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Portland Man Arrested For Trying To Steal Local Gay Bar's Pride Flag

Svobodapng-79869cb4bb321451Over the weekend Portland police found Daniel Svoboda attempting to scale the face of a local gay bar in broad daylight, apparently attempting to steal the establishment’s gay pride flag.

Authorities discovered Svoboda 14 feet in the air, clinging to the drainage pipe attached to Silverado, which is located in Portland’s Old Town neighborhood.

According to the officers that arrested him Svoboda appeared to have been confused and disoriented at the time of his arrest. It’s unclear exactly why he was trying to steal the flag.

 


Washington State, Portland to Ban Government-Funded Travel to Indiana

Add Washington State and Portland to the growing list of cities and states banning government-funded travel to Indiana in the wake of its newly passed "religious freedom" bill allowing businesses to discriminate against gay customers. 

Via Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's website:

Inslee“I find Indiana’s new law disturbing, particularly at a time when more and more states and people in America are embracing civil rights for everyone. Washington will join other states and cities in opposing this law and I will impose an administration-wide ban on state funded travel to Indiana.

“Indiana’s law appears to legalize private discrimination. Washington state fought against this very thing in a case Attorney General Bob Ferguson brought against a florist.

“We in Washington stand for equality. I applaud those companies and organizations that have spoken out against the law and said they would not locate or expand operations in Indiana. I want to invite all those organizations, and anyone interested in a state that promotes equality and opportunity, to come visit Washington. We are open for business, and open to all people.”

Portland's KGW reports:

Hales"Gov. Mike Pence and the Indiana Legislature have to understand that such blatant discrimination against their own citizens cannot stand. We, as a country, have moved so far from those shameful practices of the past," [Mayor Charlie] Hales said. "It is regrettable that the great city of Indianapolis, led by its very effective mayor, Greg Ballard, is being dragged down by the reactionary efforts of the State Legislature and the governor."

Hales acknowledged that a number of other states have passed similar laws, but most of those states also make a point to specifically forbid discrimination against gays.

"A lot of progressive business leaders have said, 'We have to stand for equality in order to attract a quality workforce,'" Hales added.

Hales said he won't be attending the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis next year.

San Diego Councilmember Todd Gloria has called on his city to join the boycott and Minneapolis-Saint Paul mayors have blasted the law as well. Stay tuned for more. 


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

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(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


WATCH: Kate Brown Sworn in as the Nation's First Openly Bisexual Governor

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 5.55.06 AM

The state of Oregon inaugurated the nation's first openly bisexual governor yesterday when former Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in. Gov. Brown replaces former Gov. John Kitzhaber who resigned in disgrace amid an influence peddling investigation that includes his fiancée Cylvia Hayes. Brown addressed the issue in her inauguration speech:

"Governor Kitzhaber dedicated most of his life to serving the people of Oregon. His contributions to our state are well woven into the fabric of our public life. But now, we must restore the public's trust. 

"It's been a tough few months. The people of Oregon have had reason to question their trust in state government. Oregon has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons. That changes starting today. It's time for use to get back to work. It's time to move Oregon forward."

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 6.01.45 AMBrown, 54, cited her husband, Dan Little (right), as her "rock," at her inauguration. News accounts have long said Brown is married but considers herself bisexual, without saying more. Brown married Little in 1997 and both live in Southeast Portland. They have two adult children from Little’s previous marriage.

Watch Gov. Brown’s inauguration speech, AFTER THE JUMP

The nation (briefly) had its first openly gay governor back in 2004 with New Jersey's Jim McGreevey. McGreevey resigned three months after making the announcement following a sex scandal. 

 

Continue reading "WATCH: Kate Brown Sworn in as the Nation's First Openly Bisexual Governor" »


Portland Apple Customer Finds Homophobic Slur On Receipt, Calls For Social Competency Training

AppleSlurAdam Catanzarite went into a Portland, Oregon Apple store for a pair of headphones, and left with what could be considered a homophobic slur. A few days after his purchase, Catanzarite took a closer look at his receipt only to find "f@g.com" written where his email (which he declined to give to the employee) should have been.

Catanzarite, an HIV prevention specialist at Cascade AIDS Project and a self-identified queer individual, took action, calling the store, speaking with the manager, and eventually being promised a refund; as of yesterday, he had not received it.

PQ Monthly reports:

In a post to Facebook, Catanzarite explained his immediate response and why he felt this was unacceptable:

“The store manager did not do what he said he would to rectify the situation… being queer and having worked with queer youth, I know first-hand that this is an example of the type of #homophobic beliefs and actions that lead young people to harm themselves. This type of action is NOT OKAY, especially from a company that prides itself on being LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming.”

Rather than fire the employee who entered the offending phrase, Catanzarite believes that there should be more cultural competency training for Apple employees on the whole. The Oregonian reports:

Catanzarite followed the initial Facebook post with another on Wednesday morning, describing the encounter in greater detail. In that post, he said:

“The employee who entered f@g.com should not be fired (take a minute to let that settle in if you need to), but should be given an opportunity to learn about the impact of the use of the word fag and how these words impact the individuals who have been oppressed by them.”

Catanzarite said he hasn’t heard from Apple regarding how or why the slur appeared on his receipt but in this case, he said, the employee’s intent doesn’t matter.

“All I can really focus on is how it impacted me and how we can move forward to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Several updates from PQ Monthly indicate that the incident really could have been accidental on the part of the employee, particularly regarding the quick input of emails (when not given to the employee) and the proximity of "f" and "g" on the keyboard. The unnamed contact--an employee at the same Apple store location--also said that they believe the employee in question is homosexual and that they have heard him use the word "fag" "in a casual, callous, or even joking manner.”

Misunderstanding or not, it is undoubtedly important to recognize the sensitivity around use of inappropriate or offensive language. Apple has yet to respond to the situation, beyond recognition of its occurrence. 


Latino Labor Group Stands Up To Catholic Church, Refuses To Cut Ties With LGBT-Friendly Allies

Voz

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has threatened to cut funding to a Latino workers rights organization if it refuses to cut ties with other groups that support marriage equality, reports Think Progress.

Voz, which primarily helps Latino immigrants find work in Portland, Oregon, does not take a position on marriage equality. However, when faced with the decision to end it’s association with Latino rights group the National Council of La Raza or lose $75,000 of it’s $310,000 annual budget, Voz leaders “self-disqualified” the group by voting to continue the affiliation.

The CCHD is subject to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a longtime opponent of marriage equality.

In a press release, Romeo Sosa, Executive Director of Voz, wrote:

“CCHD forced the question of Marriage Equality into the grant process. Ultimately we are an organization that does not discriminate; many of us know people who are gay, lesbian and transgender. They are our aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, friends, co-workers and neighbors.”

However, other local organizations are now rushing in to support Voz. Spokespeople from the Oregon AFL-CIO and Basic Rights Oregon hosted a news conference on Wednesday to declare their solidarity with Voz, and Basic Rights Oregon has already received nearly $10,000 in pledges from pro-LGBT organizations.

Call To Action, a Catholic social justice group, has launched an online Groundswell petition asking the CCHD to “stop bullying social justice organizations with litmus tests over LGBT equality.”

The CCHD’s decision is seen by some as hypocritical given that Catholic groups are currently lobbying President Barack Obama for exemptions from a pending executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees.


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