Thursday, August 29, 2013

Via JMG: Queer Nation Responds To Coca-Cola

Yesterday Coca-Cola issued a statement declaring their support for the LGBT community after Queer Nation staged a protest in Times Square and denounced the company's sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics.  Today Queen Nation responds to Coca-Cola's statement via press release:
Coca-Cola made a horrendous error when it sponsored the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany. This company knows better and it must not sponsor any Olympic Games in Russia as long as Russia’s anti-gay laws remain in force. We also commend Coca-Cola for its Global Mutual Respect guidelines. Unfortunately, they are just that — guidelines. They are not binding. The guidelines close as follows:
“The Company reserves the right to amend this policy at any time. Nothing in this policy says or implies that a contract exists between the Company and its employees or that participation in this program is a guarantee of continued employment with The Coca-Cola Company.”
Coca-Cola’s U.S. non-discrimination policies and benefits packages are binding, and they are to be praised. That is why we demanded that Coca-Cola implement those policies worldwide. The LGBT community has won respect on its own since the 1969 Stonewall Riots. What we demand is equality before the law in every nation around the world. Coca-Cola cannot provide that, but it can and must extend its non-discrimination policies and benefits packages to all of its employees around the world.
And so we reiterate our demands.
Among those demands is a call for Coke to withdraw from sponsoring the Sochi Olympics and for the company to "publish and publicize its LGBT employment policies on its Russian website in Russian and on physical bulletin boards and websites at all Coca-Cola owned and operated facilities."

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: CALIFORNIA: Appeals Court Upholds Law Banning "Ex-Gay" Torture For Minors

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the attempt to block California's law that bans "ex-gay" torture for minors.
In resolving two separate legal challenges to the new law, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of a group of therapists and families who sued to block its enforcement. The three-judge panel was unanimous in upholding the statute, the first of its kind in the nation.
"(It) does not violate the free speech rights of practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad and does not violate parents' fundamental rights," Judge Susan Graber wrote for the court.
The therapists and families sued over the ban, arguing that it violates the free speech rights of therapists to discuss gay conversion with young patients, and families argued that the law tramples on religious freedoms to seek therapy to convert their children from homosexuality. The law barred licensed mental health professionals from using the therapy on those under the age of 18.
Another big loss for the Liberty Counsel! Stand by for the sadz AND threats about SCOTUS.
UPDATE: Courtesy of JMG reader Joe, I've posted the full 42-page ruling to my Scribd account.
UPDATE II: The National Center For Lesbian Rights responds via press release.
NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, who argued the case on behalf of Equality California in the Ninth Circuit, said: “This decision clears the way for this life-saving law to protect California youth from cruel and damaging practices that have been rejected by all leading medical and mental health professional organizations. The court of appeals ruled in very clear terms that state-licensed therapists do not have a constitutional right to engage in discredited practices that offer no health benefits and put LGBT youth at risk of severe harm, including depression and suicide. We thank Attorney General Kamala Harris, Deputy Attorney General Alexandra Robert Gordon, and the entire legal team at the California Department of Justice for their brilliant and tireless advocacy in defense of these vital new protections for LGBT youth.” “The court's decision today on Senate Bill 1172 is a major victory for anyone who cares about the well-being of our youth. It will directly impact the lives of thousands of young people by protecting them from this horrific practice," said John O’Connor, Equality California executive director. "We thank Sen. Ted Lieu for authoring this bill and Speaker John A. Perez for his bold leadership in getting the law passed."

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: BREAKING: Married Gay Couples To Get Federal Tax Status In Every State

Sam Stein reports at Huffington Post:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Thursday that when it comes to taxes, it will recognize same-sex couples' marriages even if they live in a state that does not. The decision, which was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, marks the latest political progress for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Prior to this spring, the Internal Revenue Service did not recognize same-sex married couples pursuant to section 3 of DOMA. Once DOMA was overturned in June, the question became: What about same-sex married couples who moved to a state that didn’t recognize their marriage (a couple married in Massachusetts who moved to Arkansas, for example)? Thursday’s ruling by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew provides a uniform policy for the IRS; the state of celebration -- where the wedding took place -- now trumps the state of residency when it comes to federal tax status for same-sex married couples.
Freedom To Marry head Evan Wolfson reacts:
“This announcement makes today a day of celebration and relief for married same-sex couples all over America. At long last, the IRS will treat them as what they are: married. Freedom to Marry commends the administration’s swift implementation of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling for federal equality in an area that will have a direct, tangible impact on families’ financial health. The fact that this new respect applies only to married couples – not those joined by domestic partnerships or civil unions – highlights the need for an America where everyone can marry the person they love in any state, and have that marriage respected at all levels of government.”

Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma

Tricycle Daily Dharma August 29, 2013

The Best Possible Habit

What is your automatic reflex to life situations, especially difficult ones? Do you think about yourself and how you might profit or escape from a situation? Or do you think about others and how you can help? Progress on the path, and a sign that you’re well prepared for death, occurs when the former changes into the latter, when you default not into selfishness but into selflessness.
- Andrew Holecek, "The Best Possible Habit"
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