Monday, July 11, 2011

Focus on the Family - #3063 - Following Media Criticism Toms Shoes Founder Apologizes for Speaking at Focus on the Family Event - The Blaze (2) Massachusetts City to Pay Wedded Gay Workers to Offset Tax - Boston.com

Following media criticism, TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie has released a statement apologizing for speaking at an event with Focus on the Family (FOTF) about “faith in action.“ He used the release to make sure people know that his appearance was a mistake and that he and his company support ”equal human and civil rights for all.” And, he drove home the fact that FOTF will not be affiliated with his “One for One” movement giving shoes to children in developing countries:  “Had I known the full extent of Focus on the Family’s beliefs, I would not have accepted the invitation to speak at their event. It was an oversight on my part and the company’s part and one we regret. In the last 18 months we have presented at over 70 different engagements and we do our best to make sure we choose our engagements wisely, on this one we chose poorly.  Furthermore, contrary to what has been reported, Focus on the Family is not a TOMS giving partner.  So there is no misunderstanding created by this mistake, let me clearly state that both TOMS, and I as the founder, are passionate believers in equal human and civil rights for all. That belief is a core value of the company and of which we are most proud.”  “What has been reported” refers to a recent article in Christianity Today that suggested FOTF is “working to become a TOMS international distributor in Africa.” Following the event announcement and Christianity Today’s article, Ms. Magazine organized a petition through Change.org asking TOMS to cut ties with “the notorious extreme right-wing, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-woman fundamentalist Christian group Focus on the Family.”  AW: I have a family member who loves these shoes, which is why this article and the TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie offends me so much, and I will now never consider buying a pair, please pass on to others so they may be informed.  To email TOMS shoes..........


Massachusetts city to Pay Wedded Gay Workers to Offset Tax - Boston.com When the city of Cambridge issues paychecks to its public employees, nearly two dozen workers find a federal tax on their income that their colleagues don't have to pay. Like many people, these 22 school and city workers chose to put their spouses on their employer-provided health insurance. Because they're in a homosexual relationship, the value of that health coverage is considered taxable income by the federal government.  But starting this month, Cambridge will become what is believed to be the first municipality in the country to pay its public employees a stipend in an attempt to defray the cost of the federal tax on health benefits for their same-sex spouses.  The city employees hit by the extra tax pay an additional $1,500 to $3,000 in taxes a year and officials estimate the stipends would cost the city an additional $33,000.  "This is about equality," said Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge city councilor. "This is a city that models what equality really means."  Read more.......

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