BBC News: The Reality Is Regular Gay & Lesbians Still Have To Deal With Job Discrimination When Coming Out At Work.
By Kate DaileyBBC News Magazine
One of the biggest names in US TV journalism, Anderson Cooper, has confirmed that he is gay. But should regular professionals come out to those they work with?
Long before Anderson Cooper confirmed it, evidence of his sexuality was apparent for anyone who cared to look. He was photographed on holiday with the owner of a popular New York City gay bar. In 2007, a man in a Cooper mask was featured on the cover of Out Magazine, which named Cooper as the second-most powerful gay man in America.
Indeed, in an era when the US president endorses gay marriage and the most popular TV chat show hostess in the US, Ellen Degeneres, is a lesbian, there seems to be little reason to make an official declaration of sexuality in a public forum.
So why does it matter that Cooper is now “officially” out?
“In a perfect world he should be able to go about his business and it not be an issue,” says Canadian broadcaster Rick Mercer, host of CBC’s The Rick Mercer Report.
“But there’s no doubt about it: him acknowledging that he is a gay person who is successful and happy and loved means an awful lot.”
Mercer made waves last year when he released a YouTube video calling on gay adults to come out as a way to fight back against bullying and provide a positive example for gay children.
“If you have a life that’s a public life, whether you choose it or not, or a position of responsibility, it makes a difference to be out at that level, whether you’re Anderson Cooper or the chief of police,” he says.
But in 2012 how easy is it for that chief of police – or even the assistant manager of a FootLocker or a call-centre worker – to come out?
In a survey of gay employees conducted in 2011, the Center for Talent and Innovation found that about half of respondents were closeted at work.
“The sad reality is that it’s still perfectly legal in the US to be fired for your sexual orientation in 29 states; [the] same is true in 34 states for gender identity,” says Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
“The laws give licence to discriminate and there are real risks for people’s careers and their livelihoods.”
Anderson Cooper’s reveal
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.
In the UK, where employment discrimination based on sexual identity has been illegal since 2003, laws have not managed to eliminate homophobic behaviour in the workplace.
“Our survey found that 800,000 people in the workplace witnessed physical homophobic violence, and 6% of the UK workforce have witnessed homophobic bullying. It may be a comment like ‘I hope you go to hell and your children too’,” says Colleen Humphrey, director of workplace for Stonewall, a gay-rights organisation in the UK.
“People who work in fields with safety equipment tell me that the safety equipment has been tampered with.”
There are other hazards in the professional world: -a spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently resigned once his sexuality was made public, drawing vicious online taunts, and a lawyer in Virginia was denied a judicial position because legislatures worried he could not be impartial on issues like gay marriage.
But those were political casualties. Both Humphrey and Cole-Schwartz say that the corporate culture is shifting rapidly.
“Huge majorities of Fortune 500 companies forbid discrimination outside of what the laws require. On one hand you have permissible discrimination from a legal standpoint, but increasingly that kind of discrimination is not tolerated,” says Cole-Schwartz.
Some corporate fields are shifting faster than others.
“Anecdotally, the fields you think of that are not perhaps as accommodating for other diverse groups are similar for the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community,” says Karen Sumberg, executive vice president of the Center for Talent Innovation, singling out “heavy industry, engineering”.
“Finance is ahead of the game on this topic, but law is not,” she says.
In explaining his silence on the issue, Cooper said he was at least partly more interested in reporting the news than reporting on his private life. Many LGBT employees feel the same. “A lot of people are private people,” says Mercer. “I understand the reluctance to discuss sexuality at work.”
But the pressure many people may feel to keep their private life extremely private can be detrimental both to employee and company.
“Instead of concentrating on having to switch switch pronouns, tell lies, and conceal details of their lives, they can concentrate on their professional lives,” says Sumberg. “For companies, there’s more trust and better talent retention.”
While the HRC and Stonewall emphasise the importance of companies creating safe environments for a diversity of employees, gay workers in some firms can face a Catch-22.
“Support for LGBT issues has such a strong correlation to whether not people know LGBT Americans,” says Cole-Schwartz. “I think that the more someone can be out, the more he or she is going to be able to influence the perceptions of the people around them.”
In some cases, though, that means being put in the position of office trailblazer, a role not everyone finds themselves comfortable with.
That dilemma may be a temporary one, with the current “Generation Y” workforce described as being more prominently out at work than their predecessors, according to Karen Sumberg.
As people come out at younger and younger ages, experts say they are more likely to enter the workforce out of the closet and less likely to go back in for professional appearances – which will create a more inclusive work environment for employees of all ages.
“Over a 20-year span it’s been an incredible change,” says Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester in New York. “It’s one of the most fast-lifting stigma that I can think of.”
BBC News: France Enters The Twenty First Century Will Allow Homosexuals Same Sex Marriage & Adoption In 2013!!!
Gay couples in France will be allowed to get married and to adopt children as of 2013, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced in parliament.
The announcement was part of a keynote speech outlining the new Socialist government’s five-year plan.
It confirms an election pledge made by President Francois Hollande.
A number of European nations including Germany, Sweden and Britain already allow gay adoption.
Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing”
Jean-Marc AyraultFrench prime minister
At present only married couples – not civil union partners – can adopt in France.
“In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination,” Mr Ayrault told parliament.
“Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing. The government will respond to that.”
He announced the news during a keynote speech outlining the government’s budget and political agenda.
Gays in France make up 6.5% of the electorate, compared with practising Catholics at 4.5%, according to figures released by pollster Ifop.
A survey carried out at the beginning of the year showed 63% of French people are in favour of gay marriage while 56% support gay adoption.
The confirmation of the new law came only days after Paris held its annual Gay Pride parade, which this year was buoyed by the new goverment’s promise to legalise gay marriage and adoption rights.
In a symbolic gesture, French Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti turned out to see the parade floats set off.
European nations allowing gay adoption include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Britain.
Blind Gossip Reveals Katie Holmes Could Get $40 Million Payday From Divorcing Closeted Homosexual Tom Cruise!!!!
[BlindGossip] So how much did she get paid to be his wife? How much will she be getting in the divorce? We know that many sources have reported that her contract stipulated for her to be paid $X per year of marriage, but the formula is actually more complicated than that.
The main calculation is actually based on a number of variables. It looks something like this:
(number of years married x annual salary) + a five year bonus + a childbearing bonus – any contract violations = net payout
As it stands now, she has earned a payout of approximately $44 million. We expect that he will contend that there were multiple contract violations (including her failure to meet certain religious, educational, and promotional requirements), so the final number will likely be reduced by those penalty amounts. Even given those penalties, the net cash payout should total north of $40 million.
Here are a few more interesting details: Having another child during their marriage would have earned her another $10 million. She would have faced substantial financial penalties if the marriage had not lasted five years. There would have been a much bigger bonus if she had lasted past ten years.
Keep in mind that this is just the cash portion of the agreement. The division of assets will also include battles over substantial real estate, automotive, and aviation holdings. All told, the five-year marriage will probably result in the wife receiving close to $100 million in cash and physical assets.
UPDATE: Just wanted to clarify that some of the monies discussed were already paid out over the course of the marriage. We do not know how much of a balance remains.
Interesting Article About The Religious Cult & Why Tom Cruise is looking like a loose cannon to the Scientologists
By Damian Thompson
8:25PM BST 02 Jul 2012
Tom Cruise is 50 years old today. Actors and actresses who trade on their looks rarely enjoy passing this particular milestone, and Cruise has plenty of other reasons to feel miserable.
He’s stuck in rainy Iceland, filming a thriller, while his third wife, Katie Holmes, files for divorce and sole custody of their six-year-old daughter, Suri. At the weekend, his spokesman asked the media to respect the couple’s privacy. The tabloids thought about this for a split second before splashing with “TOM AND KATIE TO DIVORCE – more details pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 21.”
Why the hysteria? Cruise is one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, but he’s in the twilight of his career as a leading man. There used to be rumours that he’s gay, but no one has ever stood them up. If showbusiness reporters wanted to “out” A-list stars, which they don’t, then there are more obvious candidates.
But here’s another headline from yesterday: CULT STALKS KATIE. The “cult” is Scientology, to which Tom Cruise has belonged since his twenties. The headline comes from the Sun, whose owner, Rupert Murdoch, took to Twitter on Sunday to describe the religion as “something creepy, even evil”.
Tom Cruise is not only the world’s most famous Scientologist but also one of its most powerful operatives. Some sources claim he’s Number Two to David Miscavige, the leader of the organisation and best man at his wedding to Holmes.
For more than 20 years, the star of Top Gun has publicly saluted the Church of Scientology. His wholesome, reporting-for-duty eagerness has persuaded countless fans to try the therapeutic “auditing” courses pioneered in the Fifties by Hubbard.
Reputedly, no religion in the world extracts more money from its followers. (Many, it should be said, insist that it’s worth every cent.) Reaching “Clear”, a level of enlightenment that strips you of all inherited fears and irrational thinking, could set you back as much as £30,000 over several years. But don’t expect to hear about Xenu, the intergalactic dictator who tried to kill billions of souls by stacking hydrogen bombs around volcanoes 75 million years ago. That yarn costs a whole lot more.
In addition to the courses, you need accessories, such as an E-meter, a portable lie-detector with dials and switches that looks as if it was knocked up by BBC special effects for a Pertwee-era episode of Doctor Who.
One way to earn the money for “auditing”, as the brain-cleansing technique is known, is to work for one of the Church’s military-style organisations. It has built a Disneyfied castle in the grounds of Saint Hill Manor, Hubbard’s country house in the West Sussex dormitory town of East Grinstead. There you can see young people strutting around in uniforms that make them look like, well, extras in a Tom Cruise movie.
Tom really was the jewel in Scientology’s crown. But the question he ought to be asking himself today, as he contemplates his mid-century, is whether the scales have tipped and he’s now a liability.
From a public relations point of view, the Cruise-Holmes divorce is more than a car crash: it’s as if Xenu’s spaceship (which, according to Hubbard, looked like a DC-8 without engines) had plunged into one of those volcanoes.
Katie Holmes has filed for divorce in New York, where it is thought she stands a better chance of being granted sole custody than in Scientology-saturated California. The message sent out from her supporters is unequivocal – and one calculated to appeal to parents everywhere: she wants to drag little Suri out of the strange world of auditing, E-meters and “Thetans” – floating souls trillions of years old who inhabit human bodies.
But could Scientology harm Suri? Scientology’s online enemies have been quick to jump in. Tony Ortega, editor-in-chief of New York’s Village Voice and a ferocious opponent of the Church, reckons that “what may have convinced Katie to run was the frightening prospect that faces all Scientology kids beginning at six years old – a form of interrogation known as ‘sec [security] checking’ ”.
Ortega has posted on the Village Voice website a list of questions drawn up by Hubbard entitled, “Children’s Security Check Ages 6-12”. It begins: “What has somebody told you not to tell? Have you ever decided you did not like some member of your family? Have you ever gotten yourself dirty on purpose?”
There’s no evidence that Suri was going to be “sec checked”. A spokesman for the Church said yesterday that he’d never come across Hubbard’s document except in material from the group’s critics (though he didn’t deny its authenticity). But ex-members of the group who grew up in it claim to have been subjected to inquisitions when still very young – the aim, they say, being to extract information about their parents.
Scientology often has to fend off accusations of spying on members and former members. There were reports yesterday that sinister men in sunglasses were stalking the New York apartment where Katie Holmes has taken Suri. Nothing to do with us, said the Church.
It’s also claimed by critics that Tom Cruise himself is closely monitored by his Scientology minders. Again, it’s denied – but one can understand why Miscavige might regard his star turn as a dangerously loose cannon these days.
Remember the time he jumped up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s sofa to declare his love for Katie? Scientologists squirmed. The Church also threw a fit when the gossip website Gawker hosted an “indoctrination video” – intended for internal consumption only – in which Cruise spoke passionately but incoherently about the meaning of his religion. (Gawker’s founder, Nick Denton, has flatly refused to take it down.)
“When you’re a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you’re the only one who can really help,” Cruise said.
Cruise also features prominently in the biggest single PR disaster to hit the Church of Scientology since Hubbard unveiled his “spiritual healing technology” in 1950. This was an episode of South Park entitled “Trapped in the Closet” in which the character of Tom hides in Stan’s closet and flatly refuses to come out.
Far more damaging than the references to rumours about Cruise, however, was the episode’s animated Xenu, based on Hubbard’s own esoteric teachings and captioned, “This is what Scientologists actually believe.” Which it is. Or, to be more precise, it is a secret imparted only to the tiny minority of Scientologists who have handed over truckloads of money to reach Operating Thetan level III.
But that doesn’t mean ordinary Scientologists don’t know about it. As recently as a decade ago, if you mentioned the top-level teachings to a church official, you would probably cause massive offence: such knowledge was so potent, hinted Hubbard, that it might even kill the person who misused it.
In an age of Gawker, YouTube and hundreds of anti-cult blogs, however, all of Hubbard’s revelations – plus allegations of serious financial mismanagement by rogue Scientologists – are available to any would-be recruit with access to the internet.
Scientology’s own websites have also been hacked into by the internet-based activist group Anonymous, members of which have staged demonstrations against the Church’s alleged policy of “disconnecting” members from their families. This loosely organised but savage mockery of Scientology drew furious responses from its lawyers – but to little effect.
It’s worth noting, though, that Anonymous only started its cyberwarfare in response to the Church’s clumsy attempts to suppress the Tom Cruise video in which the star gushed so embarrassingly about the efficacy of Scientology at the scene of road accidents.
David Miscavige’s policy of cultivating Hollywood must have seemed inspired when posters of Cruise hung on the walls of millions of teenage girls. But that was before the actor embarked on a policy of marrying progressively younger women (the last two Mrs Cruises were each born 11 years after the previous one, meaning that number four should be 23) and saying things that confirmed suspicions that he isn’t the smartest Thetan in the volcano.
Put it this way. Xenu was once the most closely guarded secret in the Church of Scientology. Today it yields 451,000 results on Google – thanks, in part, to the film star Miscavige once described as the world’s most dedicated Scientologist. And now it looks as if Rupert Murdoch is using the divorce as an excuse to declare war on the organisation. Watch your back, Tom.
A Chip in Her Pocket for The Trial
BlindGossip – This celebrity couple is close to a final agreement over how everything – including the child/ren – is going to be divided in the divorce. However, the wife’s legal team is having her keep one chip in her pocket for the divorce trial. If the husband’s team tries any last-minute maneuvering, the wife is not afraid to reveal an incident where she (along with their child/ren) caught her husband in bed with a family friend of theirs. The friend is a professional athlete. In case you’ve been wondering why the couples rarely get together for more than an hour and a photo op – this is the reason.
It’s Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes! Source: BlindGossip.com
Was “I promise to look the other way while my spouse entertains guests in bed” part of their marriage vows or part of their contract?
Sigh. What a mess. Let’s remember the happier days. Here’s Katie’s first day of voluntary servitude:
We’re not quite ready to name the family friend. It could have been a male or a female athlete. Suffice it to say that witnessing such an event must have felt like a real kick in stomach to Katie.
And if you’re wondering why Suri Cruise still needs a binky, we suspect it’s because she is still suffering from the trauma of having witnessed such a frightening event.
My Guess: Everyone knows Tom Cruise is gay and the athlete in this blind is obviously a male. If Tom got caught by Katie in bed with a female athlete the media would not care and neither would the public.
However, I think this blind is indicating something more explosive and scandalous so Katie caught tom in bed with another man. The male athlete is the British soccer player David Beckham. Beckham and his wife Victoria were close friends of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Beckham is bisexual.
Links to articles discussing Cruise and Beckham special relationship:
Blind Gossip Katie Holmes Married Tom Cruise So He Could Stay In The Closet & Hide His Homosexuality!!!
She has Finally Pulled the Chip Out of Her Head
BlindGossip – She has finally pulled the chip out of her head and is shedding her controlling hubby! And, boy, is he mad! Her attorneys are working on a “Dissolution of Contract,” not a “Dissolution of Marriage” – yet. That’s the next step. She will be asking for sole custody of the kid/s. She is not currently pregnant.
Her attorneys – especially one who worked with her predecessor - think that they have been able to work around most of the restrictions in her original business agreement with her husband. She did not fulfill the terms of the contract that would maximize her payout, but she will receive a sizeable chunk of change to keep quiet about his personal life and his special relationship with another high-profile man.
You will still see them together, albeit much less frequently, and they will continue to be very civil towards each other. They will attend events and will travel as a family when one goes to work. They will both have smiles plastered on their faces, but you will know that hers is really just a smirk, and he is absolutely seething inside over having lost control of the situation.
In the past few weeks, she has left two events separately from her husband because she was so annoyed with his behavior. Each time, she met up with her ex for several hours. While she is spending time with her ex, we do not know if they are romantically involved again.
It’s Katie Holmes! Source: BlindGossip.com
Katie really started getting irritated with Tom during the second year of marriage. It was fun at first, playing a role, being a mother, being so high-profile, but Tom’s controlling ways were wearing her down and she wanted out.
She didn’t think that she could last the entire five years. However, the contract was a long and elaborate one, and had conditions that she needed to fulfill in order to walk away without substantial personal and professional damage.
That’s when her team came up with the concept of trying to nullify parts of the contract. Long story short, it didn’t work and it put Kate in a bad position. Tom now knew that she wanted out of her contract, and he was really angry. There was no way he was going to allow this young girl to make him look like a fool.
She could have walked away at that point, but she would have almost certainly lost custody of Suri. It was too much of a risk for her, and she was unwilling to leave the child behind. So she stayed.
This was all taking place around the same time that there were rumors of Kate being pregnant with another baby. Those rumors were completely false. Kate was never going to have another baby where Tom would be named the father, no matter what the possible financial incentives might be.
The ex with whom she spent some time was Chris Klein. Chris was having personal issues of his own around this time, and was hardly in a position to offer her a healthy alternative to her arrangement with Tom.
As you now know, Kate stayed in the marriage, kept up the happy couple act (remember, she is an actress) and counted the weeks and months until the contract was over.