Why am I talking about Mississippi? I have zero desire to go (I don't really like heat and humidity to start with), but it's still one of the states in the United States, so we should pay attention. Recently, a new law went into effect where businesses can turn customers away based on religious beliefs.
AKA, "Don't serve the Gays."
We've seen religion used before to deny service to African Americans at lunch counters. We've seen religion used to justify denial of service to Irish immigrants. And as a society, we moved past this. Except for the LGBT community (and immigrants, which I will remind you, unless you're Native American, you're ancestors were immigrants too).
When you operate a business, you work in the public sphere and have to serve the entire public, not just the portions you choose. This is why the Civil Rights Act was so important, it stopped businesses from being able to say "No blacks," "No Irish." Putting a sign in your store window today that says "No Italians," or "No Women" in this day and age is abhorrent. But for the LGBT community, it's a reality.
For some reason, the courts are allowing those with "closely held religious beliefs" to discriminate however they want. But as Rob points out, when the logical inconsistency is brought up, the laws, as well as the bigotry falls apart:
Bigots hate to be seen as bigots, they just want to hate and discriminate without being noticed. But the above graphic shows exactly the logical conclusion of their bias.
And on the other side of the coin, the President signed an Executive Order making businesses that have federal contracts required to follow non-discrimination practices in hiring.
After a brief period of lying and saying they already had that policy in place, Exxon Mobile is finally being forced to not discriminate against the LGBT community: this is after 17 straight years of denying those workers any protections.
Allegheny County has non-discrimination policies in place. But like I've mentioned before, Pennsylvania does not, so outside of the county, I can legally be denied employment, housing and any public accommodation (retail), simply for being gay. We're the only state that has marriage equality without these other basic protections, and it's nerve-wracking at times.
ENDA (in all it's flaws and shortcomings) is stalled in the House (and no one is surprised), but until these inclusive bills are passed, we're still living and working in a system that is inherently unequal.
All my best,
Alright, let's see what we have today. First up, Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the trailer for the Alan Turing movie. Turing is the man most responsible for the computer, as well as breaking the Nazi codes during WWII:
A new study shows that children who read Harry Potter are more welcoming to the gay and immigrant communities.
The Satanists are using the "Hobby Lobby" decision to ask restrictive abortion laws be stricken, as they violate their religion. Brilliant.
Seen on a t-shirt (in a window):
It can't be unseen, but the Good Men Project tackles Manternity photos in an awesome way:
Let’s be frank—Pregnant women are beautiful, but some of the photographs we take of them are HORRIFIC. Simply HORRIFIC. And I don’t mean that it’s awful that we see their uncovered pregnant forms or anything (remember, the ladies themselves are beautiful), but, lately, in the race to create the most Pinterest-friendly maternity photos, pregnant women have been subjected to a level of photographic flourishes and clichés that would make an Anne Geddes baby cringe. Props are involved, Photoshop is unleashed, hearts are painted on bellies—cuteness is MANUFACTURED and those manufactured photos can take the most natural thing in the world and make it feel surprisingly unnatural and forced.
Also see: Garfunkle and Oates, "Pregnant Women are Smug"
Nerdist covers the science of Tatooine.
A new Kickstarter campaign for a Sci-Fi movie that will punch you right in the feels:
And finally, Andrew Rannells is taking over for NPH as Hedwig, here's the promo shot:
First up today, want to be a judge? Slate has a cool tool where you can write your own marriage equality ruling. Check it out here.
So....this is a thing...somehow: the gummy bear wurst.
I'm so excited for this movie, here's a five minute look at Guardians of the Galaxy
And related, an economist looks at how inequality leads to less education, lower income and host of other problems.
The real state of the NRA in America:
The Church of England finally voted to allow women bishops.
The Burger King in San Francisco made a Proud Whopper:
President Obama recently signed an executive order to force equality in employment for federal contractors (basically ENDA), this is why it's needed.
The HObby Lobby decision was horrible for women, of course. But now it's being used to discriminate against the LGBT community in employment (see above), justifying discrimination and may affect the research of HIV/AIDS
In case you missed it, this amazing video from Weird Al:
The intro of Futurama recreated in 3d. And it looks amazing!
It's fan made, but this is a really good promo for the next season of American Horror Story!
And finally, the trailer for the final Hobbit movie
Have a great one!
AS the World Cup winds down, here's Ragan's list of the best and worst ads.
Gawker's new project is kind of like a meme Snopes. Check it out.
A great write-up of the music of Supernatural, which plays such a big role in the show. I'll hear a song they used, and get transported back to it instantly.
And also in music, the soundtrack for the Guardians of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix Vol. 1 looks great!
Hobby Lobby is having a big affect on the LGBT community, sadly. Companies are coming out of the woodwork asking for exemptions, on the same grounds (closely held religious believes) to discriminate in their hiring practices, other companies are looking to drop all coverage for HIV medication and now the major lobbying groups are revoking their support for ENDA since it doesn't go nearly far enough. Lots of fall out. I may expand this into a separate post just to go over everything.
And speaking of contraception, isn't it amazing that when you use science (testable, observable results) and not just screaming ignorance and fear, you see that access to contraception decreases the abortion rate significantly?
I love Kristin Wiig, and love Bill Hader, this looks amazing:
Nerd alert: The new edition of D&D (okay, keep judging, it's okay) actually has a great and geeky passage about gender/sexuality:
You don't need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender," the new rules state. "You can play as a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture's expectations of sex, gender and sexual behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could be a reason for your character to leave that society and come to the surface."
And sometimes I forget how dumb people are. Some people are taking Steven Spielberg to task...for apparently hunting a triceratops.
Every. Campfire. Ever. Entirely accurate.
That's it for now, enjoy the weekend everybody!
Fairly quick update, let's see what we have today. First up, appropriate for Independence Day:
While I think people should be honest, especially about their flaws, before getting married, I think this new "shadow wedding" trend is a bit much. But hey, if it gets people into nature, maybe it's a good thing.
Stefon from SNL's Weekend Update was one of my favorite recurring characters. Here's a map of some of his more famous suggestions.
Now that a bunch of countries have pulled their foreign aid for Uganda due to their draconian anti-gay laws, their president now says accepting foreign aid is 'sinful.'
Ten lifehacks to know for summer:
Um, how stupid can a (Republican) politician be about climate change? That's a serious question, because I think he just gave me an aneurysm reading his absolutely moronic comments.
The final book of "The Magicians" trilogy hits shelves on August 5, and I can't wait (I'm rereading the books in anticipation). The trailer, featuring and fans and some really, really big names in literature, just dropped. Check it out.
That's it for now, have a great one!
Quick update, in case you haven't seen it, the second season of Orange is The New Black (which I'm almost done with), has an awesome extended trailer:
Amazing idea to help combat the anti-choice protesters.
I'm not this far in the books, but in Book 4 of A Song of Ice and Fire, there is a fictional board game, that a fan had 3D printed!
The National Center for Lesbian Rights launched a campaign to end ex-gay conversion "therapy" (read, torture), called #BornPerfect
Google has taken on Rift, through low-tech: cardboard:
That's it for now, have a great one!
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the LGBT-rights movement.
If you’re not familiar with the riots, here’s what happened:
People ask why we celebrate pride. NoFo writes it much more eloquently than I ever could, here is an excerpt:
We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of selective morality, when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify our families into second-class citizenship, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.
We’re proud because—thanks to the incredible bravery shown by gay people who lived their lives openly in the decades before us—we can live our lives more and more openly at home, at work, with our families, on our blogs … and even on national television.
We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.
We’re proud because this weekend we’ll celebrate with drag queens, leather queens, muscle queens, attitude queens and you’d-never-know-they-were-queens queens, and together we can see through the “pride” in our parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in our parade.
Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.
We can take some time, and even in the face of hatred, bigotry and discrimination, we can carve a place in this world, claim it our own and celebrate.
We can celebrate, because this is our party. We don't need anyone's permission to celebrate:
Because even if Pride doesn't change many minds in the outside world, it's our PARTY, darlings. It's our Christmas, our New Year's, our Carnival. It's the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other "Happy Pride!" Saying "Happy Pride!" is really just a shorter, easier way of saying "Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Well done, being YOURSELF!"
We can celebrate the community that we have, the radical acceptance that we embody and the fact that we’ve survived. We have a chance to come together, remind ourselves we belong to a larger community, have some fun and take back our city; just for a little bit, even when it’s still dangerous to be perceived as gay, even in places like The Village:
This is my home. I’ve walked by that corner hundreds of times while holding Tony’s hand. And now, holding his hand again, I felt sick to my stomach. I felt sick because of the injustice. Because of the loss of life. Because my home had been violated. Because I thought we had moved beyond this. Because I felt vulnerable.
We know that hatred will continue, but still we march forward. We have pride because it helps those coming after us. In the words of Harvey Milk, it gives the next generation hope:
And this is a chance to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived. A chance to celebrate the fact that I’m a proud gay man. And even that act, powerful unto itself, has hopefully made a difference.
The most important and powerful action a person can make is to come out to those around them. Then the LGBT community isn’t a scary abstract anymore, it has a face. If you know someone who is openly LGBT, you see their humanity. You can understand that we’re not asking for anything special, just the same rights everyone else is guaranteed by the constitution. A chance to be happy. A chance to live the life we want, surrounded by those we love.
When will we stop talking about coming out?
"Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide.
"When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome."
We will stop talking about coming out when it’s not news anymore, when the last barriers have finally been broken down. We’ll stop screaming for our rights when we’re finally treated as equals by our government. We’ll only stop telling our stories when they don’t matter.
This is a bit heavy handed (the original that this parodies was also over the top), but Crew Magazine put this together, and it rings true:
So we keep fighting for progress, wherever we can. We celebrate our advances and keep chipping away at our obstacles: and this month we can celebrate both, as well as the individuals that make up our amazing community.
We’re proud of how far we’ve come. We’re proud to keep fighting. We’re proud.
First up today, this amazing, working Lego Zelda lamp.
Also on Nerdist, would you be brave enough to use this hand-crafted Jumanji board? I wouldn't.
All State teamed up with a favorite artist of mine, Eli Lieb, and their resulting campaign video will hit you right in the feels:
New propaganda posters for the next Hunger Games movie, although I don't quite get the one for District 6. Does he have tires for legs, or just pants that look like tires?
Surviving the World on guns. Yes, all of this.
If you haven't seen it yet, the awesome new video (of course) from OK Go:
Want to be Mega Man? Of course you do!
Hey look, people realize that greater LGBT visibility drives down youth suicide. Glad to hear someone talking about this.
Also, I get confused as to why a leader of a hate group agrees that we don't choose to be gay, but still thinks we don't deserve any rights.
And again, Surviving the World hits it on the head! Kind of my mantra for adventures:
Another year, and another time I'll use my blog as a blog. This year I'll be talking about the whole of Pride weekend, marriage equality coming to Pa. and all the related stories to it.
In case you missed it, NPH (who won the Tony for this role, along with his co-star, Lena Hall) performed "Sugar Daddy" from the show I went to NYC to see (which won for best musical revival). This was how it was performed at the Belasco, complete with carwash, making out with audience members (this time, his fiance) and lap dances:
A piano showed up in NYC in the East River.
There are a lot of hateful parts of Christianity. Case in point, the Southern Baptists have denounced the very existence of trans* people.
The Onion has launched their Buzzfeed clone, Clickhole.
The AFA is refusing mail sent to them with the Harvey Milk stamp, or at least, the ones that were announced beforehand.
18 reasons the Super Bowl is really just like Pride.
That's it for now. This weekend is Pittsburgh Pride, If you'll be downtown Sunday let me know, and look for photos and a recap next week sometime!