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04/19/2007


Apple Dictionary Includes Surprising Definition of 'Gay': 'Foolish; Stupid' — VIDEO

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Becca Gorman, of Sudbury, Massachusetts, got a bit of a surprise while doing research for a high school project last week.  When she looked up the word 'gay' in her MacBook Pro laptop's dictionary, the first two definitions weren't too unexpected: "1 (of a person, esp. a man) homosexual," "2 lighthearted and carefree."  But the third definition shocked her: "informal foolish; stupid: making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule."

"At first, I was kind of in disbelief," the Lincoln-Sudbury High sophomore told Boston ABC affiliate WCVB.  Gorman's parents are a lesbian couple, and she was amazed to hear a slur that had been thrown around in high school included in a major company's electronic dictionary. "I felt like they had to take care of it," she said.  So she emailed off a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook:

"I assume that you are a pro-gay company, and would never intend for any one of your products to be as offensive as this definition was. Even with your addition of the word informal, this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word 'gay.'"

As ABC reported, Gorman received a call from Apple only an hour after she sent the email:

"They told me it's so hard to track the dictionaries they're getting sources from," said Gorman. The representative was also shocked at the offensive definition, and that the company would look into the problem.

Earlier this month, Cook penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal encouraging Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, would would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  
"Those who have suffered discrimination have paid the greatest price for this lack of legal protection," Cook said in his opinion piece. "But ultimately we all pay a price. If our coworkers cannot be themselves in the workplace, they certainly cannot be their best selves. When that happens, we undermine people's potential and deny ourselves and our society the full benefits of those individuals' talents."

For now, even though the company Cook leads has robust non-discrimination policies, the questionable definition of 'gay' in its dictionary app persists.  In iOS7, the company's most recent mobile operating system, the third definition of 'gay' at least mentions that it is both "informal" and "often offensive." That's a start, but Apple still has a ways to go, and Gorman is committed to making sure the company expunges the definition.

"I feel like we're going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it," she said.

Watch ABC News' report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wingnut Peter LaBarbera: LGBT Students 'Getting Scholarships...for Embracing Perversion' - AUDIO

LaBarberaPeter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, joined religious right radio host Janet Meffered yesterday in a discussion about the Illinois marriage equality vote and the U.S. Senate's approval of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

While on the subject of ENDA, LaBarbera argued that far from being discriminated against in society, LGBT people are even "getting scholarships on college campuses for embracing perversion." The people who are actually facing discrimination, LaBarbera asserted, are the patriots like him who oppose homosexuality.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rachel Maddow Blows Jimmy Fallon's Mind with the Fact That People Can Still Be Fired for Being Gay: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and discussed ENDA's passage in the Senate, revealing that it's still legal to fire people for being gay in 29 states.

Maddow also expresses her dismay that Republicans in the House won't even bring it up for a vote, and are pushing the false claim that LGBT are already protected under current law.

Says Maddow:

"One of the reasons [the House] doesn’t want to vote on it is because it’s already the law? It’s not already the law! You guys need a different strategy, people can look that up.”

Maddow and Fallon also discuss Chris Christie's win and what he plans to do with New Jersey when he starts running for president, and Maddow mocks the Republican strategy for its presidential nominees.

“Definitely pick the craziest guy you can find, that’s your ticket to success!”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gene Robinson: 'Jesus Must Be So Embarrassed' About Religious-Based Opposition to ENDA

Gay retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson rips religious-based opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in a piece in the Huffington Post:

RobinsonFor instance, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is vigorously opposing ENDA, asserting that their right to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity is essential to Catholics' religious liberty. Now stop, and just take that in for a moment. A Church, dedicated to following the man known for his outreach and compassion for the marginalized, petitioning the government to be exempted from the fair treatment of marginalized and vulnerable LGBT people. It takes my breath away.

Can you imagine what Jesus might have said to St. Peter if the disciple had requested an exemption from Jesus' command to "love your enemies?!" What if disciples James and John had argued with Jesus about whether or not "love your neighbor as yourself" actually should apply to them in all cases? What would Jesus have said to the good, religious people of his time when they asked for an exemption to Jesus' command to "love one another as I have loved you," based of course upon their deeply-held, religious beliefs?

I don't know what he would have said. But the shortest verse in all of scripture probably describes what he would have done upon hearing their request: "Jesus wept."


Stephen Colbert Denounces the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: VIDEO

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Stephen Colbert last night warned conservatives of the dangers of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

"Today it's transgender people. Tomorrow, the government will tell me I can't fire a mermaid. Oh, excuse me...a hermaphrotrout. No matter what it costs me to make her cubicle watertight."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Tammy Baldwin to Boehner on ENDA: 'Just Bring It Up for a Vote' — VIDEO

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Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports yesterday prior to the successful vote to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Baldwin spoke about the bill's chances in the House and what she would tell House Speaker John Boehner, who opposes the legislation.

Baldwin also spoke about what the legislation means to her personally, as the first openly gay Senator.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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