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5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: No Tips for Lesbian Server, Cheney Family Feud And More...

5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: No Tips for Lesbian Server, Cheney Family Feud And More...

5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: No Tips for Lesbian Server, Cheney Family Feud And More...

Welcome to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of news from the past seven days.


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. Wealthy, White, Heterosexual and Long-Employed John Boehner Doesn't Think LGBT People Need Workplace Protections

In the least shocking bit of outrageous news to cross our radar last week, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner told D.C. reporters that he doesn't think there's any need at all for the House to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which passed through the Senate for the first time in history earlier this month, with the support of 10 Republican senators. 

"I am opposed to discrimination of any kind, in the workplace and anyplace else," Boehner said. "But I think this legislation that I’ve dealt with as chairman of The Education & The Workforce Committee long before I was back in the leadership is unnecessary and would provide a basis for frivolous lawsuits. People are already protected in the workplace. I’m opposed to continuing this. Listen, I understand people have differing opinions on this issue, and I respect those opinions. But as someone who’s worked in this employment law area for all my years in the State House and all my years here, I see no basis or no need for this legislation."

Amazingly, this ten-term Congressional veteran, who's not only a white, wealthy, heterosexual Catholic, but also immune from being fired unless he's voted out of office, can't fathom why LGBT people need workplace protections. It might have something to do with the patently false assertion Boehner continues to make that it's already illegal to be fired for being gay. That's simply not true. In 29 states, it's perfectly legal for an employer to fire someone simply because they're gay. In 33 states, an employer can terminate a worker for no other reason than because that person is transgender. 

And here we thought Republicans were supposed to be pro-business. Aren't they all about "putting Americans back to work?" Apparently not if those are LGBT Americans who, y'know, actually want to work and not get fired for putting a picture of their spouse on their desk.

4. As Transphobic Activists Try to Repeal State Law Protecting Trans Kids, Those Students are Getting Assaulted at School 

While the transphobic right-wingers behind the deceptively named campaign "Privacy for All Students" pull out all the stops to try to repeal California's recently passed School Success and Opportunities Act, which guarantees trans students equal access to facilities and sports teams that correspond with their gender identity, the students that law is meant to protect are proving exactly why it's necessary. 

Whether it was a teenager who identifies as agender — neither male nor female — whose skirt was set on fire while sleeping on a city bus in Oakland earlier this month, or the transgender student in a San Francisco suburb who endured weeks of bullying by three cisgender (nontrans) female classmates before finally lashing out in what became a violent physical altercation, it's clear that trans students are up against some pretty steep odds to succeed in school, or even graduate high school unscathed. 

In the most recent case in Hercules, Calif., a transgender teen who had endured ongoing verbal harassment and bullying finally had enough and struck one of the other girls who'd been bullying her. Then the fight turned into a three-on-one attack as the cisgender girls slapped, hit, and pulled the trans student's hair in a schoolyard melee.  

Although all four students could face disciplinary action, administrators are standing by the trans student in what they say is a clear-cut case of bullying. 

"After being under stressful situations day after day of being teased and talked about, obviously at some point you're going to explode," a member of the West Contra Costa School Board told a local news station. 

But yes, by all means, bigots — go ahead and file those 600,000 signatures with the state to try to put the issue up for a public vote. Because if there's one thing the general public always demonstrates, it's sympathy for the downtrodden youth who doesn't fit predetermined normative narratives. Oh, wait…

Find more outrage on the following pages… 

3. Denver Bear Bar Doesn't Have Room for Femininity

It's probably no secret to any of the female-identified folks reading this article that male-focused leather and bear bars aren't exactly a hotbed for feminism. Anyone who has accompanied their scruffy male friend to a bear bar's weekly Beer Bust can probably attest to the lack of female faces in such spaces, and, in some cases, the outright refusal of service to folks presenting on the feminine end of the spectrum. 

But a group of drag queens, trans women, and cisgender women in Denver are fed up with the local bear bar's exclusivity, and have called for a boycott and organized a series of protest outside the Denver Wrangler, alleging that the bar's stated policy that requires a "gender-matching ID" is discriminatory. 

Colorado has an expansive nondiscrimination ordinance, which not only prohibits discrimination in public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but even outlaws promotions like "Ladies Nights," where bars charge patrons different fees based on their gender. 

"I believe this policy is rooted in misogyny and transphobia equally," Vito Marzano, a 27-year-old queer man who was turned away from the Wrangler while dressed in drag in August, told The Advocate. "Nevertheless, [general manager] Phil did make it clear that if someone transitioned from female to male, they would be able to partake in Beer Bust. That being said, there is still the issue of how [the Wrangler] allows in patrons. Just because someone is transitioning and would be allowed to partake doesn't mean they would be able to get through the first hurdle of getting into the bar."

The bar's management contends that its policy is lawful in Colorado, claiming that the "matching ID" policy is simply a safeguard to keep out underage patrons. But the demonstrators — who organized a second protest since the first, captured on the video below — contend that the policy is misogynistic, transphobic, and most importantly, illegal. 


2. Get Ready for an Awkward Cheney Family Thanksgiving!

In case Thanksgiving at the Cheney compound wasn't going to be uncomfortable enough, what with the right-wing former vice president grumbling about all them damn activist judges and what not, one of Dick Cheney's daughters just ensured the family gathering will be anything but thankful. 

Liz Cheney, who is running as a Tea Party-backed Republican for a U.S. senate seat from Wyoming, told Fox News Sunday that she definitely does not support marriage equality, despite the fact that her sister, Mary, is a married lesbian and mother of two. 

Fox host Chris Wallace asked Liz if she still opposes same-sex marriage, since she's recently said she opposes a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and agrees with the U.S. State Department's decision to offer spousal benefits to the partners of married same-sex couples employed by the Department. 

"I don’t believe we ought to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation," Cheney told Wallace. "If people are in a same-sex relationship and they want their partner to be able to have health benefits or be designated as a beneficiary in your life insurance, there's no reason we shouldn’t do that. I also don’t support amending the Constitution on this issue. I do believe it's an issue that’s got to be left up to states. I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage.”

And just to make her position crystal clear, Cheney promised she won’t change her position just because her sister is married to a woman. "I love Mary very much. I love her family very much,” Liz Cheney said. "This is just an issue on which we disagree."

Mary and her wife, Heather Poe, however, shot back on Facebook, calling out Liz's anti-equality stance for what it is — plain old wrong. 

"Liz — this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree — you’re just wrong — and on the wrong side of history,” wrote Mary.

Mary’s wife, Heather Poe, also responded on Facebook, saying, “Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 — she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. To have her now say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least. I can’t help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other. I always thought freedom meant freedom for EVERYONE."

On Monday, Daddy Cheney weighed in on the family feud, siding with — you guessed it! — Liz Cheney. 

"This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public," parents Lynne and Dick Cheney, who came out for marriage equality last year, said in a statement Monday, according to Politico. "Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage… [Liz has] also always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz's many kindnesses shouldn't be used to distort her position."

Find the most outrageous story on the next page…

1. "Christians" Deny Veteran Waitress a Tip for Looking Like a Lesbian

You're probably already familiar with this story about a former marine now working as a waitress in Nebraska, who was stiffed on a $93 bill by some self-proclaimed "Christian" mother who did not "agree with your lifestyle." 

Naturally, Dayna Morales reacted strongly — after the customers had left. "I am THOROUGHLY offended mad pissed off and hurt that THIS is what her kids will grow up learning and that I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free," Morales wrote on Have a Gay Day's Facebook page. "Sorry lady but I don't agree with YOUR lifestyle and the way you're raising your kids but you didn't see me throwing that in your face and giving you shitty service. Keep your damn mouth shut and pray we never cross paths again."

Morales is indeed openly gay, but we presume she didn't greet the customers by saying "Hello, my name is Dayna. I'll be your server today, and, oh yeah, I totally sleep with girls." So the customers likely weren't privy to her sexual orientation when they left the hateful note, which not-so-subtly implied that Morales should just choose to NOT be gay, and therefore go to heaven where she can spend all eternity worshipping an old guy and his son. What more could a now-reformed lesbian ask for, right? Eternal salvation!

While Morales has been a consummate professional and promised she would again kindly serve the customers if they return to her table, we think she should take a lesson from these "Christian" evangelizers and refuse to serve them, noting that their beliefs go against her sense of everything that is good and right… And when they change their beliefs to actually embrace the love, tolerance, and acceptance that their holy Savior preached, she'll consider serving them. Until that point, no soup for you, haters! 

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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>