Tag Archives: Tom Corbett

Voting Rights Act of 1965–What Happened?

6 Aug

Today marks the 47th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The Voting Rights Act finally addressed the widespread discrimination African Americans faced when trying to cast their votes. Sadly, here we are in the 21st Century and there are still political factions trying to suppress minority voters (who vote overwhelmingly Democratic…). Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott and and Secretary of State Ken Detzner are trying to block voting rights for thousands of Latino Floridians.  These silly Republicans clearly either don’t know history, or feel they are above the law.

Now Republican Tom  Corbett is watching as the State of Pennsylvania tries to disenfranchise minority voters by imposing a “photo ID” requirement to vote.  Of course, this adversely and disproportionately affects people of color, young voters, older voters and those with low incomes — all people who traditionally vote Democratic. Sadly, there are 35 states that require photo ID to vote; all these laws have been pushed through by Republicans led legislatures.  Even my home state of Georgia practices this type of discrimination by requiring voters to present a photo ID. I would point out here that an estimated 21 million people do not have a current, government-issued photo ID. The numbers are even higher for black people, Hispanics and other minorities.

It is amazing to see how Republicans work hard to chip away bit by bit at fundamental rights like those in the 14th Amendment. It’s just like their efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade incrementally and to block marriage equality one state at a time. Clearly, being on the right doesn’t make one right about rights…

Trouble in Paradise

7 Jul

By TSM Contributor James Queale

Now that summer is in full swing, it is time for a vacation. Since my partner and I are not wealthy, it is more of a local getaway, but it will still be a good time. Of course for any vacation involving a gay couple, you want to find an LGBT friendly zone (at least that is what I would prefer). Since Pennsylvania does not have statewide LGBT protections – and it will stay that way as long as Gov. Tom Corbett is in office — we had to research safe areas. The initial place that my partner wanted to go because he used to do regional manager work there was Wilkes-Barre, but it is one of the three (out of 15) major Pennsylvania cities without protections. So, we moved a bit further across the map to Scranton. Check!

Next we looked up hotel chains that are LGBT friendly and to our surprise majority of them are LGBT friendly. Check!

We barely make it to the movies because the small town we live in only has a single theater facility which rarely has a movie we really want to see and seems to have an unhealthy number of loud teenagers. One of the local theaters we found on Google maps was Cinemark, which had my gay-senses tingling. I did a little research and the CEO of Cinemark gave thousands of dollars to Yes on 8 campaign, California’s anti-marriage-equality measure. Thankfully we found another theater a little further away that does not have an anti-gay history. Check!

Overall I think this will be a fun couple of days to enjoy with my lovely partner Tom. It is sad that we have to be vigilant about where we go, but thankfully more and more companies and States are siding with equality.

P.S. – For the links in this story I just did a bit of online searching. There are also a handful of useful tools you can use:

  • The Human Rights Campaign has a shopping guide that rate companies by LGBT friendliness
  • Purple Roofs operates a website that certifies LGBT-owned and –friendly hotels and inns
  • Going out of state? Find out what protections (if any) are offered by the laws of your destination.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and travel safely!

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