Taste the Hate: Chick-Fil-A opens in Twin Falls

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It looks like Idahoans have a big appetite when it comes to hate laden chicken served up on a  toasted homophobic bun. The opening of the  restaurant chain’s Twin Falls location, on Thursday, makes it the fourth one to open in Idaho within the past year.

Not surprisingly, the Twin Falls media chose to ignore the controversy surrounding the brand, focusing instead on the PR department’s scripted opening day excitement.

But for those that don’t know, sometimes a chicken sandwich is more then just a chicken sandwich.  In Chick-Fil-A’s case, sometimes it’s a donation to some of the most bigoted and homophobic causes in the country.

As we reported last year,”Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, The WinShape Foundation, has been particularly active in the fight against marriage equality. They’ve hosted conferences with some of the leading opponents of gay marriage in this country. A higher up at WinShape has even praised the efforts of anti-gay activist David Blankenhorn.

Last July,Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy spoke favorably of the company’s donations to anti-gay groups,““I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,” Cathy told the “The Ken Coleman Show,” during an interview.

It looked like there was a little hope in September when Chicago Alderman Proco Joe Moreno met with Chik-fil-A executives. It was announced that the company would end its donations to anti-equality organizations.

The news was to good to be true.

As The Dallas Voice points out,”Chick-fil-A later clarified that the contributions were misconstrued and they would continue to donate to current beneficiaries, some of which fund campaigns against marriage equality. The company released a statement that all customers are valued at its restaurants, but ultimately the company’s views didn’t appear to change.”

The Times-News reports,”…Owner Bill Ystueta says he wants this (the Twin Falls restaurant) to be about the community and our local economy, “We hired 75 people which automatically has an impact on the community, and then just the fact we’re a meeting place and creates excitement.”

Let’s just hope that none of those 75 employees happen to believe in marriage equality, the inclusion of the LGBT language in corporate non-discrimination policies or domestic partner benefits. If they do, we have a feeling they might just be out of luck.

The restaurant chain  has opened locations in Boise, Meridian and Ammon-all within the past year.

Anti-Gay Pastor withdraws from Presidential Inauguration

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Pastor Louie Giglio of the Georgia-based Passion City Church has announced he has decided not to deliver the benediction during President Obama’s second inauguration ceremony.

Members of the LGBT community were stunned after Giglio’s name was announced on Tuesday.  As Think Progress reported,”In a mid-1990s sermon identified as Giglio’s, available online on a Christian training website, he preached rabidly anti-LGBT views. The 54-minute sermon, entitled “In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality,” advocates for dangerous “ex-gay” therapy for gay and lesbian people, references a biblical passage often interpreted to require gay people be executed, and impels Christians to “firmly respond to the aggressive agenda” and prevent the “homosexual lifestyle” from becoming accepted in society.”

Many saw the choice of Giglio by the selection committee as a slap in the face from on otherwise LGBT-friendly administration. Within hours after Tuesday’s announcement activists took to social media sites calling out the choice.

ABC News reported on Thursday that Giglio has decided not to participate in the event.  In a statement to Think Progress, Giglio downplays the severity of his sermon and says he is withdrawing because his prayer would have been “dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”

Moments after Giglio’s withdrawl, The New Civil Rights Movement reported that AFA hatemonger Bryan Fischer incorrectly tweeted to his followers that Giglio had been “forced out of the inauguration” by “bully bigots.”

Crapo Arrest Draws Attention to Anti-Gay Record

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To say that Idaho Senator Mike Crapo’s DUI arrest last month was directly due to his stance on marriage equality would be kind of like Pat Robertson blaming  “the gays” for every natural disaster in the past thirty years. We aren’t going to do it. We aren’t even going to throw out the “karma” label. We will, however, point out that with both the media’s and presumably his arresting officer’s spotlight shining on him, there is a bit of a renewed interest in his lack of compassion for the LGBT community going on in the blogosphere.

As Andrew Belonsky over at the hugely popular Towleroad blog reports,”Crapo is one of the nine Republicans who filed an amicus brief to sustain DOMA earlier this year. He also also voted against repealing DADT, against a comprehensive hate crimes law and for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.”

On Top points out that,”Crapo, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are prohibited from using alcohol, had a blood alcohol level of .110 at the time of his arrest, higher than the allowed .08 level for drivers in Virginia.”

KBOI-TV reports that the former eastern Idaho Bishop, who has since apologized for his intoxicated behavior, says he doesn’t plan on fighting the charges.  He will likely, however, be required to install an ignition interlock device in his car to test his breath for alcohol as a result of his drunken driving arrest in Virginia.

wonders if, “we’ll ever get an apology” for the Senator’s anti-equality voting record. Given the past performance of other anti-gay Idaho Republican lawmakers with an arrest record, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Unless, of course, you’re Mike Crapo, in that case you should probably save it. You just might be needing it to start your car.

Leaked Memos show Organization uses Homophobia, Race in Fight against Equality

If you have been following the fight for LGBT equality at all the past few years, you have no doubt ran across a group called the National Organization for Marriage.

The radical right-wing group, famous for such classics as the prop 8 “Gathering Storm” TV spot,  has long been known for its tactics of using fear and homophobia as weapons in their attempt to stop marriage equality.

 

 

Thanks to a series of  internal memos released by The Human Rights Campaign this week, we can get a sense of just how low the organization will stoop in order to stop equality supporters.

Think Progress reports NOM’s tactics include race-baiting by driving,”a wedge between gays and blacks” by convincing them to fight over the language of “civil rights”, baiting,”Latino voters to oppose marriage equality as “a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation” and by developing, “side issues to weaken pro-gay marriage political leaders” like pornography, “protection of children” and religious liberty at the federal level.”

HRC Campaign Media Director Kevin Nix tells the Daily KOS, “Nothing beats hearing from the horse’s mouth exactly how callous and extremist this group really is.

In the memos, the group also discusses seeking out celebrities and the like who would be sympathetic to  their cause.

Fortunately, as The Washington Blade points out,”the only celebrity known to work directly with NOM as a spokesperson is former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who made national headlines when she responded to a question by Perez Hilton about same-sex marriage by saying she opposed extending rights to gay couples.”

The release of the memos came on the same exact day that Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner  appointed NOM’s  co-founder and former Chairman Dr. Robert George to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Click HERE to read the memos for yourself.

Jody May-Chang on Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot

Independent journalist Jody May-Chang has written an excellent piece on Mitt Romney’s campaign finance co-chair Frank VanderSloot.

Frequent readers will recall that May-Chang, this blog and others were recipients of takedown notices last month by attorneys working for VanderSloot’s Melaleuca company.

In the article, published this afternoon on Boing Boing, May-Chang offers more details on the history of Frank VanderSloot’s activities, as well as her thoughts on what she calls the “whitewashing” of the Idaho CEO’s “tarnished image”.

Among the nuggets contained in May-Chang’s piece: a quote from former Post-Register reporter Peter Zuckerman regarding how he felt during the Eastern Idaho Boy Scout scandal.

May-Chang also includes a paragraph from The Boise Weekly in which reporter Ray Ring wrote in 2008 that Melaleuca’s call center was being used to help persuade California voters to support California’s Prop 8.

Click HERE to read the full article.

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