Tag Archives: advocacy

Fired Gay Camp Worker Petitions Boy Scouts To Get His Job Back

Tim Griffin, the Boy Scout camp worker fired because he’s gay recently started a petition asking the Boy Scouts of America to review and revise their policies so that he can be reinstated.

Author of the petition, Alex Hayes, Griffin’s supervisor of  Camp Winton Program resigned with other staff members as a show of support. Hayes states that the official reasoning for Griffin’s dismissal that was reported as a dress code violation isn’t true. Here’s the petition letter in it’s entirety, which has over 79000 signatures at the time of this article:

Our friend Tim Griffin needs your help.

Eagle Scout Tim Griffin, the longest-serving employee (8 years) at Camp Winton in Amador County, California, was fired by the Golden Empire Council because he is gay.

Tim was loved not only by his fellow camp staffers, but all of the Boy Scouts who participated in programs he ran at the camp. The Golden Empire Council claims he was fired because he violated the camp’s dress code. But as his direct supervisor at the Camp Winton, I know this isn’t true. He was fired because of his sexual orientation. The men who fired Tim haven’t even stepped foot on Camp Winton this summer.

In response to this hurtful display of discrimination, I resigned in protest, as did 9 other camp employees. Though we love the Boy Scouts, we cannot work for an organization that treats great employees like Tim as second-class citizens.

The Golden Empire Council says that Tim’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with his removal. If this is truly the case, we urge the council to adopt an inclusive member and leader policy, just like the Northern Star Council in Minnesota has.

Please join me and my fellow Camp Winton employees in standing with Tim. Join us in urging the Golden Empire Council to reject the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy.

NOTE: We encourage everyone to join this campaign, but if you’re a current or former Scout or leader, please say so in the “Why People Are Signing” section. Thanks!

Of course this isn’t the first time the myopic thinking of the Boy Scouts have been questioned this year. In April, Jennifer Tyrell, a former Den Mother was forced to resign after the organization discovered that she is a lesbian. The close minded organization continues it’s stance of being anti-gay and anti-equality with a statement from chief scout executive Bob Mazzuca still reads as follows”

“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisors and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” 

So they continually practice discrimination because of their need to preserve values. Well, that doesn’t make sense. And are parents of LGBT supposed to keep their children at home 24/7 and not allow them to interact with the outside world? What a generic statement.

Former Tennessee Titans Wade Davis II Discusses Sexuality And Interracial Dating

As we continue the fight for equality, we also must keep in perspective of how our relationships work within the community. Issues like race and other variants can have affects in all of these relationships, especially romantic ones.

Former Defensive Back for the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins and LGBTQ activist Wade Davis II discusses an issues that arise of interracial dating , something that should be discussed regardless 0f  sexuality. Davis commented on the issues of interracial dating  in the LGBT community of interracial dating saying  “I hope it’s not a block, I hope that people understand that who I date doesn’t dictate what’s in my heart. Any man that loves me like I need to be loved and that I’m attracted to is fair game. It just happened to be that person was white. I get it that there are a lot of people out there who have these preconceived notions about what it means to be a black man who dates a white man, especially because I have privilege.”

Davis continues by stating that understanding our histories in our communication with each other as well as our differences is paramount. “I think a lot of it dates back to the history of what it meant to be black and to date someone white. It was illegal, it was frowned upon, you could be killed and jailed for that. A lot of people haven’t forgotten about that. And they shouldn’t. I shouldn’t forget about that, either.”

Wade also expressed perception he”s encountered in the LGBTQ community saying, “I think within the gay community, oftentimes you see people of color who are gay and they have white partners and people think, ’’Oh, once you get money you leave your community, you don’t give back, you don’t do the work.’’ I want people to know that I’m still doing the work. And I think if you’re not doing the work, then we’re never going to get to that point where we’re taking care of our brothers and sisters.”

Issues in dating like race do arise early as discussed in GayLife speculating  that “although we as LGBT people share commonalities, perhaps cultural differences draw us apart. Many prides and bars already separate by race and ethnicity.  Things differ when we talk about culture, music, lifestyle, etc.” The article uses the excerpts of  forum members to share their own personal stories and insights.

With an increase o]in interracial datin in the LGBT community, discussing and examining these relationships are even more important.  This is even more evident in UCLA’s Williams Institute  as they used the California census from 2000-2010 and concluded More than twenty percent of same-sex couples are interracial or interethnic, compared to 18 percent of unmarried straight couples, and 9.5 percent of married straight couples.” 

Earlier this year Wade wrote an open letter to LBGTQ youth athletes and wants to continue working in this arena. Davis feels that issues like this that come up can be discussed and how these issues can affect relationships in adulthood. Davis says “I want to work with LGBT youth of color to make sure that HIV rates get lower, that homelessness is talked about, that poverty is talked about. And I’ll use the fact that I played in the NFL to promote that.”  And Wade is doing exactly that by working as The Hetrick-Martin Institute that work in education, empowerment and advcacy for LGBTQ youth.

Previously, Davis wrote for the Huffington Post commenting on LGBT racial/ethnic minorities should acknowledge their own issues of race as this may affect their relationships.Even with these issues Wade and his partner of over six years discuss all the other issues like marriage and starting family.

Race is something that can strengthen the relationship when approached honestly as Wade has done. LGBT couples that are interracial shouldn’t approach this in a color blind mentalityalthough it shouldnt matter, because of our culture scenarios, perceptions, and stigmas need to be acknowledged even when the relationship is new.

Speaking from my own experiences I know the complexities of this issue and I thank Wade for being open in discussing his personal life in hopes that it helps others.

Broadway And Glee Actor Jonathon Groff’s Message To Closeted Gay Actors: Come Out!

Jonathan groff, known for his roles on Broadway and Fox Hit sitcom Glee is encouraging his fellow actors still in the closet to come out. The  actor recently discussed that his decison to be openly gay has not affected his career.

Groff, who is reported to be in a relationship with and activist Zachary Quinto diviluged his sexuality in 2009. In a recent interview in Out Magazine, Groff  discusses his own personal experience and states:“I sort of always knew, in the back of my mind, that when the moment arrived for me to come out, I would.”I wasn’t yanked out of the closet [but] when I came out, people said it may have a negative effect on my career, and that’s definitely something I thought about before I did it,”  

The actor noes that when he came out  he didn’t experience a detriment to his career and mentioned “When I came out, people said it may have a negative effect on my career, and that’s definitely something I thought about before I did it. But I don’t hold that belief. I just go on my auditions and plug away as I normally would. At the end of my career, I can look back and ask, ‘Well, did it, or didn’t it?’ But at the moment, I just have to move forward and hope that people will follow my actions.”

There has been an evolution recently in how closeted actors come out  about to announce their sexuality.  His boyfriend, Zachary Quinto came ont in one of thew most nonchalant ways last years by csually mentioning it in a interview for New York Magazine last year. Actor Matt Bomer did the sdame thing this year by thanking his partner and their children at a Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards event.

A few months ago The New York Times discussed  how instead of the former and outdated method of going through a publicist and making a huge announcement has phased out.  The wasy that this earnest and humble announcement like Jim Parsons from CBS Geek Hit The Big Bang Theory in a non-eventual way (AS IT SHOULD BE).

I for one will be elated when an actor, or anyone else, won’t have to come out .  BUT i appreciate Jonathan telling us his own personal experience as hopefully it will encourage those still in the closet and discuss their sexuality openly without fear that it’ll affect job opportunities. Be gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, questioning, curious or any other variant, just be proud of who you are.

 

Starbucks And Others Recognize National Marriage Equality Day

National Marriage Equality Day took place today as a response to Chick Fil A and their day of hate  “Appreciation Day” to show support for marriage equality. Organizers stated that “Our original goal was to support Starbucks for being so supportive of our community and our rights,” This was an effort to show strong public support.

Starbucks asked organizers that Nike and Amazon also supporters of marriage equality be included today. Absolut Vodka, Google, Disney, and Southwest Airlines. Target, who has a history of donating to anti-LGBT companies has recently turned a corner and showed supprt of  this Appreciation Day for equality as well. Glad to see Target making more of an effort to correct their mistakes in the past.

Something I want to point out is the reporting of what Chick-Fil-A actually stands for. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT MARRIAGE. The New York Daily News erroneously pointed out that the efforts from Starbucks by unfortunately diminshing the magnitude of the company’s supporter lattes versus fried chicken in the latest skirmish over gay marriage,  It’s all about the wording. It seriously and inaccurately states each company’s position. This is so much more then that.

Look I like a good joke and some light  hear ted humor in their midst of tension just like everyone else. but this issue goes well beyond somew skirmish. This is not a sport. It’s about  people’s way of lie and it needs to be addressed with the same gravity as any other issue concerning this country. I reached out to The New York Daily News via twitter in hopes they would edit their remarks and as of this article I have yet to hear back from them.

So whenever you see a report or article that diminishes thd importance of this issue, please CALL THEM OUT for it. Tell them what companes like Chick Fil A are really doing like the iformation procide on this very site. No times for jokes.

Gay Couple Protests Bitter Bakery

As the war for equality continues to be fought in the food industry, The gay couple that was refused a wedding cake from Materpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood Colorado protested the bitter bigots bakery (see what I did there? it’s Monday, okay?) Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins held a peaceful protest Saturday outside the bakery in response to them refusing to make a wedding reception cake.  Held up signs saying Buttercream Not Bigotry  Love it. Serioously someone put this on a shirt and take my  money.

Mullins commented on the rallying support worldwide that have shown support and says,”It’s incredible to have people we barely know stand up for us and hug us and be proud of us,” “It’s one thing to read people’s messages online and see what they’re writing on the Internet, but it’s another thing to see them stand up not for just you but for gay rights in general. We hope we can change the way Masterpiece treats people like us.”

The  owner of the bakery Jack Phillips feels his religious position “comes from my belief in the teachings of the Bible; it’s not civil rights or Constitutional liberties we’re dealing with,” Whatever dude. How the hell are you bringing politics into your product?

Phillips has stated previously and rather ignorantly that the bakery is willing to make birthday and graduation cakes for gay people. H|This isn’t the first time customers has had issues with the bakery. They have a istory of projecting their Insecurities beliefs onto customers.

Phillips also ignorantly states,“When I do a first birthday cake, I imagine the baby in the high chair and the family gathering around and smiling, and I feel like I’m a part of that because I contributed to it. But with gay weddings, I refuse to be a part of that.” And don’t gay couples do the EXACT same thing with their children? Create loving memories with their family? How unbelievably hypocritical.

i cannot  believe that future generations will look back on thee fight for equal rights and see that baked sweets and chicken were catalysts.

Anyway, with their wedding  happening in September, the couple realized by the recent events that they needed to be more proactive in the fight for equality. We wish the happy couple all the best on their upcoming nuptials.

 

Elton John’s Remarks On Evolution in Mainstream

In some much needed and somewhat lighter  news, music icon Sir Elton John recently expressed gratitude to  rap mogul Jay Z after his comments in favor of marriage equality.  In what seems to be an emphatically warm response, Sir Elton explained “Jay-Z, who`s probably the most respected African-American artist, came out and said not only is it wrong to not have gay marriage, but any discrimination in life is wrong. It was an incredibly moving statement. I phoned him up in England and said, `You have no idea what you`ve just said, how powerful this is`,”

I cannot express enough  how someone as influential as  Jay-Z showing support as there is need for LGTBQ youth to see someone that inspires them also accepts them. I believe statements like this will also encourage other artists from all ethnic backgrounds  to become more vocal in support for marriage equality. Numbers are important  and this is a great step forward. With that, I believe more awareness, that just like any other race, ethnic minorities vary in their opinions just like everyone else.

Elton elaborated saying “The African-American society were a little apprehensive about this all along, and when you get someone who is a role model like Jay-Z to come out and say this, I take my hat off to him and I respect him so much for doing that. When I next see him I`m going to give him the biggest hug,” While i agree it is fantastic to hear moore ethnic minorities speaking out in support of marriage equality, i do find that this a bit problematic. African Americans have been vocal and shown support and for some this isn’t a new view. Icons like Oprah has been pro=gay for many years.

I definitely don’t have issue with Sir Elton’s sentiment rather this common belief that African Americans along with other minorities are only vocal in their supoport of same sex marriage by President Obama”s historical evolution on the subject. So look forward of more on this subject from me in the very near future and feel free to ask questions  on this subject you’d like answers to.

New Jersey Bakery Offers Equality Cupcakes in Lieu of Dry Tasteless Chicken

As I’m sure most of you want a story that’s not about hate filled hypocritical tasteless chicken, I come bearing sweets for my sweets. In Rutherford,  New Jersey’s Sweet Avenue Bake Shop is customizing confectionery delight with a side of equality. The vegan bakery is offering a “Rainbow Pride” cupcake to show customers that all are welcome.  The inspiration for these delicious rainbow inspired delicacies are a response to the not too bright  Mike Huckabee and the president of an anti gay bigotry poultry company. You know the one that has complete conservatives with myopic thinking that celebrating today as a day of hate disguised as “appreciation“?

Proprietor of this vegan bakery, Jake Vance along with his equally socially conscious wife, Danielle, told the Huffington Post “we figured it would be a good time to make a statement of our own, so this is our way to counteract all the negativity going around” Always nice to see  businesses be fair and offer their goods and services for everyone. Lately, there’s been more discussion on whether business should make political statements and I for one am all for it. I don.t want to support a company that supports hate in any way.  And I do believe it is a reflection on one’s beliefs.

This is also a response to the shop in recent news that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.  Vance’s response was “to not make a wedding cake for a couple…you’re not really standing up for anything, you’re just punishing the couple for no reason”.  I hope to see more companies need to make a stand  like this and it is vita; for us as a community to support companies and business that are for equal rights.  It may sound odd, but the more businesses that realize the money they can earn from  the gay community. the more it furthers thee cause.

We all need uplifting  little stories like these that not only promote equality, but a ray of hope for humanity as well. It helps us regain focus and perspective to see allies for the LGBTQ community speaking out and doing what’s right so go visit their fun site and be inspired.