I peed in Target and no one died

target-logo-2Target announced a new policy this week. Well, really not a new policy. A policy that until some recent inane legislation was unnecessary.

The policy is this: People may use the appropriate restroom.

All people.

Women — including Muslim women, Christian women, lesbians, transwomen, handicapped women and other women not already listed — may use the women’s room. Men should use the men’s room.

They should have added, “When you’re using our restroom, please mind your own damn business, not everyone else’s.”

Well, they didn’t enumerate, but I thought I would, because people are having conniptions and threatening boycotts against the company, because Target provides restrooms for all of their customers to use. Knowing the bigots are boycotting and will be staying away should make your Target shopping experience even nicer.

Here’s an example of the stupidity coming from Twitter:

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You do that Sassy. How dare Target allow someone other than your daughter into their Sassy’s daughter room.

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Mia, I don’t know about all Targets, but the one at CityPlace in Dallas has one dressing area for men and women. You choose a dressing room, close and lock the door behind you, try on your clothes and then leave. I assume in the women’s restroom, it’s pretty much the same thing. Go in, pick a stall, lock the door, pee, flush, leave.

Tyler, Texas pride and joy and brain trust of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Louie Gohmert, declared he’ll never shop in Target again, according to The Hill. More reasons to shop at Target. No threat of ever meeting Gohmert there.

Aimee D summed it up best on Twitter:
Let’s be honest here, the folks boycotting Target for its bathroom policy are the ones shopping at Walmart in their pajamas anyway.

I just have one question: Why are people such fucking idiots when it comes to peeing?

—  David Taffet

Dear Gov. McCrory ….

Tammye NashAn open letter to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory;

Dear Gov. McCrory,

So yesterday, you told NBC News that the nation-wide uproar and backlash over legislation you signed into law last week is just a bunch of “political theater,” a “calculated smear campaign” concocted by the big, bad gay people who are throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way.

North Carolina’s new law — the one that prohibits transgender people from using appropriate public restrooms and prohibits forward-thinking, equality-leaning local governing entities from enacting ordinances to protect some of their most vulnerable residents — doesn’t discriminate against anyone, you said. It’s just codifying the “norms and etiquette” that have existed for generations, you said.

All these objections, you said, are just “political correctness run amok.”

Well Gov. McCrory, let me tell you something. You are wrong. Plain and simple.

You want to know what’s really run amok there in North Carolina? Bigotry and ignorance.

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory

Of course your damn law discriminates against people! It discriminates against that gay teenager being bullied who had hoped the ordinance recently passed in the city of Charlotte might have offered some protection, or at least, some legal recourse. It discriminates against the lesbian couple were refused an apartment lease because they are lesbians. It discriminates against the gay man refused service in a restaurant because he’s gay.

It discriminates against those people because it tells city governments, county governments that they can’t pass laws to specifically protect those people. It tells the LGBT people in your state they aren’t worthy of equal rights, that they don’t deserve protection.

And as for that bathroom thing …. Seriously Governor, I am surprised bolts of lightning didn’t strike you when you tried to claim that part isn’t discriminatory. And ignorant. That whole “men in women’s bathrooms/men in girls’ locker room showers” argument is such total bullshit.

Your whole argument is based on a bullshit lie. Because we aren’t talking about men in women’s restrooms. We are talking about transgender women — WOMEN, Governor — using women’s restrooms. Oh, and by the way, we’re talking about transgender MEN using men’s restrooms, too. And all your bullshit about protecting women and children from predatory men who dress in women’s clothing just to get into the women’s restrooms is just that — BULLSHIT.

And just so you know, your stupid law won’t stop predators — rapists and pedophiles — from going after women and girls or after men and boys in restrooms. Because people like that DON’T OBEY THE LAW in the first damn place! All your stupid law does do is make criminals out of law-abiding citizens who just need to pee.

Governor, all the calls for boycotts against North Carolina — from individuals, businesses, organizations and even governing entities like the city of San Francisco — that’s not political theater. That’s the rising tide of common sense and fair-mindedness as people stand up for their own rights and the rights of others.

The Rev. Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” It’s been a long time coming, but the universe truly is bending toward justice for LGBT people. People like you and the other bigots in the North Carolina legislature are fighting against that justice, but we won’t let you win. The “political theater” over your new law is proof of that.

—  Tammye Nash

North Carolina’s new homophobic travel ad

Screen shot 2016-03-25 at 2.49.00 PMEarlier this week, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law one of the most oppressive anti-LGBT bills we’ve seen. The new law tells people where to pee and invalidates any of those pesky equality ordinances the state’s municipalities might dare to pass. (This means the ordinance recently passed in Charlotte is gone.)

Now the state, I think it’s the state, well maybe not … released a new homo-free tourism commercial.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: Is the ‘Stonewall’ movie trailer a travesty of history?

Late next month, Roadside Attractions will release the feature film Stonewall, written by gay author Jon Robin Baitz (Brothers & Sisters) and gay director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day), about, as they call is, “the unsung heroes” who were there “where Pride began.” Only a lot of folks have attacked the trailer as being too white-washed: The hero looks to be a white male from the Midwest, and the trans, Latinos, leathermen and other leaders are barely visible.

Obviously, the main character is fictionalized (heck, fictionalizing people happened in movies like Selma and Lincoln, too — it always does), but how can we decide what the movie will be based solely on a trailer? I’m keeping an open mind.

Here’s the video of the trailer — what do you think? Gonna see it or boycott it?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Indiana Repubs admit anti-LGBT discrimination is legal

Despite Gov. Mike Pence’s insistence that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is all about protecting religious freedom and not about discriminating against folks, two Indiana lawmakers have admitted that even without the RFRA, businesses in their state can legally post “no gays allowed” signs.

Raw Story reports that Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, acknowledged that because the state has no law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, such discrimination is legal in most parts of the state.

The admission came during the two lawmakers’ press conference  during which they said they plan to “clarify” that the RFRA doesn’t allow businesses and individuals to deny service to LGBT people on religious grounds. But one reporter pointed out glaring lack of protections:

“You guys have said repeatedly that we shouldn’t be able to discriminate against anyone, but if you just ignore the existence of this law, can’t we already do that now? Can’t so-and-so in Richmond put a sign up and say ‘No Gays Allowed?’” the reporter asked. “That’s not against the law, correct?”

Bosma admitted that unless the local community has a local ordinance protecting LGBTs such discrimination would, indeed, be allowed, and when pressed further by the reporter, he admitted that most areas of the state have no such ordinances.

The fact of the matter is, the same is true in Texas. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a town or county that has passed a non-discrimination ordinance prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination, if you are LGBT, you have no protections because there is no statewide nondiscrimination law that includes LGBTs. AND, even worse, Republicans have introduced bills in this current legislative session to negate such local ordinances that already exist and prohibit the passage of any such local ordinances in the future.

Maybe folks need to boycott our state, too. Maybe then the Republicans will pull their heads out of their asses.

Watch the Raw Story video above.

And in more Indiana RFRA news, Duke University — whose men’s basketball team is headed to Indianapolis for the Final Four — has joined the NCAA in speaking out against the law, according to Human Rights Campaign.

Duke, the University of Kentucky, Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin are headed to Indianapolis this weekend for the final three March Madness tournament games, including the championship game. Wisconsin and Michigan State both released statements relating to the passage of the bill but Duke is the only Final Four contender to publicly come out against RFRA.

Michael Schoenfeld , Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations said in a statement issued Monday (March 30), that “Duke University continues to stand alongside the LGBT community in seeking a more equal and inclusive world, and we deplore any effort to legislate bias and discrimination. We share the NCAA’s concern about the potential impact of the new law, and will be vigilant to ensure that our student-athletes, supporters, and indeed all citizens and visitors are treated fairly and with respect.”


—  Tammye Nash

Angie’s List ‘delays’ plans for expansion in Indianapolis, Seattle mayor bans city employees from traveling to Indiana


The fallout over Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” continues, with Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle announcing today (Saturday, March 28) that his company is canceling plans for a $40 million expansion in Indianapolis because of the law.

According to TheNewCivilRightsMovement.org, Angie’s List has been headquartered in Indianapolis since it was founded in 1995. The corporation, worth $315 million, had planned to move its headquarters across town, adding 1,000 new jobs over five years.

In a statement released Saturday, Oesterle said the company’s expansion is “on hold until we fully understand the implications [of the RFRA] on our employees, both current and future.” Oesterle also said that the company “is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents.”

The statement said Angie’s List will “begin reviewing alternatives,” and the IndyStar reported that the company has “hinted that moving some parts of the company out of state is ‘on the table.’”

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law Thursday, March 26, by Republican Gov. Mike Pence, prevents state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless a “compelling governmental interest” can be proved.

Although Pence and other supporters insist — at least publicly — that the new law is not intended to discriminate against anyone, most opponents believe it was passed specifically in response to recent court rulings in favor of marriage equality to allow people to refuse to serve LGBT people. Others have pointed out the law could also be used to discriminate against people for a broad range of reasons, including race and religion.

It is modeled after the 22-year-old federal RFRA that the U.S. Supreme Court cited last year in a ruling allowing Hobby Lobby and other “closely held” corporations with religious objections to opt out of an Affordable Care Act requirement that they cover certain contraceptives for women.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has barred Seattle city employees from using tax dollars to pay for business trips to Indiana, following in the steps of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Also among those joining the growing negative response are Apple, Inc., the White House, Broadway’s Audra McDonald, $4 billion software firm Salesforce, $50 million annual gaming convention GenCon, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., Yelp, Hillary Clinton, George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, James Van Der Beek, Sophia Bush, Dustin Lance Black, Mara Wilson, Jack Antonoff, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the state of Indiana’s own tourism board.


—  Tammye Nash

Do gay boycotts cost more than they gain?

BeverlyHillsHotelAs a gay man, I have a complicated relationship with boycotts. Sometimes, protesting a business is exactly what brings more attention to the business anyway. Remember the right-wingers who defiantly went to Chik-Fil-A specifically to endorse management’s anti-gay stance? And what of conservative groups that boycotted Walt Disney World for decades, objecting to it allowing “Gay Day” to take place there (even though it was not officially sponsored by the company)? Even they eventually gave up, admitting it has no effect.

So I have mixed feelings about a boycott going on in Hollywood right now at the Beverly Hills Hotel (reported in Variety). The iconic hotel, famed for its Polo Lounge restaurant and celebrity-watching opportunities (as well as where Lucy and Ethel like to go on I Love Lucy), is owned by a company based on Brunei, a Muslim country. The sultan of Brunei has recently stated he will apply sharia (strict Islamic) law to companies in his country, including the owner of the hotel. Sharia law doesn’t treat gays or women very well, and so the Human Rights Campaign and other gay rights groups initiated a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel about a month ago.

In some ways, the boycott has been successful, decreasing attendance at the hotel. But from a practical standpoint, what that really means is, valets, waiters, bus boys and bell hops are losing out. American workers. And let’s face it — a lot of them are gay.

Is it likely that boycotting one hotel will force a political change in an island-nation half a world away for a policy that, as of today, has not even gone into effect? What if it is successful and the Beverly Hills Hotel shuts down? Will that benefit anyone? Or what if the Brunei company sells it … say, to the Mormon church? Will you boycott it still? In fact, how much do you know about any of the owners of the hotels you’ve stayed in?

I don’t claim to have an answer. But I think the consequences of a boycott are something everyone should consider in detail before jumping on the bandwagon.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Barilla dares gays to buy another pasta

BarillaPenne for your thoughts? Not if you’re gay, says Guido Barilla.

Barilla’s name graces the cardboard boxes of the popular line of dry pasta, and Guido seems pretty definitive that he cringes at the idea homos would derive any pleasure sucking on his ziti.

As Buzzfeed reported (with accompanying GIF commentaries), Guido — when asked if his company would include same-sex couples in any advertising — rejected the idea. But he went a lot further: “If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta.”

He’s got us there, I must confess. Flour, egg and water is all that’s in pasta, so it’s not like quality ingredients are rare. And I’m sure there are many pasta brands where, even if they don’t put gays in the TV commercials, certainly hope we buy their brand.

So let’s do that: Let’s boycott Barilla. There are plenty of fusilli in the sea. Or better yet, skip it entirely. Gays don’t need starchy carbs anyway.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Councilman: Dallas should engage with Russian sister city over anti-gay law


A gay teen, kneeling center, was covered in paint and tortured by a group of neo-Nazis in Russia and has reportedly died from his injuries.

Sochi2014While a boycott of Russian vodka has increased awareness of the rising intolerance in Russia, some U.S. cities are reconsidering their Russian sister city programs and LGBT groups are weighing options regarding the upcoming Winter Olympics.

All Out, a group coordinating some of the response to the new Russian anti-gay law, held a conference call with the gay press and representatives from other LGBT groups this morning to discuss options available.

A boycott of Russian products including Stoli vodka is mostly effective in spreading word about the situation in Russia. However, despite the growing number of businesses not buying Russian goods, the boycott is expected to have limited economic impact.

Cities are re-evaluating their sister cities programs. Officials in Lansing, Mich., want to engage with their sister city, St. Petersburg, but Los Angeles is considering dropping or suspending its sister city affiliation with the city.

—  David Taffet

Oreos go gay for a day

So Nabisco’s Oreo just posted this photo on their Facebook in celebration of National Pride with the note “Proudly support love!” They were cutting it close to being that it went up just an hour ago, but the colorful cookie is already blowing up the social networks and Interwebs. Don’t expect these in stores anytime soon. Check out the bottom right of the pic. And imagine what your tongue and teeth would look like with all those colors.

Of course, comments on the post have been both pro and con and already there are  those rising to action to boycott Oreo and Nabisco products. But this image points out that such a boycott could almost be impossible. And even if people did, that just means more for us.

Also, I didn’t know they still made Tang.

—  Rich Lopez