Friday, May 20, 2011

Messiness of diversity

I've written about the Koch brothers and how their billions are behind many of the anti-democracy initiatives around the country. Something about $30 billion (for both of them) simply isn't enough money. Their efforts are getting attention and a few people got together to make a little video (under 2 minutes), taking advantage that the brother's last name is pronounced the same way as the soft drink.

Singapore is a country that doesn't want the messiness of diversity get in the way of making money, so being gay there can be difficult. The Pink Dot organization has a sweet video (under 3 minutes) suggesting a way that allies can show their support.

Several months ago Nashville passed an equal rights ordinance for the city. This one included gays. The Tennessee legislature got into a tizzy over it and passed a law saying cities aren't allowed to pass their own equal rights ordinances. It is now waiting the governor's signature. News is now out that there was a big push by the TN Chamber of Commerce to get the law passed. The board members of the TNCC represent some pretty big companies -- Nissan, FedEx, AT&T, Comcast, DuPont, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, KPMG, Whirlpool, Embraer, Alcoa, and United HealthCare. Yup, we're naming names now.

The Human Rights Campaign issues an annual Equality Index to show how well various corporations treat their gay employees. Of this bunch, Nissan had the lowest score of 50 and half of them have a score of 100. The question of why these companies feel the need to bash gay people hasn't been answered yet. When asked the spokespeople get real defensive, as in "We can't control what the TNCC does." Well, yeah, you can -- you sit on the TNCC board. Do you really want your name associated with bashing gays?

If they succeed here, they will try again on other blue oases in red states, such as Austin, TX.

Alas, it isn't easy for me to separate myself from Blue Shield and Comcast.

A marriage protection amendment is about to pass the Minnesota Senate to be placed on the 2012 ballot. Speaking of naming names, the Minnesota Independent has an article listing the various legislators who voted for it and who have been divorced. You want to protect gay marriage and you can't protect your own? A similar amendment is working its way through the North Carolina legislature and the pro-gay forces are compiling a similar list, ready to play hardball.

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