Tag Archives: Business News

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson Urges Businesses To Shun Countries That Don't Support LGBT People

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson Urges Businesses To Shun Countries That Don’t Support LGBT People

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson urged fellow business leaders on Thursday to shun and use their clout and put pressure on countries such as Brunei that persecute gay and lesbian citizens.

From Sir Richards Blog on Virgin.com

Much has been written and said over the past few weeks about the horrific decision by Brunei’s ruler, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, to introduce a harsh form of Sharia law which includes the death penalty by stoning for same sex-relations, among other draconian forms of corporal punishment.
The news was quickly condemned around the world, by the UN, by governments, civil society organizations and business.
As part of the public outcry, calls for a global boycott of the Dorchester Collection, a group of luxury hotels owned by Brunei’s sovereign wealth fund, quickly gained traction. Many global businesses have supported the boycott or pledged to stop doing business in and with Brunei. Virgin Australia, among others, cancelled an employee travel agreement with Royal Brunei Airlines.
The introduction of a stricter form of Sharia law in Brunei is not a new development. The country’s plans first became public in 2014, and the condemnation was widespread and swift. At Virgin, we decided back then to no longer do business with the Dorchester Collection – a ban we’ve upheld since, as a matter of principle that reinforces our commitment to LGBT+ rights everywhere. 
Of course I am particularly worried about the LGBT+ community in Brunei, who have good reason to fear that the law will – at the very least – drive them into hiding, possibly even exile. While there’s hardly any help available inside the country, allies are not far away. Singapore’s leading gay rights group, Oogachaga, has set up a hotline and WhatsApp channel that offers emotional support to Brunei’s LGBT+ community. It’s an important lifeline we all should share and support.
Virgin is proud to be a founding member of Open for Business, a wonderful platform that was set up specifically to fill the void and build and champion the business case for LGBT+ inclusion. Its most recent Channels of Influence report provides useful guidance for businesses interested in a in a more in-depth conversation on the best course forward. Demonstrating that LGBT+ inclusion is a win-win proposition for both business and society may indeed be a good starting point to effect the lasting change we should all be seeking, in Brunei and elsewhere.
Alongside many others, I have signed a letter urging business leaders to stand up for the freedom to love,

NESTLE Corporation Faces Title VII Lawsuit for Harassment of Gay Employee

NESTLE Corporation Faces Title VII Lawsuit for Harassment of Gay Employee

Nestle Waters, a division of the Nestle Global Corporation is the latest employer to face a sexual harassment lawsuit in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to a complaint filed in the matter of Mateo v. Nestle Waters North America, Inc., a gay employee of the bottled water company alleges he was the victim of a hostile work environment, discrimination, retaliation, and the threat of physical harm at a Nestle Waters distribution facility.

The employee, states that shortly after beginning work at the distribution facility, a supervisor and co-workers engaged in harassing behavior that included making anti-gay comments in his presence, touching his nipples, threatening physical violence with a knife, inviting the employee to engage in sexual relations, and calling him offensive names in the presence of a least one supervisor. The employee reported the alleged harassment to Nestle Human Resources in the summer of 2012 but no investigation took place.

claimed that the physical altercations was instigated by the plaintiff (although it was documented that the co-worker used anti-gay language), Nestle terminated the gay employee while his co-worker retained his position. Nestle alleges that following the termination, they discovered that the employee had omitted or misrepresented pertinent information on his employment application, including that he was let go by previous employers on the basis of poor performance or conduct. The employee subsequently filed a federal lawsuit claiming violations of Title VII and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, based on sexual orientation discrimination, sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, and retaliation.

he New Jersey federal district court recently denied Nestle’s motion for summary judgment on the hostile work environment, sex discrimination, and retaliation counts, allowing the employee to go forward with these claims. With respect to the hostile work environment claims, the court held that a reasonable jury could conclude the employee suffered “severe and pervasive” harassment.

Nestle’s argues that the employee was unable to demonstrate discrimination and that his termination resulted from his physical altercation with his co-workers was also rejected by the court. The court suggested Nestle’s stated reason for firing the employee could be a pretext as other non-gay employees were not fired for similar behavior.

The lawsiut will move forward and be heard possibly later this year.

To read the opinion in Mateo v. Nestle Waters North America, Inc., click here.


Republican Senators Move To Dismantle Internet Privacy Laws

Heres something to chill your heart via The New York Times

Republican senators moved Thursday to dismantle landmark internet privacy protections for consumers in the first decisive strike against telecommunications and technology regulations created during the Obama administration, and a harbinger of further deregulation. Visit Website  – WebDesign499 for more information.

The measure passed in a 50-to-48 vote largely along party lines. The House is expected to mirror the Senate’s action next week, followed by a signature from President Trump.

The move means Verizon, Comcast or AT&T can continue tracking and sharing people’s browsing and app activity without permission, and it alarmed consumer advocates and Democratic lawmakers. They warned that broadband providers have the widest look into Americans’ online habits, and that without the rules, the companies would have more power to collect data on people and sell sensitive information.

“It is unnecessary, confusing and adds another innovation-stifling regulation,” Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said this month when he introduced the resolution to overturn the rules using the Congressional Review Act procedure that lets Congress overrule new agency regulations.


TN Chamber of Commerce Led By FedEx, AT&T, and Comcast Push To Repeal LGBT Rights Laws In Nashville

AmericaBlogGay is reporting that Legislation overturning Metro Nashville’s anti-gay bias ordinance is on its way to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration after House members gave final approval yesterday and one of the most vocal backers of overturning the legislature was The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce – chaired by Nissan, and whose other board members include such companies as FedEx, AT&T, Comcast, DuPont, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, KPMG, Whirlpool, Embraer, Alcoa, and United HealthCare – The TCC lobbied for a religious right bill in the Tennessee legislature that would rescind Nashville’s civil rights protections for its gay and trans citizens, and which bans every city in Tennessee from passing any civil rights laws, for anyone, ever again

According to the TN chamber of commerce,  abiding by LGBT protections would be too much of an “additional burden.”  (Not discriminating against LGBT is a burden to them it seems while not discriminating because of race, religion, or handicap isn’t.)

Interestingly HRC’s Equality Index gives FedEx gets a score of 80 out of 100 on its Equality Index Chart, dealing with LGBT non-discrimination policies, benefits and other practices ,  Comcast gets a 95, and AT&T has a perfect score of 100%.  Yet these companies bowed to and rallied vigorously with the the religious right which was the lead lobbyist on the law.

The ONLY victim of the law was the LGBT community.  This law was specifically written and intended to repeal Nashville’s new civil rights ordinance protecting gay and trans citizens, period and do harm to LGBT citizens throughout the state of Tennessee

John Aravois and Joe Sudbury have written an open letter to the companies involved  You can sign it by CLICKING HERE

Call the Tennesse Chamber of Commerce and threaten to boycott the businesses, merchandise and the state of TN if they don;t immediately withdraw their support and  if LGBT protections are repealed and the Bill is passed

Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
611 Commerce Street, Suite 3030
Nashville, TN 37203-3742
Telephone: 615-256-5141
Fax: 615-256-6726
E-Mail: info@tnchamber.org

And contact Gov. Bill Haslam and tell him to VETO  “The Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act” which bans cities and counties from requiring government contractors to drop anti-gay policies.

(And as for HRC after TARGET, BestBuy and now this.  It might be a good idea just to discontinue your Equality Index since it really is not accurate and perhaps put the money and time to better uses like actually fighting for Equality.)

*PLEASE feel free to REPOST and RETWEET this.  This is a very important and harmful issue nit just to LGBT’s in TN but everywhere.  EVERYONE no matter what state you live in needs to get informed and involved if we are to stop this. – Thank you

Federal Court To Hear "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" Unconstitutionality Case

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips in Riverside, Calif. agreed Monday to send the case to trial July 13. Woods is representing the Log Cabin Republicans, a republican group rights group. He says the group hopes to end the 1993 policy by having it declared unconstitutional.. This move goes against the Department of Justice appeal to the judge to defer proceedings in the case “because the political branches have taken concrete steps to facilitate repeal of the DADT statute.”

“Concrete steps my ass….”

This is but the latest in several rulings by the court in this case. Over the last year, the Department of Justice has fougt fang and nail to kill it in brief after brief after brief following ….wait for it….Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s success in killing the suit a year ago by Jim Pietrangelo, who was arrested twice this year at the White House with Dan Choi.

I never thought that I would in a million years say something like this.  But best of luck to The Log Cabin Republicans.

Natalie Holloway Suspect, Joran van der Sloot Confesses to Murdering Peruvian Lesbian Stephany Flores Ramirez (Video)

Joran van der Sloot was a prime suspect in Natalee Holloway’s 2005 disappearance in Aruba. Now he’s confessed to murdering 21 year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez in Peru. (Probably a good sign he was also involved in the Holloway case)

ABC News’ multi-bylined report describes Ramirez, a student, as “an out lesbian struggling with her sexuality.” On Good Morning America, her ex-girlfriend Stephanie Jamenez said she was a good gilr dealing with insecurities and intense disapproval about her sexuality from her parents.

Her body was found beaten and stabbed in a Lima hotel room registered to van der Sloot. In the above video, you can see what appears to be van der Sloot and Ramirez in the hotel elevator’s surveillance camera. Van der Sloot was then seen leaving the hotel alone with his bags; her body was found days later.

Cruel, sadistic, and lacking in human empathy – van der Sloot is a real piece of work  Also van der Sloot’s own bisexuality and is very well known in Aruba. Even one of his friend who was detained in Holland during the Natalee case, was released because he was gay. 

Now hopefully that he can no longer hide behind the Dutch legal system this pathetic creature will spend the rest of his life rotting in a South American prison.

NEW "True Blood" Mini-Episodes To Begin Sunday May 2! (Video)

Anxious for more “True Blood”?

 In order to tide fans over before the show officially kicks off the third season in June, HBO will release mini episodes which are written by creator Alan Ball. named “A Drop of True Blood”, the miniseries will contains six episodes.

The episodes are not from the previous seasons and won’t be seen in the new one, the trailer says and are especially made and written by Alan Ball.  A new min-episode will premiere each week starting Sunday May 2, directly following the Season 2 replays at 8. It all leads up to the Season 3 premiere June 13.