Don’t Be Dumb at Brunch: Roseanne, Samantha Bee, the Military HIV Ban and More

Happy Sunday — it’s brunch time, so don’t be dumb. This week’s biggest stories involve a legal challenge to the military’s HIV ban, different reactions to Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee’s offensive insults, a professor who is worried about “lesbian Margaritas” and more. Let’s take a closer look.

Here are the week’s 5 news stories that’ll keep you looking well-informed at brunch:

1. Roseanne and Samantha Bee: C U Next Tuesday?

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Well, this was a week for people just effing up when they have a platform. But, there are varying ways to eff up, and they’re not always equal. Case in point: Rosanne Barr’s racist tweet about Valeria Jarret that rightfully led to the cancellation of her ABC reboot. She caused the unemployment of so many people, and it’s a shame. And she’s racist – and not because of Ambien. Her consistent conduct proves it.

But in a frenzy to crucify someone on the left, the right wingers and the White House are calling for Samantha Bee’s show, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, to be cancelled after she called Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt.” Bee was incensed by Ivanka’s tone deaf tweet that displayed a photo of her holding her son while her father Donald J. Trump allows the meaningless tearing apart of immigrant children from their families just to double down on discriminatory immigration policy.

Samantha apologized just like Roseanne did. The difference? Samantha Bee isn’t a racist. Her past conduct doesn’t stack up like Roseanne’s does (just look at their tweet histories). So let’s not create a false equivalency here.

2. An HIV-Positive Soldier Is Suing to Serve, Despite the Military’s HIV Ban

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Nick Harrison is an openly gay, HIV-positive veteran of the D.C. Army National Guard, and is suing the U.S. Department of Defense over the military’s HIV ban, a policy nicknamed “Deploy or Get Out.” The military’s HIV ban states that HIV-positive service members are not allowed to deploy outside the country for more than a year, creating a different category of consideration based purely on their HIV-status. It’s important to note that other chronic illnesses do not come with the same standard. Those who want to serve should be able to do so equally, and if it takes someone like Nick to be brave enough to make it right by challenging the military’s HIV ban, we say cheers to that.

3. Gus Kenworthy’s Puppy Died, and Psychologists Say It’s Like Losing Family

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If you’ve been following Gus Kenworthy, you’ve been introduced to Beemo the amazing husky that he rescued from a South Korean meat farm while competing in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. Beemo had his own Instagram account with over 130,000 followers. Unfortunately, Beemo passed away unexpectedly and much too soon for a pup his age. In light of Beemo’s death, we heard from a grief psychologist who said the loss of a pet is similar to the loss of a friend or family member. It can also result in something called Broken Heart Syndrome, a condition that mimics an actual heart attack. But thankfully, the psychologist also suggested some ways to process your grief and get through it.

4. Facebook Supports Pride While the White House Ignores It

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While Facebook is launching new ways for users to express themselves and show off their pride on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, the White House is ignoring our community again by failing to proclaim June as LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States. Trump’s administration instead favored other proclamations, like “National Ocean Month” and “National Homeownership Month.” Let’s remember to support those who support us when Election Day arrives in November. And in the meanwhile, be sure to check out the new LGBTQ Facebook pride effects which will now be available all year long!

5. Whack Job of the Week: Notre Dame Law Professor Gerard Bradley

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Are you in the mood for some Lesbian Margaritas or some gay swordfish platters? Confused? We were too. The Notre Dame professor, who is anti-gay and certainly anti-marriage equality, gave a recent law exam to his students and asked them to determine whether or not Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling — the one that gave the United States marriage equality —  made “coherent sense.”

Bradley has written a lot of anti-gay sentiments and recently claimed that there can be limits on free speech if it is for “artistic speech” — this is the same defense used in the Masterpiece Cake Shop case (awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court) which questions whether denying a cake to a gay couple on religious grounds is legal.

Bradley says that wedding vendors, like bartenders and caterers have to serve customers regardless of their sexuality, “at least so long as they do not invent a specifically ‘lesbian’ Margarita or a ‘gay’ swordfish platter,” he added.

Still confused? Us too. We just find it ironic that a professor of law has taken such an obtuse view of what it means to serve the public under public accommodation laws … and that food, apparently, has a sexual orientation.

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were one of two plaintiff couples in California’s 2013 challenge of Proposition 8, which brought marriage equality back to the state after being ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. These activists also host the weekly podcast The Husbands. Catch them there or follow them on Instagram @JeffZandPaulK.