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Vermont ACLU sues inn over discrimination against gay couple

first_imgMore information on this case, including a video of the plaintiffs. Source: ACLU of Vermont. July 19, 2011 The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Vermont has sued a Vermont resort that refused to host a lesbian couple’s wedding reception due to the owners’ personal bias against lesbian and gay people. Vermont law prohibits denying access to public accommodations based on sexual orientation. According to a statement from the ACLU, Kate Baker and Ming Linsley of New York wished to hold their wedding ceremony at a Buddhist retreat in Vermont and have their reception at a nearby inn. Linsley’s mother, Channie Peters, contacted the Vermont Convention Bureau to locate a facility and received information on the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville. The 24-room inn described itself as an award-winning resort and an ideal destination-wedding location. Baker and Linsley were excited about holding the reception there, but when the events manager learned that the reception was for a lesbian couple, Peters was told that due to the innkeepers’ ‘personal feelings,’ the inn does not host ‘gay receptions.’‘I had been so excited to help plan my only daughter’s wedding reception, so when the Wildflower Inn told me that my daughter wasn’t welcome there, it was like being kicked in the stomach,’ said Peters. ‘Someone who didn’t even know us was telling me that my daughter wasn’t good enough to have her reception at their facility while everyone else who sees the resort’s web site is welcome.’The Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act explicitly prohibits any public accommodations from denying goods and services based on customers’ sexual orientation. The law applies to inns, restaurants, schools, stores, and any other business that serves the general public. The act contains exceptions for religious organizations and small inns with five or fewer rooms; the Wildflower Inn fits neither category. The inn is a multimillion-dollar public business whose slogan is ‘Four Seasons for Everyone!’Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith issued the following statement regarding the ACLU’s action: ‘I don’t know the details of this case, but I do know that Vermont businesses in the tourism industry welcome LGBT travelers with open arms. Vermont was the first state to establish civil unions and the first to legalize same-sex marriage without a court order, and we are deeply proud of these historic milestones.”As a Justice of the Peace, I have conducted many same-sex weddings since the law took effect in Vermont. LGBT tourism is an important part of Vermont’s economy, and we are working more than ever to promote our state to LGBT travelers.”Within weeks of Governor Shumlin taking office in January, he made marketing to LGBT travelers a priority for his administration. Last April, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing sponsored and attended a reception at the GLBT Travel Expo in New York with our local marketing partners.”In addition, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing will sponsor in September the first Northern Decadence diversity and culinary festival in Burlington in partnership with the Vermont Gay Tourism Association. We are looking forward to attracting new visitors to Vermont through this new event and through other LGBT initiatives in the future.’Peters was able to find an alternate location for her daughter’s reception.‘I was completely surprised when I was told that the resort had a ‘no gay reception’ policy,’ said Baker. ‘We wanted to celebrate our marriage with our loved ones in a beautiful country setting, and it never crossed my mind that a resort that is open to the public would discriminate against us based on the owners’ personal feelings about LGBT people.’‘The discrimination from the Wildflower Inn cast a shadow on what should have been a purely joyous occasion,’ said Linsley. ‘We didn’t want to stay quiet and allow this business to continue to discriminate against other couples.’‘The law is clear that any business that provides a service to the public can’t pick and choose who they want to serve based on the customer’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity,’ said Joshua Block, staff attorney for the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. ‘If we allow one group of people to be singled out and denied basic rights and service, we are violating the basic American values of justice and fairness for everyone.’last_img read more

Tools to get the job done

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Anthony DemangoneJohn Spence has a great talk that he does on accountability.There are five parts to accountability.First, you have to communicate the mission and responsibility.You have to have buy-in from the other person.You have to give that person the authority and tools needed to get the job done.You have to track progress.And then you have to address where the person is against their goal.John notes that everybody focuses on numbers 4 and 5, but far fewer focus on 1, 2 and 3.I couldn’t agree more.  continue reading »last_img read more

PDI-P recommends Prabowo’s niece for South Tangerang mayoral race

first_imgThe Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) central executive board has recommended Rahayu “Sara” Saraswati Djojohadikusumo, the niece of Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto, to be its nominee for deputy mayor in the upcoming 2020 South Tangerang mayoral election in Banten.A statement on PDI-P letterhead seen by The Jakarta Post on Monday said that the party’s executive board was set to nominate Sara to run for deputy mayor with the current regional secretary of South Tangerang, Muhammad.The letter, dated June 30, was signed by the chairman of the PDI-P’s central board of elections, Bambang Wuryanto, and the party’s secretary-general, Hasto Kristiyanto. “But we’re open to other options,” he said.He added that Gerindra and the PDI-P would collaborate in several other local elections.Sara served as a member of the House of Representatives for the 2014-2019 legislative term but failed to secure reelection last year.She was a member of House Commission VIII overseeing social affairs and worked consistently to pass the long-awaited sexual violence eradication bill.Topics : Gerindra Party deputy chairman Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said that neither the party nor Sara had received the letter but confirmed that the party was planning to nominate Sara to run in the 2020 South Tangerang race. “If the letter is true, our elections division will meet and confer with the PDI-P regarding the matter,” he said.Read also: PDI-P maintains close ties, sees future with GerindraDasco said the Gerindra Party had yet to issue its official recommendation for Sara and that the party had planned to nominate her for mayor instead of deputy mayor.last_img read more

South African public schools to close as coronavirus cases rise over 400,000

first_imgSouth African public schools will close for four weeks, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday, as confirmed coronavirus cases rose over 400,000.Ramaphosa said it was important that schools did not become sites of transmission at a time when the country’s coronavirus infections are rising at one of the fastest rates in the world.”We have taken a deliberately cautious approach to keep schools closed during a period when the country is expected to experience its greatest increase in infections,” he said in a televised address to the nation. Public schools will close from July 27 until Aug. 24, apart from for Grade 12 learners who will take a one-week break and Grade 7 students who will take a two-week break.Ramaphosa acknowledged it had been difficult to reach consensus in consultations between the government, schools, parents and civil society on whether schools should be open during the pandemic.The current academic year will be extended beyond the end of 2020, and the government will continue a nutrition program to provide meals to learners during the break.South Africa shuttered schools when it entered a hard lockdown in late March, but it allowed classes to resume for some grades from early June. In recent weeks, however, trade unions including teachers’ union SADTU have lobbied for schools to be shut until after the peak of infections passes, which could only happen in September.Unions have raised concerns about a high level of absenteeism, poor infrastructure in schools in townships and rural communities and a failure to follow health and safety protocols.But some education experts say closing schools is the wrong approach.They say teachers are more likely to get infected in their communities than at school and that closing schools could compromise the healthcare system by forcing some healthcare workers to juggle childcare with their work to contain the virus.School closures earlier this year widened an already stark educational divide between top schools that could move their syllabus online and poorly funded ones that lacked the resources or training to do virtual schooling.Topics :last_img read more

Heisler: Whatever the Clippers are, they’re not going anywhere

first_img“We gonna say hi because we know each other,” Johnson said. “You just can’t say, ‘Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers’ — even though I’ll be wink-winking like (laughing uproariously and batting one eye theatrically). You know what that means, right?”We know what that means. Maybe they’ll work out hand signals, like thumb over George’s shoulder, hitchhike-style, means he’s outta there.Meanwhile, this summer’s biggest free agents are a few feet down the Staples Center hall in a dressing room about half the size of the Lakers’ palatial suite of rooms. With Magic looking as if he has heard that neither intends to leave, you can’t even find speculation linking Griffin and Paul with the Lakers amid the drivel on the internet.Kimmel asked Magic about CP3, too. Magic, who would certainly say hi to him, too, let it pass without comment, or wink.Of course, the first question is the Clippers commitment. This could be dicey since Steve Ballmer has owned them for three seasons with the team suffering devastating injuries at the end of these last two, not to mention Blake’s broken hand after punching out the equipment manager … after which there were, indeed, reports of Denver-Clippers trade talks about Blake and a giant package of Nuggets.New York area papers are now speculating on a Carmelo Anthony-for-Griffin trade, following the lead of a GQ piece in January headlined, “The One Trade That Would Fix Two Teams.”’They only missed by two teams. An eighth grader could tell you that neither team would have changed much. The Clippers would still be pretty good, the Knicks awful.Happily for the Clippers, the going price on Carmelo shouldn’t be remotely that high. With his age (32), salary ($26.2 million) and reputation (declining), and Knicks president Phil Jackson’s stated aim of getting rid of him, the Knicks are likely to have to take a young role player like Austin Rivers and a high-priced veteran like Jamal Crawford, the two Clippers whose names came up when Phil shopped Melo at midseason.You can imagine how heavy Clippers hearts have been since Griffin left in Game 3, even as they continued to battle, coming from 3-2 behind in Game 6 in Utah behind Paul, averaging a gaudy 27-10-5 in this series.Tipping off the despair they’re sucking up, the usually gracious Paul went off on a reporter who asked a routine-enough question after the Clippers’ Game 5 loss in Staples Center, about whether they would be back for Game 7.“What?” exclaimed Paul, as if slapped across the face. “What you think? I’m on the team. What you gonna say, ‘Nah, it’s over?’ That’s what you want to hear? Yes! C’mon man, you’ve been doing this long enough. Seriously, right?”Seriously, right. CP3 could almost certainly put up these numbers nightly, like Russell Westbrook or Steph Curry, but he’s a Real Point Guard as opposed to their hybrid versions.Of course, maybe Steph and Russell have it right. The Clippers are always saying they’re at their best when CP3 is at his most aggressive, but it takes an injury to Blake before CP3 throws unselfishness to the wind.Utah coach Quin Snyder has spent the past three games with his center, Rudy Gobert, sinking back into the lane on pick-and-rolls, letting CP3 come off with shooting room.Interestingly, it’s similar to what opponents did with Jazz icon John Stockton, another Real Point Guard. Former Lakers coach Del Harris once told me he had his guards go under screens on their pick-and-rolls, knowing how reluctant Stockton was to shoot.Ah, memories. ESPN play-by-play man Mark Jones reminisced about the old days, musing how much he missed the Delta Center … forgetting that he was sitting in it … although it has since been renamed EnergySolutions Arena and now Vivint Smart Home Arena.Memory used to be a luxury Clippers fans couldn’t afford, but this is a new day, little as you could convince Lakers fans of that.“There’s going to be some kind of sunshine for him at some point,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers after Griffin went down. “You’ve just got to weather this storm.”So must they all. It’s been a long one if you count Donald Sterling’s 32 seasons, although in comparison Ballmer’s have been a day at the beach. As Wavy Gravy said at Woodstock, “There’s always a little bit of heaven, even in a disaster area.”Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published Sundays in Southern California News Group print editions. Actually, insiders say the answer is no. Both love it here and want to stay.Normally, this kind of speculation is meaningless, with free agents prone to leaving on a whim. In their case, however, the speculation has been right as long as both players have been here, with both having already signed new contracts with nary a presentation from another team.If “here” could mean staying in the area while joining the Lakers, that doesn’t appear to be the case.With the Lakers dying to land a star, Magic Johnson is making no secret of his plans to pursue Indiana’s Paul George, a 2018 free agent whom the Pacers might move if he turns down their extension offer.You’re never in the dark for long with Magic, who went on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and hinted that he’s targeting George when asked what he would say if he ran into him somewhere. Clippers forever.No, really. This isn’t a tribue to Chris Paul, much as he deserves it, as do they all for the professionalism they have shown after losing Blake Griffin once more.This is about their future, precarious as it looks, even if they escape their usual first-round exit in Sunday’s Game 7 … which would leave them to face mighty Golden State, looking at their usual second-round exit … after which CP3 and Blake can opt out and become free agents.Of course, this is irresistible to the press, which frames every reverse as the end of the current era, as in: Has Griffin/Paul played his last game as a Clipper?center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Goldette brings the Rumble Back to the Hill

first_imgGOLDETTE SHIELDSBack in 1971 Maurice Lucas, Jeep Kelly and Rickey Coleman were winning state basketball championships and Sam Clancy, Warnie Macklin, Puffy Kennedy and Bill Clarke were in Elementary school and Major Harris was barely out of diapers.1971 was also the last time a sanctioned boxing event was held in the historic Pittsburgh’s Hill District.On June 7, Shields of Faith LLC Promotions put on a boxing card at the New YMCA on the Hill billed as “The Rumble on the Hill.”You heard the old cliché, “Anything men can do, women can do better!”  It was true on Saturday afternoon. Promoter Goldette Shields, CEO of Shields of Faith LLC, did something no man in 43 years could accomplish. She put on a sanctions boxing card on the Hill.“Boxing is really dying down, but when you know somebody is putting on a boxing show in your community that will make you work harder to come and get your shine on for your family,” said Shields.  “I got into boxing when I was young from being bad in the streets. I played professional football in Pittsburgh, Erie and in Florida.  I also won the state of West Virginia Toughman contest and I still hold the record for the quickest knockout of 36 seconds.  I studied Mike Tyson and what he taught me is to never let anybody come out the corner.  I’m going to jump on you like a cat and have an easy night.”last_img read more