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D.C. coffee shop harassed for blocking Milo Yiannopoulos’ website

Emissary’s Yelp reviews take a nosedive after being blasted on Facebook

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Milo Yiannopoulos, gay news, Washington Blade
Milo Yiannopoulos, gay news, Washington Blade

Milo Yiannopoulos. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. coffeeshop Emissary (2032 P St., N.W.) faced an onslaught of harassment for enabling its WiFi filter, which blocked Milo Yiannopoulos’ website.

Yiannopoulos posted a screenshot of his website being categorized as “Hate” and blocked at the coffee shop. He also included a photo of Emissary’s Google listing with its address and phone number.

In a caption that has since been deleted Yiannopoulos writes, “Thank you for the free advertising! Americans expect coffee shops to serve beverages, not tell them what they are allowed to read. By the way ‘Barista’ means fast food worker.”

DCist reports that Emissary uses Comcast Business, which filters content with Norton ConnectSafe, as its WiFi service provider. The owners say they were not specifically blocking Yiannopoulos’ website but had enabled the filter to block offensive content such as pornography, white supremacist hate sites and other adult content.

Yiannopoulos’ Facebook followers thought Emissary was violating free speech and encouraging censorship. They began to submit negative reviews for the coffee shop on Yelp and Google. Both sites were forced to monitor incoming review submissions.

“While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to these news events, we do work to remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business,” Emissary’s Yelp page reads.

 

 

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49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Kathy11

    September 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    That is one ugly dye job.

    • Guest

      September 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      your comment is fake and gay

      • Kathy11

        September 27, 2017 at 6:07 pm

        I wish!

  2. Katrina Rose

    September 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    CONservatives love to let businesses do whatever they want to…
    until they don’t.

    • Kemwit Tall Tree

      September 27, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Milo conservative? LOL…maybe you need to update your vocabulary for 2017! It’s old school!

      • Kathy11

        September 28, 2017 at 9:31 am

        He is of course, a liberal.

        • Kemwit Tall Tree

          September 28, 2017 at 10:10 am

          Classical Liberal.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 10:20 am

            Is he classical or should we stop using old outdated language?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 11:38 am

            Classical Liberal is still current. He is also a populist.

            I would think the most accurate word for Milo is raconteur or raconteuse, depending on how he is dressed that day!

            He is not a conservative, that is for sure.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 11:41 am

            Thanks – we have enough of our own. Go back to England.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 11:44 am

            More for the party! Get ready for the sweep sweety!

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 12:19 pm

            Yes, we’ll be putting them in the dustbin of history.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm

            Speaking of England, That lovely Irish Lesbian Anne Marie Waters (AMW) is running for leadership of UKIP and odds are 10/11 she will win tomorrow!

            You should send her a donation in solidarity! LOL

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm

            Can you mail a turd?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 1:13 pm

            Now what kind of solidarity is that with our gay brothers and sisters!? No matter what you think about her politics, you have to give her credit for rising to the top of UKIP in no time flat.

            AMW will be a political force to reckon with in the near future in the UK. Mark my words! She is passionate, bright and charismatic.

            Isn’t it interesting how all of the rising stars in the political right wing are frequently LGB?

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 1:42 pm

            Yep – that Roy Moore is the gayest.

            I have solidarity with our sisters – gay conservatives aren’t even near the list. Trans women have more in common than you do.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 2:07 pm

            I was talking about Anne Marie Waters, not myself.

            I would never consider that there is any solidarity between most of the Lesbian community and most of the Gay community. Excepting for wonderful people like AMW, who really gets it right.

            We have diametrically opposed interests and generally can’t stand each others’ company. So be it.

            Most gay men tend to have a more liberty-oriented approach to issues and less focus on post-modernist ideology. We don’t think we’re entitled to free stuff just because.

            It’s only a real shame is that the Frankfurt School wasn’t burned down years earlier, before all the rats in it jumped ship for America.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

            89% of gay men vote Democratic. That’s the second highest group.

            Speaking of burning down – it was your peeps who burned down the Hirschfeld Institute. And who’ll do the same again if they get the chance. You’ll come crying – and we’ll say no.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm

            89% …lol…that number is BOGUS! Truth is no one knows what the true percentage really is indeed.

            People like you deal in falsehoods because the truth would most likely frighten you.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm

            You’re welcome to present any actual evidence you have to dispute the 2016 Pew Report. But – that’s not your style.

  3. LesbianTippingHabits

    September 27, 2017 at 7:14 pm


    Of course, the real question re Milo Yiannopoulos is, how does he tip?

    Parsimonious (cheap) tipping habits are a form of hate, justly blocked.

    Remember, tips are good karma. And karma never lies.

    And only the wait staff knows for sure. Thank you.

    • lnm3921

      September 27, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Milo is devoid of good Karma because she’s a self-destructive, self-hating agitator who does the evil she does out of a desperate need for attention and to think herself relevant! She is not only Pedo but a courtesan!

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        September 27, 2017 at 8:40 pm


        Speaking of good karma, please join me in contributing to Doug Jones, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama, of all places.

        https://dougjonesforsenate.com

        He’s running against Roy Moore. Isn’t that enough? Thank you.

        • Kemwit Tall Tree

          September 28, 2017 at 12:37 pm

          Tipping Darling – Why bother wasting your money. You know Roy Moore is going to win in ALABAMA! Let’s get real about this race and the odds.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            September 28, 2017 at 6:59 pm


            So you will do nothing. That’s your choice.

            Football player Colin Kaepernick did not vote.

            https://www.si.com/nfl/2016/11/10/colin-kaepernick-san-francisco-49ers-presidential-election-protest

            That was his choice.

            Will you at least commit to tipping generously for good service?

            Thank you again.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 7:10 pm

            Oh yes, LesbaTip!

            I always tip those hardworking folks very well! They put it on the line so we will have a good time at a bar or restaurant. Not to mention the guy who cuts my hair, washes my hair, the woman who cleans my house, my dog walker.

            It’s hard to be gracious and deliver 110% for 8 hours a day while on your feet. I feel for them.

  4. lnm3921

    September 27, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    If a coffee shop business doesn’t want to allow Milo’s hateful NAMBLA message on their internet site, they have that right don’t they?! Conservatives whine about having freedom yet a business cannot select what to filter and what to allow without being harassed or forced out of business!

    Those same Milo supporters probably support a christian baker or Florist in denying service to a gay wedding but find it objectionable and an attack on their rights when business chooses to filter out Milo! Do you see the insanity here?

    • Kemwit Tall Tree

      September 27, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Inm – The only insanity in this space seems to be coming from you! Why filter Milo? He’s young, rich, intelligent and fabulous!

      • lnm3921

        September 27, 2017 at 10:27 pm

        Avoid the real questions like your double standards and tunnel vision and instead praise a pedophile, narcissist and courtesan! What will be fabulous is when she gets punched like Richard Spencer and it gets recorded so we can play it back over and over again!

      • Kathy11

        September 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

        Just another immigrant taking our jerbs.

        • Kemwit Tall Tree

          September 28, 2017 at 10:08 am

          Milo is a job creator and money-maker. Those are the types of people we need coming to the USA.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 10:19 am

            As a pedo apologist – he should emigrate to the Vatican – we have enough already

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

            Is that all you got calling Milo a Pedo apologist? Nothing really substantive or intellectual?

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

            We all know you’re his John Miller/Barron. Since when is disfavoring immigration by undesirables not substantive in your world?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 11:42 am

            I only wish I could be as fabulous and wealthy as Milo. But alas, I am but a mere commoner in his midst.

            You know Kathy darling, there a lot of fans in the gayosphere of Milo. He is an inspiration for us all to detach from the tired old Left.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm

            Would that I were so fabulously wealthy that I could still live in my parents home at his age.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

            That’s a Italian and Greek cultural thing. Single children are not supposed to leave their parents home until married. It’s even that way here in the US.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

            He needs to assimilate.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 12:35 pm

            Free room /board and maid service? Why bother?

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 12:56 pm

            His mother is a service. Allllllright. You’re certainly a man.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 1:09 pm

            Any DECENT mother waits on her children hand and foot!

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm

            Again – definitely a man. Well, a boy. Parents who can’t raise a self sufficient boy have failed.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm

            Not all women buy into marxist, feminist ideals. As a matter of fact, most women don’t these days.

            Only 15% of American women and 7% of British women self identify as such.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm

            Conservatives believe in people being self sufficient. As do conservative parents. A child who isn’t is a failure.

            Who cares about British women? Your slip is showing.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 2:12 pm

            Traditional families have roles for the mother, father and children. The father being the person in charge and breadwinner and the mother deferring to the husband and taking care of the children.

            It works for most of the world and did for centuries in the West. All of your marxist, feminist ideology cannot change that basic fact of human nature.

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm

            Time to leave the nest little bird – Fly!

            Or crash.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 11:46 am

            BTW – You seem like a relatively intelligent person. Can you identify the woman in the pic? Inm couldn’t! LOL

          • Kathy11

            September 28, 2017 at 12:14 pm

            Violette Morris

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            September 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm

            LOL Well at least you’ve got the right country of origin!

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Local

D.C. area LGBTQ bars, eateries receive $100K COVID-19 relief grant

Pitchers, League of Her Own received NGLCC, Grubhub funds

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indoor dining, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. LGBTQ sports bar Pitchers and League of Her Own, its adjoining lesbian bar, are among the nation’s first LGBTQ bars that serve food as well as alcoholic beverages to receive a $100,000 COVID-19 relief grant under a $2 million Community Impact Grant Program.

The program, aimed at supporting LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-allied small businesses struggling from the pandemic, was launched in September as a joint project of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which goes by the initials NGLCC, and the global online food delivery company Grubhub.

In a Tuesday announcement, NGLCC and Grubhub said Pitchers and League of Her Own, which operate as one business in adjoining buildings in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, are among the first three recipients of $100,000 grants under the Community Impact Grant Program. The other two recipients are FOODE + Mercantile of Fredericksburg, Va., and Café Gabriela of Oakland, Calif.

“Following this initial round of recipients, more grants will be issued in late 2021 and early 2022,” the announcement by the two groups says. In an earlier announcement, the groups said the application period for the grants program took place from September through Oct. 12, and the grants would range in amounts from $5,000 to $100,000.

“The impact of COVID-19 has been debilitating for countless restaurant and bar owners, including the many LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across the country who have persisted through lockdowns, operational changes and labor supply shortages,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “We’re grateful to have partnered with Grubhub to offer real lifelines to support businesses throughout the nation,” Nelson said.

“Building community in a fun and safe place has been our mission since the very beginning,” said David Perruzza, the owner of Pitchers and League of Her Own. “We’re relieved and thankful for these funds, and are looking forward to more stable days ahead,” Perruzza said.

“As a trans masculine and queer immigrant person of color, I’ve worked hard and put all my love and energy into building a beautiful and welcoming space in Café Gabriela,” said owner Penny Baldado. “I’ve remained resilient through COVID, and this grant is the injection of funds that we need to continue along our journey to full recovery,” Baldado said.

The statement announcing the first three grant recipient says funds for the $2 million grant program were generated by Grubhub’s “Donate the Change” program of which NGLCC became a partner in June. Grubhub says the program asks customers receiving food delivered by Grubhub “to round out their order and donate the difference” to the charitable fund.

“COVID has turned the restaurant industry on its head the last 18 months, and at Grubhub, we’ve been working hard every day to support our restaurant partners across the country,” said Amy Healy, Grubhub’s vice president of government relations. “As the world starts to return to a new normal, we’re proud to partner with the NGLCC and provide these grants to LGBTQ+-owned and LGBTQ+ ally-owned restaurants across the country that are pillars of their communities.”

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Virginia

Va. businessman apologizes for burning of rainbow flag poster

‘Shocked and horrified’: Ashburn incident caught on video

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Organizers of an event where a Pride symbol was burned say the incident was a misunderstanding.

The owner of a Virginia technology company that hosted a private Veterans Day party on the grounds of an Ashburn, Va., brewery in which a company employee used a flame-throwing device to ignite a rainbow flag poster said the selection of the poster was a mistake and he and his company have no ill will toward the LGBTQ community.

The Washington Blade learned about the poster burning from a customer of the Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, where the incident took place on its outdoor grounds. The customer made a video of the incident with his cell phone and sent a copy of the video to the Blade.

The video, which includes an audio recording, shows a man using a hand-held flame-throwing device to ignite the rainbow poster, which was hanging from a cable and appeared to be mounted on cardboard or a thin sheet of wood. Bystanders can be heard laughing and cheering as the poster is set on fire.

The poster consisted of a variation of the LGBTQ Pride rainbow flag that included the word “love” configured from an upper white stripe on the rainbow symbol.

The customer who took the video, who has asked not to be identified, thought the decision to set the poster on fire was a sign of disrespect if not hatred toward a longstanding symbol of LGBTQ equality and pride.

Chris Burns, Old Ox Brewery’s president, shared that view, telling the Blade he and his staff were “shocked and horrified” when they learned later that a rainbow flag poster had been burned on the brewery’s grounds. Burns said Old Ox supports the LGBTQ community and participated in LGBTQ Pride month earlier this year.

He said the company that held the private party paid a fee to hold the event on the brewery’s grounds, but the brewery did not know a rainbow poster would be burned.

“I’m mortified that our event was interpreted in this way,” said Nate Reynolds, the founder and partner of Hypershift Technologies LLC, the Falls Church, Va.-based technology company that organized the Nov. 11 party at Old Ox Brewery. “I can assure you that ZERO ill-will or offense was meant,” Reynolds told the Blade in a Nov. 24 email.

“We held a small private party for a few clients, which included a demonstration of Elon Musk’s Boring Company ‘Not a Flamethrower,’” he said in his message. He was referring to one of billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s companies that specializes in boring through the ground to create tunnels for cars, trains, and other purposes. 

“After so many being isolated during COVID, we wanted to have an event that was lighthearted and to some small effect, silly,” Reynolds said in his message to the Blade.

According to Reynolds, in thinking about what should be used for “fodder” for the flame-thrower, he went to a Five Below discount store and purchased items such as stuffed animals and posters, including a “Space Jam” movie poster as well as what he thought was a poster of the British rock group The Beatles.

“When I pulled the Beatles poster out of the tube it was instead the ‘Love’ poster,” he said, referring to the rainbow flag poster the Blade asked him about in an earlier email.

“All I focused on was the ‘Love’ wording and not the rainbow and did not draw the conclusion that the poster was an icon that represents the LGBTQ community,” Reynolds said. “It was my own ignorance of not connecting the symbolism of the poster. If I had realized it was a symbol of the LGBTQ community, I would not have used it,” he said.

“I feel terrible, and I want to emphasize that I am solely responsible for this mistake – not the Old Ox Brewery,” he wrote in his message. “Nobody at Old Ox had anything to do with this activity.”

Reynolds added, “Hate has no place in my heart, and I sincerely apologize for any offense that could have been drawn from what I now realize was poor judgement on my part. I simply didn’t correlate this poster with the LGBTQ pride symbol.”  

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Before Reynolds issued his statement of apology, Burns, the Old Ox Brewery co-owner, told the Blade in an email he was “saddened and upset” over the rainbow poster burning on the grounds of his brewery.

“We do not wish to benefit from this event,” he said in his email message. “Therefore, Old Ox is donating 100% of the revenue generated from the private event to GLSEN.”

GLSEN is a national LGBTQ advocacy group that focuses on education and support for LGBTQ youth. Burns said Old Ox Brewery also donated proceeds from a Pride month event it organized earlier this year to GLSEN.

LGBTQ activists and organizations contacted by the Blade said they were unfamiliar with the variation of the rainbow flag with the word “love” that was the subject of the poster burning incident. The poster is available for sale at Five Below stores in the D.C. metropolitan area for $5.

Small print writings on the poster show it is produced by Trends International LLC, which describes itself on its website as “the leading publisher and manufacturer of licensed posters, calendars, stickers and social stationery products.” The Blade couldn’t immediately determine who designed the poster.

 The video of the poster burning incident can be viewed here:

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Fairfax schools returns LGBTQ-themed books in high school libraries

Review found ‘no pedophilia’ in texts as critics claimed

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(Book cover insert courtesy of Amazon)

The Fairfax County Public Schools announced on Tuesday that following a detailed review by two committees appointed by school officials it has returned two LGBTQ themed books to its high school libraries that had been temporarily withdrawn after being challenged by critics who claimed they included sexually explicit content inappropriate for students.

The two books, “Lawn Boy,” a novel by author Jonathan Evison, and “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which is described as an illustrated autobiography by non-binary author Maia Kobabe, each contain descriptions of sexual acts.

But supporters of the books have argued that they have won praise by literary critics and, while describing intimate relationships, they tell stories that do not fall into the category of pornography.  

Fairfax County Public Schools, the name used for the county’s public school system, on Tuesday said in a statement that a thorough review of the books by two committees consisting of educators, school officials, parents and some students found that neither book contained content that could be considered to depict pedophilia as claimed by some parents and others opposing the two books.

School officials announced they had temporarily withdrawn the two books from school libraries following a Sept. 23 meeting of the Fairfax County School Board where strong objections to the two books were raised by parents.

“Two books that were subject to formal challenge have been deemed appropriate for high school readers following a two-month review process and will be reinstated to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) libraries,” Tuesday’s statement by the school system says.

“The decision reaffirms FCPS’s ongoing commitment to provide diverse reading materials that reflect our student population, allowing every child an opportunity to see themselves reflected in literary characters,” the statement continues. “Both reviews concluded that the books were valuable in their potential to reach marginalized youth who may struggle to find relatable literary characters that reflect their personal journey,” the statement says.

The statement says the final decision to reinstate the books was made by Noel Klimenko, the Fairfax County Public Schools’ assistant superintendent for its Instructional Services Department.

The two books have received favorable reviews in various literary publications. Both have received the American Library Association’s Alex Award, an annual award that recognizes the year’s 10 books written for adults that the association says have a special appeal to young adults ages 12 through 18.

“The robust committee process took place over several weeks and considered whether the books flouted regulations by being obscene or harmful to juveniles as defined by the Code of Virginia,” the school system statement says. “The members also considered the work in line with an excerpt from the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook pertaining to possessing obscene visual imagery as defined in the Code of Virginia,” the statement says.

“After careful consideration, neither books were deemed to have fallen foul of these regulations,” it concludes.

The decision by Fairfax school officials to reinstate the two books came about six weeks after more than 425 LGBTQ students and allies from over 30 Fairfax County public high schools sent a letter to the school board and the school system’s superintendent urging them to reinstate the two books.

The Pride Liberation Project, a coalition of LGBTQ and allied students in Fairfax County, organized the joint letter.

“Student representatives from over 30 schools, including nearly every high school in Fairfax County Public Schools, have signed this letter, and many of us are students of color, low-income, gender expansive and not out to our families and communities,” the letter states.

“We are writing to ask you to reject calls to remove Maia Kobabe’s ‘Gender Queer’ and Jonathan Evison’s ‘Lawn Boy’ from Fairfax County Public Schools libraries,” the letter says.

It points out that “hundreds of books in our schools already depict heterosexual relationships and physical intimacy,” and says singling out LGBTQ themed books with similar stories of intimacy for rejection is unfair.

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