Media Trail

Kalamazoo repeals gay-rights law

The Chicago Tribune reports the Kalamazoo City Commission has voted to rescind its gay-rights law just six weeks after passing it.

The commission voted Dec. 1 to make it a civil offense in the city of 7,200 to discriminate in housing, public accommodations or employment based on sexual orientation or being transgender.

The American Family Association of Michigan submitted petitions with about 1,600 signatures seeking the law’s repeal. If officials found at least 1,273 signatures valid, the commission would have had to rescind the law or put it on the ballot.

The commission voted 7-0 on Jan. 12 to rescind it.

Commissioner Stephanie Minor said the council will consider a revised gay-rights law.

Gay bars operating despite poison threat

CNN reports business is brisk at gay bars in Seattle despite the recent ricin threat.

Eleven bars in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood received letters warning of attacks with the poison, but instead of keeping people away, the threat turned them out.

On Jan. 9, hundreds of locals participated in an organized pub crawl designed to support the establishments.

Police say they’re investigating the letters, which the bars received on Jan. 7.

Ricin is a poison that occurs naturally in castor beans and can be fatal if ingested or inhaled.

People in the area initially were scared after hearing about the threats, but they soon became defiant, said community activist Alison Luying.

“We are not going to be terrorized,” she said.

Pepsi targeted by antigay group reports the American Family Association has made Pepsi-Cola the latest target in its ongoing boycotts of what it calls “pro-homosexual” companies.

The AFA is urging supporters to sign an online pledge to boycott Pepsi products and to call the company to tell it “to stop promoting the homosexual agenda.”

“PepsiCo has refused a request by AFA to remain neutral in the culture war,” the group said. “In the last two years, Pepsi has given $500,000 to the Human Rights Campaign and $500,000 to the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The $1 million was to be used to help promote homosexuality in the workplace.”

Previous AFA boycotts have targeted companies like McDonald’s, Ford, Disney and Wal-Mart.

— Larry Nichols