Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during June, 2012

Airport Screeners Unfairly Target Gay Passenger

June 25th, 2012

A man stops an elderly lady at the airport security: "Your luggage leads us to believe you may be a ninja assassin."

An inspection of staff behaviour at London’s Gatwick airport has uncovered an incident where a gay passenger was searched under suspicion of pedophilia “because he had a camera and a boyfriend.”

The incident was just one of the 71 percent of searches deemed to have been conducted inappropriately.

The chief inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, said he was “very concerned to learn of discriminatory practice in the conduct of detection activity.”

I’m glad this kind of blatant discrimination isn’t going unnoticed at Gatwick. Still, from now on I’ll be having my privacy violated at Heathrow airport instead, thank-you-very-much!

Father’s Day may have already passed, but you should still read this amazing article from a father published in last Sunday’s New York Times. (On a related note, Slap-branded tissues will soon be available for purchase. Don’t read another touching letter without one!)

Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives Finally Acknowledge Their Progressive Side

June 18th, 2012

A fully-grown New Year's "Baby" walks in and announces: "Hey guys! Sorry I'm late."

Alberta Premier Alison Redford took part in Edmonton’s annual Pride parade earlier this month, making her the province’s first premier to ever participate in a Pride event.

While this might seem awfully late compared to other provinces, it’s actually a pretty big deal for Alberta. When I left Alberta in the mid-2000s, premier Ralph Klein was still pushing for a national referendum on same-sex marriage after conceding that banning it was outside of provincial juridiction. Edmonton’s mayor, Bill Smith, flatly refused to recognize Pride week as a city event because… actually, I’m still not sure why. I was personally made to feel unwelcome in multiple facets of day-to-day life, helping spawn the site you’re reading now. So to see a premier march—and then speak to a crowd of thousands—in support of equal rights for the GLBT community is an important milestone.

Of course, there’s still some progress to be made. That same week, Alberta’s opposition leader Danielle Smith blasted the government’s plan to re-instate the small amount of health funding for sex reassignment surgery, calling it an elective cosmetic procedure. Members of Danielle’s party have been spouting some pretty bizarre anti-gay comments (prompting the production of a new T-Shirt), and a prominent plan in her party’s platform involved allowing regular citizens to legally refuse public services to gay customers.

Still, it’s clear where the overall trend is headed in Alberta. And that trend is toward the late 1990s. So, welcome! And congratulations.

Have you ever wanted to insert a generic and practically microscopic representation of a gay couple into your text messages only to discover that all available visual iconography was exclusively heterosexual? Well, I say straight people have had this unshared privilege for too long! It’s time for a violent revolt! Take up your medieval weaponry and… Oh. It looks like Apple added same-sex icons in an iOS update.

👬 Mission accomplished! 👭

A century-old academic paper labelled “Not for publication” has been discovered at the Natural History Museum in Tring, England. The paper, written by a polar explorer in 1915, observes—with horror—the deviant and immoral sex lives of Adélie penguins. The naughty, naughty penguins were described as having “autoerotic tendencies” as well as partaking in “non-procreative sex and homosexual behaviors.” Of course we may rest assured that these penguins are probably long dead and are now suffering eternity in penguin hell (which is a little like Hawaii, but is assuredly considered quite insufferable to polar waterfowl).

The federal Conservatives quietly removed protections against hate speech from Canada’s Human Rights Act last week, stripping Human Rights Commissions of their power to investigate hatred or violence incited against identifiable minorities. The first sign that this might not have been a good idea: White supremacists immediately celebrated.

Ontario passed Bill 13 this week, which forbids school administrators from banning Gay-Straight Alliances. Hooray! The congratulalien has been vindicated! Good job, Ontario.

Publicly-Funded University Forbids Gay Staff Members

June 4th, 2012

A man rejects a gay job applicant: "I'm sorry, but hiring you would be in clear violation of our human rights violations."

Crandall University, a school located in Moncton, New Brunswick, is under fire this month over its discriminatory hiring policies. The school, which is publicly funded, does not allow any gay staff members—and proudly announces so.

The “no gays” policy is almost certainly in violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so Crandall University seems to be begging for a lawsuit or tribunal case. There’s even Canadian legal precedent for exactly this situation from back in 1998, so I imagine the only reason the administrators aren’t reversing the policy themselves is for the attention.

Incidentally, I refer to the school as Crandall University only because that’s what they call themselves. Neither the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, nor the Canadian Association of University Teachers recognize the institution as a university. I’m not even sure the school does itself, since they certainly don’t seem to be interested in attracting the research talent for which real universities and colleges compete quite vigorously.

Well, either that, or they’ve discovered that gay people are lousy researchers…

Mark From Slap, M.Sc