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04/19/2007


Arkansas Transwoman Fired For Using Women's Restroom: VIDEO

Kaye Bowens

Kaye Bowens of Star City, Arkansas claims she was fired from her job at McDonald's for using the women's restroom. Bowens is transgender, a fact that she was up front with from the very beginning of her employment, and had been using the women's room for three months without issue. Then one day two weeks ago a shift manager confronted her about it, and the next day Bowens was called into the general manager's office and fired. 

Bowens threatened with a lawsuit and was offered her job back, but only on the condition that she used the men's room going forward. The franchise owner Michael Retzer issued the following statement about the incident:

We believe in the value of a diverse workforce, equal opportunity and a workplace free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment.  As such, we continue to do our best to meet the needs of our employees and customers, and we are reviewing this situation carefully. It is important for us to share that the employee in question is a current employee and has not been terminated. We have asked the employee to discuss this issue with us, but we have not received a response.

Bowens in the meantime has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is considering hiring a lawyer. You can watch a news interview with Bowens AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Arkansas Transwoman Fired For Using Women's Restroom: VIDEO" »


NYC Men Claim They Were Run Out of McDonalds Because Customer and Cashier Thought They Were Gay

Two Manhattan men claim in a lawsuit they were run out of a McDonald's by a group of customers and a worker who denied them service after assuming they were gay.

The NY Post reports: Signs

Willis Washington Jr. and Horace Stevenson III were in the Hamilton Heights Mickey D’s at 2:30 a.m. last December when a fellow customer assumed the two men were gay, they claim.

The customer “started to say he had a problem with gay people and that the gay lifestyle was not what God wants,” according to their Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

Washington and Stevenson claim the cashier sided with the customers and gave one of them an object wiht which to beat the men:

The customers began pushing the two men to the back of the store, prompting a panicked Stevenson to dial 911 before the cashier “actually handed one of the customers a metal pipe from behind the counter and motioned to him that he should hit plaintiffs with it,” according to the lawsuit.

Washington and Stevenson were able to escape, but quickly returned when they saw police arrive, only to end up in handcuffs after they were falsely blamed for the violent encounter, they charge.


Olympics Corporate Sponsors Get Grilled On Russian Controversy

Olympic Sponsors

With human rights atrocities causing controversy in Russia, scrutiny of the 2014 Olympic games and its sponsors seems to be at an all time high. LGBT rights advocates have already begun targeting Olympic corporate sponsors such as Procter & Gamble and McDonalds. Now, Buzzfeed is attempting to gather statements from even more corporate sponsors, despite the fact that many seemed reluctant to do so. 

Sochi LogoA vast majority of statements provided back to Buzzfeed seemed to echo prior statements made by the International Olympic Committee. Many even referred to some of those statements directly. Those sponsors included Dow Chemical, Samsung, McDonald’s and Visa, which all used strikingly similar verbiage "down to the adjectives used, suggesting coordination among the sponsors or directly from the IOC itself." All four, for instance, used the sentence, in some form or another, "___________ believes in the spirit of the Games and its unique ability to unite the world in a way that is positive and inspirational."

Panasonic and Adecco, a workforce solutions company, both chose to give responses that were even less committal. Adecco told Buzzfeed “we’re closely monitoring these developments, but I’m afraid we cannot offer a comment at this stage.” Panasonic, meanwhile, informed them that the company “has no involvement in, and is not in a position to comment on political and social matters related to the Olympic Games or specific governments in any country or region.” At the same time, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft chose not to respond to Buzzfeed at all. 

Sochi Olympic RingsGE seemed to be the one sponsor that was willing to hold th IOC accountable in any way, saying in their statement that “we expect the IOC to uphold human rights in every aspect of the Games.” It isn't exactly clear, though, what GE is prepared to do to ensure that standard, or what sort of consequences it intends to present, if any. The IT company Athos took a slightly softer stand, saying that "We are fully confident that the IOC will do the right thing." While that sort of statement is significantly more passive, it at least puts some pressure on the IOC to modify its current stance. 

Some companies also chose to spotlight their previous records of LGBT inclusion and advocacy. One such company was Coca-Cola, which touted its prior record as "a strong supporter of the LGBT community [that has] advocated for inclusion and diversity through both our policies and practices.” McDonalds also added in their statement that "there’s no room for discrimination under the Golden Arches." 

You can read Buzzfeed's full report HERE


Gay Activists to March on McDonald's Headquarters, Demand it Dump Sponsorship of Sochi Winter Olympics

Mcsochi

A Chicago-area activist group is planning to march on the McDonald's corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois on August 17 at 11 am:

The group is calling on McDonald's to cease their support of the Games to take a stand against Russia's harsh new anti-LGBT laws. In a deal that lasts through 2020, McDonald's pays about $100 million to be sole retail food sponsor for each pair of Olympics in a four-year period.

The protest will "tell McDonald's Corp. to stop sponsoring the homophobic Sochi Winter Olympics. Russia has implemented laws to arrest and deport anyone who is or they suspect is gay," according to StonewallAgain's Facebook page.

The organization's founder, Mike Lackovich, said that he had become dismayed with the situation in Russia and tried in vain to get contact with McDonald's, which has so far remained silent on the matter.

This week McDonald's was targeted with a parody ad which featured a gay teen being brutalized by a gang of Russian thugs. The clip has been removed from YouTube.


McDonald's Offers a Taste of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi: VIDEO

Mcsochi

I'd expect more Sochi 2014 sponsors to be targeted with items like this, sent in by Towleroad reader Robert-John. If you missed the background on its content, click here.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Today, the International Olympic Committee will receive more than 300,000 signatures urging it to denounce Russia's anti-gay laws. 83 members of Congress this week called on John Kerry to clarify the U.S. State Department's position on the controversy.

Russian officials have issued conflicting statements about whether athletes and visitors to the Olympics will be prosecuted under the anti-gay laws. Thus far, the IOC has said it is standing by assurances from the Russian government that the laws will not apply to Sochi visitors, which does nothing to change the fact of their existence and the human rights abuses being inflicted upon LGBT people there on a daily basis.

Continue reading "McDonald's Offers a Taste of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi: VIDEO" »


News: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, GOP, James Franco, FAA

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Listen: Beyonce and Andre 3000's version of Amy Winehouse's track "Back to Black."

Johanna6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Iceland's Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the first openly gay prime minister in the entire world, steps down from her post today.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Coldplay's Chris Martin's shirtless day in the park.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The Church of England's seemingly pro-gay request: "The Diocese of Manchester has instructed the official panel appointing its new bishop to select someone who can establish “positive relationships” with gay Anglicans and non-worshippers."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d GOP organization funding marriage equality lobbying efforts: "The group has spent $500,000 on lobbying since last month, including efforts in Rhode Island, Delaware, Indiana, West Virginia and Utah."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Two and a Half Men is coming back next year but without the half part.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova denied parole.

Franco6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival awards James Franco with Ally Award today: "His multi-faceted talents coupled with his contributions to LGBT film both in front of the camera and behind the scenes have helped shine the spotlight on LGBT cinema and a filmmaker's right to free expression."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer had to undergo shoulder surgery yesterday following a bicycle accident.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d McDonald's might make breakfast an all day option.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The White House Correspondents' Dinner takes place in DC tonight - hosted by Conan O'Brien.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Relief is in sight - those recent lengthy flight delays caused by sequester-related furloughs will come to an end by tomorrow: "The FAA issued a statement Saturday, saying that it had suspended all employee furloughs and that 'the system will resume normal operations by Sunday evening.'"

 


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