What’s on the agenda for Valentine’s Day? We’ve got dinner and theater planned! Here’s some good news from around the web to kick things off:
• Had to share this one. This is my Congress Critter:
• Anti-choice activists are outraged because the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the charity which received a $992 million donation from Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, funds Planned Parenthood. Good.
• Gov. Jay Inslee (D) suspends the death penalty in Washington state, citing “too many flaws” in the system.
• A federal judge struck down Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where it’s legal.
• Seventenn-year-old Pascal Tessier is apparently the country’s first openly gay Eagle Scout under the BSA’s new policy of accepting gay scouts.
• Two things about this: 1) Welcome to the Democratic Party, Ana Rivas Logan! And 2) How’s that minority/women’s outreach working for ya, GOP?
• Migrant workers helping Qatar prepare for the 2022 World Cup may have finally received some much-needed protection with the crafting of a “Worker’s Charter.”
• The Idaho State Supreme Court has ruled that it is legal for same-sex partners to adopt children.
• Kraft is ditching the artificial ingredient sorbic acide from its American Singles wrapped cheese slices.
• Related: Publix is banning azodicarbonamide, a food additive also used in yoga mats and shoes, from its breads. Subway announced the same last week.
• Nevada withdraws its arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals defending the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
• The DoJ announces new policies recognizing same-sex marriages in the courtroom, giving same-sex spouses the same legal protections as opposite-sex spouses.
• I’m playing the world’s tiniest violin for FreedomWorks’ SuperPac. Bwaahaa. Hey Matt Kibbe: ACORN called to offer you a Kleenex.
• Missouri All-American Michael Sam has come out, and he could become the NFL’s first openly-gay actively-playing athlete.
Internet pranksters have flooded Yelp with reviews lauding an Enid, Okla., diner as the best gay bar in town. The campaign is designed to taunt the diner’s right-wing owner Gary James, an anti-gay, white supremacist who refuses to serve gays and other minorities.
James, who has owned and run Gary’s Chicaros for 44 years, told local news channel KFOR-TV: “I think I can spot a freak or a faggot.”
“I really don’t want gays around,” he added. “Any man that would compromise his own body would compromise anything.”
In protest, pranksters have left reviews on Yelp describing Gary’s Chicaros as “the best gay bar in Enid.” One review states that Gary plans to host a live viewing of “RuPaul’s Drag Race Season.”
“Gary himself sports assless chaps, a choker chain and some pink nipple tassels daily,” one reviewer said.
James, whose business tagline is “where the great whites gather,” sells T-shirts emblazoned with racial and homophobic slurs. In addition to refusing services for gays, James also declines serving African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, people with disabilities or people on welfare.
• These photos of dogs were supposedly taken after the animals were adopted from a Chicago shelter and in the car on their way to their forever homes. Very sweet.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• Progressive candidate for the Tennessee State Senate Mary Mancini has picked up a key endorsement from the SEIU. Mary is a friend of the blog and the kind of strong, populist voice our state senate badly needs. If you want to throw her some turkee, you can do so here.
• Solar industry jobs in the state more than doubled last year.
• The story of Lazarus the Cat, who was found on the streets of Johnson City, is a real heart-warmer.
• Lane College student Stephanie Phillips in Jackson has been honored by the White House for her academic achievements and has been named to the HBCU (Historicall Black Colleges & Univerisites) All-Stars.
• A straight, married Memphis chef was so outraged by State Sen. Brian Kelksey’s “turn away the gays” bill that he’s volunteered to host a fundraiser for anyone willing to run against him, and eventually got Kelsey to withdraw his support of the legislation.
This week’s cool video: “The games have always been a little gay.” Bwaaha!