News Round-Up: May 14, 2021

'Map daddy' Steve Kornacki
'Map daddy' Steve Kornacki
‘Map daddy’ Steve Kornacki (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Deadline: NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Steve Kornacki, the data guru who became one of the breakout stars of election night coverage last year, will develop a game show for NBCUniversal’s television and streaming group, and will officially join NBC Sports with plans for appearances during Olympics coverage and Super Bowl LVI.

Pink News: Oregon will become the 14th state to ban the gay and trans panic defense in legal proceedings. State lawmakers have passed the legislation by a near unanimous vote. The bill would ban legal defenses that claim a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity was a justifiable trigger for a defendant’s violent or lethal reaction.

OUT: Out Olympian Adam Rippon is teaming with Twitter and NBC Olympics to host a live daily show on the social media platform covering this summer’s games in Tokyo. The new daily interactive program entitled Talking’ Tokyo will be broadcast live on Twitter.

Attitude Magazine: John Barrowman has been cut from the upcoming Doctor Who: Time Fracture immersive theatrical production following allegations of inappropriate behavior on the sets of Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Gaycation Magazine: Each week on Fridays, Gaycation Travel Show will air episodes treating viewers to various experiences based around the people who live in the destinations, and will learn more about the Queer perspective in each city, the best places to stay, eat and explore, as well as what to pack for each location.

The show’s season premiere kicks off today exploring Manhattan. Later episodes will feature Brighton, United Kingdom, Vancouver, Tulsa, Orlando, Mount Dora, Brooklyn, Cedar Rapids and Chicago.

Nurse Suspended For ‘Cavalier Disregard’ For COVID In TikTok Video

(stock image of a nurse working in a hospital)

An oncology nurse who works at a hospital in Salem, Oregon, took to TikTok recently to brag about how she doesn’t follow coronavirus guidelines outside of work.

The clip used audio of screaming in a scene from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’

“When my co-workers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates,” the nurse wrote in the video’s caption.

The clip has since been deleted, but others have shared a ‘duet’ version of the video posted by a TikTok user who captioned their own video, “To each their own, but why would you brag about it to others?” That post has garnered over 287K responses as of this writing.

The Washington Post reports the oncology nurse has been placed on administrative leave in light of her video.

In a statement, the hospital said the nurse, who has not been publicly identified by her employer, “displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic and her indifference towards physical distancing and masking out of work.”

“We also want to assure you that this one careless statement does not reflect the position of Salem Health or the hardworking and dedicated caregivers who work here,” said the hospital, adding that an investigation is underway.

@amandabutcher2To each their own, but why would you brag about it to others? 🤦🏻‍♀️ I guess we could ask Loveiskind05 #nurse #covid #health #pandemic #fyp #foryou

♬ original sound – Amanda Butcher

Oregon Bakers Ask Supreme Court To Overturn Anti-LGBT Violation

Just months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling on Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ appeal for refusing to make a cake for a gay couple, another anti-LGBT bakery has asked the Supreme Court to consider their appeal.  The petition for review, filed last Friday by the conservative law firm First Liberty on behalf of Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, asserts the couple’s First Amendment rights to refuse service to a lesbian couple, according to SCOTUSblog.
Melissa and Aaron Klein (image via Facebook)

Just months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling on Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ appeal for refusing to make a cake for a gay couple, another anti-LGBT bakery has asked the Supreme Court to consider their appeal.

The petition for review, filed last Friday by the conservative law firm First Liberty on behalf of Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, asserts the couple’s First Amendment rights to refuse service to a lesbian couple, according to SCOTUSblog.

In 2013, Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer asked the Gresham, Oregon, bakery to sell them a cake for their upcoming commitment ceremony.

Based on her ‘deeply held religious beliefs,’ Melissa Klein refused to sell the couple a cake saying same-sex marriage was not consistent with her religious beliefs.

It’s worth underscoring that the Bowman-Cryers weren’t asking for a wedding cake, or holding any kind of religious ceremony, as marriage equality hadn’t been adopted by Oregon at the time.

Also, the state of Oregon’s public accommodation laws clearly prohibit any discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The lesbian couple filed a complaint with the state’s Bureau of Labor & Industries which found the bakery had, indeed, violated the state’s laws.

The Bureau fined the couple $135,000 for the violation, which the Kleins’ claim put them out of business, even though a Christian-led crowdfunding campaign raised over $352,000 for the couple.

The Kleins appealed the decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals, but the Bureau’s decision was upheld.

The bakers then asked the Oregon Supreme Court to review the decision, but the state’s high court refused that request earlier this year.

It’s worth noting that this summer’s ruling regarding the Colorado baker was a win for Phillips only in that the Supreme Court felt the Colorado administrative agency that initially ruled against him appeared to be “too hostile” to Phillips’ religious beliefs. The Supreme Court never actually ruled on whether religious beliefs trump public accommodation laws.

The Supreme Court has several options regarding the petition for review.

In order to accept the case, at least four justices must vote to do so.

The court could decline the review completely, or decline to review but vacate the earlier rulings in Oregon remanding the case back to the earlier courts to review their decision.

That’s the route the high court took in June of this year regarding an anti-LGBT florist in Washington state, Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers.

According to SCOTUSblog, the state of Oregon now has 30 days to respond to the filing although a 30 extension is possible.

Should the Supreme Court choose to review the case, after oral arguments a decision would come down sometime before the end of June 2019.

Oregon Supreme Court Declines To Review Anti-LGBTQ Bakers’ Case

The Oregon Supreme Court has declined to review the case of Aaron and Melissa Klein, who as Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to serve a lesbian couple in 2013.
Aaron Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa

The Oregon Supreme Court has declined to review the case of Aaron and Melissa Klein, who as Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to serve a lesbian couple in 2013.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found that the Kleins were guilty of discriminating against the couple when they refused to sell a cake for a commitment ceremony.

The bakers were fined $135,000 for emotional damages in 2015.

They Kleins took their case to the Oregon Court of Appeals which ultimately upheld that decision.

The business owners’ lawyers now say they intend to head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While the Kleins exhaust all their options for appeal, the check they wrote for $135,000 is being held.

In the aftermath of the story coming to light, Christian crowdfunding efforts raising over $500,000 to more than cover the bakers’ loses after they decided to stop making wedding cakes for anyone.

News Round-Up: May 13, 2018

(via Instagram)

Some news stories you might have missed:

TRR InstaHunk fave, David Faulón (above), celebrated his birthday in his (almost) birthday suit!

• A mother who is “against people being gay” wrote to Dear Abby saying her 43-year-old daughter just came out as lesbian. Abby knew just how to handle this one…

• A Texas teacher was accused of “promoting a homosexual agenda” when she showed students a picture of herself and her wife dressed up as Disney characters on the first day of school.

• Starbucks has now adopted an open-bathroom policy following an incident in Philadelphia last month were two black men were arrested while waiting for a business colleague.

• An Oregon school allegedly forced an LGBT student to read the Bible as punishment…?

GLEE star Kevin McHale says of his recent coming out: “I think there was zero surprise. People knew.”

• The Trump administration continues its attack on the trans community by rolling back prison protections.

• And how about one more from the woofy Mr. Faulón:

(via Instagram)

Nevada: Michele Fiore Says Oregon Occupiers Were “Camping”

Nevada Assemblywoman (and local nutjob) Michele Fiore sat down with Chris Kudialis of the Las Vegas Sun to discuss the recent occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon by the Bundy militia, which became a national news story for 40 days as the occupiers threatened to shoot any federal agent who attempted to arrest them.

Fiore, who became involved at the end of the debacle, now calls what the occupiers did “camping.”

They entered a federal office building while armed, renamed the facility, accessed personnel files and posted private information about employees online, destroyed fencing while allowing the media to record them, drove government vehicles and said they were ready to “kill or be killed” while making a stand against the United States government.

Nevada congressional candidate Michele Fiore calls this “camping.”

In an interview that explored her views of the type of anti-government activists who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., this year, Fiore bristled at questions in which the Oregon incident was described as an occupation. Not only did she say the activists acted lawfully, she contended they were victims of “an act of terrorism” by the federal government.

“It was abandoned. No one was there, so they basically kind of said, ‘This is a great place to camp and make our statement,’” Fiore said.

Asked about specific activities that were reported during the occupation, Fiore offered varying responses. She said she knew refuge vehicles were being driven by activists, but said one of the leaders tried to prevent it. She said she was unaware of fences being destroyed or employee information being compromised, despite reports from media outlets inside the facility.

“I’d need to see some proof,” said Fiore, currently a Nevada assemblywoman. “Somebody would need to show me.”

Fiore announced last week that she intends to run for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District seat.

You can watch Chris Kudialis’ interview below.

To further illustrate her character, this is from Fiore’s Christmas calendar:

Oregon: “Bundy Militia” Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

Members of the “Bundy Militia,” domestic terrorists who took over a federal wildlife sanctuary last month, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for preventing federal employees from doing their jobs.

From NBC News:

The armed occupation, which began over a month ago at the Malheur National Wildlife Center, lost its momentum last week after its leaders, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were arrested during a traffic stop. Another occupier, Robert LaVoy Finicum, was fatally shot by authorities in the same incident.

A total of 11 people, including the Bundy brothers, were arrested, although two members of the group — including the only female — were later released from jail, The Associated Press reported.

Federal prosecutor Geoff Barrow told the AP on Wednesday that the indictment involves the people arrested so far “and others,” perhaps a reference to the four people who have stayed put at the federal refuge — despite Ammon Bundy’s calls for them to leave.

The indictment, which was unsealed Thursday and obtained by NBC News, alleges that the defendants conspired together since last October to prevent refuge employees from doing their work at the wildlife sanctuary “by force, intimidation, and threats.”

The maximum penalty is six years in prison.

The Bundy brothers — sons of infamous Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy — remain jailed. The occupiers took over the refuge as part of a larger demand that the federal government turn public lands over to local control.

A small group of the militants continue to occupy the wildlife refuge.