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Entries in LGBT (3)

Thursday
Aug022012

Same-Sex Couple Invites Chick-fil-A CEO to Dinner

A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- After hundreds of thousands of people ate dinner at his restaurants on Wednesday for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, one Georgia family, a same-sex couple and their two daughters, has invited Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy to have dinner at their house.

But the dinner invitation from Marci Alt and wife Marlysa, who live near Chick-fil-A’s Atlanta headquarters, is no paltry piece of paper, it is backed by an online petition sponsored by Change.org, an online organizing platform for activists, and GLAAD, a gay rights advocacy group.

“I hope Mr. Cathy will join my family for dinner, where we can share a respectful dialogue about our faith, work and families here in Georgia,” Alt said in a statement. “It’s important that Mr. Cathy meet the people his company is donating millions to stand against.”

“I’ll even make chicken,” Alt added.

The invite comes on the heels of national outrage from the LGBT community after Cathy said that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting the, “biblical definition of the family unit.”

In support of Kathy's comment -- and of his First Amendment right to express it -- customers nationwide flocked to the chain's restaurants.

Alt, along with gay rights advocates across the country, plan to protest those comments and the company’s anti-gay marriage stance with National Same-Sex Kiss Day on Friday. Nearly 12,000 people have said on Facebook that they will head to Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country and pucker up with their same-sex partners.

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said the protest stems not from Cathy’s comments, but from the millions of dollars his company has poured into “anti-gay hate groups.”

In 2010, WinShape, the non-profit foundation created by Cathy and largely supported by Chick-fil-A, gave more than $1 million to the Marriage & Family Foundation and $37,000 to the National Institute of Marriage, both of which promote defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

“Without question, Dan Cathy has every right to voice his opinions and beliefs,” Graddick said in a statement. “But he should meet and get to know the people that he’s speaking out against -- the people who are harmed by his company’s multi-million dollar donations to anti-gay hate groups working to hurt everyday LGBT Americans and break apart loving families.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec082011

Macy’s Employee Fired for Allegedly Violating Store’s LGBT Policy

Bloomberg News Photo by Diane Bondareff(SAN ANTONIO) -- A Texas woman claims she was fired from her job at Macy’s for telling a transgender customer that she could not change in the women’s dressing room, according to ABC News’ San Antonio affiliate KSAT.

The woman, Natalie Johnson, has filed a complaint with the Federal Employment Commission, saying that her religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people, according to KSAT.

Johnson, 27, was employed at the River Center Macy’s in San Antonio until last week. She said a teenager caught her attention because the teen was shopping for women’s clothing, but Johnson was convinced the shopper was male.

When Johnson spotted the teenager in the women’s dressing area, Johnson told her she could not change there.

“I had to just be straightforward and  tell him, ‘You’re a man,’ and of course that … really got him steamed,” Johnson told KSAT.

The teenager’s friends argued with Johnson, reportedly telling her that Macy’s allows transgender people to change in the dressing room of the gender they identify with.

“I made my choice the other day,” Johnson said. “I refuse to comply with this policy.”

Macy’s did not answer ABCNews.com’s request for clarification on its policy regarding transgender customers and where they can try on clothes, but Macy’s senior vice president of corporate communications and external affairs Jim Sluzewski issued the following statement:

“Macy’s is very proud of our philosophy of diversity and inclusion, and we welcome all customers into our stores. This includes customers of all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, faith traditions, countries of origins and lifestyle preferences. We strive to ensure that each customer is able to shop in a discrimination-free environment.”

Asked if she would handle the situation the same way if given another chance, Johnson said she would.

“There are no transgenders in the world. A guy can dress up as a woman all he wants. That’s still not going to make you a woman,” Johnson said. “If you’re a man going into the women’s fitting room, I will kindly escort you to the men’s fitting room.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May022011

J. Crew at Center of Gay Politics Again with Openly Gay Model

J. Crew [dot] com(NEW YORK) -- J. Crew surprised consumers again with a May 2011 catalog that features its employees as models, including a gay designer with his boyfriend, who are described as "Happy Together."

The preppie clothing giant was quiet on its presentation of the same-sex couple -- "Our designer Somsack and his boyfriend, Micah" -- but gay advocates applaud what they say is a strong message.

"Nothing is unintentional in this kind of marketing," said Cathy Renna of Renna Communications, which serves the LGBT community.  "Bravo to J. Crew."

"It's a giant step forward," she said.  "As an activist, it's great to see a diversity of images and to see gay families represented in more regular media."

Just last month, J. Crew stirred controversy when its online newsletter included an image of its president and creative director Jenna Lyons painting her son's toenails hot pink.

"Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink," said the caption.  "Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."

Social conservatives reacted with outrage at what they considered "liberal, transgendered identity politics."  Some critics suggested that her son Beckett might be "turned" gay or transgender.

"The Men's Shop" section in the back of the 135-page catalog includes J. Crew's in-house stylist with his nine-month-old son, bearded brothers, a designer with his dog and also the photographer's African-American husband and their Asian daughter, headlined as "Family Matters."

Heather McAuliffe, J. Crew VP for public relations, told ABC News that the company did not want to comment on what some saw as a new rainbow campaign.

More American companies recognize the consumer buying power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual community.  According to a January 2007 report, The Gay and Lesbian Market, in the U.S. from the market research firm Packaged Facts, their spending was expected to exceed $835 billion this year.

Now, J. Crew seems to have jumped on the bandwagon, according to advertising experts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio