NBA: No All-Star Game for North Carolina

From left: NBA commissioner Adam Silver with Charlotte Hornets owner and retired NBA great Michael Jordan when they announced last year that the 2017 All-Star Game would be held in Charlotte.

From left: NBA commissioner Adam Silver with Charlotte Hornets owner and retired NBA great Michael Jordan when they announced last year that the 2017 All-Star Game would be held in Charlotte.

After having said last week that no decision had been made on pulling next year’s NBA All-Star Game from North Carolina, the league’s commissioner now says the game definitely will be moved if the state’s recently enacted anti-LGBT law isn’t changed.

“We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” commissioner Adam Silver said today at the Associated Press Sports Editors’ commissioner meetings in New York City, The Charlotte Observer reports.

Full Story Here.

LGBT Roundup

A lot of news today.

Survivor Contestant Places Rainbow-Painted Outhouse Atop North Carolina’s Tallest Mountain:

Neal Gottlieb's Facebook

Neal Gottlieb’s Facebook

“Yes, at least for a little while, North Carolina’s highest point is an outhouse; a fitting symbol for a state that has sullied itself with shitty, repressive legislation,” Neal Gottlieb pens in a letter to the Governor of North Carolina.

…Protesting North Carolina’s anti-trans “bathroom bill”, HB2, Neil Gottlieb placed a rainbow outhouse on the summit of Mount Mitchell, the state’s tallest mountain. Gottlieb, a contestant on this season’s Survivor: Kaoh Rong, shared the photos and a letter penned to NC Governor Pat McCrory.

On Facebook Gottlieb wrote,  “I proudly placed a rainbow-painted outhouse displaying a trans pride flag at the summit of North Carolina’s tallest mountain this morning in protest of the state’s repressive HB2 legislation. It was a brilliant site. The follow letter was nailed to the front of the outhouse and calls out the governor for the crap has become known as the ‘bathroom bill.'”

Gottlieb then posted his letter:

Read More Here.

Target Defies North Carolina Bathroom Law:

The company says it will welcome trans people to use the bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

The company says it will welcome trans people to use the bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Target is taking a stand against North Carolina’s transphobic bathroom bill, saying its customers and employees can use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

The company announced the policy on its corporate website today, saying, “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate.”

The department store chain even proclaimed its support for the Equality Act that is proposed in Congress.

“We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest, and every community —deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally,” the company said in its statement. “Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”

Full Story Here.

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U.K. Issues Travel Warning About Antigay U.S. States

uk-issues-travel-warning-x750

Days before President Obama travels to England, the United Kingdom’s foreign office has issued a travel warning to British tourists visiting the American South, specifically referencing North Carolina and Mississippi.

On the U.K.’s Foreign Office website, under the local laws and customs section of the USA travel advice, is the following message:

Local laws and customs

Laws vary from state to state. When you are physically present in a state, even temporarily, you are subject to that state’s laws. You must carry a passport showing that you have leave to enter or remain with you at all times.

The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community. You can find more detail on LGBT issues in the US on the website of the Human Rights Campaign.

Full Story Here.

Gov. Phil Bryant Strikes Again

The stupid. The bigotry. The Pretend Persecution. It never ends. I think this story can be safely tucked into The Persecution Files.

A gun and a Bible (Shutterstock)

A gun and a Bible (Shutterstock)

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a gun rights bill on Friday allowing churches to create security programs designating members to carry firearms to defend worshipers against violence.

The legislation, called the “Mississippi Church Protection Act,” also makes it easier for residents in other settings to carry concealed weapons, drawing criticism from national gun control advocates.

Full Story Here.

Liberty Counsel Behind Anti-LGBT Bills in 20 States

Mike Huckabee, Kim Davis and Mat Staver (Fox News)

Mike Huckabee, Kim Davis and Mat Staver (Fox News)

The lawyer who represented Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis after she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses told CBS News that his group was also behind anti-LGBT legislation being pushed in at least 20 states.

After governors in North Carolina and Mississippi recently signed laws limiting the rights of LGBT people, CBS News began investigating why so many anti-LGBT bills were cropping up in state legislatures around the country.

The network found that the conservative group Liberty Counsel had placed lawyers in all 50 states to draft legislation and advise lawmakers on how to rein in the rights of LGBT people in response to a Supreme Court ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.

CBS determined that bills tied to Liberty Counsel have been filed in at least 20 states so far.

“Well I certainly want to push back against that [same-sex marriage] ruling,” Liberty Counsel founder Matt Staver told CBS News. “It was a wrong ruling. It has no basis in the constitution.”

Full Story Here.

Goodbye, South Carolina

CEO Anthony Watson (Photo via Uphold.com)

CEO Anthony Watson (Photo via Uphold.com)

Now just the proposal of a so-called “bathroom bill” in South Carolina has sent one gay chief executive officer is packing his jobs for California.

Anthony Watson, CEO of Uphold, describes himself as an “openly gay, British CEO,” according to The State. He’s decided to take his financial services company, which has handled $830 million in transactions since 2014, to Los Angeles instead of sticking it out.

“I have watched in shock and dismay as legislation has been abruptly proposed or enacted in several states across the union seeking to invalidate the basic protections and rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) U.S. citizens,” he wrote on the company’s website Tuesday.

Watson specifically called out South Carolina senator Lee Bright who dimly announced his bill last week which would require people to use the bathroom of the gender assigned to them at birth.

[…]

“I mean, years ago we kept talking about tolerance, tolerance, and tolerance, and now they want men who claim to be women to be able to go into bathrooms with children. And you got corporations who say this is okay,” Bright said on the senate floor.

Yesterday, I said in comments that I didn’t think the people proposing and passing these bills were stupid. I do believe I’ve had a change of mind about that. This is a special kind of dim. Full Story Here.

Today’s LGBT roundup, and there’s some good news for a change!

Louisiana Gov. Bans Anti-LGBT Bias in State Employment, Services.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has come through on a promise to issue a pro-LGBT executive order — the first in the state to offer transgender people some legal protections against discrimination — and to repeal an anti–marriage equality one issued by his predecessor, Bobby Jindal. Full Story Here.

Breweries Are Fighting Bigotry With Beer.

Bummed by anti-LGBT legislation in North Carolina? Here’s a novel way to fight it: Drink beer.

Thirty-six breweries in the Southern state have banded together to brew Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison.

[Read more…]

15.

 James Buchanan took office in 1857, and viewed Indians as collateral damage. Whitehouse.gov

James Buchanan took office in 1857, and viewed Indians as collateral damage. Whitehouse.gov

Uniform federal Indian policy was almost nonexistent when James Buchanan took office in 1857.

The country was on the brink of the Civil War, and the federal government had abandoned any pretense of Indian policy, leaving the “Indian system” to the mercy of dishonest and greedy Indian agents who largely earned their positions as rewards for political service. Corruption penetrated the federal government, funneling illegally obtained money to officials at many levels.

As the South threatened to secede from the Union, the only cohesive Indian policy Buchanan entertained was the belief that they needed to be quarantined on reservations, said Jean Baker, a history professor at Goucher College and author of the 2004 biography, “James Buchanan.”

In April 1858, the Yankton Sioux ceded 11 million acres in southeastern South Dakota. Chief Struck-by-the-Ree, whose name appears on the treaty, warned his people that they had little choice but to abandon their land. (Courtesy Trustees of the British Museum)

In April 1858, the Yankton Sioux ceded 11 million acres in southeastern South Dakota. Chief Struck-by-the-Ree, whose name appears on the treaty, warned his people that they had little choice but to abandon their land. (Courtesy Trustees of the British Museum)

Buchanan oversaw 11 treaties with Indian nations, acquiring millions of acres of land in New York, the Dakotas and Kansas, and sending Indians to live on reservations. In April 1858, the Yankton Sioux ceded 11 million acres in southeastern South Dakota. Chief Struck-by-the-Ree, whose name appears on the treaty, warned his people that they had little choice but to abandon their land.

“The white men are coming in like maggots,” he said. “It is useless to resist them. They are many more than we are. We could not hope to stop them. Many of our brave warriors would be killed, our women and children left in sorrow, and still we would not stop them. We must accept it, get the best terms we can get and try to adopt their ways.”

Full article here.

Bernie Is Down With Pot, But Will Clinton Inhale?

Bernie Sanders's camp says he supports marijuana operations as an industry in Indian country. "But does Hillary Clinton?" asks Simon Moya-Smith.

Bernie Sanders’s camp says he supports marijuana operations as an industry in Indian country. “But does Hillary Clinton?” asks Simon Moya-Smith.

I was sitting at the center of my unstable dining room table recently, nibbling on a pot brownie and watching the ugliness of this presidential campaign unfold on mainstream news, when I wondered: Where do Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton stand on the subject of medicinal or recreational marijuana operations on reservations?

So, I reached out to the Clinton camp for comment, and thus far they haven’t responded. They’re currently dealing with the backlash to Bill’s comment about how “the Black Lives Matter movement protects criminals,” said a fiscally conservative Clinton supporter I met here in Denver last night. Hillary’s Native American Advisor, Charlie Galbraith, told me last week by phone that it would go to one of Hillary’s senior staff campaign wizards to comment on the budding weed business in Indian country. Galbraith said he’d try to get me a response as soon as possible, but in journalism time that was years ago.

But Bernie’s folks responded within a matter of hours:

“Bernie supports the right for states to opt for legalization of marijuana, and as a strong supporter of tribal sovereignty, that same stance would apply to tribal nations as well,” Nicole Willis [Confederated Tribes of Umatilla], Sanders’s National Tribal Outreach Director, wrote in message.

“Senator Sanders fully supports tribal sovereignty and economic development initiatives in Native America,” Tara Houska [Couchiching First Nation], Native American Advisor to Sanders, and a fellow rabble rouser in her own right, said in a statement. “Marijuana decriminalization has significantly and positively impacted several state economies; sovereign tribal nations with strong, efficient regulatory and enforcement systems deserve this same opportunity.”

And still no call from the Clinton folks.

Full column here.

And the transphobia goes on

tennessee-anti-lgbt-counseling-bill-is-seriously-dangerous-x750

Nashville’s first female mayor is speaking out against pending legislation that would require transgender students statewide to use the bathroom and locker room that does not match their gender identity.

In addition to a bill awaiting the governor’s signature that would allow mental health professionals to turn away LGBT clients, state lawmakers on Wednesday resurrected a transphobic “bathroom bill” that had been effectively killed by being sent to a summer session just weeks earlier. […]

Barry, a Democrat elected last September, addressed the spate of anti-LGBT bills in a statement Thursday.

“This legislation doesn’t reflect Nashville’s values and doesn’t do anything to improve the quality of life for citizens of our city or state,” Barry said. “If some lawmakers don’t see the value in recognizing people’s dignity and privacy, I hope they can at least see the negative economic impact and potential loss of revenue to Nashville and the State of Tennessee.”

“We’ve seen the negative effects that similar laws in North Carolina have had on their economy, and we’ve already received indications that conventions might pull out of Nashville or eliminate our city from consideration should HB2414/SB2387 become law — resulting in a potential loss of over $10 million in state and local tax revenue and nearly $58 million in direct visitor spending removed from our economy.

“That is the loss of economic activity in just one sector of our city’s economy. Our future ability to attract film and television production will also be impacted, and we could expect to see other industry sectors impacted, as well. That’s quite a price to pay for legislation that would seem to hurt people — including some of our youngest and our most vulnerable — without actually benefitting anyone in the process. Instead of creating complex and confusing regulations for restrooms, or becoming the only state in the nation to allow discrimination by counseling professionals, the state should work with local governments to continue our economic growth, address traffic problems, and give our schools the resources and support they need to be successful.”

Full Story Here.

Tennessee’s Hate Bill has to do with supposedly protecting counselors from having to deal with *gasp* LGBT clients.

Last week the Tennessee legislature passed House Bill 1840/Senate Bill 1556. The bill, which has come to be known as Hate Bill 1840, will head to the governor’s desk any day now. As introduced, HB 1840 declared that no counselors “shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief.” As amended, the bill that will go to the governor declares no counselor is required to serve a client who conflicts with a “sincerely held belief.”

[Read more…]

Answering a Police Brutality Survey While Native

Simon Moya-Smith, ICTMN Culture Editor, above standing in Central Park in New York City, apocalyptically responds to a questionnaire about police brutality by the University of California-Berkeley.

Simon Moya-Smith, ICTMN Culture Editor, above standing in Central Park in New York City, apocalyptically responds to a questionnaire about police brutality by the University of California-Berkeley.

UC-Berkeley: Many years from now, as you bounce your grandchild on your knee, give us one image that captures the new era of policing – with respect to your community – that your work will have helped bring about.

Moya-Smith to his future grandchild: “You know, my dear, they never lifted the bounty on Native American heads. So the hunt continued into 2016. The authorities were killing all of us — yes, even Native American kids, and these bastards were still getting medals for killing an Indian or Indians [depending how many bullets he had left in his clip] 120 years after Wounded Knee. I once tried to re-build the Mayflower so as to send the rotten eggs back to Europe, but there were too many by then. And we couldn’t get the mainstream media to talk about the killing of our people either. Not black reporters. Not Latino reporters. Not gay reporters. Not Asian reporters. Or at least not nearly enough, my dear. The conversation was seriously binary on the matter of police brutality: Black and white. Black and white. Black and white. And then when we tried to talk about police killing Native Americans more than any other race, we’d get, “We’re not talking about that right now! You’ll have your chance, Indian!” But we never did, love.

Full Column Here.

Face Time Works

Teenager Taylor Alesana in a video about Transgender Day Of Remembrance (YouTube)

Teenager Taylor Alesana in a video about Transgender Day Of Remembrance (YouTube)

Transgender people are at 25 times greater risk of abuse, assault and suicide than the general population, the study authors note. And as transgender rights come increasingly into the public eye, advocates fear that this could prompt a backlash against an already marginalized community.

During the south Florida effort, Broockman and Kalla set up an experiment in which 56 canvassers went door-to-door and encouraged active perspective-taking with 501 voters. They were asked to think of a time when they had felt mistreated for being different. The scientists also canvassed a control group of respondents about recycling. The researchers followed up with online surveys at three days, three weeks, six weeks and three months.

The scientists found that those who were asked to do analogic perspective-taking were significantly more likely to exhibit a higher tolerance toward transgender people than those who were in the control group. The effect, the researchers said, represented an even greater attitude change than the shift in American attitudes between 1998 and 2012 toward gays and lesbians.

“They’ve made their entire process enormously transparent,” Paluck said in an interview, “so that’s one reason to trust in the results. They’re part of a growing number of social scientists who have been responding to concerns about psychology, social science and economics and how untransparent their results are.”

Full Story Here. The Advocate has also covered this story. I don’t find this surprising in the least. The governor of South Dakota ended up vetoing their transgender hate legislation after meeting with transgender representatives and allies. I expect most people have a nebulous, fearsome image in their heads which is based on absolute ignorance. Being faced with regular people is probably enough of a shock to get people thinking.

Unfortunately, bigotry is still going like a world on fire, and Kansas, Tennessee, and SC are all jumping on board.

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Bigotry & Backlash Roundup

Clockwise from upper left: Walter Robb; Tony West; Chip Bergh; Alex Dimitrief; Andrew Liveris; Brian Tippens; Steve Joyce

Clockwise from upper left: Walter Robb; Tony West; Chip Bergh; Alex Dimitrief; Andrew Liveris; Brian Tippens; Steve Joyce

Business Backlash Descends on Mississippi.

Major tech, hospitality, and automotive companies are speaking out about Mississippi’s new anti-LGBT law, which Gov. Phil Bryant signed Tuesday.

At press time, leaders of eight major corporations have signed on to a letter drafted by the Human Rights Campaign urging the state’s Republican leadership to repeal the law.

“Put simply, HB 1523 is not a bill that reflects the values of our companies,” reads the letter, noting that the business community has overwhelmingly rejected such discrimination, finding that a welcoming environment attracts the best and brightest employees. “We are disappointed to see the legislature and governor’s office pass discriminatory legislation… This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development.”

In addition to impacting the ability of Mississippi companies to attract high-value workers, the new law “will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity,” the letter states. “Discrimination is wrong, and we believe it has no place in Mississippi or anywhere in our country. As companies that pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all, we strongly urge you to repeal this bill.”

 

Tenn. Resurrects ‘Bathroom Bill’ Targeting Trans Students.

After effectively shelving a bill targeting transgender students last month, a Tennessee committee today advanced legislation that would bar transgender students statewide from using the restrooms or locker rooms that correspond with their identity.

[…]

The Tennessean newspaper reports that the committee’s willingness to reconsider HB 2414 after effectively scuttling it just a month before “came after Family Action Counsel of Tennessee sent emails to members of the community questioning their integrity.”

The Family Action Council of Tennessee bills itself as a conservative nonprofit “dedicated to protecting marriage and family, life, and religious liberty,” according to its website. The group’s mission, as stated on the site, “is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good.”

“Our belief is that healthy families and communities come about when basic values from the Bible are embraced and upheld,” FACT’s “About Us” page explains.

At Least Four States Ban Official Travel to Mississippi.

Following the signing of the nation’s newest anti-LGBT law, signed Tuesday by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, governors acted fast to ban official travel to the Magnolia State.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Wednesday banning all non-essential state travel to Mississippi, requiring all “agencies, departments, boards and commissions to immediately review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to the state of Mississippi, and bar any such publicly funded travel that is not essential to the enforcement of state law or public health and safety.”

[…]

While New York was the largest and most influential state to bar travel to Mississippi, Minnesota, Vermont, and Washington state took similar action, with Seattle’s out mayor, Ed Murray, also enacting a separate ban for his city’s employees.

Mississippi Could Lose Federal Funding for Passing Anti-LGBT Bill.

It was reported last week that North Carolina may lose federal funds for schools, highways, and education after passing an anti-LGBT law, and the Southern state might not be alone.

Mississippi could be the next state to face federal cuts, after passing an aggressive anti-LGBT law last week that allows businesses, individuals, and religiously-affiliated organizations to deny service to LGBT people, single mothers, and others who offend an individual’s “sincerely held religious belief.”

On Tuesday, Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary called the Mississippi law “outright mean-spirited.” The president and his administration have “long been on the side of justice and equality,” Earnest told The Washington Blade. When asked about “religious liberty” bills that have passed recently in North Carolina and Mississippi, he said, “some of the laws that we’ve seen passed that target LGBT Americans are not consistent with those values of fairness and equality.”