Discrimination Hub




World Net Daily Founder Joseph Farah Argues That Opposing Gay Marriage Is a Protected 'Sexual Orientation'

FarahIn a WorldNetDaily column yesterday, founder and editor-in-chief Joseph Farah attempted to argue that opposing same-sex marriage can be considered its own form of "sexual orientation" and should therefore be protected under non-discrimination laws.

Citing this month's story of the anti-gay New York wedding venue that was ordered to pay a $13,000 fine after refusing service to a same-sex couple, Farah argues that the owners, Robert and Cynthia Gifford, were simply following their own Biblical-based "sexual orientation" 

Writes Farah

Let me pose a hypothetical intellectual challenge: The law that forms the basis for the action against the Giffords in New York is a provision that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet, isn’t that precisely what is happening to the Giffords? Are they not being coerced to accept and approve someone else’s sexual orientation? Are they not permitted to hold their own sexual orientation, one that acknowledges their God’s definition that marriage is a union of one man and one woman?

The Giffords are not campaigning to prevent other people from following their own conscience as to their sexual choices and activities. It’s just the opposite. They are being coerced by the state to take part in the sexual choices and activities of others.

Farah then proceeds to wrap up his nutty column by logically tying the gay rights movement with Islamic radicals:

When “non-discrimination” becomes victimization of those with different religious and moral convictions, we literally have the establishment of a state religion and, effectively, the repeal of the First Amendment. [...]

I only see that kind of coercion demanded among two groups of people today – those who believe in the unlimited power of the state as their “god” and others who believe their god wants them to kill or subjugate all “infidels.”

[via Right Wing Watch]


Springfield Morning Radio Host Claims She Was Fired for Being Gay

A radio host in Springfield, Missouri says her recent firing from her morning show was not from budget cuts - as her employer claims - but rather because she is openly gay and had recently spoken up about advocating for LGBT rights. 

Springfiled News-Leader reports:

Jennifer stevens"It's humiliating, and I am absolutely 100 percent convinced this has to do with my sexuality and my advocacy on behalf of my community," said Jennifer Scott Stevens, who went by Jennifer Scott at 105.1 Bob FM.

Jason McCuthin, general manager of Springfield-based Mid-West Family Broadcasting Group — which owns four local radio stations — says the termination of Stevens' employment was entirely "a budgetary decision." [...]

"As someone who attended her marriage reception, it's a little disheartening that she would assume this station didn't support her wholeheartedly," he said.

"We have other people on staff who have the same lifestyle, and they get the same support she did," McCuthin added.

The Advocate adds:

Stevens, who is married to another woman, said her coworkers and supervisors knew she was gay, but it was never an issue at work, since she didn't discuss her sexual orientation on-air or at official events. 

But in June, Stevens was profiled in the News-Leader as part of a weekly series on businesspeople in Southwest Missouri, and she discussed her orientation and her passion for advocacy surrounding LGBT issues. Ironically, Stevens actually pointed to the elevated rate of workplace discrimination faced by LGBT people in her closing remarks in that piece. 

Missouri remains one of the 29 states without employment non-discrimination law covering sexual orientation.

[photo via Facebook]


Minnesota Hunting Club Agrees to Pay for Gay Couple's Wedding After Initial Refusal

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A Minnesota hunting club has agreed to pay for a gay couple's wedding after its initial refusal of the request was brought to the attention of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Star Tribune reports:

Leblanc'sThe owners of LeBlanc’s Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation Inc. agreed to pay about $8,500 to cover the upcoming wedding of Cole Frey and Adam Block, as well as apologize to the two men and comply with the state’s nondiscrimination law in the future.

Frey, 20, and Block, 18, said Friday that they met last October and became engaged in November. In February, Frey said, he contacted LeBlanc’s to inquire about having the wedding at its clubhouse after his stepmother suggested it. He said he didn’t immediately reveal that he was marrying a man, and was told their desired date was available.

A few weeks later, Frey said, he went to sign papers and leave a security deposit. “That’s when they found out it would be between two males,” Frey said. “They told us they don’t condone same-sex marriage, and they wouldn’t be marrying us on their property.”

Following settlement talks with the Department of Human Rights, the club's owners claimed it was a simple case of misunderstanding state law. 

“They made a mistake and we did everything in our power to correct it,” [LeBlanc's attorney Paul Rogosheske] said. “This couple is going to have a great wedding and I can assure you LeBlanc’s is going to be open to everybody.”

A Minnesota Department of Human Rights press release adds:

This is Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ first same-sex wedding case involving discrimination in public accommodation based on sexual orientation since same-sex marriage was legalized on Aug. 1, 2013. Sexual orientation was added to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights Act in 1993.

[top photo via Facebook]


New Jersey School Backs Down, Allows Transgender Teen To Enroll as a Girl

Rachel pepe

Rachel Pepe, a transgender student from New Jersey who we reported earlier this week was refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, has since had her refusal reversed by school administrators.

Last year, Pepe attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Pepe’s mother Angela Peters said at the time that the school failed to engage with her on proposed solutions to the problem.

However, the superintendent of the school district, William O. George, has since announced that he will work with staff to make sure Rachel can attend school in a safe environment. George also said Middletown Township Public Schools staff would undergo LGBT sensitivity training, reports Huffington Post.

"We as a district want to do everything we can as a district," George told the Asbury Park Press. "Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement."

Back in April, the Department of Education issued new guidance that made it clear Title IX law protects transgender students from discrimination.


Fayetteville, Arkansas City Council Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance: VIDEO

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Following nearly 10 hours of debate, the City Council in Fayetteville, Arkansas voted to pass a controversial non-discrimination ordinance by a vote of 6-2 at 3:20 AM Wednesday morning. The ordinance will provide protections for citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in addition to discrimination based on age, gender, national origin, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, familial status, marital status, socioeconomic background and veteran status.

The Fayetteville Flyer reports: 

The new law means landlords and business owners could be investigated and prosecuted for unjustly evicting or firing someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status or veteran status.

State and federal law prohibits discrimination based on someone’s age, gender, disability, race or religion. But in Arkansas there are no state-level non-discrimination laws that cover the other categories, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

The public meeting of the council that begin yesterday also saw many members of the public weigh in on the proposed ordinance. Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan referenced some of the stories shared by Fayetteville citizens when urging the council to pass the ordinance:

“Just today we’ve seen many of our citizens who’ve been excluded from the table of equality, and I believe it’s time for everyone to have a place at that table, no matter where they come from, what they believe or who they love,” he said.

“When we accomplish that then we can truly hold hands and sing, ‘The land of the free and the home of the brave,’ and actually mean it. We’ve got to go to some place we’ve never been or we’ll all just be stuck right where we are.”

Watch a news report on the meeting and the packed house the vote drew, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Fayetteville, Arkansas City Council Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance: VIDEO" »


Court Battle Over Houston's LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance Pushed Back to January

The court battle over Houston's LGBT non-discrimination ordinance has been pushed back to January 2015, meaning that voters will not be able to vote on the measure this November.

ParkerEarlier this month we reported that anti-gay activists had failed in efforts to collect enough signatures for a ballot measure that would place the city's recently-passed Equal Rights Ordinance up for a public referendum.

Petition backers then proceeded to sue the city.

Houston's News 92 FM reports:

[Judge Robert] Schaffer also moved the ordinance should not be enforced until after that trial, with supporters and opponents in unanimous agreement.

Opponents of the ordinance gathered signatures believing they had enough to get the issue on the ballot.

They came up almost 2,000 names short, according to Houston Mayor Annise Parker and city’s attorney.

On Friday, opponents of the ordinance dropped their request for a temporary injuction that could have triggered a repeal referendum in November. 


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