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GLAD Sues Walmart on Behalf of Employee Denied Health Coverage For Same-Sex Partner

Cote

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has filed a charge of discrimination on behalf of Jacqueline Cote [right], a Walmart employee in Swansea, Massachusetts who was denied spousal health insurance for her wife, reports The Rainbow Times.

Cote’s wife, Diana Smithson is currently battling ovarian cancer.

According to GLAD, Walmart’s refusal of health insurance for Smithson violates both state and federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment.

Between 2006 and 2012, Cote attempted to add Smithson to her insurance. However, when she entered her spouse’s gender as “female,” Walmart’s online system would stop her from proceeding further.  When she called the retailer’s home office to investigate further, she was told that Walmart did not offer health insurance coverage to same-sex spouses.

By the time Walmart announced that it would change its policy in 2013, Cote and Smithson had racked up medical bills of more than $100,000.

Janson Wu, senior staff attorney at GLAD, said “all that Jackie wanted was to be treated like all other Walmart employees and to take care of her spouse. Instead, Walmart chose to discriminate against its gay and lesbian employees.”


Wal-Mart Shopper Finds Duck Dynasty Clock That Seems To Say 'Heil Hitler': VIDEO

DuckclockIn an odd, disturbing turn of events for the A&E show, a blogger, John Aravosis, from America Blog reported today on a "Duck Dynasty"-themed toy clock which may or may not speak the words, "Heil Hitler." Though the toy's creators likely did not intend for such a snafu, the clock adds a new layer of intrigue to the already hyped story of Phil Robertson's racist and homophobic commentary. 

Aravosis's story illustrates the oddness of the incident best:

In a rather odd trip to Walmart last night (it was mom’s idea), my family was in the “holiday” section looking through half-priced Christmas leftovers when my 17 year old nephew walks up holding a “Duck Dynasty ‘Si’ Clock.”  He pushes the button, and asks me what I think it’s saying.

I thought he’d asked me “who” it sounded like, and told him I didn’t know. No, he said, WHAT’s it SAYING?

My mom and my other nephew, before I could even answer, both respond: “Heil Hitler.”

Check out a video of the clock and let us know what you think he's saying, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Wal-Mart Shopper Finds Duck Dynasty Clock That Seems To Say 'Heil Hitler': VIDEO" »


Oklahoma Man: Walmart Kicked Me Out for Being Gay

Pacheco and boyfriend

A Chickasha, Oklahoma man was doing some late-night shopping at his local Walmart with his boyfriend when a curious janitor stopped him to ask questions about homosexuality.

The man, Jonathan Pacheco, engaged with the Walmart employee but realized that things were going south when the janitor said that in his Bible, "it is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," that theologically-sound argument against the sins of homosexuality.

The unnamed employee then told Pacheco that he wasn't allowed in his store and told him to leave. Pacheco laughed the incident off after reporting the incident to two different store managers, but was concerned that neither took down any information.

Said Pacheco to The Express-Star, "I feel like I can't go anywhere now. Out of all the stores I go to, Walmart is the one that is prejudiced against someone's sexual orientation. I mean, come on." 

The paper added:

Spokesperson for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Kayla Whaling confirmed the company is investigating the incident.

"We are still in the process of talking to all who were involved," she said. "As soon as we are finished we will take the appropriate measures."


Two-Year-Old Boy Assaulted, Called 'Faggot' for Wearing Pink Headband

Dexter is a 2-year-old boy who happens to love to wear pink headbands. His mother, Katie Vyktoriah, a stay-at-home mom and blogger, posted a horrific tale over the weekend of the experience she had when she took Dexter to Walmart. The post immediately went viral and brought down her site due to the traffic.

DexterThe story is reposted at the HuffPost, and the unfortunate encounter her son had with an ignoramus began after two girls giggled at her son in his pink headband.

She writes:

Out of nowhere a big booming voice rang out. "THAT'S a BOY?!" The man was overly large with a bushy beard and a camouflage shirt with the arms cut off. He had tattered shorts and lace-up work boots with no laces. I could smell the fug of cigarette smoke surrounding him, and there was a definite pong of beer on him.

"Yes," I said simply, still smiling.

With no notice, the man stepped forward, grabbed the headband off of Dexter's head and threw it to the bottom of our shopping cart. He then cuffed Dexter around the side of his head (not hard, but that is not the point) and said with a big laugh, "You'll thank me later, little man!"

At the same time as I stepped forward, Dexter grabbed his head where the man had smacked him and threw his other hand forward, stomping his foot and shouting, "NO!" I got between my son and this man and said very firmly, "If you touch my son again, I will cut your damn hands off."

The guy snarled at me, looked at Dexter with disgust and said, "Your son is a f*cking fa***t." He then started sauntering out, but not before he threw over his shoulder, "He'll get shot for it one day."

I stood there, shaking, fists clenched, waiting for the man to disappear out the door, and then I fell apart. I was shaking so hard, holding back tears and comforting Dexter.

Not a single person said or did anything. There were several people who had witnessed the encounter, but not one of them came over to offer support or console me or my son.

Let me repeat to you: Dexter is 2 YEARS OLD.

The story continues at the HuffPost. Apparently there's also an update at Vyktoriah's blog but it's still inaccessible.


NEWS: Cute Film, GLAAD Media Awards, Sad Animals, And All That Jazz

Taboo

Road Adorable, sassy short film about two lovers in an Italian town who dare to defy convention: watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

Road Click here for live red-carpet coverage from the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, starting now. See Chaz Bono, Benicio del Toro, Ellen, Molly Shannon, Milla Jovovich, and many more ...

Road Wal-Mart is even worse than you thought. A New York Times investigation finds massive bribery network devoted to attaining and maintaining market dominance in Mexico:

The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico.

Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”

The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.

Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down ...

Road Fight between marines begins with anti-gay slur; ends with stabbing death.

Road US Rep. Charles Gonzalez, of San Antonio, is national co-chair of Obama's reelection campaign. He wants to add marriage equality to Democratic party platform:

The Democratic Party has been and always will be the Party committed to fighting for equality for all Americans,” Gonzalez said. “As an individual Member of Congress, marriage equality is an issue which I support. During the platform writing process, ideas and opinions will be considered from our diverse Democratic Party family, and I understand that the President and the Party are committed to crafting a platform that reflects our values and a belief that America is a nation in which everyone deserves a fair shot and hard work is rewarded. I fully expect that my opinion, and the opinions of others, will be an important consideration in reaching a consensus in drafting our party’s platform ... 

Road He helped resurrect Richard Nixon back from political death in '68, pioneered the use of "dirty tricks" (aka: "rat****ing") in American elections, inspired the careers of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, and turned to Jesus after going to jail. Now Chuck Colson is dead.

Road Fareed Zakaria chats up Andrew Sullivan.

Road Speaker of Australia's House of Representatives allegedly fell for gay staffer in the skeeziest possible way.

Road "Dilapidated" zoo in Gaza turns to taxidermy:

Owner Mohammed Awaida said he opened the "South Forest Park" in 2007, only to lose a number of animals during Israel's military offensive against Hamas that began in December 2008. During the three-week offensive, launched in response to rocket attacks on Israel, Awaida said he could not reach the zoo, and many animals died of neglect and starvation.

"The idea to mummify animals started after the Gaza war because a number of animals like the lion, the tiger, monkeys and crocodiles died," he said. "So we asked around and we learned from the Web how to start."

Formaldehyde and sawdust provided the basic tools, though Awaida acknowledges he is no expert.

Road At Lincoln Center, Paul Simon songbook gets jazzified. I really want the live record.

Continue reading "NEWS: Cute Film, GLAAD Media Awards, Sad Animals, And All That Jazz" »


Wal-Mart And Hate Groups

WalMartStoreThough they promise they're not trying to pick on Wal-Mart, economists at Penn State have found a positive correlation between the super store's presence in an area and the prevalence of hate groups in that same area.

Via RawStory:

The study, published in Social Science Quarterly, found that the number of Wal-Mart stores was a better predictor of hate group participation than the unemployment rate, high crime rates and low education.

The researchers believe that the correlation between Wal-Mart and hate groups exists because of breakdown of the community. Small local businesses are more likely to be members of civic groups and involved in the community. They are also more likely to have closer relationships among their employees.

“While we like to think of American society as being largely classless, merchants and bankers are part of what we could call a leadership class in a community,” Goetz said.

In contrast, people are more likely to feel alienated by big-box retailers like Wal-Mart, the researchers explained. They noted that areas that had Wal-Mart stores were also likely to have other big-box retailers, like Target.

“We’re not trying to pick on Wal-Mart,” said Goetz. “In this study, Wal-Mart is really serving as a proxy for any type of large retailer.”

Bigger, it seems, is not always better.


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