Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ellen DeGeneres and JC Penny

Here is the talented Ellen DeGeneres speaking about her selection as the JC Penny spokesperson. In response to the JC Penny decision, a group called One Million Moms sought to have Ellen fired because she was gay. Undeterred, JC Penny stood by its decision and by Ellen. Good for you JC Penny!

In the video, Ellen specifically addresses One Million Moms, which claims to represent "traditional family values." (I've always found it audacious that any group would claim to represent this vague concept of "family values," whatever that means.)  

In a related development, a federal appeals court last week upheld Maine's campaign disclosure law requiring groups that raise or spend more than $5,000 "to influence elections" to disclose its donor list. The lawsuit stems from a 2009 ballot-question that repealed Maine's same-sex marriage law.

In 2009, Maine approved same-sex marriage. Shortly thereafter, opponents of same-sex marriage launched a campaign to repeal the law through voter referendum. The issue was placed on the ballot and it passed by a vote of 53 to 47 percent, thereby banning gay marriage in Maine. The National Organization for Marriage (a national anti-gay group) donated $1.9 million to a Maine organization that used the funds in the successful 2009 campaign; however, NOM refused to comply with Maine's disclosure law, claiming disclosure of its donor list would stymie free speech and make it less likely for people to donate. (What a shame.) The federal appeals court disagreed with NOM's argument and upheld the Maine law. (NOM will likely seek an appeal to the US Supreme Court. I'll keep you posted.) 

NOM does have a point! In 2008, during the Proposition 8 campaign (a similar ballot measure banning same-sex marriage in California), opponents of same-sex marriage made their donor lists public, causing many people to boycott businesses that supported the anti-gay marriage initiative. I guess it doesn't pay to be a bigot anymore!

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