John Kasich on Anti-LGBT Discrimination: ‘Get Over It’



Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich’s answer to LGBT people turned away by businesses is “get over it,” while his advice for those business owners it to pray.

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, has said he wouldn’t have signed anti-LGBT laws like the ones recently enacted in North Carolina and Mississippi, but today on CNN’s State of the Union with Dana Bash, he said that as president, he wouldn’t do anything to stop states from passing such legislation.

“There is a legitimate concern for people being able to have their deeply held religious beliefs, religious liberty,” he told Bash. “But there’s also people who we shouldn’t be discriminating against. … We need to strike a balance, and I just wish we’d take a breath and calm down and take a breath, because you see, trying to legislate that balance is complicated and you keep doing do-overs, because nobody gets it right.”

He continued, “What I would like to say is just relax, and if you don’t like what somebody’s doing, pray for them, and if you’re feeling like somebody is doing something wrong against you, can you just for a second get over it?”


He also mentioned, as he had previously, that he had attended a friend’s wedding to a same-sex partner, but he told Matthews, “I don’t think it’s right, and the wedding that I went to, they know that I don’t agree with them.”

I imagine they know just how much you disapprove now, Governor. I suspect you don’t have all that many gay friends whose wedding you have attended. Kasich probably wouldn’t seem so bad if he could manage to keep his mouth shut. Full Story Here.

Los Angeles Bans Official Travel to North Carolina, Mississippi.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

“With one stroke of their pen, Gov. Pat McCrory and Gov. Phil Bryant have jeopardized the safety and dignity of countless transgender, gay and lesbian people — who are already at an increased risk for violent crime,” Garcetti continued, referring to the governors of North Carolina and Mississippi, respectively. “As someone who has fought for many years on behalf of LGBT Americans and their right to equal protection under the law, I will continue to do everything in my power to keep L.A.’s tax dollars from supporting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“State-sanctioned discrimination only perpetuates intolerance, hatred and violence,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin, who authored the resolution, in the same press release. “That is not at all what Los Angeles stands for, and today, we are sending a clear message that we will not endorse — with our dollars or our participation — discrimination toward our transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual sisters and brothers.”

Bloody well took them long enough. At least they have finally joined the sane faction in this toilet fight. Full Story Here.

Do I look sufficiently self-righteous?

John Kasich gives a Bible lesson to Jewish voters in Brooklyn (YouTube/screen grab)

John Kasich gives a Bible lesson to Jewish voters in Brooklyn (YouTube/screen grab)

I’m getting tired of feeling like I should just go pound my head into the wall. Or maybe pound someone else’s head into a wall. It’s a toss up. Kasich decides to Jesussplain to Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn.

Uriel Heilman of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency recommended on Thursday that Kasich abstain from giving Christian Bible lessons to Jewish voters.

“Talking about Christ’s blood during a visit to Borough Park? Oy vey,” Heilman wrote. “Please, somebody, prep this guy Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn want to hear about food stamps, affordable housing, Medicaid. Ix-nay on the Jesus-nay.”

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

CEO Anthony Watson (Photo via

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…]

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.


Since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill that regulates with who uses what bathrooms, LGBT activists are calling his office to check where they should go when they have to relieve themselves.

Since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill that regulates with who uses what bathrooms, LGBT activists are calling his office to check where they should go when they have to relieve themselves.

In the wake of North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law, which requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that do not match their gender identity, LGBT activists have launched a social media campaign highlighting the absurd, unenforceable nature of the law. […]

Raw Story reports the latest campaign began in earnest on Monday, when activist Sam Moore encouraged frustrated citizens in and visitors to North Carolina to contact the governor every time they used a public bathroom “to confirm your adherence or disregard of #HB2.” On Facebook, Moore shared a graphic of a toilet in a private stall, with text indicating the phone number for the governor’s office, accompanied by the hashtags #PeeingForPat and #HB2.

Full Story Here.

Standing On Sacred Ground

Eight Cultures, One Fight.

Around the world, indigenous people stand up for their traditional sacred lands in defense of cultural survival, human rights and the environment.

Watch them stand against industrial mega-projects, consumer culture, resource extraction, competing religions, tourists and climate change.


As part of a four-part documentary series on indigenous struggles over sacred sites that was over seven years in the making, Standing on Sacred Ground, will be broadcast on PBS’s First Nations Experience channel (FNX) as well as other stations to include KQED through April and May, nationally on WorldChannel and the San Francisco Bay Area station KCSM beginning Sunday, April 17 through Friday, April 22 (Earth Day.) … The project airs over the course of four episodes and includes stories on the indigenous shamans of the Altai Republic of Russia, a northern California tribe, the Papua New Guinea people, the First Nations near the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, the Gamo Highland peoples of Ethiopia to the indigenous communities near the Andes of Peru, as well as Aboriginal Australians and Native Hawaiians.

Standing On Sacred Ground Home. Broadcast Schedule. ICTMN article.

Oceti Sakowin and Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po

The protest against the Dakota access pipeline continues.


The spirit riders at Standing Rock show support for keeping the Missouri River waters clean.

The spirit riders at Standing Rock show support for keeping the Missouri River waters clean.

In the coming weeks or maybe even days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue a decision as to whether or not they will allow the Dakota Access Pipeline, also known as the Bakken Pipeline, to be constructed.

Until then, citizens and allies of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation) will continue to protest the pipeline, urging stakeholders to recognize the devastation that would ensue should the pipeline be built.

“The DAPL poses a threat to our people, cultural and historically significant areas,” said Paula Antonie, Chair of Shielding the People and a Rosebud Sioux tribal citizen. “We will stand by our Hunkpapa relatives in defending against any major environmental, public health and safety hazards within our treaty territory.”

The proposed pipeline would stretch for thousands miles across four states beginning in western North Dakota and ending in Indiana. It would cross the Missouri River mere feet away from the northern border of the Standing Rock Reservation, threatening to contaminate and destroy the waters.

Full Story 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.

[Read more…]

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.”

Time for a National Pee-in



An excellent commentary from Mischa Haider and Bruce Hay.


Collectively and openly, in their rainbow of appearances, they should enter gendered spaces in defiance of the segregationists. The movement needs a ground campaign, a peaceful series of “pee-ins” across the nation that will bring a face and an image to this struggle. Americans need to know that trans people exist and use facilities like any other person, and should not be intimidated or threatened for the way they look. The nation needs to see the diversity of transgender identities safely and peacefully using gendered facilities and standing up to threats to their humanity. They should understand that existence and acceptance of people born with nonconforming bodies is not what threatens the peace and safety of our society, but the violent threats and actions of those who cannot tolerate human difference.

Without such a public campaign that will raise awareness, even laws granting legal protections to trans individuals will do little to change the daily intimidation and violence that trans people face in gendered facilities. Organizations fighting to stem the tide of transphobic legislation should also work to inform the public about the rights of and the risks facing gender-nonconforming people using gendered facilities. Everyone would be well served if signs were posted explicitly stating that intimidation, violence, or threats will not be tolerated against any person in those facilities, regardless of how they look, and that anyone who experiences or witnesses such aggression should report it. Additionally, men who make murderous threats against trans individuals for entering bathrooms with their “wives and daughters” need to be held accountable.

Of course, we must all fight transphobic laws in the legislatures and in courts, tooth and nail. However, we will gain most by pushing hard for acceptance and equality at the same time as fighting off oppression. States like North Carolina are a lightning rod, for their blatant and outrageous legal segregation, but let us remember that even in Massachusetts, a bill granting trans individuals protections in public accommodations is languishing on the governor’s desk. Trans activists and advocates need to show our politicians that the cause for justice will not wait, and that we mean it when we say that the incitements to murder, assault, and suicide must stop now. A broad grassroots ground campaign bringing transgender Americans from across the spectrum openly and peacefully into the gendered spaces where they are comfortable, in front of the nation and the world, will show just that.

Let us resolve to be more visible. All of us, transgender and cisgender, in every shade and stripe of presentation. Transgender and gender-nonconforming people should determine for themselves who they are and which facility they use, and not be governed by the bigotries of the segregationist who, like the Walrus, conceals his violence with nonsense syllables.


I’m all for pee-ins. Everywhere. People having to pee while they are out an about should not be an issue, and it’s beyond absurd that it’s become such an issue here in uStates.