Joseph Gentile

'Minnesota Nice' Edition [What You Need to Know]

Filed By Joseph Gentile | July 22, 2012 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Affordable Care Act, anti-gay, apartheid, Aurora, Boston, Boy Scouts of America, BSA, Chick-fil-A boycott, child care, Colorado, Dan Cathy, Department of Defense, Desmond Tutu, DOMA, Electronic Arts, gay pride, Grace Lawrence, health insurance reform, HIV/AIDS, ICE, Immigration, Kim Kardashian, Liberia, Mayor Tom Menino, military, Minnesota, Northern Star Council, Obamacare, same-sex couples, San Diego LGBT Festival, shooting, South Africa, transgender, Twitter, uniforms, WYNTK

Fargo.jpgCharacterized by Garrison Keillor and the cast of Fargo, the cultural phenomena of 'Minnesota nice' can be defined as a self-deprecating politeness that displays, "an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, [and] emotional restraint," above everything else. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise to hear the Boy Scout's Northern Star Council - representing 75,000 Scouts across Minnesota and western Wisconsin - decided to ignore the organization's reaffirmed ban upon "open, avowed homosexuals," and continue its twelve-year-old policy of "inclusive leadership selection" that doesn't discriminate. Then again, as Northern Star Council spokesman Kent York confirmed for the Star-Tribune, "Every council is reflective of their community." Here's the latest reflection upon what you need to know:

  • Signed by several dozen companies so far, an amicus brief opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) recently received a 1-Up from the executives at Electronic Arts (EA.) Three years ago, EA developers honored gaymers playing The Sims 3 by recognizing their same-sex marriages. Since then, they've told us it gets better and marched with San Francisco and Seattle's gay pride parades.
  • The Dept. of Defense agreed to be fashion-forward last Thursday, permitting gay and lesbian military personnel to don their uniforms for that weekend's San Diego LGBT Festival Pride Parade.
  • Celeb Boutique committed the ultimate 'fashion don't' last Friday by attempting to profit off of a human tragedy; pimping their Kardashian-inspired #Aurora dress, only hours after #PrayForAurora and #theatershooting began trending upon Twitter. Gunman James Holmes, 24, (NOT to be confused with a certain managing editor) opened fire shortly after midnight, July 20, upon an unarmed theatre of moviegoers anticipating the action-packed premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo. Twelve died, and more than 50 individuals were wounded in what's become the single-largest shooting massacre in the United States to date. The pleated, plunging V-neck design isn't presently for sale online.
  • Desmond Tutu, the former archbishop of Cape Town, recently praised "young people" the world over for increasingly rejecting homophobic "intolerance." In an article for The Lancet about HIV's transmission, the Anglican leader compared legislation that criminalizes homosexuality to the racial segregation of South African apartheid. More than 70 countries currently treat homosexuality as a legally punishable offense
  • Mayor Tom Menino can't stomach the thought of a Chick-fil-A opening up a Boston-based franchise after the company's CEO, Dan Cathy, accused states permitting marriage equality - such as Massachusetts - of "inviting God's judgment on our nation."
  • Protections for undocumented LGBT inmates detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are getting reevaluated by the Obama administration to include alternatives against placing these immigrants into solitary confinement. Listen as Grace Lawrence, a 43-year-old transgender female from Liberia, recounts her ordeal at Santa Clara County jail - an-all male facility - after spending a majority of her three-year stint there consigned to solitary confinement for her own "personal safety."
  • Gay and lesbian federal employees are finally able to extend their health insurance to their children under the Affordable Care Act; three years after the Obama administration urged the Personnel Management Office to extend those benefits. Now, children of a federal employee's same-sex partner may qualify for coverage until they're 26 years of age. Dental and vision insurance are also included.

(Fargo graphic via Wikipedia)

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