Things That Matter

Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

Governors in the U.S. have tried and failed multiple times to enshrine discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community by passing “religious freedom” bills. At the heart of these bills is the idea that someone’s religion is enough to discriminate against those of different faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Puerto Rico tried to follow the same failed path as Indiana and the backlash was swift and victorious after Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny (Benito Martinez) spoke out against the bill forcing Governor Ricardo Rosselló to backtrack on his bill to discriminate.

In April, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló presented the Puerto Rican House of Representatives a “religious freedom” bill.

Credit: @lgbtpr / Twitter

The bill was months in the making and Gov. Rosselló showed his full support for the bill, House Bill 2069. The bill would have allowed for government employees to openly discriminate against people who went against their religious beliefs.

Ricky Martin spoke up against the measure and called out the Puerto Rican government and their willingness to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

“While the world calls for equality, respect for diversity and the defense of human rights, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Governor of Puerto Rico are pushing for a measure that goes against all of the above and it encourages division, prejudice, hatred and the lack of respect for individuality,” Martin wrote on his fan website. “It does so under a premise that undermines the constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of race, sex or belief, and in its place, justifies an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.”

“As a member of the LGBTT community, I join the constituency that affirms that there has never been a willingness among our LGBTT people to allow for the validation or legalization of discrimination against us.”

“House Bill 2069, filed at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and promoted by Representative Charbonier, achieve nothing more than opening the doors to hatred towards anyone who doesn’t share the same ideology, who simply belong to the LGBTT community, or who don’t  have the same color skin, amidst many other discriminatory measures.”

“Authentic religious freedom calls for respecting everyone equally.”

Bad Bunny also used his platform to stand up for the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Rico.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

“While we ‘bad guys’ do out to unite people and try to send a message of respect and tolerance, the leaders of my country work to do the opposite,” he wrote on Instagram. “We cannot take steps backwards, NEVER! @ricardorossello you make excellent coffee, I know that you can also make an excellent decision.”

Calle 13’s Residente joined his Puerto Rican peers to call out the Puerto Rican government’s wishes to strip LGBTQ+ people of their humanity with the law.

These calls against the action came during Pride month when the U.S. is supposed to be celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community, which still faces discrimination and violence.

After the outcry, Gov. Rosselló reversed his support for the bill and ordered the Puerto Rican House of Representatives to shelf the bill.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“WE WON! The recent years, Western countries have made significant advances in guaranteeing equal right for the LGBTT community,” Martin tweeted.

Martin celebrated the decision by educating his followers about what the measure would mean for the LGBTQ+ community.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“These advances were threatened recently in Puerto Rico, where the House fo Representatives passed legislation that endangered the progress won in the last decade and risked feeding the division, prejudice, and tensions between the communities.”

He did not sugar coat the true meaning behind the legislation.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“By granting government employees the power to act in accordance with their religious convictions, personal values, and principles, this regressive legislation would have sanctioned the practice of institutional discrimination on the part of those who committed themselves to a life in public service.”

Congratulations, Ricky!

Credit: ricky_martin / Instagram

It just goes to show that enough public outcry can make politicians listen to the majority instead of the vocal minority.

READ: After Delay Caused By Border Wall And Trump’s Feud with Puerto Rico, Congress Finally Passes $19.1 Billion Disaster Aid Package

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

Things That Matter

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

KSTP / Via Facebook: watch

After enduring quite a bit of pain over receiving a cup with the word “ISIS” instead of her name, a Muslim teenager has filed a human rights complaint. According to the teenager whose name (as reported by Buzzfeed) is Aishah, on July 1 she and a friend went to a Starbucks located inside of a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The 19-year-old said that a barista asked her to repeat her name when taking her order, but she was shocked by what she saw when she first received it.

Aishah says that she feels as if the incident happened because she was wearing a hijab and a face mask.

“I felt a lot of emotions, and shock was the main one because I actually couldn’t believe this was happening,” Aishah told BuzzFeed News.

Speaking about the incident, the deputy director of the Minnesota chapter of Council on American–Islamic Relations, Mohamed Ibrahim said “This is a reminder that Islamophobia is alive and present in our communities.” In an effort to address the issue, the group has made efforts to help Aishah file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

In her interview with Buzzfeed, Aishah said the barista said that “ISIS” had been put on a cup because they hadn’t heard her name correctly. According to Buzzfeed, the Target employee who served Aishah said “they did not hear her name.”

When a manager attempted to explain to Aishah that people’s names are frequently misspelled on cups, she said that the explanations were “not credible or acceptable.”

“When somebody orders a drink at Starbucks — if the barista can’t spell the name, then they ask you to spell it,” Aishah explained in her interview that such a mistake had never happened with her order.

Aishah’s human rights complaint, claims a manager offered her a free drink and a $25 gift card for her troubles and had her escorted out by security.

Target, which oversees the Starbucks location where the incident happened, told BuzzFeed in a statement that it’s “very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation.”

A spokesperson also explained that an internal investigation found “it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake” and that the company will offer additional training to the barista. According to Aishah, she has yet to hear from Target since she called the company to complain. She also has not heard from CAIR-MN.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, is calling for the barista and manager in question to be fired and for Target and Starbucks to reinvest in training for their employees. “We are hoping that bringing light to this incident will actually transform how Target and Starbucks and many other companies deal with such incidents,” Hussein said.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time Starbucks has received such a complaint.

In August of last year, a man told a barista at a Philadelphia Starbucks that his name was Aziz. He was soon given a drink with the term “ISIS.”

“The barista mistakenly spelled it incorrectly,” a Starbucks spokesperson told NBC News at the time.

Gay Man Dubbed Karen For Saying He Wants Everyone To Catch COVID In IG Video

Things That Matter

Gay Man Dubbed Karen For Saying He Wants Everyone To Catch COVID In IG Video

Corey Hannon / Facebook / coreyhannon / Instagram

Corey Hannon, a gay man in New York, has received severe backlash after a video he posted to his IG story. Hannon, who suspected he might have COVID-19, went to Fire Island for the holiday weekend drawing anger.

NYC resident Corey Hannon is facing severe backlash on social media after posting this video.

The video was taken while Hannon was partying on Fire Island over the 4th of July holiday weekend. The video shows an upset Hannon claiming to have had COVID and went to the island after quarantining for 8 days. Then he takes a turn and says he hopes everyone catches COVID.

Hannon also allegedly shared on Facebook that his body felt like it was still sick while on Fire Island.

COVID-19 is still a very serious health risk in the United States. The holiday weekend saw spikes of COVID infections across the country proving the seriousness of the virus. According to The New York Times, the U.S. recorded more than 56,000 new infections on July 3rd and more than 50,000 on July 4th. New daily infection numbers have been increasing aggressively since mid-June when states began rushing reopening plans.

The backlash to the videos and posts was swift, widespread, and brutal.

Twitter was filled with people denouncing the actions of Hannon in the midst of a pandemic. Some countries have begun to return to a form of normal after strict isolation measures. The U.S. has been criticized by the international community because of a lack of a national strategy. Instead, infection numbers have continued to climb in the U.S. forcing some states, counties, and cities to pause, suspend, and even reverse reopenings.

Hannon posted a video and people are not buying his “apology.”

Here’s my apology, comments, and my story. Because I failed to mention dates of my COVID timeline here they are:…

Posted by Corey Hannon on Sunday, July 5, 2020

In the video, Hannon spends more time apologizing for how people perceived his actions than apologizing for his actions. For a moment, Hannon decided to talk about cancel culture and how it is going too far. He laments about the messages he has received in light of the video going viral.

Some people have gone so far as to call Hannon’s actions racist because of how much more communities of color are being infected. Black, Latino, and immigrant communities are all facing disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 cases. A lack of access to healthcare and outreach around COVID-19 has led to these communities facing higher infection and death rates as the virus continues to spread in the U.S.

Hannon’s video forced people to take a closer look at Fire Island this weekend and it was just…well…

Giancarlo Kristian Albanese, a currency analyst, also shared his feelings about health measures designed to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. An image shared to Instagram shows a sea of men with no social distancing and no masks insight on Fire Island.

Some people on social media are just stunned by this kind of behavior.

And this is why we can’t have anythingSee y’all 2021

Posted by Logan Slaughter on Saturday, July 4, 2020

The virus is still a very serious threat in the U.S. The European Union has banned tourists from the U.S. to visit because of our inability to control the viral outbreak in the U.S. Our numbers have skyrocketed in recent months with our death number recently cross over 130,000.

Scientists, health experts, and politicians are calling for Americans to act together and wear masks and practice social distancing. Studies and research from around the world have shown that one of the most effective tools in slowing the spread of COVID-19 is the face mask.

READ: Man Posts Plea For People To Social Distance After Falling Ill Of COVID-19 And Died The Next Day