Michigan Approves Charter For First LGBT Credit Union

Michigan Approves Charter For First LGBT Credit Union

Michigan has approved a charter for a new financial institution designed for LGBT customers. Superbia Credit Union will offer products such as loans for transgender people in the process of transitioning, said Myles Meyers, founder of New York-based Superbia Services Inc., which created the credit union. The charter means that online service could launch in early 2020.

Now that it has a charter, Superbia will work on forming a board and hiring executives. There are also plans to offer products such as insurance, health care and wealth management specifically designed for LGBT customers.

While many American corporations advertise their support for LGBT rights — and a majority of Americans say they are for gay marriage — it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBT consumers in most U.S. states. In fact, research shows members of the LGBT community have difficulty securing banking services regardless of where they are located, with same-sex couples less likely to be approved for a loan. And when they do secure financing, they usually pay more for it.

“I can walk into a bank or credit union and apply for a loan or credit card or savings accounts and frankly, no problem,” said Meyers, according to Bloomberg . “If I walked in to the same institution with my husband, we can come across different responses and welcome. And this is where it all starts to change for the community.”

“The LGBTQ community is strong and persistent,” he added. “We’ve been working with, and will continue to work with, the community to improve economic equality by removing the risks of intolerance and discrimination in banking services that continue to plague the community in different forms … We are extremely appreciative to the Michigan DIFS for its efforts on our application and the signing of the executive order to form Superbia Credit Union.”

And Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) told The Oakland Press that “state law doesn’t protect Michigan’s LGBTQ community from discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations … It’s burdensome that gay and trans Michiganders must depend on private businesses to take it upon themselves to provide equal treatment to employees and consumers.”

——————————– Latest Insights: Facebook is a giant in the ad game, with 2.3 billion active monthly users and $16.6 billion in quarterly advertising revenue. However, its omnipresence makes it a honeypot for fraudsters. In this month’s Digital Fraud Report , PYMNTS talks with Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management , on how the site deploys automated systems and thorough advertiser vetting to close the lid on fraudster attempts.

Millennials boldly preach freedom from LGBT lives at Orlando march 3 years after Pulse mass shooting

Millennials boldly preach freedom from LGBT lives at Orlando march 3 years after Pulse mass shooting

Freedom March held at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Florida, on Sept. 14, 2019. ORLANDO — Neither rain nor intense heat could stop hundreds of people from gathering Saturday to proclaim their freedom from homosexuality. A group of passionate millennials who call themselves “overcomers” brought the Freedom March to Florida to share how Jesus delivered them from the LGBT lifestyle.

Despite the threat of a tropical storm and counter protesters, hundreds of people arrived at Lake Eola Park to march with the group of overcomers. Several local and national ministries set up tents around the park and local churches also came out to support the march, including: C Life Orlando , Church in the Son , First Baptist , King Jesus Orlando , and Redeemed by God , among others.

The event kicked off just before noon with fervent prayer for the city, for the LGBT community, and for other groups of people.

A security detail and police officers secured the perimeter during the event because the Freedom March had received several threats, even one threat from an LGBT-affirming Christian group . No protesters arrived, however.

Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz led worship and the sharing of testimonies of salvation at a bandshell before the group marched around the park. Both men are survivors of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016 and have since left homosexuality and started a ministry called Fearless Identity to help churches effectively share the love of Jesus with the LGBT community.

“It’s not a gay to straight thing, it’s a lost to saved thing,” Ruiz declared. Freedom March Orlando, Sept 14, 2019 Worship was led by Edward Byrd who used to identify as androgynous before finding freedom in Christ and accepting his identity as a son of God.

Hundreds lifted their hands in praise and adoration, declaring in lyrics, “Jesus you make the darkness tremble” and “there is power in the name of Jesus.” Several overcomers shared their testimonies. The Freedom March’s founder, Jeffrey Mccall , shared how God brought him out of a life living as a transgender prostitute. A woman named Laura Perry shared that she battled with gender identity so much so that she surgically removed her body parts to become a man only to find that nothing changed on the inside. Instead, it was her heart that was missing a savior.

A powerful moment was when the young group of overcomers took to the stage and had a moment of silence for the 49 people who were killed on June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub.

The group proclaimed to the crowd that God “loves gay people” and it’s important that people come to know Jesus as their Savior before trying to change their lifestyle. They preached that it is God who transforms and it has nothing to do with conversation therapy or anything else of the sort.

As the worshipers sang, Ruiz and MJ Nixon, a former lesbian and founder of Uprooted Heart Inc. , performed spontaneous baptisms for several people in a pool they set up side stage. Freedom March Orlando, Sept 14, 2019 Many in attendance wore T-shirts declaring such messages as, “Changed,” “FM (Freedom March),” “Fearless Identity,” and “Taking back the rainbow.”

A tent set up for “fearless” moms and dads was filled with parents who are trusting God for their children’s salvation. The parents hugged people as they walked by and found support in one another.

In the last hour of the event, the overcomers asked everyone in attendance to turn toward the city with their hands raised and pray. People were also led to Christ. All of those who found freedom in Christ took a group photo and then everyone mobilized to march around the park. There were over 400 people marching around Lake Eola Park shouting phrases such as, “freedom in Christ, it’s so nice,” “Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom,” and the call and response, “when I say Jesus, you say freedom.” Freedom March Orlando, Sept 14, 2019 The first Freedom March was held in Washington, D.C., on May 5, 2018, and the group of millennials intends to continue to take the march nationwide, and will be heading to Georgia in October and back to Washington in May 2020.

Each march is meant to share their transformation in Christ, equip the Body of Christ on how to reach out to the LGBT community and offer a safe place for those in the LGBT community to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

For more information on the Freedom March visit their page .

RuPaul says his comments on trans people were taken ‘so out of context’

RuPaul says his comments on trans people were taken ‘so out of context’

RuPaul poses with his award for outstanding host at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2019. (JC Olivera/WireImage) RuPaul has said that his controversial remarks – in which he compared transgender drag queens to doping athletes and said they wouldn’t be allowed to compete on Drag Race – were taken “so out of context”.

Asked by the Sunday Times whether he still holds the view that drag cannot be done by women, cis or trans, RuPaul replied, “Why are people obsessed with that question?” and complained that his quote was taken “so out of context”.

“There seems to be this obsession with trying to create this ‘us against them’ storyline,” RuPaul said.

“We share a history. The two worlds [of drag and trans people] intersect, but also maintain their own unique qualities… One of our contestants, Monica Beverly Hillz, said it best when she said, ‘Drag is what I do, trans is who I am.’” ‘Drag loses it’s sense of irony when it’s not men doing it’

In a March 2018 interview with The Guardian , RuPaul said he would “probably not” allow a transgender drag queen to compete on the show, drawing a distinction between trans women who have undergone some form of medical transition and those who are yet to do so or choose not to.

“Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture,” RuPaul said .

Drag Race featured it’s first openly trans contestant in 2017, when Peppermint came out on the show.

“Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned,” RuPaul said in 2018.

“You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body. It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing. We’ve had some girls who’ve had some injections in the face and maybe a little bit in the butt here and there, but they haven’t transitioned,” he said. RuPaul compared transition to doping. (Twitter) RuPaul tweeted wrong flag in trans apology

After online backlash against his comments, RuPaul took to Twitter to apologise on 5 March 2018.

“Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”

Immediately following that was another post : In the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the only thing we’ve ever screened for is charisma uniqueness nerve and talent. And that will never change. pic.twitter.com/0jsyt6MRvO

— RuPaul (@RuPaul) March 5, 2018 However, people on Twitter were quick to point out that the flag he tweeted was not the pink, white and blue trans flag, but a flag that represents trains . .Wait. Do you…do you think this is the trans flag?! Are you seriously really that ignorant? ‘Apology’ mockingly rejected.

— Dr. Rachel McKinnon (@rachelvmckinnon) March 9, 2018 Drag Race is coming to the UK in October .

London’s first ever Trans+ Pride march – in pictures

London’s first ever Trans+ Pride march – in pictures

Thousands of transgender people and their allies take to the streets for London’s first ever Trans+ Pride march on 14 September, 2019. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) On September 14, thousands of transgender people and their allies took to the streets of London in a historic first – the UK capital’s first-ever Trans+ Pride march.

Founded by performers Lucia Blake and Finn Love , London Trans Pride was born partly as a response to the hijacking of the front of the Pride in London parade in 2018 by a group of anti-trans campaigners.

“Last year’s transphobic protests and the all too familiar centring of cis-white gay-male narratives at Pride in London certainly informed our decision,” the collective behind the event told PinkNews in April 2019 .

“We realised collectively that it’s time for us to own our stories, to celebrate them and to take up the space we deserve outside and in broad daylight.” Thousands of transgender people and their supporters take part in London’s first ever Trans Pride march through the streets of British capital on 14 September, 2019 in London, England. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) More than 1,500 people took part in London’s first Trans+ Pride march, which began at Hyde Park Corner and ended in Soho Square. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Speakers at Soho Square included model Munroe Bergdorf, drag performer Chiyo Gomes and activist Jamie Windust. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Before the march, organisers told the Evening Standard the event was more than just a celebration of trans people’s lives.

They said: ‘We’re wanting to raise urgent conversations about the lack of healthcare for trans+ people in the UK, the fact that we’re deporting trans+ people back to countries where they will be killed immediately, needs for social housing, LGBTQIA+ education, better media representation.” (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) “We are not finished here, there is still a long way to go for our entire community to feel safe and equal.”

Organiser Lucia Blayke told the Metro the day had been “absolutely incredible and overwhelming”.

She added: “The sun’s out and the sky’s blue, if you look at everyone’s faces it’s just big smiles.” (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) “For trans people it’s a lot different being out in public. Usually we’re scared, we’re having things shouted at us, we’re humiliated and just really embarrassed.

“Social interactions aren’t usually that relaxing so today is all about being together in public and keeping each other safe and uplifted. It’s the one day we’re not outcasts.” (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Hate crimes against transgender people in the UK rose by 81 percent between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Increases of hate-crime reports are frequently rationalised as being due to improved reporting practices, however, the surge in anti-trans crimes is well above the increase for reports based on every single other protected characteristic

LGBT hate crimes lowest in Hawaii, study finds

LGBT hate crimes lowest in Hawaii, study finds

News HONOLULU – A new study shows hate crimes against the LGBT community have increased by more than one-third since 1996, but Hawaii ranks No. 51 for attacks in any state. In Hawaii, the Security.org study found there were no anti-LGBT incidents per 100,000 people between 2013 and 2019.

It used the most recent data from the FBI. The study says the LGBT community is the most targeted group for hate crimes, followed by Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, and African-Americans.

Within the LGBT community, the study says gay men are victims more than 50% of the time (55.8%), followed by lesbians (10.4%), transgender (8.7%), bisexuals (1.9%) and gender non-conforming (1.1%).

Ex-gay march shows need for religious freedom in counseling

Ex-gay march shows need for religious freedom in counseling

Men and women who left gay and transgender lives march to the White House with the Freedom March on May 5, 2018. Today, former homosexuals and transgender individuals will gather for a Freedom March in Orlando, Florida to tell their stories of finding freedom in Christ. To a nation engulfed in the sexual revolution, their stories are both inspirational and counter-cultural.

Last year, they marched in California to counter AB 2943 – a bill that would have made it illegal to sell counseling services, conferences, and potentially even books that help people voluntarily overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. Tens of thousands of Californians called, emailed, and lobbied their state legislators to stop AB 2943 from becoming law. At the eleventh hour, the bill sponsor pulled the bill from consideration.

However, activist legislators in California are at it again. On September 4, the California Senate passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 (or ACR 99) by a vote of 29 to 7 . This resolution calls on the state’s religious leaders to “counsel on LGBT matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy.”

This resolution is an abuse of state power and represents a threat to religious liberty. Although the resolution is non-binding, its intent is to paint those belonging to religious traditions that hold orthodox beliefs on sexuality as not only outdated but dangerous.

Through ACR 99, California legislators have officially communicated to their religious citizens that orthodox beliefs on marriage and sexuality are so beyond the pale that they deserve moral censure. Moreover, the legislature has made an explicitly theological claim that contradicts the Bible—namely, that homosexuality is immutable and can’t be overcome.

Clearly, the assumption of the legislators is that the Bible does not provide a loving message for those who want to leave the LGBT lifestyle. By claiming that attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation are “ineffective, unethical, and harmful,” legislators, consciously or unconsciously, are making the claim that the gospel is inherently unloving.

The Bible is clear on these issues (Rom 1:26-28, 1 Tim 1:10-11, Lev 18:22, 20:13, Gen 19:1-5). The Bible is also clear that that change is possible. Consider 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 where Paul writes, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.”

In these verses Paul condemns his readers as unfit for the kingdom of God because of their sin. However, he does not conclude with condemnation. Rather, he finishes the passage by underscoring the transformative power of the gospel: “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” A powerful example of someone who was radically changed by the gospel is Jim Pocta, who recently wrote about his experience in the LGBT community before his conversion. Jim is now a biblical counselor and an elder at his church.

Paul teaches us that change is possible through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the hope that Christ offers the world—redemption, freedom and reconciliation with God. For those with unwanted addictions and temptations, the church offers a message of love. And for congregants struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction who desire to align their lifestyle with the sexual ethic taught by their faith, this is the affirming message they have come to expect from their pastors.

But if California legislators have their way, they will eventually ban counseling for adults with unwanted same-sex attraction, as they already have for minors. Already, with the passage of ACR 99, the official position of the state is that the biblical view of sin as it relates to sexuality and sex is morally wrong. ACR 99 relies on conflating biblical counseling and “conversion therapy,” which is defined broadly enough that it could include simple conversations between pastors and congregants.

Ironically, progressives usually sermonize more aggressively about the separation of church and state. However, ACR 99 demands pastors deny the Bible’s message for the state’s. As 1 Corinthians explains, all sin, including homosexuality, can be overcome through the power of the gospel. California politicians are not competent to tell churches what is and is not sin. Moreover, it is completely inappropriate for legislators to call upon religious leaders to counsel in a way that violates their religious teachings.

With every corner of the culture inundated by the sexual revolution, the church is the last bastion of truth regarding biblical sex, sexuality, and marriage. If the church won’t stand up for those who have found healing and redemption in Christ – like the CHANGED movement and the Freedom March – then who will?

Matt Carpenter is the Deputy Director of State and Local Affairs at Family Research Council, and David Closson is the Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview at the Family Research Council.

U.S. high court to hear cases on LGBT workplace bias

U.S. high court to hear cases on LGBT workplace bias

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Oct. 8 in three cases on whether gay and transgender people are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex as well as race, color, national origin and religion.

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An invasive plant that has destroyed crops in Senegal is now being used to produce clean energy

Cyclists Ron Rutland and James Owens start the final leg of their journey from Twickenham to Tokyo to deliver Rugby World Cup whistle

Devi Apriliyani is a 20 year-old stunt driver tackling stereotypes alongside the ”Wall of Death”, in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province

A fully autonomous car is about to begin a 230 mile road trip around the UK, testing its ability to cope with the most complex routes

For the first time in nearly 360 years, a compass at Greenwich, the site of the prime meridian or zero degrees east or west on all maps, will finally point to true north as it and magnetic north converge

An invasive plant that has destroyed crops in Senegal is now being used to produce clean energy

Cyclists Ron Rutland and James Owens start the final leg of their journey from Twickenham to Tokyo to deliver Rugby World Cup whistle

Black transgender woman found torched in car as campaigners warn LGBT rights are fragile in Trump’s America

Black transgender woman found torched in car as campaigners warn LGBT rights are fragile in Trump’s America

On the still dark morning of September 4, tucked behind a rural Florida neighbourhood dotted with single-story houses painted bright green, turquoise and pink, flames licked the metal frame of a PT Cruiser parked in the grass.

When Hendry County Sheriff’s deputies doused the flames, they found a woman’s body inside so badly burned she couldn’t be identified for days.

Now police say that Bee Love Slater, a black, transgender 23-year-old from South Florida, was murdered.

Investigators have not announced any suspects or leads, and the sheriff’s office told reporters they could not say whether the grisly homicide was a hate crime.

"We can’t say it’s a hate crime yet because we don’t know what the motive was," Susan Harrelle, from the Hendry Country Sheriff’s office, told ABC 7.

But advocates say Ms Slater was the latest victim in an alarming trend, as transgender murders are spiking across the US – particularly in Florida, where the hate crime statute does not apply to people attacked for their gender identity.

"Our society needs to work to ensure transpeople can live without fear," the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said in a statement about Ms Slater’s death.

Ms Slater’s body was found at the edge of Harlem, Florida, a small community about 65 miles west of West Palm. Slater lived about 32 miles away around the southern bend of Lake Okeechobee in Pahokee, Florida, an economically depressed town best known for producing NFL talent.

Her friends say Ms Slater, who transitioned her gender earlier this year, wanted to save money to move to Atlanta, where she believed people would be more accepting of her transgender identity.

"She always had a smile on her face," her friend Desmond Vereen, who called himself her "gay mother," told the Miami Herald. "She always gave hugs and kisses, always told you that she loved you."

But more recently, Ms Slater began posting on Facebook that she’d gotten harassing messages that scared her, a friend told Out Magazine. She reportedly texted a friend that she wanted to leave town the night she died.

"She posted messages saying she felt as if people were after her to attack and hurt her and she had a conversation with one of her best friends the day she was murdered saying she wanted to leave [the city]," her friend Antorris Williams told Out.

"She was willing to sleep in her car until she found a job and things of that nature."

So far, the sheriff’s office says there is "no evidence" about the cause of her death – in part because her car was scorched to its metal frame. Meanwhile, her friends and transgender rights advocates are demanding justice.

"How could someone go to that extreme to get rid of her?" her friend Kenard Wade told WINK news. "I just want justice for her."

At least 18 transgender people have been murdered in the US this year, according to Human Rights Campaign advocates who track the homicides. Last year, advocates counted 26 murders, including five in Florida, the highest number in any state.

While Florida’s hate crime statute allows prosecutors to seek stiffer penalties when a crime is motivated by malice towards someone’s "race, religion, ethnicity, colour, ancestry, sexual orientation, or national origin," gender identity, including transgender identity, is not protected under the state law. Advocates say that limitation can leave transgender people more vulnerable to violence.

"These victims are not numbers – they were people with hopes and plans, dreams for the future, loved ones and communities who will miss them every day," writes Matilda Young for the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ rights advocacy group.

"Anti-transgender stigma is exacerbated by callous or disrespectful treatment too often seen from media, law enforcement and our highest elected officials ."

On September 6, the day Ms Slater was identified by the medical examiner, friends and supporters dressed in pink gathered on the grounds of an apartment complex in Pahokee.

They lit candles arranged to spell out "Bee Love." They sang together and held dozens of pink balloons shaped like hearts and stars.

People took turns telling stories about Ms Slater and remembering her life.

The crowd cheered for Slater as they let go of the balloons, which floated away into the night sky.

"I’m here and I’m going to speak and do whatever I have to do," Mr Vereen said. "Her name is going to live on."

The Washington Post

The Chinese transgender choir who’re singing for acceptance

The Chinese transgender choir who’re singing for acceptance

Trans Chorus performing live. (AFP) A transgender choir in China is helping to change attitudes through their work.

The members of the Trans Chorus, none of which are professional singers, have been brought together from across the country, according to a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The singers have been unite by their shared experiences of struggling with their gender identity. Trans Chorus changing attitudes in China

Being transgender is still classes as a “mental illness” in China.

The choir recently performed at Milk LGBT Gala in Chengdu, which is considered to be one of China’s more liberal cities, where audience members were reportedly moved to tears.

One choir member, Fang Yuran, who uses the gender neutral pronoun “ze,” shared experiences on stage of growing up in Hefei, a city in eastern Anhui.

“My reflection in the mirror, is a stranger’s face, which one is the real me, which one is the fake?,” Yuran told AFP. Trans choir perform at LGBT+ gala in Chengdu

The performers have come together over their shared experiences of being transgender in China. (AFP) Yuran, now 31, came out as trans in 2015 and started buying testosterone online.

The Trans Chorus singer had struggled with zir gender identity growing up.

“Perhaps I didn’t have much of a mind of my own, so I would ask myself: ‘Who am I actually? Who should I listen to?’,” Fang told AFP.

“Around the same time, a friend said to me that I should find myself, and listen to who I am. So slowly I began to discover the person I am now.”

Earlier this year, a report by report from Amnesty International found that trans people in China are risking dangerous surgery and black-market hormone treatments because it’s “impossible” for them to access healthcare.

The report, “I need my parents consent to be myself”: Barriers to gender-affirming treatments for transgender people in China , was released on Thursday (May 9) and contains interviews with 15 trans people in China.

The report found that there was widespread discrimination against trans people and a serious lack of information about accessing gender-affirming treatment.

Doriane Lau, Amnesty’s China researcher and the lead author of the report, told PinkNews that “lax regulations” around conversion therapy also contribute to how China is “failing” transgender people.

“Currently there is no law banning conversion therapy in China,” Lau told PinkNews.

“Even though a court in China ruled in 2014 that one of the biggest search engines must remove conversion therapy advertisement, conversion therapy is still very common in the country due to lax regulations.

“An interviewee’s parents even sought help from private institutions that claimed to ‘cure’ transgender identities.”

Watch AFP’s video of Trans Chorus below:

Transgender Barista Fired After Harassing Anti-LGBT Lobbyist: ‘”Get Out And Don’t Come Back!’

Transgender Barista Fired After Harassing Anti-LGBT Lobbyist: '"Get Out And Don't Come Back!'

A transgender employee at a Nebraska cafe was fired this week after yelling at a customer who worked for an anti-LGBT lobbying group.

On Wednesday, Natalie Weiss was let go from her job at Cultiva Espresso and Crepes in Lincoln, Nebraska, after she reportedly shouted at Marilyn Synek, a communications specialist at the Nebraska Family Alliance, a group described by critics as "the lobbying organization that turns Nebraskan conservative Christian fear into law."

In a Facebook post on September 11, Synek recounted that, early that morning, she was approached by Weiss, who reportedly shouted, "Marilyn Synek! I didn’t recognize you until now, but I just realized who you are, what you stand for, and the work you do. You are f****** bigoted trash, and we do not want you in our restaurant."

Weiss reportedly added that "over 80 percent" of the cafe’s staff was queer and she was " not f****** wanted in our restaurant… so get out and don’t come back!"

She allegedly said that if Synek returned, "we will all refuse any service to you."

In her post, Synek insisted she’s never broadcasted her political opinions at Cultiva and always treated the staff "with respect and courtesy." app-facebook about 10 months ago 126 5 Share "While we, as Americans, can disagree politically, it is very important to maintain civility when interacting with people who hold different world views," she wrote. "Tolerance goes both ways, and the division in our current political climate will perpetuate if we neglect basic civility."

In a public Facebook post , Cultiva’s owners confirmed there was an incident "wherein an employee lashed out at a customer over political/religious beliefs," adding that the employee was terminated "almost immediately."

"While we’re proudly liberal personally, and believe in human rights and diversity to the fullest degree," they added "let it be known that we would never condone treating a customer this way… Whatever your race, religion, gender identity, or general political beliefs, we just want you to enjoy our food and coffee, and have a good time, and tell other people you had a good time. We’re sorry there was a moment when that didn’t happen today."

In an update, Synek indicated the owners reached out personally to apologize: "They said they did not condone the incident and told me I was welcome back to their business! I’ve always enjoyed their coffee and crepes, and I accept their apology." Since the incident, the owners of Cultiva cafe in Lincoln, Nebraska, say they’ve been harassed by threatening calls and emails. "Ugliness has come from all corners of the political spectrum, interestingly enough," they wrote on Facebook. Weiss also took to Facebook , explaining she recognized Synek as "an employee of the Nebraska Family Alliance, and a former member of [Republican Senator] Ben Sasse’s campaign staff."

"If you’re unfamiliar with Sasse’s, or the Nebraska Family Alliance’s stance on the LGBT2QIA+ community, and our rights as Nebraskans to experience equality under the law and enjoy employment and housing non discrimination protections, I encourage you to look them up," she wrote. "They’re real peaches."

"Nebraskans like myself do lose our jobs, and sometimes our living arrangements, because of who we are, and people like the Nebraska Family Alliance are why. "

"When this person was leaving the store, I told them in no uncertain terms, and admittedly vulgar ones, that they were not welcome to come back. For that, I have lost my employment," she stated. "So, for those keeping track, in Nebraska, you can be fired or lose your home because you identify in the LGBT2QIA+ umbrella, and you can also be fired for telling people who fight for that status quo to get lost."

The incident sparked a strong response within the Lincoln community, with some leaving negative reviews for Cultiva because of Weiss’ outburst, and others criticizing Cultiva’s owners for not supporting her. The owners say they’ve fielded threatening phone calls, nasty emails and "a bit of soft doxxing" on Twitter. "Ugliness has come from all corners of the political spectrum, interestingly enough," they wrote.

In a comment on Cultiva’s post, one woman shared her ambivalence about the situation.

"While I’m certainly for those in power being called out in public (e.g. Sarah Huckabee at Red Hen), I’m not sure that I support what happens if employees start policing who consumes at a business as happened here," she wrote. "If the customer was saying things while there, for sure, she should be refused service. Everything I’ve read indicates that not the case here. I also understand why the former employee would not want to serve that customer."

On Thursday, Weiss asked that customers not take their feelings about the encounter out on her former coworkers.

"Cultiva Espresso & Crepes employees have done nothing wrong and have nothing to do with the incident I initiated," she wrote on Facebook. "The owners do not work at the shops. Please leave the staff alone."

Founded in 1988, the Nebraska Family Alliance opposes reproductive choice, no-fault divorce and LGBT equality in the state. On its website , the NFA maintains that "the lifelong, faithful union of a man and a woman provides many obvious benefits to society, especially children, in ways that no other relationship can."

In February, NFA representative Karen Bowling testified before the Nebraska legislature in support of conversion therapy for minors, saying society gives "a kind of carte blanche to a parent to drive a child’s wellbeing."