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Watch: Dad Explains How Southwest Airlines Refused to Allow Him, His Husband, and Kids to Use ‘Family Boarding’

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‘This Is for Family Boarding Only and You Are Not Permitted to Board’

Southwest Airlines is under fire after refusing to allow a man, his husband, and their three children to board a Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale flight on Saturday, claiming they are not a family.

“This is for family boarding only,” Grant Morse says the gate agent told his husband Sam as he and his family stood ready to board. Morse says the agent “aggressively” told them they could not board, even after they explained they are a family, right down to the legal documentation of birth certificates to prove it.

“I felt like I was a criminal and I was humiliated,” Morse told WKBW, in the video above.

“We are a family,” Morse says his husband told the agent. He says it’s “blatant discrimination.”

After repeatedly telling the family they could only board during family boarding, Morse says the agent then took to the intercom to announce family boarding.

As they again tried to get on the plane the gate agent again told them, “This is for family boarding only and you are not permitted to board. This is only for family, and I told you that already.”

At that point Morse says he again told her, “We are a family,” explaining they are legally married and their names appear on their three children’s birth certificates.

The gate agent told them she could only allow one of the parents to board with the children.

WGRZ reports Southwest’s policy on family boarding is “vague,” and could be interpreted as allowing only one adult with children under six.

But it also seems clear, based on Morse’s remarks, the agent wasn’t invoking Southwest policy, but her own.

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Image by Tomás Del Coro via Flickr and a CC license

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Religious Right Activists Petition Pompeo’s ‘Unalienable Rights’ Commission to ‘Make the Family Great Again’

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The commission created by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reconsider U.S. human rights policy, ostensibly according to the principles of unalienable rights and a particular interpretation of natural law, held its most recent public meeting at the U.S. State Department on Friday, where the Ruth Institute’s Jennifer Roback Morse used the Q&A time to read a statement and submit a petition that urges President Donald Trump and Pompeo to “Make the Family Great Again.” Morse claimed that “the family itself has human rights.” Morse is essentially asking the commission to endorse the idea that the so-called “traditional family” has “fundamental” rights that equal or exceed those of individuals.

When the Commission on Unalienable Rights was created last year, anti-LGBTQ activist Brian Brown called it an “extraordinary opening to push for clear and consistent recognition of the natural family,” adding that it “gives us a forum to challenge American foreign policy that has in the past advanced the extreme agenda of the left that has been cloaked in the language of so-called human rights.”

The Ruth Institute started as a project of Brown’s National Organization for Marriage, so it’s not surprising that Morse shares his view about the potential for the commission to help them advance their anti-equality agenda. Morse’s petition signers include an array of U.S. and international anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ activists, including Gary Bauer, Janice Crouse, Robert George, Mike Huckabee, Alveda King, Rick Scarborough, and Sharon Slater. Among the signers from outside the U.S. is Levan Vasadze, the businessman and anti-LGBTQ activist who hosted the 2016 World Congress of Families global summit in the capital of Georgia, the former Soviet republic.

The petition urges the Commission on Unalienable Rights to “work for recognition of the following fundamental rights”:

  1. The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  2. The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  3. The right to life from conception to natural death.
  4. The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values without being undermined by the state.

Human rights advocates, LGBTQ-equality activists, and others are concerned that the commission—dominated by conservative academics—was created to provide intellectual justification for bringing human rights advocacy in line with right-wing complaints about human rights “inflation.” And they worry that most commission members aim to put a right-wing interpretation of religious liberty into a top tier of rights that would exclude other rights recognized by the U.S. and the international community since the founding of the United Nations. The commission has been holding monthly public meetings, hearing from speakers expressing a range of views, and taking public questions. Its report is expected sometime this spring.

Pompeo and other Trump administration officials have also spent the past year mobilizing a new “pro-family” coalition of conservative and authoritarian governments designed to resist any international agreements or action by U.N. agencies that recognize reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality (which is deemed to be “anti-family”), and comprehensive sex education.

Morse claimed a few years ago that the goal of “radical feminists” and “sexual revolutionaries” was to expand the power of the state to take control over family life—and that they were using divorce and gay marriage to do it.

The Ruth Institute bills itself as “a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love.” It promotes “those who have walked away from a same sex lifestyle” and other “survivors of the sexual revolution.”

Morse’s statement at the State Department was promoted by One News Now, a news arm of the American Family Association.

RELATED STORIES:

Hundreds of Orgs, Political and Religious Leaders Demand Pompeo Abolish His Anti-LGBTQ ‘Commission on Unalienable Rights’

Rights Activists Alarmed as Pompeo Installs Anti-Gay Anti-Abortion Activist to Head New Commission on ‘Natural Law’

State Dept. Quietly Creates Commission Focused on ‘Fresh Thinking’ About ‘Natural Rights’ – Code for Anti-LGBT

 

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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UGLY AMERICAN

Trump Butchers Language During Massive India Welcome Rally — as Crowd Walks Out on His Speech

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President Donald Trump butchered several Indian words during a speech on his first official visit to the country.

Trump addressed a massive public rally Monday in Gujarat, the home state of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, and struggled to pronounce several words, reported BBC.

The U.S. president bungled his pronunciation of Ahmedabad, the city where he was speaking, and the name of Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda.

Trump, who entered to the music of Elton John, also called the Vedas — ancient Hindu texts — the “Vestas.”

BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan reported that crowds began leaving midway through Trump’s speech, which came after Modi spoke.

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HATE

Carnival Celebration Includes Burning Effigy of Kissing Same-Sex Couple as Children Watch and Adults Applaud

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The town of Imotski in the mostly-Catholic country of Croatia is getting attention after its leaders decided to burn an effigy of a same-sex couple kissing, and holding a child, as part of a 150-year old annual carnival celebration.

As the video below shows, the figures of two men kissing were lit on fire, and were quickly engulfed by flames as adults cheered and applauded and young children stood and watched. Confetti was thrown, some of the children were unsure what to make of the hateful spectacle, and a few appeared excited. One little girl applauded and then quickly walked off. Several attendees, including children, filmed the event for posterity.

One of the figures burned “clearly showed the face of Social Democratic Party MP Nenad Stazic, who has campaigned in parliament for same-sex couples to be allowed to foster children,” BalkanInsight reports. “His character had also a red star on his forehead, the symbol of former communist Yugoslavia.”

One of the carnival organizers defended the choice of burning a same-sex couple.

“We remain conservative, sticking to tradition. Give the baby to a mother, as the saying goes. We think that’s right.”

But political leaders, including the country’s president, and activists are speaking out.

“The symbolic burning of same-sex partners with a foster child in Imotski is a sad, inhumane and totally unacceptable act in the guise of the ‘Bakova povorka’ festivities,” President Zoran Milanovic wrote on Facebook, according to Total Croatia News.

The organizers who staged this shameful event, in the name of tradition, deserve the strongest public condemnation because of the hatred they have demonstrated toward for others. Intolerance and inhumanity are not and will not be a Croatian tradition,” he added, while pointing out that “many children watched this event, thus witnessing the spread of hatred and inciting violence.”

The nation’s Education Minister, Blazenka Divjak, and Economy Minister, Darko Horvat, also condemned the display.

“The scary scenes from Imotski cannot be justified by carnival customs,” the Rainbow Family Association’s Daniel Martinovic said. “What kind of message is being sent to our children, children who nowadays in Croatia grow up with lesbian mothers or gay fathers?”

Total Croatia News reports criminal charges will be brought against the carnival’s organizer.

Watch – the hateful act begins near the end of the video at about the 1:41:00 mark:

Hat tip: Towleroad

This article has been updated to include a more accurate translation.

 

 

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