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Mississippi ‘religious freedom’
law faces business backlash
A group of Mississippi businesses has a message for the gay and lesbian community: Buy our stuff.
“I’m in a business to sell a product, and I want to sell that product to everybody, and I don’t care what you do in your life,” said Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell’s Bakery in Jackson, Mississippi.
Two weeks ago, Mississippi became the first state to successfully pass a “religious freedom” law as part of a recent push by conservative state legislators to make it easier for businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples. The night before Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill, Moore came up with the idea for a campaign that would allow local businesses to make clear that they don’t intend to discriminate against their customers.
“The big example that all of the politicians kept giving over and over was a bakery that might have to bake a cake for a gay wedding,” says Moore. “I own a bakery, no politician called me and asked if this was something we should do.”
That idea blossomed into the “If You’re Buying, We’re Selling Campaign.” Backed by local gay and lesbian rights groups, more than 500 businesses in Mississippi have requested the blue stickers associated with the campaign, which make it clear to potential gay and lesbian customers that these businesses do not intend to refuse them services.
“We started brainstorming about ideas, and he mentioned starting a page and coming with a sign that businesses could display,” said Eddie Outlaw, owner of the William Wallace Salon and Fondren Barbershop in Jackson and LGBT rights activist. “We as business owners don’t condone discrimination against anyone because it’s wrong, because it’s bad for business, and it’s bad for our state.”
Outlaw reached out to Knol Aust, a graphic designer in Jackson, who designed the campaign stickers. Light blue with a rainbow line splashed across the middle, the stickers say “We don’t discriminate, if you’re buying we’re selling.” In less than a week, the campaign had run out of its first order of more than 500 stickers (one for each participating business, according to Equality Mississippi), and was ordering more to comply with outstanding requests. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses in the state.
“There were business owners in the wake of this vote who wanted to make a positive statement to say not everybody in Missisippi feels like the legislature, to take a stand to say we appreciate all people, we wanted an easy identifiable way to say we are Mississippians, and we love all Mississippians,” said Melanie Deas of Equality Mississippi, which is helping finance the campaign.
Businesses have been at the forefront of recent opposition to laws designed to allow religiously justifed discrimination. Though it at first opposed Mississippi’s “religious freedom” law, the Mississippi Economic Council, which acts as the state’s chamber of commerce, withdrew its objections once the language was rewritten to more closely resemble the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Blake Wilson of the MEC told msnbc he believed the revisions did not allow discrimination.
Nevertheless, anti-LGBT rights activists made clear that they interpreted the new law to allow business owners to refuse services to customers for religious reasons. Shortly after the vote, Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Center, said that the Mississippi law would allow businesses to refuse to “affirm” same-sex weddings by doing business with same-sex couples.
Moore, who calls the law “absurd and ridiculous,” is something of an unlikely gay rights champion.
“I voted for Mitt Romney. I’m a Republican. I’m a straight white Republican male in Mississippi,” Moore said. “I just wanted to get the word out that Campbell’s Bakery will sell to anyone. That’s what we’re in business to do.”
Hank Aaron Compares Obama
Opponents to KKK: They Wear
'Neckties and Starched Shirts'
Instead of Hoods
By Tony Lee
On the 40th anniversary of his momentous 715th home run that broke Babe Ruth's MLB home run record, which is the most meaningful in all of sports, Hank Aaron equated Republicans who oppose President Barack Obama's policies to the KKK.
Aaron implied that conservatives are racists who now wear "neckties and starched shirts" instead of hoods.
In an interview with USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday, "Hammerin' Hank" lamented that the country has not progressed far enough on race relations, saying that though the nation has a black president, "President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated."
"We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country," Aaron said. "The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."
Aaron received death threats as he was nearing Ruth's record 40 years ago. And when he finally slugged No. 715 off of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully remarked that Aaron's poker face gave way and the "tremendous strain" that he had experienced and the "relief" from it finally showed. Scully also remarked that it was a marvelous moment as a "black man was getting a standing ovation in the deep South for breaking the record of an all-time baseball idol."
6 food labels that don't mean
what you think they do
By K. Aleisha Fetters of Women's Health
Misunderstanding these labels could be sabotaging your health.
Nowadays, it seems like every food label is designed to make you think its contents are healthy (or at least not all that bad). And while a new Harris Interactive survey shows that the majority of Americans say they find those labels helpful in making healthy food choices, some of them mean diddly squat.
While the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of defining food labels, manufacturers are constantly coming up with new ones that aren't regulated, don't have any real definition, and are all about catching your eye. Meanwhile, the ones that the FDA has defined are rarely ever explained on food packaging--so the chances you know what they mean are slim says Nicolette Pace, R.D., founder of NutriSource in Great Neck, New York.
So we tapped Pace--and the FDA's food-labeling guide--to find out what the most common (and confusing) labels really mean:
1. "Made with..."
You think: It's a good source of...whatever the ingredient the label is touting.
It means: It contains at least a bit of said ingredient. But since this label isn't defined by the FDA, how much is anybody's guess.
Shop smart: Get an idea how much of the ingredient the food contains by seeing where is sits on the ingredient list, says Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D., adjunct professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University. The closer it is to the beginning of the list, the more of it the food contains.
You think: It's not processed.
It means: It (probably) doesn't contain added colors, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. While the FDA hasn't been able to agree on a definition for "natural" labels, it generally keeps an eye out for foods that contain those less-than-natural ingredients, Pace says. "It is hard to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer truly 'all natural.'"
Shop smart: See how long the ingredients list is. The fewer the ingredients, the less processed the food generally is, says Pace.
3. "Lightly Sweetened"
You think: It has very little sugar.
It means: It could still have (what you might consider to be) tons of sugar or artificial sweeteners. The FDA does not regulate this label.
Shop smart: Look for any ingredients with an "-ose" ending--they're a dead giveaway that the product contains sugars and sweeteners.
4. "Low," "Light," and "Reduced"
You think: It has few calories, grams of fat, grams of sodium, or whatever else the label lists.
It means: The product has less of that stuff than the original version. For instance, the FDA states that foods can be labeled "light" if they contain half the fat or one-third the calories of the original version, Pace says. Meanwhile, manufacturers are allowed to say products are "reduced sodium" if they have 25 percent less than the original or other similar foods. Keep in mind: When companies remove fat and salt from foods, they often replace it with sugar and additives to keep it yummy.
Shop smart: Before you buy, compare the "low," "light," or "reduced" nutritional label with that of the original to see how their pros and cons compare.
You think: It doesn't contain any of said ingredients.
It means: Apparently, in the food-labeling world, "free" means "very little." Specifically, 5 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, or 0.5 grams of sugar per serving, according to the FDA.
Shop smart: Again, a side-by-side comparison will serve you well. If you want to keep your supermarket trips quick, you can even look the nutrition labels up online before you hit the store.
6. "High in Fiber"
You think: It has a lot of natural fiber.
It means: For a food to be labeled high in fiber, it must provide 5 grams of fiber or more per serving. However, the fiber doesn't have to be natural. "It can absolutely can be an additive," says Young.
Shop smart: Look for whole grains on the label. If these are one of the first three sources, chances are the fiber's natural, she says.
More from Women's Health:
Provided by Women's Health
The terrifying 'new' STD
Unless you're living in a convent, you probably worry about sexually transmitted diseases
Unless you're living in a convent, you probably worry about sexually transmitted diseases. And, frankly, you should. HPV can lead to cervical cancer; herpes is with you for life. But gonorrhea? Really?
"Most of my friends don't think about it, and if we do, we're just glad it's treatable," says Amanda, a 26-year-old in New York City.
The Old Cures Aren't Working
Sure, conventional wisdom says that doctors can easily cure gonorrhea with antibiotics--good news for the 300,000 people a year in the United States who get it, especially women: Although gonorrhea typically clears up on its own eventually, if it goes untreated it can leave us with pelvic inflammatory disease or infertility.
No More Sex-cuses!
Soon enough, cases resistant to some cephalosporins started popping up in Europe and Asia, says Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, M.D., a scientist at WHO headquarters in Geneva. This January, researchers announced in The Journal of the American Medical Association that almost 7 percent of the gonorrhea cases they studied in one Canadian clinic were resistant to cefixime, a widely used cephalosporin.
It's Hitting Close to Home
So should we be worried? The CDC isn't aware of any cephalosporin-resistant infections on U.S. soil, but "it's only a matter of time" until one shows up, Dr. Bolan says. Truth is, it might already be here but just hasn't been reported to the CDC yet.
Scarier still, women often don't develop gonorrhea symptoms. When we do, the signs seem like stuff we deal with all the time, such as bleeding between periods or vaginal discharge. And then there's pharyngeal (throat) gonorrhea, which you can get from performing oral sex. Its symptoms are even subtler--it feels like a regular sore throat--but left untreated, it can enter the bloodstream and lead to skin lesions and even arthritis. Follow oral sex with vaginal sex and you could become infected at both sites!
Here's What You Must Know
First, if you're hooking up, both you and your guy should get tested. (The CDC says annually for those with new or multiple partners.) If you're diagnosed, your doc will figure out which drug or combo of drugs might work. But isn't prevention better? Um, yes! So for both vaginal and oral sex, use a condom. Every. Single. Time.
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