Charlotte Observer Admits Charlotte’s Bathroom Provision Was Never Needed

Facts

Facts matter.

It’s always highly amusing when the sanctimonious editorial troupe over at the Charlotte Observer slip up and admit the truth about an issue they’ve been demagoguing for months and months. It happened again Wednesday night regarding the HB2 issue.

The state’s HB2 bill is about more than just bathroom access, of course, but bathroom access for “transgender persons” was at the top of the agenda for the activist left for years here in Charlotte prior to the city’s eventual passage of an NDO that included language effectively allowing transgender individuals to use whatever bathroom they wanted to. It also allowed men who did NOT identify as such access to women’s bathrooms, showers, fitting rooms, etc.

Gather ’round the campfire, y’all. Because I’ve got a story to tell ya.

When the City Council first took up this issue in 2015, the Democrat majority couldn’t agree on the particulars – in particular as it related to bathroom access – and the issue was shelved.

Fast forward a few months later to a new mayor (Jennifer Roberts) and a couple of new (Democrat, natch) council members, and in February of 2016, they passed the NDO with the all-important “must-have” bathroom provision. This in spite of the fact that the primary objection to the ordinance from citizens was including that provision. This in spite of the fact that the Governor himself (a former mayor of Charlotte) and a number of state legislators – some in leadership positions – practically begged them to keep the bathroom provision out of the ordinance. Leave it out, they said in so many words, and we won’t take action in response.

The Charlotte City Council did it anyway. And they deliberately made it effective the first week in April, which was 3 weeks before a the state legislature would meet for its next regular session. They knew that the only way the state legislature could stop the bill from going into effect was to call an “expensive” special March session, and the city council knew the media would kick up a fuss if they did. And that’s exactly what happened. The result was HB2.

During all this, the Charlotte Observer – along with their sister paper the Raleigh News and Observer as well as broadcast news outlet WRAL – led the way in pushing for the Charlotte ordinance to pass and relentlessly slammed the state legislature for responding with HB2. They mocked opponents’ legitimate concerns about what opening up women’s restrooms and fitting rooms to men would mean, and in one now-infamous piece, the majority-male editorial team at the CO actually told women and children that it was time to “overcome their discomfort” over male genitalia being in their locker rooms:

The Observer was also a proponent of boycotts and economic sanctions, even though they admitted to being “conflicted” because they knew it would hurt innocent people by way of lost jobs and revenue for the state – not to mention be a blow to NC’s hospitable reputation.

But here’s the kicker: After an endless amount of editorials and opinion pieces disguised as “objective” reporting over a period of several months where women, men, parents, sexual assault victims were portrayed as bigots and homophobes with no legitimate concerns, and after the NBA pulled the All-Star game out of Charlotte, and the NCAA and ACC pulled several championship games out of North Carolina over HB2, the Observer got around to unwittingly admitting Wednesday night that the bathroom provision of Charlotte’s original ordinance was never needed.

Editorial page editor Taylor Batten started out by talking about how the state is now paying the price for the “imaginary threats/ghosts” that supporters of HB2 – including survivors of rape – worried about. Then, he got around to the inadvertent admission:

He finished his piece by complaining about how Gov. McCrory “didn’t have the spine” to oppose state legislators who “wanted a wedge issue” (even though they specifically asked Charlotte to NOT include the bathroom provision to avoid the state having to respond), and then mentioned again how proponents of common sense bathroom laws were making North Carolina suffer for a “manufactured fear of mythical predators.”

Here’s the funny thing. What Batten said about transgenders using bathrooms before HB2 is in line with what I’ve had members of the transgender community tell me privately: That they had had very few issues over the years before any ordinance was passed using the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity and did not like the fact that the activist left were using them and in the process making it harder for them because now everyone would now be aware of it, sparking concern.

In other words, they didn’t need that “special bathroom protection” in the ordinance. It was unnecessary. “We were getting along just fine without it,” some have told me. And so Batten has admitted. So if they were getting along “fine without it” and using the bathroom of their choice before the ordinance was passed then …

There was no need to include bathroom protections in the first place in the ordinance.

There was no need to “legally” open up women’s bathrooms and showers to MEN. No need to make illegal that crucial trigger that causes front desk clerks at the gym to ask questions and immediately alert security if a man walks into a women’s locker room. Under the “new system” Charlotte put in place, a front desk clerk faced legal consequences for questioning males who walked into women’s facilities, so by the time a woman or child had been victimized by a non-transgender male allowed to go in without question it would have been too late. Damage done.

The “imaginary, mythical ghost” was the supposed “need” pushed by Batten and the Charlotte Observer for “bathroom protections” for transgenders in the first place.

Let’s break it down: If there’s no need for the bathroom provision in the ordinance, there’s no need for Charlotte to include it in their final NDO. If it’s not included in the final NDO, then the state legislature leaves them alone. If the state legislature leaves them alone, then there’s no special session, no HB2. If there’s no HB2, then there are no lawsuits, no calls for economic sanctions by the activist left, no loss of revenue, jobs, concerts, events, business expansion, reputation, etc.

Are we clear now just how badly the City of Charlotte under Mayor Jennifer Roberts’ (D) leadership royally f*cked all of this up now, Charlotte Observer? You can let us know right after you dismount from your high horses.

(Contact information for the Charlotte Observer)

RELATED: The Truth About NC’s HB2 (Storified)

Contact info for the NCAA, the ACC, and NC state legislators

Bathrooms

If you’re fed up over the demagoguery and nonsense surrounding the opposition to North Carolina’s HB2 “bathroom bill”, make sure your voice is heard.

Wanted to create this list so the information would in one place for anyone interested in contacting officials with the NCAA and ACC over their hypocritical, ridiculous decisions to move championship sports games out of our state over HB2.

I’m also including the contact info for NC state legislators for anyone who wants to let their elected leaders know where they stand. In particular. if you have an NC state Democratic representative/senator who wants to repeal HB2, you should ask them what they would tell women who are concerned about the possibility it may be repealed.

Am also adding to this list contact info for Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, since they’ve also weighed in with statements indicating opposition to HB2. Coach K himself has been particularly disappointing.

Will throw in contact info for the News Observer, Charlotte Observer, and WRAL as well, since they’ve been huge cheerleaders for the activist left’s calls for economic sanctions.

———————————————

ACC

Email: feedback@theacc.org
Phone: 336-854-8787
Fax: 336-854-8797
Twitter: @theACC
Facebook: The ACC

———-

NCAA

Write: 700 W. Washington Street
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-6222
Phone: 317-917-6222
Fax: 317-917-6888
Twitter: @NCAA
Facebook: The NCAA

———-

NBA

Phone: 212-407-8000
Fax: 212-832-3861
Email: Contact Form
Twitter: @NBA
Facebook: The NBA

———-

Duke University

Phone: 919-681-3788
Fax: 919-681-8919
Email: publicaffairs@duke.edu, president@duke.edu
Twitter: @DukeU
Facebook: Duke

———-

UNC Chapel Hill

Phone: 919-962-1365
Fax: 919-962-1647
Email: chancellor@unc.edu, mediarelations@unc.edu
Twitter: @ChancellorFolt
Facebook: UNC Chapel Hill

———-

North Carolina General Assembly

NC House Representatives: Search for contact info here.

NC Senate Senators: Search for contact info here.

———-

WRAL – NC Capitol

Phone: 919-821-8555
Fax: 919-821-8541
Email: Contact Form
Twitter: @WRAL, @NCCapitol, @Binker
Facebook: WRAL

———

Charlotte Observer

Phone: 704-358-5000
Email: tbatten@charlotteobserver.com
Twitter: @tbatten1, @theobserver, @PolitifactNC, @will_doran
Facebook: The Charlotte Observer

———-

Raleigh News and Observer

Phone: 919-829-4500, 800-522-4205
Email: Contact Form
Twitter: @newsobserver
Facebook: News and Observer

(This page will be updated as needed.)

The Indiana #RFRA, Memories Pizza, and the Left’s Fascist Orgasm

**Posted by Phineas

satire left tolerance liberal fascism

(Credit: Michael Ramirez)

 

“I know there is an authoritarian Left in this country, and I fear it.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan to Richard Nixon (1970)

(Preface: I should clarify something from the start — I am not a religious person. Born and raised Roman Catholic, I haven’t been to a Mass for anything other than a wedding or funeral in over 35 years. While I respect the Church (and most other faiths) and the opinions of the faithful (Well, most of them), I feel no need or urge to go to church on Sundays or offer up my voice in prayer; the existence or not of God is not of great importance to me, though I don’t doubt that God exists in some form. Neither atheist nor agnostic, perhaps the best description for me is “apatheist.” I just don’t care.

What I do care about passionately, however, is the promise of the American Revolution, the political and social settlement represented in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the freedom of all decent people to live their lives as they see fit without fear of being picked on or persecuted for who they are. What I write below should be read in that context.)

What happened in Indiana over the last week was an utter, damnable disgrace, and a good portion of this nation should be ashamed of themselves for acting like a digital lynch mob.

How did this start? A bit over a week ago, the Indiana legislature passed a bill, similar to a federal act and laws in 19 other states, allowing defendants in lawsuits, including those brought by non-governmental actors, to offer religious belief as a defense when accused of discrimination. It was not a “safe harbor” or anything that precluded a suit or encouraged discrimination. A court still had to determine whether the professed religious defense was outweighed by a pressing state need. Its only purpose was to provide a possible shield to those who felt their religious beliefs were being trampled. (Further essential reading.)

The reaction to the bill made one wonder if Indiana hadn’t opened death camps for gays.

The hysteria generated by progressive reactionaries and other fools who I’m sure didn’t read the bill was appalling to behold. Monumental hypocrites such as Apple’s gay CEO Tim Cook roundly denounced Indiana for bigotry against gays and for denying their rights… while Apple makes iPhones in Communist China and sells them in Iran, where gays are regularly murdered by the state for being gay. Other ignoramuses called for the NCAA basketball tournament to be moved from Indiana next year, or ran to the microphones to condemn Indiana while pretending their own state’s RFRA didn’t exist..

Eventually the pressure from the howling horde of progressive corporate execs, the MSM, and “activists” proved too much for the cowardly lions in the Indiana legislature and their jelly-spined governor, and they amended the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to gut its provisions. The mob had won, and the democratic will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives was left beaten and bleeding in a back alley. If that were the end of it, it would be bad enough.

But it wasn’t.

During the week of furor over Indiana’s RFRA, a “reporter” at ABC’s Channel 57 affiliate in Indiana,  Alyssa Marino, went looking for devout Christians mouth-breathing, hate-filled homophobes who would refuse service to homosexuals.

And she found them at Memories Pizza

You can read Scott Ott’s report on how the media created the Hell that was about to descend on the O’Connors, owners of “Memories.” But I want to point out one especially egregious example,  a tale of two headlines:

headlines

(h/t @TDelovely)

The top is the first headline to run over Marino’s story, and below is the “corrected” version. See the enormous difference between the two? The first claims the O’Connors declared a blanket denial of service to gays. Pretty despicable, right? The later limits that to catering a gay wedding. (And who would order pizza for a wedding, anyway?) But, here’s the kicker: Marino’s question to Crystal O’Connor was wholly hypothetical! There was no gay couple seeking pizza for their wedding. Marino has simply walked in and asked a question along the lines of “What would you do if…?” O’Connor then made the mistake of answering honestly: gays would be welcome to eat at the restaurant, presumably also to get takeout or delivery, but that her business would decline to cater a wedding because it would require them to participate in an activity that went against their Christian faith. Again, a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. The hypothetical gay couple could then go to another pizza parlor for catering, which would profit.

Simple, right?

No. This was the crime of “wrong thought,” and for that the O’Connors became vragi naroda, “enemies of the people.” Thanks to the media and the firestorm ignited on the Internet, Memories Pizza’s social media presence was attacked, and threats of violence, arson, and even death were received. It got so bad the O’Connors closed their shop and went into hiding. While through the efforts of Dana Loesch and her crew at The Blaze TV, the O’Connors more then recouped their losses (1), one has to ask: Did they really deserve this for simply holding an opinion not popular with our media and urban elites?

Of course not! What happened to Memories Pizza and to the Indiana government was disgusting: Thinking they had found their new Emmanuel Goldstein, the ignorant, reactionary Left began with a ritual Two Minutes Hate and ran with it until it became nearly a sexual ecstasy of rage. The state government was intimidated, a couple was left in fear for their lives, and the rights of people to freedom of conscience and freedom of association were torn apart in a political Bacchanalia.

There is a sickness in our body politic, one brought about by the authoritarian Left the late Senator Moynihan cited at the start of this article. One key component of the American settlement is the idea of political and religious tolerance, that we can all hold different beliefs –and we don’t have to like those beliefs or even each other– but not be punished for them. Our English forebears, Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, experienced just that sort of oppression and came to a New World to escape it. Later it was the Jews fleeing persecution in Europe; a letter from President Washington to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island eloquently describes that idea:

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

(…)

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

Emphases added. Washington, I’m almost certain, would be nauseated by what happened this last week.

What the authoritarian Left is doing strikes at the heart of the American settlement by refusing to honor the “liberty of conscience” we have long made room for in this land. Remember the conscientious objectors of the Vietnam War era (and earlier wars), who refused to engage in combat because of religious objections? Then, the Left lionized them as heroes. Would they now be spat upon because they used religion as a defense? It was for moments like these, when the power of the State impinges on the deeply felt religious beliefs of people, whether in matters of war or simply participating in a wedding, that Congress passed nearly unanimously and President Clinton signed the federal RFRA, and the states followed with their own.

But the Left leaves no room for dissent, unless it is dissent they approve of. All others are not just disapproved of, but must be actively harassed and punished until they publicly recant and think right thoughts, like some Maoist “struggle session.”

I’m going to close with a long quote from attorney Kurt Schlichter, who served many years in the Army, including Kosovo, where he saw first hand what happened when the consensus of tolerance broke down:

Which brings us to America in 2015. It’s becoming a nation where an elite that is certain of its power and its moral rightness is waging a cultural war on a despised minority. Except it’s not actually a minority – it only seems that way because it is marginalized by the coastal elitist liberals who run the mainstream media.

Today in America, we have a liberal president refuses to recognize the majority sent to Congress as a reaction to his progressive failures, and who uses extra-Constitutional means like executive orders to stifle the voice of his opponents. We have a liberal establishment on a secular jihad against people who dare place their conscience ahead of progressive dogma. And we have two different sets of laws, one for the little people and one for liberals like Lois Lerner, Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, who can blatantly commit federal crimes and walk away scot free and smirking.

Today in America, a despised minority that is really no minority is the target of an establishment that considers this minority unworthy of respect, unworthy of rights, and unworthy of having a say in the direction of this country. It’s an establishment that has one law for itself, and another for its enemies. It’s an establishment that inflicts an ever-increasing series of petty humiliations on its opponents and considers this all hilarious.

That’s a recipe for disaster. You cannot expect to change the status quo for yourself and then expect those you victimize not to play by the new rules you have created. You cannot expect to be able to discard the rule of law in favor of the rule of force and have those you target not respond in kind.

Read the whole thing.

The Left is discarding the rule of law for the rule of force, substituting the power of the mob for the “immunities of citizenship,” and while you may think it silly to compare America to Kosovo, it may also be that Col. Schlichter has simply reconnoitered farther down the road they want us to walk and seen where it ends.

“I know there is an authoritarian Left in this country, and I fear it.”

And we should, still.

Footnote:
(1) Fair disclosure: I was one of the donors and was honored to do so.

RELATED: The Power Line podcast has an excellent discussion of the Indiana situation, and RFRAs in general, with law professor John Yoo.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

What does the #BoycottIndiana RFRA “outrage” mean for North Carolina?

NC Governor Pat McCrory

NC Governor Pat McCrory.

With the ridiculous Code Red outrage that has translated into self-serving “boycotts” of the state of Indiana after last week’s passage of their own version of the President Clinton-approved 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and with Arkansas expected to be the 21st state after Indiana to sign into law an RFRA passed by their state legislature, I thought it would be a good idea to speculate on what it all means for North Carolina.

In my latest at IJReview, I noted NC’s GOP Governor Pat McCrory has signaled he doesn’t think such laws are necessary for this state. In fact, he indicated Monday he would veto in its current form a bill currently under consideration in the GOP-led state legislature that would give magistrates the option to opt out of performing a gay wedding ceremony if they feel it violates their religious faith.

“What is the problem they’re trying to solve?” McCrory asked during Monday’s broadcast of WFAE’s Charlotte Talks program.

North Carolina’s proposed version of the RFRA was introduced last week in both the state House and Senate. House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday that the bill deserved careful consideration in terms of how passage could impact NC’s “brand”:

As opposition to a new Religious Freedom Restoration Act appeared to grow, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore Tuesday signaled that lawmakers will take a hard look at its potential fallout.

Moore called an unusual, impromptu news conference in his office to say the House will be deliberate as it considers the bill.

He said while the bill is important to a number of House Republicans, the session’s primary goals are job creation and improving roads and education. He said he wants to find out how the religious freedom legislation accomplishes those objectives and what it does to improve North Carolina’s “brand.”

“I think we need to show that if we approve this bill, that it will improve North Carolina’s brand,” he said. “Anything we do, we have to make sure we don’t harm our brand.”

[…]

Moore alluded to the current backlash in Indiana after GOP Gov. Mike Pence signed a similar bill into law.

Major industries, including Eli Lilly and Co., have urged Indiana officials to change the law so it can’t be used to justify discrimination. The head of the NCAA, scheduled to hold its Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis, said the law “strikes at the core values of what higher education in America is all about.”

Moore noted that Indiana is feeling repercussions from passage of its religious freedom law. He’s met with business leaders, and North Carolina’s bill has come up.

Another Republican in the House, Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Huntersville) gave off the distinct impression that he wouldn’t support such legislation:

GOP Rep. Charles Jeter of Huntersville said the N.C. proposal differs from the federal law in another respect.

“The difference is how it’s intended to be applied,” Jeter said. “And while some people may not like it, society grows over time. I think this (proposal) is specific to the homosexual issues, the same-sex issues, the gender issues.”

Jeter said existing laws already protect religious freedom.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R) doesn’t sound too enthused about the issue, either:

So, would the North Carolina’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act measures, which have been filed in both the House and the Senate, contribute to that economic boom?

“I think what we’ve done over the past four years would be the thing that has put us in a position where our economy is performing most other states,” said Berger, R-Rockingham. “I think what we are going to be focused on, as we have been over the past four years, is doing things that will move us in that direction. That means we’re going to deal with economic development, continuing tax reform, our regulatory climate, all of those kinds of things.”

So, it doesn’t sound like the RFRA is part of that group, does it?

“It’s been filed. A decision will be made as to whether or not we move it forward,” Berger said.

Everything at this point that happens with this type of legislation here in North Carolina needs to be viewed through the post-passage-of-the-Indiana-law prism. As I wrote on Twitter last night:

Simply put, GOP leaders in North Carolina are are already giving off vibes that they no longer want to deal with the hassle of trying to defend themselves and their state in front of a national audience as they’ve had to do over the last couple of years, thanks to the left’s relentless targeting and bullying of their reform agenda, this time over a law that some of them clearly fear could have a negative impact on our still-recovering local economy if the boycotts threats begin.

Color me a bit disappointed so far by what I’m hearing. BUT, as they say, stay tuned….

Michael Sam floats insinuation late pick in #NFL draft may have been due to homophobia

Michael Sam

Does he have a point?
(2014 NFL Combine photo courtesy
of Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

It begins:

ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis/AP) — Michael Sam believes he should’ve been taken sooner in the draft.

The Rams selected the former University of Missouri defensive standout with the 249th pick in the seventh round, which was the seventh-to-the-last pick in the 2014 Draft. The openly gay football player, who was SEC Defensive Player of the Year, thought a team should have chosen him during the first three rounds.

“From last season alone, I should’ve been in the first three rounds. SEC Defensive Player of the Year, All-American,” Sam said during a conference call, adding that other teams chickened out on selecting him.

The frustration mounted for Sam as the hours and rounds passed by, but he felt he would be picked.

“I knew I was going to get picked somewhere. Every team that passed me, I was thinking how I’m going to sack their quarterback,” Sam said.

Sam stopped short of directly saying his stock dropped in the draft because he came out.

“You know what, who knows? Who knows? Only the people who sit in the war room know,” he said. “They saw Michael Sam, day after day they scratched it off the board. That was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on that board. And you know what I feel like I’m a (Jadeveon) Clowney, a first draft pick. I’m proud of where I am now.”

I’ll admit I don’t pay much attention to sports stats, combines, etc so I’m not even sure he has a case here – but from what I’ve gathered from people who do read and analyze sports facts and figures and other related data, they’re saying his seventh round pick was just about right.  What do you think?

Honestly, no matter where he was picked I had hoped Sam would have said, “Great – I have a team, now let’s do this” – and then have gotten back to making his career about playing football and not about being gay, since it’s supposed to be something we’re not supposed to think about anyway.  That’s not to say he shouldn’t continue to promote gay awareness, and it’s not to say he doesn’t have a legitimate gripe.  But in some cases – especially in those situations where you’re just looking for an “in” with an organization so you can show people you’re no different than anybody else, sometimes it’s best to put certain suspicions to the side, especially when you can’t confirm them … and especially when you’re first starting out (no pun intended).

On the flip side of this, the same article that quoted Sam hinting that homophobia might have been behind his late round pick also included this bit of intriguing information:

An NFL.com writer was in the Rams’ draft room and reported late Saturday night that head coach Jeff Fisher unexpectedly suggested taking Sam, a player the team had not given much consideration to before.

Soooo … could Sam have been picked by the Rams because the team wanted to put on a show of “inclusiveness” rather than judging the athlete by his talent? Or was it a mixture of both?

Yeah, yeah – lots of questions, I know. And we’re unlikely to get concrete answers on any of it beyond people speaking “on background” due to fear that they, too, might be thrown into the “homophobia” mix.

Islamic cabbies refuse to drive “Gay Games” taxis due to “religious reasons”

Hypocrisy

Where’s the widespread, non-stop liberal outrage?

Interesting development:

Roughly 25 Muslim drivers dispatched to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are refusing to drive cabs adorned with advertising for the region’s upcoming Gay Games, citing religious reasons.

Two of the three companies operating at Ohio’s largest airport were informed by the drivers — one-third of the airport’s total fleet — last week that they will no longer participate in the airport’s dedicated taxicab program. The companies, Ace and Yellow Taxi Cab, were told by the drivers that their decision was based on religious reasons, airport spokeswoman Jacqueline Mayo told FoxNews.com.

Ann Gynn, a spokeswoman for the Gay Games, said she believes the protest is an “isolated” case and not indicative of the beliefs held by most residents in Cleveland and Akron, where the Gay Games will be held on Aug. 9-16.

“What we’ve been seeing for the last couple of years is a lot of positive support and a welcome atmosphere within the community,” Gynn told FoxNews.com. “This was a decision by those individual cab drivers. It was a personal decision.”

This is the first year that the nonprofit Gay Games, which are open to all adults regardless of sexual orientation, has utilized advertising atop taxicabs, Gynn said. They were unveiled early last week, she said.

“What’s surprising is that the Gay Games are about inclusion,” she continued. “The Gay Games are open to everybody. This is about inclusiveness on sporting fields and welcoming people as they are.”

The affected taxicab companies will now backfill the airport’s fleet with metered vehicles until each company can hire replacement drivers. That process is expected to take up to three weeks, Mayo said.

Expecting the same level of “OUTRAGE!!!” and “hyperventilating” over The Usual Suspects over people being “denied” – on religious ground – a service because they’re celebrating gay pride? Don’t hold your breath.  If these were Christian cabbies, we’d already have wall to wall coverage on all the  major networks, the Gay Gestapo demanding the cab drivers be fired/punished/sued.  But because they’re not – crickets.

Move along here, nothing to see!

ABC’s GMA runs Westboro video in story on anti-gay marriage @Mozilla CEO

ABC News

The “high tech lynching” of now-former CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich (and anyone who happens to agree with him) over his stance against gay marraige continues.  Newsbusters’ Scott Whitlock files this report:

According to Good Morning America’Linzie Janis, a CEO who made a donation in opposition to gay marriage is the same as the hateful members of Westboro Baptist. On Friday, Janis reported on Brendan Eich, the former head of the tech company Mozilla. Eich was ousted after liberal groups found out that in 2008 he made a $1000 donation to support Proposition 8 in California.

As  Janis spoke about the six-year-old donation, video footage of Westboro Baptist protesters with “God hates fags” and “soldiers die 4 fag marriage” signs appeared on-screen. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] 

And right after the footage of Westboro they immediately show footage of happy gay couples who have just gotten married, as if there’s no in between – there’s either being on the “side” of Westboro Baptist or rooting for happy gay  couples to be able to marry with the government’s approval.  So everyone who opposes gay marriage is the equivalent to the despicable Westboro Baptist “Church” bigots according to Good Morning America. Make sure to click the Newsbusters link above for the full video segment, which ran on this morning’s GMA.

Talk about stooping to new lows! Make sure to let GMA know what you think of their ridiculously slanted coverage of this story.

QOTD: Andrew Sullivan on the “resignation” of @Mozilla CEO over gay marriage stance

Tolerance

Yep.

First, the back story:

Less than two weeks after drawing controversy over his appointment as CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, Brendan Eich has resigned from the position.

In a post at Mozilla’s official blog, executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker confirmed the news with an unequivocal apology on the company’s behalf. “Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it,” Baker wrote. “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”

The action comes days after dating site OKCupid became the most vocal opponent of Eich’s hiring. Mozilla offered repeated statements about LGBT inclusivity within the company over the past two weeks, but those never came with a specific response from Eich about his thousands of dollars of donations in support of Proposition 8, a California ballot measure that sought to ban gay marriage in the state.

The notice of resignation does not clarify Eich’s future with Mozilla, a company he cofounded in 1998 and became CTO of in 2005. It also stands in stark contrast to an interview Eich gave to The Guardian yesterday, in which he defended his personal, political actions and said they would not get in the way of his work as CEO. “I think I’m the best person for the job and I’m doing the job,” Eich said in the interview.

It’s not often – well, close to never – when I agree with Andrew Sullivan, but he pretty much nails it here (via):

Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

Townhall’s Guy Benson rightly notes that the “live and let live” mantra the activist gay left repeated over and over again in appeals for the “right” to marry has now been replaced by “conform or else”:

Americans’ views on same-sex marriage have shifted dramatically in recent years, with solid majorities now approving of what supporters savvily branded “marriage equality.” The trend is even more pronounced among younger voters; a recent poll of young Republicans measured super-majority support for the practice. One of gay marriage proponents’ most effective and persuasive arguments appealed to many Americans’ “live and let live” sense of fair play. Hey, it’s a free country. The core idea was compelling: “Our love and our marriage doesn’t affect you.” They asked for tolerance, if not acceptance. And they won. Now we’re beginning to see what the disquieting “next step” looks like, at least as imagined by some of the loudest and most radical voices. Tolerance is no longer sufficient. Enforced celebration is the new standard. Those who resist will be labeled bigots, and may be subject to having their lives or livelihoods destroyed. We’re way past “live and let live.” We’ve moved on to coercion in the name of “tolerance.”

Give an inch, take a mile, etc.  This was completely predictable but, of course, the left never listens – and I’m not just talking about the gay left or, as Tammy Bruce calls them, the “Gay Gestapo.” This is what liberals want – no diversity of viewpoints unless it’s within the realm of what they, especially those in positions of power in government, find “acceptable.”  Anyone who denies the creepily fascistic motivations of these types of Democrats at this point is just a delusional ostrich.  Ignore at your own risk.  I won’t.

What do we have to do to win the culture war?

SMH

I read the below series of tweets from my friend @KemberleeKaye on a disturbing experience she had this morning at a local donut shop in Texas when she went to get breakfast. In a nutshell, a nice elderly lady in the store saw a homeless man sitting nearby and bought him a donut. She walked away and he followed her, asked if she was a Christian. She said yes. He said he refused to take charity from Christians because they “hated homosexuals.” She tried to leave the store and he followed her and threw the donut at her.

Yes, obviously the unhinged jerk was extraordinarily rude and disrespectful, and this is just one incident, but I see this attitude a lot – assuming that Christians “hate” gays. And it expands further than that to other social issues, like casual sex, birth control, abortion, and religion. I know there are Christians that give the rest of us a bad name, but I think this belief system has a lot more to do with how the activist left – with help from their liberal allies in the print and online media – have distorted and demagogued the various issues social conservatives have focused on over the years into something they’re not. For example, they paint abortion as being about “women’s health” rather than about the unborn life. Birth control is painted as a “right” and anyone who opposes paying for it on a faith basis is painted is a woman-hating “pig” who wants to “control women.” And on and on.

Honestly, conservatives and Christians haven’t done a very good, effective job at neutralizing the left’s social issues talking points in the context of the culture wars. But you have to keep in mind, too, that some of that has to do not just with how the left routinely portrays us and the issues that are important to us, but it also has to do with the minority of cuckoos on the far right saying the wrong thing and the media completely focusing on them while ignoring those who can much better articulate social/cultural issue positions. So how DO we turn things around and start winning again? Keep in mind I’m not talking about government “solutions” but instead looking for ways we can go about in our daily lives that can reverse the nasty stereotype the left has successfully painted us as. I firmly believe that social issues ARE fiscal issues and that if we don’t reverse the left wing monopoly on them, then we’ll see major socio-economic problems in the future that make the current ones look like a piece of cake to handle by comparison.

Thoughts?

On Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of #SB1062 – the religious rights bill

Gov. Jan Brewer

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the last week or so you’ve heard about Arizona’s SB 1062 bill – dubbed by the mainstream media and those who oppose it as the “anti-gay” bill when the more correct term for it is that it actually was a religious rights/freedoms bill, a point even some national MSM outlets finally recognized … but only once it was vetoed last night by Governor Jan Brewer.

I didn’t devote much space here at the blog on this issue but perhaps I should have, not that it would have made any difference in retrospect. The bill was sparked in response to some cases that have sprouted up in the US involving bakers, photographers, florists and caterers who have been asked to bake a gay marriage wedding cake or provide some other service related to it – and who told their customers in response that they could not provide one on religious grounds. In a couple of instances, the bakers told the couples they’d make them any other type of cake but not one that celebrated gay marriage, but that wasn’t enough and the bakers got into legal trouble.  In one now-infamous case, an elderly florist in Washington state who had been happily providing flowers for two customers for  years declined to provide flowers for their wedding,  and that’s turned into an ugly battle that should have never been taken to the level it has:

Consider the case of Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in Washington State who is being sued by the attorney general of the state for refusing to involve her business in a gay wedding. You can watch her in her own words in the video above, but here’s what happened. Stutzman had been serving a gay couple in her flower shop for over ten years. She considered the men to be her friends, and they considered her to be their friend. The two gay men said that throughout their decade long friendship, they did not know that Stutzman believed homosexuality to be a sin. She didn’t treat them any differently than anyone else. She was a friend to them and served them while knowing full well that they were gay.

Does this sound like Jim Crow segregation to you? Does this sound like bigotry to you? Does this sound like discrimination to you? So what happened that got her in trouble?

The two men came into her shop one day and asked her to provide floral arrangements for their wedding celebration. Stutzman responded by taking her friend’s hand and saying this:

‘I am sorry. I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.’ We hugged each other and he left, and I assumed it was the end of the story.

What happened next? Did the gay couple feel bad about putting their friend in a tough situation? Did they tell her, “We disagree, but we understand” and then take their business elsewhere? No, that’s not what they did. They used Facebook to spread the word about her refusal. Her refusal was reported to authorities, and now this Christian florist is being sued by the Washington State Attorney General.

Cases like that caught the attention of the Arizona state legislature, and they passed a bill – SB1062 – which, contra to the hysteria surrounding it by the Usual Suspects, did not allow you to carte blanche “refuse service to gay people” but instead gave you more of a firm legal ground in case you were sued because you refused to provide a service on religious grounds.   National Review’s Rich Lowry cuts through the bull:

The legislation consisted of minor clarifications of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been on the books for 15 years and is modeled on the federal act that passed with big bipartisan majorities in the 1990s and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

[…]

If you’ll excuse a brief, boring break from the hysteria to dwell on the text of the doomed bill, it stipulated that the word “person” in the law applies to businesses and that the protections of the law apply whether or not the government is directly a party to a proceeding (e.g., a lawsuit brought on anti-discrimination grounds).

Eleven legal experts on religious freedom statutes — who represent a variety of views on gay marriage — wrote a letter to Gov. Brewer prior to her veto explaining how the bill “has been egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics.”

[…]

In addition to the federal government, 18 states have such statutes and about a dozen other states interpret their state constitutions as extending the same protections, according to the letter. The statutes, the scholars write, “say that before government can burden a person’s religious exercise, the government has to show a compelling justification.”

The letter argues that, properly interpreted, the federal law that inspired the Arizona statute covers cases that don’t directly involve the government and covers businesses. So Arizona’s changes weren’t radical but in keeping with a federal law once championed by none other than Sen. Ted Kennedy.

A religious freedom statute doesn’t give anyone carte blanche to do whatever he wants in the name of religion. It simply allows him to make his case in court that a law or a lawsuit substantially burdens his religion and that there is no compelling governmental interest to justify the burden.

[…]

The question isn’t whether businesses run by people opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds should provide their services for gay weddings; it is whether they should be compelled to by government. The critics of the much-maligned Arizona bill pride themselves on their live-and-let-live open-mindedness, but they are highly moralistic in their support of gay marriage, judgmental of those who oppose it and tolerant of only one point of view on the issue — their own.

For them, someone else’s conscience is only a speed bump on the road to progress. It’s get with the program, your religious beliefs be damned.

Indeed.

And just for the record, I think there were/are good arguments for and against the bill, but most opponents of it went straight for the jugular: “Anti-gay”, “Jim Crow laws”, “BOYCOTT” etc.  Once you start framing it in those terms without really trying to get to know the opinions of the people arguing for or against something, it’s hard to have a civil discussion about the merits – or lack thereof, if you feel that way – about any particular issue.

Anyway, she vetoed it so that’s done for now, but the issue itself is not going to go away.   The only question at this point will be: Which state will be next?