Speed Read: ‘Revenge for my views’
U.S. SANCTIONS INCLUDES MIZULINA: The Moscow News identified State Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina last June as the inspiration behind a new Russian law to prohibit “propaganda” about “non-traditional orientation” to children. She also sought support for a law to remove children from same-sex couples. The Moscow Times called her “Vladimir Putin’s new morality crusader.” Today, President Obama’s second executive order calling for sanctions against the Russian government over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula identifies Mizulina as one of seven individual Russian leaders for specific sanctions. Mizulina told the New York Times she thinks she was singled out by Obama as “revenge for my views” but said she has no property or assets outside Russia that can be reached by Obama’s order to freeze assets. A senior administration official said the seven were singled out for having “demonstrated support for the illegitimate actions that have recently taken place in Ukraine and have contributed to the crisis there.”
A WELCOME AMENDMENT: When the LGBT community reads about state constitutional amendments, it’s used to learning about efforts to ban same-sex couples from marrying. But that’s not the case in New Hampshire. The state senate on March 13 unanimously passed a bill that seeks to amend the state constitution to ban discrimination by the state based on sexual orientation. The amendment also changes the language of the state constitution from referring to “All men have certain” rights to “All individuals have certain” rights. Openly gay State Senator David Pierce introduced the bill, which now must earn three-fifths support from the House. If passed by the House, the question will go before voters in November where it must be approved by two-thirds of those voting.
UNWELCOME SHARING: Officials at Sheridan High School near Little Rock, Arkansas, reportedly want to pull six student profiles from the school’s yearbook because one of the profiles an openly gay student. The Student Press Law Center reported last week that school officials said they are concerned about negative repercussions for the gay student, Taylor Ellis, if the profile runs.
GUINNESS DROPS OUT IN NYC: GLAAD and Irish Queers canceled their plan to dump Guinness beer outside the Stonewall Inn in New York yesterday when Guinness announced at the eleventh hour that it was pulling its sponsorship of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. A spokesman for the company said: “Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.” Newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch posted a Tweet urging people to boycott Guinness.
A POULTRY APOLOGY: The chief executive officer and president of the Chick-fil-A chain restaurant told the Atlanta Journal Constitution last week that he regrets having spoken out two years against same-sex couples marrying. Dan Cathy said he still doesn’t support allowing same-sex couples to marry, but that conversations with co-workers, friends, and the leader of a national LGBT student group (Campus Pride) have persuaded him to step back from the issue. The Center for American Progress’ thinkprogress.org reported earlier this month that Chick-fil-A foundations gave $3.6 million in grants to anti-gay organizations in 2011 but only $25,390 in 2012 when Cathy’s public statements against same-sex marriage triggered both a boycott and a rally by customers.
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