On Wednesday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, granting marriage equality to the state’s LGBT residents. Happy Number 16!
A McDonald’s in Manhattan is being accused of discrimination, as two men claim they were denied service because a cashier thought they were homosexuals.
Willis Washington Jr. and Horace Stevenson III have filed suit against the fast-food chain, stating they were “severely humiliated, mentally anguished and emotionally and physically distressed” by the incident, which took place in December 2012.
Washington and Stevenson say the server “actually handed one of the customers a metal pipe from behind the counter and motioned to him that he should hit plaintiffs with it,” according to their complaint. Additionally, another customer reportedly “started to say he had a problem with gay people and that the gay lifestyle was not what God wants,” and more diners pushed the two men to the back of the restaurant.
“As a business leader, the behavior that is alleged in this case is absolutely inconsistent with our values and would not be acceptable or tolerated in our restaurant,” The Colley Group, which owned the franchise, said in a statement. “We have not been made aware of any inappropriate behavior by our employees as has been suggested, but we are actively investigating this matter.” (Photo: NNECAPA)
This week is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and President Obama’s speech on the occasion linked Abraham Lincoln’s famous oration to the struggle for LGBT equality.
[Lincoln] understood as well that our humble efforts, our individual ambitions, are ultimately not what matter; rather, it is through the accumulated toil and sacrifice of ordinary men and women — those like the soldiers who consecrated that battlefield—that this country is built, and freedom preserved. This quintessentially self-made man, fierce in his belief in honest work and the striving spirit at the heart of America, believed that it falls to each generation, collectively, to share in that toil and sacrifice.
Through Cold War and world war, through industrial revolutions and technological transformations, through movements for civil rights and women’s rights and workers rights and gay rights, we have, at times, social and economic changes that have strained our union. But Lincoln’s words give us confidence that whatever trials avail us, this nation and the freedom we cherish can, and shall, prevail.
And yesterday, Obama awarded posthumous Presidential Medals of Freedom to gay civili-rights leader Bayard Rustin and lesbian astronaut Sally Ride.
Speaking of Rustin, who was sidelined in the civil-rights movement because of his sexuality, the President said:
For decades, this great leader, often at Dr. King’s side, was denied his rightful place in history because he was openly gay. No medal can change that, but today, we honor Bayard Rustin’s memory by taking our place in his march towards true equality, no matter who we are or who we love.
A new billboard campaign in Peru is aiming at ending homophobia by depicting straight celebrities as if they were gay couples.
The campaign, popping up in the capital city of Lima, is called “Imaginary Couples” and bears the tag line “Love is not a crime.” Among the A-list participants are politician Kenji Fujimori and footballer Miguel Rebosio, comedian Jorge Benavides and boxer Juan Zegarra, entertainer Carlos Galdós and actor Jason Day,and boxer Jonathan Maicelo and actor Lucho Caceres
Same-sex relationships are not legally recognized in Peru, though lawmakers have been trying to introduce marriage-equality legislation since 2010.