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5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Russia, Restaurants, and Right-Wingers

5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Russia, Restaurants, and Right-Wingers

5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Russia, Restaurants, and Right-Wingers

Down with the patriarchy!


Welcome to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of news from the past seven days. We'll be providing a retrospective on the most heinous, crazy-making bits of anti-LGBT news that came across our radar last week. Our hope in doing this isn't only to darken the skies, but also to sound the alarm about the kind of idiocy that passes for "legitimate commentary" these days. Expect a healthy dose of snark in the following paragraphs — sometimes it's the only way we can get through the day.


5. Dick Cheney, Right-Wingers Lay Into Mary Cheney for Defending Her Family

Apparently that foundational support for "family values" within the right-wing world doesn't extend to families headed by same-sex couples (duh), or, in the case of the shotgun-toting former vice president, even to his own daughter. 

We've been keeping tabs on the very public family feud between members of the Cheney clan over youngest daughter Mary's legal marriage to her wife, Heather Poe. When Mary's big sister, Liz, came under fire for not being antigay enough in her bid to oust a fellow Republican U.S. senator from his seat, Liz clarified that she is "definitely not pro-gay marriage." 

Naturally, Mary and her wife fired back, calling Liz's views "just plain wrong," and noting that Liz was all too happy to congratulate the couple at their Massachussetts wedding last year, and has on numerous occasions been welcomed into Mary and Heather's home. 

Well, on Tuesday, papa Cheney reluctantly weighed in on the family spat, saying he was "surprised" that Mary and her wife "attacked" Liz on Facebook. What, for something as inconsequential as invalidating your sibling's entire family? Seriously, Mary — get some tougher skin. Sidenote to Dick: Psst, your preferential treatment of one child over another is showing!

Illustrating just how far out-of-touch the Cheney clan is with, you know, average Americans, the stalwart defense of Liz might as well compare Mary's relationship to a polygamous, incestuous relationship with a dead body. 

Sound absurd? Well, that's exactly what right-wing World Net Daily columnist Les Kinsolving did on Tuesday. In an "article" titled "The Gaying of America," Kinsolving disavows any sympathy for Mary and her family, lamenting the time when "when lesbians and others with alternate sexual orientations were comparatively mute," according to an excerpt from Right Wing Watch. Then the wingnut really drives home his point with the totally reasonable follow-up question: "How would lesbian Mary expect her sister to regard her orientation if she were polyandrous (female polygamy), a pedophile, incestuous or necrophiliac?"

Yeah. Because that's the same thing as two consenting adults building a life and family together under the legal structures available to them. Totes. 


4. Nearly 65 Percent of Female Journalists Have Been Threatened, Intimidated, or Abused at Work

OK, so it's 64.4, and admittedly, this particular report hits close to home for this proudly female journalist — but seriously? 

According to an online survey conducted by the International Women's Media Foundation and the International News Safety Institute, a staggering 64 percent of female journalists around the world said they have experienced "intimidation, threats, or abuse" in relation to their work. The survey polled 875 women from almost every continent on the globe. Nearly a quarter of those who reported experiencing such harassment said it came from someone inside the organization who was abusing their "power or authority." Almost half (46%) of the women surveyed reported that they'd been victims of sexual harassment on the job, while 21 percent said they'd been subjected to physical violence at work. 

As the always-excellent Amanda Hess at Slatepoints out, 

"If you’re a female journalist, these numbers are unsurprising. Pervasive sexual harassment and violence against female reporters, editors, and writers is rarely aired publicly, but it is an open secret in the field…That doesn’t mean that female journalists are not forthcoming about the issue. We talk among ourselves, naming names in private email threads, drinks outings, and anonymous blogs… Female journalists keep these discussions at a whisper because we know the men responsible are 'too professionally powerful, too entrenched to really be held accountable for their behavior.'"

In conclusion: FUCK. THE. PATRIARCHY. The survey is ongoing — lady journos can submit their own experiences anonymously here

Find more outrage on the following pages. 


3. Russia's Ban on "Gay Propaganda" Is Totally Constitutional?!

That's what the nation's highest court declared in a ruling published Tuesday. That might seem unconscionable to those of us stateside, but the justices who issued the ruling were clear that they think homosexuality is a dangerous thing that children should be "protected" from. No, seriously. That's what they said. 

Russia's Constitutional Court determined that national lawmakers had a duty to "take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development," according to Kremlin-backed news agency RIA Novosti. The court declared that the Russian Constitution "obliged the state to protect motherhood, childhood and family," according to RIA, and that the national ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" in arenas visible to minors accomplished this goal. 

In case you weren't already convinced that Russia's high court has a skewed since of integrity and logic, check out this gem: The high court also dismissed claims that the laws were discriminatory, since they applied equally to LGBT and heterosexual Russians who might disseminate such "propaganda." Ultimately, the court decided that the "exercise of civil rights and freedoms could not be permitted at the cost of other people's rights," according to RIA's report. The court didn't clarify what rights, exactly, were being violated when someone waves a rainbow flag. Except, obviously, the rights of that demonstrator when they're arrested and beaten for standing silently on a public street carrying the banner. 

Hey, Russia — balancing competing fundamental human rights? You're doing it wrong. 


2. That Lesbian Waitress Who Claimed She Was Stiffed on a Tip In Favor of a Hateful Note Is (Probably) A Compulsive Liar. 

Last week, we reported on the growing evidence that New Jersey waitress Dayna Morales, who claimed a family of four ate dinner in her section at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J, then stiffed her on a tip for their $93 bill and instead left a note condemning her "lifestyle," might have made the whole thing up. The family in question came to a local news station with their copy of the reciept — which included an $18.00 tip, and no note. The family, which has asked to stay anonymous, also provided news stations with a copy of their credit card statement showing the tip-inclusive total that was withdrawn from their account. 

The restaurant launched an investigation into Morales's claim, and has since placed her on unpaid suspension while they try to uncover the truth. But that might be tougher than anyone imagined — numerous local newspapers are reporting that Morales has a long history of spinning tall tales… People who claimed to be friends and acquaintances of Morales claim she's a pathological liar, who overstated the damage supposedly caused to her home by Superstorm Sandy, pretended to have brain cancer, and, oh, yeah, lied about serving in Afghanistan. A Pentagon representative confirmed that Morales did do a stint in the Marine Corps Reserves, but was unable to provide any confirmation that she ever served overseas. That source also told New York's NBC 4 that Morales received a less-than-honorable discharge from the reserves because she wasn't showing up to drills. 

And the final nail in this coffin of crazy is Morales's latest untruth, which surrounds her promise that she'd be donating the money that came pouring in from sympathetic supporters after her story first went viral to the Wounded Warrior Project. As of Friday, the charity that helps wounded veterans with medical bills and readjusting to civilian life couldn't confirm any donation from someone with Morales's last name, nor from the zip codes where she works or lives. 

Naturally, Morales has reportedly stopped returning media requests for comment. Wonder why? 

Find the most outrageous story on the next page…


1. Canadian Lesbian Couple Allegedly Kicked Out of Restaurant for Kissing

A lesbian couple in Quebec claims they were escorted out of a restaurant in Pointe-Claire after they shared a brief kiss on the cheek. 

Carolyn Shaughnessy and her girlfriend, Jessica Goldberg, were having dinner at Le Manoir on November 29 when Goldberg came up behind Shaughnessy and kissed her on the cheek as her girlfriend chatted with a friend on the phone. 

That's when the manager on duty approached the couple, according to Canada's Global News

"He just kept saying that what we were doing was inappropriate," Goldberg told Global News. The couple says they were forced to collect their belongings and follow security officers out of the restaurant. 

After taking to Facebook to slam the homophobic harassment, restaurant owner Peter Segakis apologized and took responsibility for his manager's action, essentially confirming that the incident went down as the couple described. (See how that works, Dayna?)

"If he would have called me and told me that two girls were kissing, I’d tell him that’s normal today and I would tell him not to throw them out," Segakis told Global News.

That's all well and good, except, obviously, this manager didn't call his boss, and regardless of whether an employee considers a paying customer "normal," they shouldn't be permitted to harass their clientele. 

And while it's great that the owner took responsibility for the incident, there have been no reports of ant disciplinary action taken against the manager — who has also not been named. That doesn't exactly sound like justice to me. 

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Sunnivie Brydum

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>