Restaurant patron denies server and former Marine tip for being gay

Marine-Server-Stiffed-TipsBRIDGEWATER, N.J. — A restaurant customer wrote a note on her $93.55 bill, saying she wasn’t leaving a tip because she doesn’t agree with the server’s lifestyle.

KNBC-TV in Los Angeles reported that Danya Morales, a former Marine and server at Gallop Asian Bistro, posted a photo of the bill, showing a line through where the tip is normally written in for credit card payment, to the “Have a Gay Day” Facebook page.

The note on the receipt reads, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle & the way you live your life.”

Morales said the customer expressed shock at her short hair, and when Morales introduced herself to the customer and her children, the customer said, “Oh, I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!”

The restaurant’s manager told NBC 4 New York, “We don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind. Those customers are not welcome here.”

In October, a server in Kansas was denied a tip and left with a note saying his “homosexual lifestyle is an affront to God.”

—  Steve Ramos

Marco Rubio raising money for group that tries to turn gay people straight

0623-rubio

Sen. Marc Rubio, R-Fla.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a possible presidential candidate in 2016, will deliver the keynote address at the annual fundraiser for the Florida Family Policy Council, a prominent social conservative organization that promotes discredited “conversion therapy” to help LGBT individuals become straight, Salon reported.

The Nov. 16 fundraising dinner honors Mat Staver, an ardent anti-gay activist who is suing New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie for signing a law banning gay-to-straight conversion therapy and has said that teaching gay rights in school is tantamount to “sexual assault.”

John Stemberger, the Florida Family Policy Council’s president, also is an anti-gay activist. He is chairman of Trail Life, the “moral alternative” to the Boy Scouts of America, which recently lifted its ban on gay Scouts. Trail Life won’t accept openly gay boys as members, but offers counseling services to youth who suffer from “gender confusion.”

“We’re not going to tolerate somebody who’s, you know, here and queer, loud and proud, all of that nonsense,” Stemberger told social-conservative radio host Janet Mefferd.

Staver also has a history of making incendiary claims about gays. In June, he claimed the passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibits employers form discriminating against LGBT employees and applicants, would “result in significant damage and even death of some of the individuals.”

After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June, Staver suggested the decision would bring the nation closer to “the realm of rebellion.”

—  Steve Ramos

Hallmark nixes word ‘gay’ from ‘Deck the Halls’ lyrics

hallmark+ornamentHallmark’s design for a new Christmas ornament comes with an editorial change.

The company released an ornament in the shape of a thick, red Christmas pullover with the words from a well-known Christmas carol across the chest. Well, sort of. Instead of, “Don we now our gay apparel,” Hallmark revised it to read, “Don we now our FUN apparel.”

CNN reported the company defended the change.

“When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry,” according to a statement released Wednesday. “Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.”

The Hallmark statement went on to explain the ornament was created in the spirit of “fun”.

“The trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that,” the statement said. “So the planning team decided to say what we meant: fun.”

The ornament is on sale on the company’s website as part of the Keepsake collection for the price of $12.95.

 

—  Steve Ramos

Baylor’s student Senate removes ‘homosexual acts’ from conduct code

UniversityprofilesBaylorBearsMembers of Baylor University’s student Senate voted Thursday night to change discriminatory language in the university’s Sexual Misconduct Code.

The current code states that sexuality is a gift from God and “misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include but not limit to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication, and homosexual acts.”

The Sexual Misconduct Code Non-Discrimination Act removed “homosexual acts” from the code and replaced it with the phrase “non-marital consensual deviate sexual intercourse.” Further action is required by the Baylor University Board of Regents before the change can be made.

While the code also states that sexuality is  “achieved through heterosexual relationships within marriage,” students who supported the act said it was intended to remove discriminatory language and make gays feel more welcome on campus, the university’s student paper, Baylor Lariat, reports.

As a Christian university, Baylor’s doctrine has always and still states that homosexuality is wrong for Biblical reasons, and the bill wouldn’t change the formal views of the administration. Baylor has made Princeton Review’s “most gay-unfriendly” list for years.

But senior Kimani Mitchell told the student paper that the change in wording wouldn’t target gays anymore.

“We are simply clarifying language here,” Mitchell said. “In our world we don’t always take words semantically. They are taken with a pragmatic view, which is the connotation associated with the view. This word is discriminating. Discrimination contextually and culturally is a bad thing.”

Senior Grant Senter said the change would show acceptance by the school’s student body, even if mindsets haven’t changed.

“This is not just about a technical change,” Senter said. “This is about the entire picture of the university and what it means to be a homosexual on campus. Are you protected? Do we care for you? Do we reach out to you with Christ’s love? At this point no. What I think this bill does is take a step towards a more caring, Jesus loving community.”

Earlier this year, Baylor senior Susan Duty helped the city of Waco, where Baylor is located, add sexual orientation and gender identity to its Equal Employment Opportunity policy for city employees.

—  Dallasvoice

Jon Buice denied parole in gay Houston man’s 1991 murder

Jon BuiceNot surprisingly, Jon Buice will stay behind bars for at least another year.

Buice is the only remaining assailant out of the 10 teens who beat up and killed Paul Broussard in 1991 in an anti-gay attack in Houston’s Montrose area.

While he was granted parole two years ago, the decision was later reversed. Since then, efforts by his attorney and gay activist Ray Hill have ramped up to help him be released. Broussard’s mother and Houston victim advocate Andy Kahan have pushed for Buice to remain in jail at least 27 years, the age Broussard was when he was murdered.

Statewide advocacy group Equality Texas has supported the efforts to keep Buice in prison.  So have many LGBT-friendly state lawmakers.

—  Dallasvoice

Spirit Day remembers LGBT victims of bullying

CoHSpiritDayparticipants2013

Cathedral of Hope Spirit Day participants

Today is Spirit Day when people wear purple to show support for young LGBT victims of bullying.

“So … purple is an awesome color, but it carries added significance on Thursday because it’s the annual Spirit Day,” Cathedral of Hope’s Chris Kelley said. “A high school student started Spirit Day in 2010 as a way to show support for LGBT youth and as a way to prevent bullying.”

Despite anti-bullying laws passed by states and policies passed by school districts, the stats are as bad as ever. About eight out of every 10 LGBT students experience bullying in school. As many as 63 percent feel unsafe, according to GLAAD.

“At Cathedral of Hope many of our Youth Leaders and staff members have been sporting purple all week,” Kelley said. “Our students are active in their schools to get the word out that bullying and hatred are NOT okay.”

A case of bullying in Florida that resulted in suicide has been in the news this week. Although not an LGBT student, the victim experienced much of what LGBT students go through.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is taking this case more seriously than most have in the past. He understands bullying begins at home.

The sheriff is considering filing charges against the older of the bullies as an adult because she’s showing no remorse over the death. He’s investigating ways to arrest the parents who have gone beyond defending their daughter by denying the bullying ever happened. He’s also investigating school officials for not taking the threats seriously and doing something to stop the harassment at school.

—  David Taffet

Creep of the Week: Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

Want to be horrified? Do a Google image search for “anti-gay attacks in Russia.” Scroll through the photos of gays, lesbians and pro-LGBT rights protesters being arrested, harassed and beaten. Let’s just say that Russia makes places in the United States like Alabama and Virginia and Michigan seem like an LGBT paradise.

While Russia has never been known as a progressive place, life for LGBT people has become considerably more dangerous after the passage of a strict law banning “gay propaganda.” The law was intended to keep impressionable children from hearing that homosexuality is anything but evil. Not surprisingly, the law is very broad and basically makes it illegal to be openly gay in Russia. Rainbow flags are, literally, a crime now.

Needless to say, gays and lesbians who are either planning to attend or compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia are a little worried. A lot worried, actually, that they will be fined, put in jail or, say, kidnapped and tortured by anti-gay thugs. Because that’s a legitimate hobby in Russia now.

“The latest laws against so-called gay propaganda … have essentially legalized violence against LGBT people, because these groups of hooligans justify their actions with these laws,” Igor Kochetkov, head of the Russian LGBT Network, told The Guardian earlier this month. “With this legislation, the government said that, yes, gays and lesbians are not valued as a social group.”

—  D’Anne Witkowski

Springtown man nearly killed in hate crime after meeting man on phone app

Arron Keahey after the Labor Day attack.

Arron Keahey after the Labor Day attack.

A Springtown man is still recovering from a hate crime after he met a man on a smartphone app on Labor Day.

Arron Keahey, 24, went to meet 18-year-old Brice Johnson after the two met on the app MeetMe. Springtown is about 70 miles west of Dallas in Parker County.

But when he arrived, Keahey was ambushed and beaten, resulting in broken facial bones, nerve damage and knocked out teeth. The attack nearly killed him. He needed plastic surgery to reconstruct his face.

Keahey, who’s gay, said he went to Johnson’s house because he thought he was gay or bisexual.

“He started getting all frustrated and talking all angrily,” Keahey told  WFAA. “I don’t remember anything after that.”

Johnson later called 911, telling police he found Keahey in the trunk of a car and he drove him to a hospital.

Police later arrested Johnson and charged him with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony.

Police are treating the incident as a possible hate crime, the first one for the small town.

“I’ve been up here altogether 10 years, and this is the first hate crime or possible hate crime that I’ve investigated,” Springtown police Lt. Curtis Stone said.

Keahey said he has learned a painful lesson about meeting people on apps.

“Just don’t meet anybody online,” he said. “Don’t trust them.”

Watch WFAA’s report below.

—  Dallasvoice

Vandals scrawl ‘fag’ on lesbian couple’s apartment door in South Texas

Picture 18

Alysa Evans woke up Monday morning to find “FAG” written on her apartment wall in Poteet, a small town about 30 miles south of San Antonio.

Evans told KENS 5 that her fiancée was just getting off her first shift and she went outside to smoke a cigarette when she and her 2-year-old son saw the anti-gay slur.

She called police to report it, but they are not investigating it as a hate crime because it was written in chalk and didn’t cause any damage. Instead they are investigating it as vandalism.

“Police came out and they said if I can find something more original or catch it in the process, then they can do something about it,” Evans said.

The apartment complex’s maintenance workers later washed off the slur.

“Great job on your artwork,” Evans said. “Could have been a little more creative. Because I know I’m a fag. But great job. My 2-year-old applauded you.”

Evans said that while some people are targeting her family out of hate, she and her fiancée will always teach their son to love.

“We’re raising him in a home that loves no matter what,” she said.

Watch KENS 5’s report below.

—  Dallasvoice

Equality Texas says man should remain in prison for 1991 gay-bashing murder

Paul Broussard

Paul Broussard

Jon Buice is again up for parole in the 1991 murder of gay Houston banker Paul Broussard, who was brutally beaten and stabbed in the Montrose area when Buice and his friends decided to “beat up some queers.”

Buice, who was sentenced to 45 years in prison in 1992, is the only one of the 10 teens from The Woodlands who remains behind bars. But Andy Kahan with the Houston Crime Victim’s Office said Buice’s case is under review for parole. His hearing is set for Sept. 24.

Statewide LGBT advocacy group Equality Texas is again calling for Buice to be denied parole and urging people to contact the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Broussard’s mother, Nancy Rodriguez, has said she wants Buice to remain in jail for at least 27 years, the age of her son when he was killed.

“When is it OK to allow a violent criminal out of jail early? A criminal, who blatantly snubbed his nose at the laws of humanity and, with hate in his soul, struck down another simply because the victim was gay,” Equality Texas wrote on its blog. “A criminal who found enjoyment at going out and ‘beating up some queers.’ A criminal who used his fist, steel toed boots, and a nail studded 2X4 to slowly murder another human being. A criminal who incited nine others to join him in this crime.  That is the question that, once again, is before the Texas Board of Pardon and Paroles and the question that Equality Texas answers: NOT YET!”

—  Dallasvoice