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Duncan Grant

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Hometown: Northern California
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,991

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Chick-fil-A is ending donations criticized by LGBTQ activists after years of backlash

You’d still have to pay me to eat there, ymmv. -DG

Chick-fil-A is ending donations criticized by LGBTQ activists after years of backlash

On Monday, Chick-fil-A announced it was making a major change to perhaps the most controversial part of the company: its charitable-giving arm.

In a press release, the company said it would "deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger." A Chick-fil-A representative confirmed that the company would no longer donate to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army, two organizations that have been criticized by LGBTQ advocates.

"We made multiyear commitments to both organizations, and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018. Moving forward you will see that the Chick-fil-A Foundation will support the three specific initiatives of homelessness, hunger and education," the representative said in a statement to Business Insider.

Chick-fil-A had previously worked with the groups to fund specific programs — such as summer camps — that work directly with underprivileged children.

Russia: Criminal Charges for Gay-Friendly Chat Show

Russia: Criminal Charges for Gay-Friendly Chat Show

(Moscow) – Russian authorities should drop a criminal case over a YouTube video of children talking to a gay man and ensure the man’s safety amid threats and attempted physical attacks, Human Rights Watch said today.

Maxim Pankratov, 21, took part in the “Real Talk” video series, modeled on an American show “Kids Meet,” on which children interview people with different life experiences, asking them unscripted questions. “Real Talk” previously featured children interviewing a woman with anorexia, an African man, a person of small stature, and others.

In the video, posted earlier this year, four children, ages six to 13, talk to Pankratov about his life and experiences as a gay man. In response to their questions, he tells them how he found out about his sexual orientation, how other people treat him, how he likes to dress, how he feels about girls, and how eventually he would like to get married and to have his own biological children or adopt a child. There was no discussion of sex or physical intimacy.

In October 2019, the Interior Ministry opened an administrative case over alleged “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” against the YouTube channel owners, and the state media and communications watchdog agency, Roskomnadzor, blocked the video. Then in November, Moscow’s investigative agency opened a criminal investigation alleging that the episode amounted to sexual assault of children.

More at link...

U.S. man in same-sex marriage sues Japan government

U.S. man in same-sex marriage sues Japan government for long-term visa

A U.S. man whose marriage to his Japanese husband is legally recognized in his country sued the Japanese government on Wednesday for the same right to stay that a heterosexual couple would get, saying he was being denied a family life.

According to Japanese law, foreign nationals married to Japanese in heterosexual marriages are granted long-term residence status upon arrival in Japan, but those in same-sex marriages are not.

Though nearly two dozen Japanese cities, towns and wards issue certificates recognizing same-sex partnerships, they lack legal standing.

Japan remains deeply conservative and the constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman.

The 175-Year History of Speculating About President James Buchanan's Bachelorhood

The 175-Year History of Speculating About President James Buchanan’s Bachelorhood
Was his close friendship with William Rufus King just that, or was it evidence that he was the nation’s first gay chief executive?


More than 60 personal letters still survive, including several that contain expressions of the most intimate kind. Unfortunately, we can read only one side of the correspondence (letters from King to Buchanan). One popular misconception holds about that their nieces destroyed their uncles’ letters by pre-arrangement, but the real reasons for the mismatch stem from multiple factors: for one, the King family plantation was raided during the Battle of Selma in 1865, and for another, flooding of the Selma River likely destroyed portions of King’s papers prior to their deposit at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Finally, King dutifully followed Buchanan’s instructions and destroyed numerous letters marked “private” or “confidential.” The end result is that relatively few letters of any kind survive in the various papers of William Rufus King, and even fewer have ever been prepared for publication.

By contrast, Buchanan kept nearly every letter which he ever received, carefully docketing the date of his response on the backside of his correspondence. After his death, Johnston took charge of her uncle’s papers and supported the publication of a two-volume set in the 1880s and another, more extensive 12-volume edition in the early 1900s. Such private efforts were vital to securing the historical legacy of U.S. presidents in the era before they received official library designation from the National Archives.

More at link above.

Marie Newman vs. the Democratic Machine (Chicago: IL 3rd Dan Lipinski)

The Nation
Marie Newman Could Shape the Future of the Democratic Party
The congressional candidate in Illinois is challenging incumbent Dan Lipinski’s betrayals—and her party’s conservative tendencies.

She’s optimistic that voters in a presidential election year will swing in her favor: she’s registered some 7,000 progressive voters since the midterms, she won the under-50 set by 21 points, and her district typically sees a 10 percent voter turnout bump during a presidential election year. However, her campaign has a new and daunting obstacle to face: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

This past March the DCCC issued new standards that stop vendors of political services—such as strategic consulting, research, and marketing—from working with primary candidates who challenge incumbents. It essentially created a blacklist: If vendors help a primary challenger, the DCCC will not hire them or recommend them to any of its campaigns. The organization justifies this by referring to its goal of supporting incumbents, maintaining or expanding its House majority, and dedicating resources to endangered or flippable districts. But the effect has been to protect the party’s straight white men. That has made it predictably unpopular among rising new stars in the party, like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who won their seats by primarying incumbents. But it has teeth. Three vendors have dropped Newman’s campaign, and a handful of others dropped out during the vetting process. “It’s ridiculously expensive to run a campaign,” she said. “Now we have to throw out a good bit of work…and I have to figure out how to cobble together volunteers to help me out with this, which takes my time and my campaign manager’s time. It’s stressful.”

Newman’s run highlights urgent and unavoidable questions about the future of the Democratic Party: Can it encourage new blood, promote diversity, and increase its number of seats while supporting middle-of-the-road incumbents? Should the party embrace a big tent, or is there a place for ideological litmus tests? Will the party be more successful by embracing its progressive wing or hewing more closely to the center? Should being a member of Congress be a job for life? And if the DCCC is truly interested in change, will it be willing to alter its institutional approach to running and funding campaigns?

I asked Newman these questions a few days after the parade, at her home and temporary campaign headquarters in the suburb of La Grange. We sat in a cozy home office, surrounded by stacks of paper, family photos, and a map of the district pinned on the wall. Ziggy, her beagle, sat behind her on the desk chair and snored lightly as we talked. Her campaign has attracted national attention because she has been vocal about the impact of the DCCC vendor rule and because “Pro-Choice Candidate Takes On Anti-Abortion Incumbent” makes for a nice headline in a moment when reproductive rights are under attack.

Russian LGBTQ activist is killed after being listed on gay-hunting website: Yelena Grigoryeva

Russian LGBTQ activist is killed after being listed on gay-hunting website Yelena Grigoryeva sounded the alarm after her name appeared on a website that offered prizes for attacking gays. Days later, she was dead.

A Russian LGBTQ activist, Yelena Grigoryeva, was fatally stabbed in St. Petersburg Sunday night after her name was listed on a website that encourages people to “hunt” LGBTQ activists, inspired by the torture-themed film "Saw."

Reports in the Russian newspaper Fontanka said that a suspect, a “40-year-old resident of Bashkortostan,” had been detained by police.

Grigoryeva, 41, was active with Russia’s Alliance of Heterosexuals and LGBT for Equality and other activist causes, according to the Russian LGBT Network.

According to friends' and colleagues' online posts, Grigoryeva was worried about her safety after she found her name and personal information listed on the snuff site.

Please rec to honor her and bring awareness to the injustice.

Artists are withdrawing from the Whitney Biennial (dirty plutocrat money)

A True Protest Biennia — By Jerry Saltz

Since before the show’s May opening, a constant drumbeat has sounded for the artists to refuse to participate owing to the relationship of Kanders to the museum and its exhibition. Why? In a certain way, he is a representative figure of the culture of toxic philanthropy, in which plutocrats who’ve made money in unseemly ways cleanse their reputations through donations to reputable institutions — think of the opiate-peddling Sackler family’s support of the Met or David Koch’s donations to what seems like half of high-culture New York. As for Kanders: Among the other disaster-capitalism concerns, his company Safariland manufactured some of the tear-gas canisters used by the Trump administration against immigrants crossing into America. (This news was published early on by the art blog Hyperallergic, which has continued reporting on this and has been breaking stories ever since.) Safariland’s ordinance was also used in Turkey, where over 130,000 tear-gas canisters were fired into crowds, and in Gaza, where 154 Palestinian protesters have been killed, including 34 children. Kanders and his product were toxic long before there was any outrage at the museum.

Being naïve to the ways of industrialist tycoons, I had hoped that rather than forcing the Whitney higher-ups to legislate this explosive issue — knowing such a situation opens a Pandora’s box around all cultural funding — Kanders would have resigned before the biennial opening, recognizing that his presence was harming the museum, the art, the Whitney name, and the artists. Instead, sounding as if he saw the world as his own petting zoo, Kanders opined, “While my company and the museum have distinct missions, both are important contributors to our society,” adding that “the politicization of every aspect of public life including commercial organizations and cultural institutions is not productive or healthy.”

More on Warren B. Kanders

Russia launches criminal case over gay adoption (family faces prosecution)

Russian officials allegedly allowed a gay couple to adopt children. Now Russia's Investigative Committee has opened a criminal negligence case. And thanks to a "gay propaganda" law, the family could also face charges.

Olenichev described Russian society as a whole as very conservative, but he emphasized that the outcome of a potential case against the gay fathers ultimately would "depend on the individuals making the decisions." It's hard to predict what will happen to them, he added, though he doesn't seem optimistic that the family will escape a case against them.

Investigators are currently checking the children's family circumstances, Olenichev said. He confirmed to DW that the adopted boys are 12 and 14 years old. One of the men in the family works at the Higher School of Economics, a state university in Russia, and the family is quite "well off," he said. Along with the men, a grandmother and a nanny have been taking care of the boys.

Olenichev took care to emphasize that the children feel "comfortable and safe in the family" and that a psychologist has found the relationship between the parents and children to be close and affectionate. He even pointed out that there were no "indications of violence in the family."

His emphasis on the psychological well-being of the adopted children reflects public opinion in Russia, a challenge for the LGBT community — and a potential challenge for the family should a case be opened against them.

As a quick aside, I would encourage you to follow Pompeo’s “natural law/human rights” commission. The “Ya’ll Queda” republicans would love to redefine LGBTQ equality in the U.S. — Chilling, isn’t it?

If you were a space age kid, you'll love this.

Like many of you, I was a space age kid. I remember watching the moon landing with my family. I’m glad my Dad was so enthusiastic about it all. It’s a great memory.

Today’s apps - 50 years later - are amazing. This one from Time magazine won’t disappoint you.

Link: Welcome to TIME Immersive's Apollo 11 'Landing on the Moon' Experience

From Time’s website:

“The Apollo 11 simulation on which you’re about to embark, which is the world’s most accurate 3-D re-creation of the moon landing, is the result of TIME’s partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, as well as years of painstaking research by Industrial Light and Magic CCO John Knoll. Told in two chapters, Landing on the Moon allows you to witness Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s landing from three breathtaking points of view; in Chapter 2, you can explore the surface of the moon, walk to the foot of the lunar module, and watch within inches of Neil Armstrong’s space suit as he plants the flag.”

Trump Administration to LGBT Couples: Your 'Out of Wedlock' Kids Aren't Citizens

Children of U.S. citizens are falling victim to a policy that de-recognizes their parents’ marriage—and strips them of their birthright citizenship.

“They first indicated that they needed proof of our marriage, which I found quite odd,” Roee said. “They needed the original marriage certificate, which we didn’t have with us, but I didn’t actually think anything more about it. I thought, ‘We don’t have time for this, we’ll just deal with it in the U.S.’”

Roee and Adiel obtained Kessem’s Canadian passport—a stopgap, they figured, until they could get her U.S. passport back home—and traveled back to their home in the United States.

But Kessem was about to become the latest victim of a government policy that effectively de-recognizes her parents’ marriage, granting her no automatic rights to American birthright citizenship despite the fact that both her fathers are U.S. citizens. That policy, Kessem’s fathers told The Daily Beast, poses a unique threat to LGBT families, and could change the decades-old legal understanding of what the word “family” even means.

“This is a very clear attack on families, on American families,” Roee, who married Adiel in California in 2013, told The Daily Beast. “Denying American married couples their rights to pass their citizenship, that is flat-out discrimination, and everyone should be concerned about this.”

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