WA State Senate Staffer Says Gays Can Go "Grow Their Own Food"
A staff person for Washington state Senator Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla) recently told a Washington blogger that LGBT individuals can fend for themselves when they are denied services under a recently proposed bill.
Jay Castro, a reader of the Washington blog column Slog at The Stranger, called Senator Hewitt's office to ask about his sponsorship of SB 5927, which would allow people to refuse to provide services and discriminate against LGBT people because of "sincerely held religious beliefs." Castro asked an unidentified staffer, "What are rural gays supposed to do if the only gas station or grocery store for miles won't sell them gas and food?" Hewitt's staffer responded to Castro, "Well, gay people can just grow their own food" (emphasis added).
When Slog blogger Anna Minard attempted to call the office for clarification, she was hung up on three times by staffers before being told "It was a poor response to a question, that's really all I want to say about that. [Castro] caught me at a bad time; I'm not interested in answering hypotheticals. It was a combative call. Patience was lost, mistakes were made, and that's it." The spokesperson said that the staffer's comment was not representative of Hewitt's views on the proposal.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 4/29/2013; ThinkProgress 4/29/2013; Slog 4/26/2013
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .