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Houston Police & DA's Office Break The Law - Toss 26 Year Military Veteran Into Street

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veteran   Aryeh Ohayon and his dog Bandit

A veteran who has a trained and licensed service dog was recently denied service in a Houston, TX restaurant. That could be just a bit of confusion on the part of the restaurant as to the law. So the disabled Army and Navy veteran, who served his country for 26 years, did what he thought he should do to rectify the situation. He called the police.

Sadly they came. Why sadly? Because they didn't know the law in their state. According to The Raw Story:

Last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that made it a misdemeanor to refuse entry to service dogs, irrespective of the disability of their owners.

So this seems quite clear. The vet, Aryeh Ohayon, was within his rights to be served and his being accompanied by a service dog should not have been cause for his embarrassing and unceremonious removal.

But the police officer wasn't the only one ignorant in Houston that day.

Houston Police claim that the officer who responded to the call contacted the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and was told that Thai Spice Buffet II was allowed to bar the door to Ohayon because it is a private establishment.

Ah, the old, "private establishment" excuse. That and the right to religious practices are the two catch phrases hate groups use to discriminate. Fortunately with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a discriminatory bill yesterday, a signal went out loud and clear that being a private establishment doesn't exempt you from discrimination laws.

Kudos to Governor Brewer (R - Arizona). Also kudos to Gov. Rick Perry (R -  Texas) for signing the bill which would allow the military veteran or anyone else with a service dog to enter and be served in any establishment.

But a big "Boo," "hiss" and "up yours" to the Houston police and the Harris County DA's office for not knowing the law they're sworn to uphold. They should at the very least apologize to this brave man who served us all in the military for over a quarter of a century.

Oh, and if you think this is an isolated event, Raw Story adds this:

This is but the latest in a string of refusals to allow service dogs to accompany veterans with mental disabilities like depression or PTSD. Last August, police in New Jersey kicked Jared Goering and his service dog, Gator, off the boardwalk, mockingly asking him if “all veterans get service dogs.”

Later that month, a Massachusetts establishment kicked James Glaser and his dog, Jack, out, claiming that his reason for having him wasn’t “legitimate.”

More on the KHOU-TV website.

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Are Some Companies Really Anti-Gay?

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anti gay

We all have an opportunity to make our voices heard everyday, not just election days. We get to vote with our patronage by buying from one retailer over the other. Sometimes the decision is based on location, its proximity to where you are when you're in need of buying something. Other times you choose your destination based on price or sales. That sure makes sense to your pocketbook.

It also makes great sense to the companies that sell to you. They want/need your business, whether a mom & pop store or a large national chain.

But how strong is your brand allegiance? Would you change brands or retailers if they gave family discounts or special promotions? Would you choose one company over another if they didn't treat you well or gave bad service?

If you're like most people, you would. But sometimes what goes on behind the scenes needs to be considered as well. If a store promoted bigotry and hate, would that bother you to the point you'd go elsewhere? I'm going to make that answer a little tougher for you. I'm going to give you the names of eight companies or organizations and ask you which on this list, if any,  is homophobic/ anti-gay?

1. Chick-fil-A
2. Domino's Pizza
3. Urban Outfitters
4. Exxon
5. Salvation Army
6. Purina
7. Boy Scouts of America
8. Cracker Barrel

How many did you find in that list, two? Four?

Well, according to HUFFPO, all of them. All eight. That's right, these are companies you may not have realized have been promoting anti-gay business practices, either in promotion or in employment practices.

A short reason associated with the above list, by number:

1 - Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy came out as being "very much" against gay marriage
2 - Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino's is anti-gay. He financed a ballot initiative to have the discrimination of sexual orientation removed from a town in Michigan.
3 - Founder Richard Hayne donated $13,150 to Rick Santorum's campaign and had his store pull an "I Support Same Sex Marriage," t-shirt from the shelves after only a week.
4 - The huge oil company has been fighting for years against non-discrimination protection and equal benefits coverage for their employees. For the 14th year, the issue was on the table for the shareholders' meeting this past spring, and for the 14th year, Exxon wouldn't budge.
5 - Salvation Story: Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine, the manual used to train Salvation Army "soldiers" and members. Several chapters refer to the sin of homosexuality, including a section that cites Romans 1:18-32, which includes a admonition that homosexuals "deserved to die."
6 - The company doesn't provide a policy that protects gender identity or expression, nor does it offer health care coverage for partners of their gay employees.
7 - the BSA decided to allow openly gay boys to join as of January 1st, 2014, but there is still no budging on letting openly gay men be leaders.
8 - In the past, more than 11 employees were fired for not displaying "normal heterosexual values," as was prescribed by an intra-company memo.

The point of all of this is simple. Make your feelings known about human rights by shopping where everyone is treated equally. Is it worth driving a few more miles or bypassing a weekend special to vote with your dollars of purchase? That's up to you. Times are tough. But they're even tougher when you're not treated equally.

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