succeed, the Washington Blade reports.

PolisThe petition has no Republican support so far, even from GOP lawmakers who went so far as to co-sponsor the original bill:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), an original co-sponsor of ENDA, has already vowed not to sign a discharge petition, saying through a spokesperson it’s a “partisan political tool.”

But Polis took Republican supporters of ENDA to task, saying it’s time “to throw down the gauntlet” because co-sponsoring the legislation isn’t enough.

Still, the bill, which has a narrowed religious exemption, faces challenges even if passed by the House, the Blade adds:

Even if the House were to succeed in passing ENDA with a narrower discharge petition, the chances of passing a version of the bill in the Senate with that language would be complicated. Still, Polis expressed confidence the upper chamber of Congress would pass the bill if the discharge petition were successful.

“The previous incarnation of ENDA was in the pre-Hobby Lobby era,” Polis said. “I’m confident that if this is brought to the House floor and passes, the Senate will be able to expeditiously act on this bill and sent it to the president’s desk.”

The Blade reports that Dems are "bullish" on its prospects. At least one pundit is skeptical:


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