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South Dakota Police Identify Two Wanted For Questioning In Assault Case Tied To Anti-Gay Slur

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Police in Sioux Falls, South Dakota have identified two people wanted for questioning in connection to the assault of local resident, 27-year-old Drew Bartscher, KELO reports.

Bartscher, who is straight, was brutally attacked after he told a woman who called him and his friends "faggots" that she should not use that word. "It's rude," he said. Bartscher was then attacked by the woman's boyfriend:

"Then I hear this guy yell at me, 'What the F did you say to my girlfriend?!?!'  I turned just a little bit and then the next thing I know, my friends are picking me up off the sidewalk, (because) I had gotten punched pretty good," Bartscher said.

Just hours after releasing photos to the media of two individuals wanted for questioning, police were able to identify both. However, it is not known "if the man or woman in the photos had anything to do with the assault or if they just saw what happened."

KELO also points out that the incident has not gone unnoticed by local elected officials: "Mayor Mike Huether mentioned the attack in a recent news conference calling on the city to do more to fight domestic violence, bullying and prejudice."


South Dakota Man Attacked for Speaking Out Against Woman Using Anti-gay Slur: VIDEO

Bartscher

A 27-year-old man from Sioux Falls, South Dakota  is nursing a head injury after being retaliated against for calling out a woman on her use of an anti-gay slur. Drew Bartscher was waiting with his two friends outside a downtown bar Saturday night when he heard a girl calling Bartscher and his friends "faggots," KELO-TV reports:

Bartscher2"I hear a woman regard -- make a comment to her boyfriend.  Uh, along the lines of, 'These F-ing F-words.'  Referring to homosexuals," Bartscher said.

Bartscher, who was in crowd with two of his friends outside of Wiley's Tavern, could have said nothing and walked away.  Instead, he said he politely told her she should not say that word

"It's rude," Bartscher said.

What happened next blindsided him.

"Then I hear this guy yell at me, 'What the F did you say to my girlfriend?!?!'  I turned just a little bit and then the next thing I know, my friends are picking me up off the sidewalk, (because) I had gotten punched pretty good," Bartscher said.

Batscher, who is straight, said that while he's a bit embarrassed about his shiner, he's not ashamed for standing up for what he believes in. He credits his parents with giving him the values to find the courage to stand up for the gay community and hopes to pass these traits on to his two girls. 

What a great dad and ally. 

Watch a KELO-TV report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "South Dakota Man Attacked for Speaking Out Against Woman Using Anti-gay Slur: VIDEO" »


Catholic High School Stands Behind Openly Gay Coach

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As we have reported many times before, Catholic schools do not have a good track record with gay teachers. As such, one would be forgiven for thinking that a story about a gay coach for a Catholic school, in South Dakota no less, would be one that ended in tragedy. Unbelievably, this is not the case; quite the opposite in fact.

Last week the volleyball and baseball coach for St. Mary High School, a Catholic school in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, Nate Alfson came out in an email to Outsports. Said Alfson of his follow-up meeting with the school:

The meeting with the school went great. We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me. They want me to be their volleyball coach again and that I was a great role model to the athletes.

I couldn't be happier that they are supportive and want me to be a part of the coaching team. It's a sense of relief to be able to move forward and focus on volleyball and the girls. This season is about them and the hard work they put in. The support has been amazing and I can't wait to live a free life!

It's almost as if Alfson's orientation has no bearing whatsoever on his ability to be a leader, teacher, and role model. Congratulations to St. Mary for acknowledging and supporting Alfson's worth as a teacher and a person rather than dragging everyone down with archaic dogma, and here's hoping that more Catholic schools will follow their lead.

Check out a KSFY report on the original story HERE.


Lawyer Wants Summary Judgment in Challenge to South Dakota Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

Newville-better-crKSFY reports that late last Thursday night, Minneapolis-based Lawyer Joshua Newville (pictured) filed a request with the state of South Dakota to resolve the state's gay marriage ban in a different way. In lieu of the current lawsuit going to trial, Newville argues that the judge should bypass the trial and declare the marriage ban unconstitutional.

Newville emphasizes both the importance of fast action for families whose fate hangs in the balance, and legal precedence — he points out that: "Of the 22 or 23 cases that have been decided in the last year, the vast majority of them have been decided this way [by a judge]."

The court has 21 days to reply to Newville's request.

For video of Newville's comments, as well as those of South Dakotans, check out the video via KSFY embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lawyer Wants Summary Judgment in Challenge to South Dakota Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


Teen Says Taco John's Manager Forced Him to Wear 'GAYTARD' Name Tag at Work: VIDEO

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Tyler Brandt, a 16-year-old openly gay teen in Yankton, South Dakota, said his manager at Taco John's was verbally abusive toward him and forced him to wear a name tag that said "GAYTARD" on it, KELO reports:

Brandt"He pulled me into the office and gave me a nametag that read 'Gaytard' on it and asked me to wear it. So, I put it on because I didn't want to upset him and I felt that if I did do anything to upset him, it would cause me to lose my job because he'd be looking for ways to fire me," Brandt said.

Brandt says he tried taking it off several times, but he says the manager forced him to wear it all day in front of the customers.

"I would always stay behind the till so they couldn't see the name tag, I didn't want them to see it, but even though they couldn't see it, he would still call me by the name across the store and customers would notice," Brandt said.

Watch the report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Brandt said that he decided to quit and was mocked even as he left:

"After I handed them over my uniform, they really didn't say anything, they just said 'ok' and when we went to walk out, he lifted out his hand and said 'Nametag?' as though he deserved to have that name tag after his son labeled me," Brandt said.

Taco John's CEO Jeff Linville released a statement to KELO:

At Taco John’s, we believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. We take any accusation of workplace harassment very seriously. The type of discrimination that reportedly took place recently in the Yankton, South Dakota restaurant is deplorable. Such actions will not be tolerated by our company. Taco John’s is committed to doing all we can to make certain nothing like this happens again in any of our restaurants.

Continue reading "Teen Says Taco John's Manager Forced Him to Wear 'GAYTARD' Name Tag at Work: VIDEO" »


Tuesday Speed Read: Jared Polis, Annise Parker, South Dakota, Robert Gates, Boy Scouts, Nevada, Kentucky

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

PolisLOG CABIN ADS ATTACK JARED POLIS:

The national gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans has aired three “attack ads” against openly gay U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. According to a report in the Denver Post, the latest ad mocks Polis’ personal wealth to say he’s out of touch with the average Coloradoan when he opposes natural gas development in the state, thus denying thousands of jobs and affordable heating. In retort, Polis teased the group about the perception that it has relatively few members to support such attack ads: “Oh, did all three of them chip in?”

ORDINANCE FOES THREATEN RECALL:

Opponents of a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in Houston have threatened to organize a recall election against Mayor Annise Parker and other supporters of the bill. They have also threatened a referendum on the measure should it pass Wednesday, reports KHOU-TV.

SouthdakotaSOUTH DAKOTA GETS LAWSUIT:

Six same-sex couples in South Dakota filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sioux Falls, reducing to just one (North Dakota) the number of states which still have bans on same-sex couples marrying but no lawsuit challenging that ban. The South Dakota lawsuit is Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard.

NINTH CIRCUIT MOVES ON NEVADA CASE:

In an order issued May 23, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced it would hold oral arguments in September for Sevcik v. Sandoval, a Lambda Legal case challenging Nevada’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Ninth Circuit will also hear Latta v. Otter, concerning Idaho’s ban, the week of September 8.

GatesAVOIDING BOY SCOUT FRACTURE:

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates was installed as president of the national Boy Scouts of America organization May 22 and, in an interview the next day with Associated Press, said he would have gone further than the BSA did last fall when it voted to end its policy of barring gay scouts. “"I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters,” said Gates. But Gates said he would not re-open the question with the membership at this time because he believes it would “irreparably fracture” the organization.

McconnellMcCONNELL OPPONENT WALKING A LINE:

In last Tuesday’s primaries, Democrats in Kentucky chose business attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes to go up against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in November. McConnell has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT issues. When asked point blank by a group of Kentucky farmers whether she supports same-sex marriage, Grimes clearly tried to find position somewhere between being “for” or “against” them. According to the Herald-Leader, Grimes said: “I want to be honest  … my husband and I have been married seven years, and the Supreme Court has already determined in my view and decided this issue, and … I think that if I’ve been committed then others should be able to have that same commitment. But the Supreme Court --they’ve already ruled on this, it’s a state sovereign issue, and here in the state of Kentucky we already have a constitutional amendment.”

MICHELLE NUNN WALKING THE SAME LINE: U.S.

Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, is walking that same delicate line on same-sex marriage in Georgia. She has said she supports the right of same-sex couples to marry but believes the decision about who can marry should be left to the states.
© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


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