Tag Archives: apologize

Utah governor asked to apologize for gay marriage comments

A gay rights organization is calling on Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to apologize for suggesting homosexuality is a choice and for calling decisions by other state leaders to not defend same-sex marriage bans the “next step to anarchy.”

John Netto of the Utah Pride Center says the governor’s comments during his monthly televised news conference Thursday were hurtful.

He told The Salt Lake Tribune (HTTP://BIT.LY/1MJGSGH ) that to equate same-sex marriage with anarchy is “hate speech,” and Herbert needs to be educated about the latest science regarding human sexuality.

Herbert’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Herbert called decisions by Oregon and Pennsylvania leaders to not defend same-sex marriage bans a “tragedy” and the “next step to anarchy.”

He also said same-sex marriage isn’t the same as interracial marriage and sexual activity involves choices.

Nintendo apologizes for excluding gay relationships in ‘Life’ game

Nintendo is apologizing and pledging to be more inclusive after being criticized for not recognizing same-sex relationships in English editions of a life-simulator video game. The publisher said that while it was too late to change the current game, it was committed to building virtual equality into future versions if they’re produced.

Nintendo came under fire from fans and gay rights organizations this past week after refusing to add same-sex relationship options to the game “Tomodachi Life.”

“We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in ‘Tomodachi Life,'” Nintendo said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game’s design, and such a significant development change can’t be accomplished with a post-ship patch.”

The game was originally released in Japan last year and features a cast of Mii characters — Nintendo’s personalized avatars of real players — living on a virtual island. Gamers can do things like shop, play games, go on dates, get married and encounter celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Shaquille O’Neal. Already a hit in Japan, “Tomodachi Life” is set for release June 6 in North America and Europe.

Tye Marini, a 23-year-old gay Nintendo fan from Mesa, Arizona, launched a social media campaign last month seeking virtual equality for the game’s characters.

“I want to be able to marry my real-life fiancé’s Mii, but I can’t do that,” Marini said in a video posted online that attracted the attention of gaming sites and online forums this past week. “My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé’s Mii or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it.”

Marini said Saturday that he was “very happy” with Nintendo’s response. “I don’t believe they are a homophobic company at all,” Marini said. “I think that the exclusion of same-sex relationships was just an unfortunate oversight.”

Yet the issue does mark a cultural divide between Japan, where gay marriage is not legal, and North America and Europe, where gay marriage has become legal in some places. It also highlights the problems with “localization,” the process when games are changed to suit different locales and customs.

The uproar prompted Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo Co. and its subsidiary Nintendo of America Inc. to pledge to create a more inclusive “Tomodachi” installment in the future.

“We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone,” Nintendo said. “We pledge that if we create a next installment in the `Tomodachi’ series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.”

While many English-language games don’t feature gay characters, several role-playing series produced by English-speaking developers, such as Electronic Arts, “The Sims,” Microsoft Studios’ “Fable” and Bethesda Softworks’ “The Elder Scrolls,” have allowed players to create characters that can woo others of the same sex, as well as marry and have children.

After Nintendo said this past week — in response to Marini’s growing campaign — that it wouldn’t add same-sex relationship options to “Tomodachi Life,” the publisher of such gaming franchises as “The Legend of Zelda” and “Mario Bros.” was called out by fans and organizations such as the gay advocacy group GLAAD.

“Nintendo has taken a first step, but if the company’s longtime values are rooted in ‘fun and entertainment for everyone,’ then it needs to catch up to peers like Electronic Arts, which has been inclusive of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) gamers for years,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement.

MSNBC host apologizes to Romney family for jokes about infant

An MSNBC host apologized to Mitt Romney’s family on Dec. 31 after she and guests on her show joked about a Christmas picture that showed the 2012 Republican presidential candidate’s adopted, African-American grandson.

Melissa Harris-Perry said her intention was to celebrate diversity, but the segment took an unexpected and offensive turn when she asked her guests to talk about a photo showing infant Kieran Romney with his grandparents and their 21 other grandchildren, all of them white.

One guest on her Sunday show, actress Pia Glenn, sang “one of these things just isn’t the same.”

Comedian Dean Obeidallah said it “sums up the diversity of the Republican party.”

Harris-Perry said she’d like to see Kieran marry Kanye West’s daughter so West and Romney would be in-laws.

MSNBC has had several of its hosts issue apologies in recent months.

Martin Bashir apologized and resigned from the network on Dec. 4 after making graphic remarks about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, suggesting someone should defecate in her mouth.

Bashir’s comments about Palin came on the same day MSNBC suspended Alec Baldwin from his weekly show for two episodes because the actor used an anti-gay slur in a confrontation with a photographer on a New York City street. Baldwin apologized, and he and network ended his show after five episodes.

North Carolina senator asked to apologize for Nazi tweet

The North Carolina Republican Party chairman says GOP state Sen. Bob Rucho should apologize for a Twitter comment in which he compared the Affordable Care Act with Nazis and terrorists.

Chairman Claude Pope in a recent statement called Rucho’s tweet “highly offensive.”

Rucho tweeted, “Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis, Soviets & terrorists combined.”

Rucho says he has no need to respond to Pope, and that what he stands on is the truth.

The Mecklenburg County, N.C., lawmaker said the tweet was referring to the cost of American conflicts, but called the program a socialist system like that of the old Soviet Union.

North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Micah Beasley called Rucho’s remarks “outrageous.”

Nevada lawmaker tries to quell slavery comment

A Nevada assemblyman apologized on Oct. 29 and criticized the media as he tried to explain his explosive comments that he would vote to allow slavery if that’s what his constituents wanted.

“The media is having a good time with a clearly facetious statement I made in a town hall meeting earlier this year,” freshman Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler said in a statement. “They’re attempting to spin an extreme example I used about supporting my constituents to accuse me of being racist.”

Wheeler of Minden said he intended his comments on slavery to be an extreme example of something unacceptable and hoped they would be taken that way.

“If my comments were taken with offense by anyone, I sincerely apologize,” he said.

Wheeler’s comments have been swiftly denounced by Nevada’s top elected Republicans and Democrats alike.

Fred Lokken, political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College, said Wheeler’s remarks were frightening.

“That kind of lack of moral compass is what has brought some really bad things into the world,” Lokken told The Associated Press. He said politicians are not elected to be “autotrons.”

“There is an arrogance that he’s just a pawn doing what his constituency wants,” said Lokken, who identified himself as a nonpartisan voter.

Wheeler’s comments surfaced on Oct. 28 after Laura Martin, communications director for Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, received a YouTube video link from someone sharing Wheeler’s comments about a proposed constitutional amendment on Nevada mine taxes.

Wheeler, speaking to the Storey County GOP Central Committee in August, addressed the mining question at the start of the roughly hourlong video clip.

“Then I just let it play while I did other things,” Martin said. About 40 minutes into it, she heard the comment about slavery and sent out a tweet.

“Just saw a video of Jim Wheeler saying he’d vote to bring back slavery if his constituents wanted it,” she tweeted.

Martin said that she knew the remarks were controversial but underestimated the reaction.

“I did not realize that it was going to blow up the way it has,” she said.

On the video, Wheeler says he believes it is his job to represent his constituents regardless of his own beliefs. He referenced an earlier blog by conservative activist Chuck Muth, who in June 2010 wrote about Wheeler’s candidacy and said, “what if those citizens decided they want to, say, bring back slavery? Hey, if that’s what they want, right Jim?”

Wheeler told his GOP audience he responded to Muth and said, “yeah, I would.”

“If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah … if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for,” he said.

Top Republicans, including Gov. Brian Sandoval and U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, and Democratic Party leaders and elected officials all quickly criticized Wheeler.

Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, a conservative Las Vegas Republican, condemned Wheeler’s remarks.

“As someone who believes wholeheartedly in listening to our constituents, I’m confident that they would agree with me that there is no place in our society for the comments made by Assemblyman Wheeler who doesn’t even understand that the United States is a republic because we protect the voice of the minority,” she said.

The state Republican Party posted Wheeler’s page-long statement on its website. Chairman Michael McDonald did not respond to requests for comment.

In his statement Tuesday, Wheeler said, “Despite the media spin that claims I don’t think for myself, I give careful consideration to the votes I cast and I find that 99 percent of the time my constituents agree with me. That makes sense – they elected me because they know that my beliefs align with theirs.”

Wheeler’s multi-county district leans GOP by a 2-1 margin.

Lokken said the reasoning was flawed because it fails to recognize “that as an elected official he’s there for all of the people, not just those who voted for him.”

Fired Rutgers coach says he was wrong

Fired Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice says he was wrong to treat his players the way he did.

Speaking Wednesday outside his home in Little Silver, Rice says there’s no excuse for his behavior and he is sorry.

Rice says he let down his players, Rutgers and its fans and was an embarrassment to his family.

Rice was fired on April 3, a day after excerpts of videos were released publicly showing him yelling anti-gay slurs at players, throwing basketballs at them, and shoving and kicking them.

Rice says he had been working on changing after being confronted about his actions last year. He was suspended for three games in December.

Marriage equality rally groups apologize for exclusionary actions

Groups involved with the massive marriage equality rallies last week at the U.S. Supreme Court are apologizing for two exclusionary actions that took place.

In once instance, an activist was asked to move a transgender Pride flag from behind the podium. In another instance, an activist who spoke at the rally was asked to remove a reference to being an undocumented immigrant from a speech.

For both incidents, the United for Marriage coalition, the GetEQUAL activist group and the Human Rights Campaign issued apologies.

HRC vice president Fred Sainz stated, in part, “HRC regrets the incidents and offers our apologies to those who were hurt by our actions. We failed to live up to the high standard to which we hold ourselves accountable and we will strive to do better in the future. Through both our legislative and programmatic work, HRC remains committed to making transgender equality a reality.”

GetEQUAL co-director Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, in a statement titled “A Heart to Heart with the LGBT Community,” said, in part, “As one of the members of the coordinating committee that led the efforts around the country and in DC, GetEQUAL wants to reaffirm our commitment to being radically inclusive. Our commitment to inclusiveness is deep and it is reflected in our campaigns, in our organizational culture and in our leadership. We have deliberately debated how to respond to the issues that happened on Wednesday in Washington, DC. We have decided to go beyond just an apology and create a few organizational commitments — commitments that we expect that the community will hold us accountable to: We are committed to making sure that the voices of trans people and people of color are part of our leadership bodies such as the board directors and our organizing structures. We will push like hell for the passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform because we will not let more than 250,000 LGBTQ immigrants live under the constant threat of deportation. We will continue pressuring President Obama to sign the executive order that can protect 25% of the labor force in this country against workplace discrimination. We will also push Congress to pass a fully inclusive ENDA, one that would protect our trans* sisters and brothers, so all of our people can thrive in this tough economy. We will continue highlighting and honoring through our local and national organizing the beauty in the diversity of experiences in our community.”

The United for Marriage Coalition issued a joint statement on behalf of its 180 partner organizations that said, “Over the course of two days, we were joined by over 50 speakers from the LGBT community and from allies in the labor, women’s, civil rights, faith, and immigration movements. As a coalition we have achieved historic accomplishments and have become stronger together.

“We came together as a coalition to speak to America about the values of love and commitment, to mobilize people across the country to build a groundswell of support for the freedom to marry, and to prepare people for the work ahead. We have achieved so much this week as a movement and as a nation.

“Since the conclusion of the rallies on Wednesday, the coalition has learned about the mistreatment of a few individuals who were attending and speaking at the rallies. In one case, a queer undocumented activist was asked to edit his speech to hide part of who he is. In another case, several activists were asked to lower the trans* pride flag in order to keep out of the scope of TV cameras.

“We apologize for having caused harm to the individuals involved. Apologies are being made individually and collectively and we are working to make direct amends.

“We know that apologies alone are not enough. We are committing to the following steps: Individuals involved with the process of talking with rally speakers about the content of their speeches are reaching out to apologize for harm caused. We will build on our conversations to also seek ways that we can come together for joint action on issues of shared concerns such as immigration reform and other issues that advance equality and justice. Individuals involved with the request to lower the trans Pride flag are reaching out to apologize for harm caused. Opportunities for broader education on both trans* and queer undocumented issues within the greater LGBT community will be taken.”

Alaska lawmakers apologize for chuckling over question on same-sex couples

Leaders of the Alaska House apologized this week for the laughter that erupted from some caucus members when asked about same-sex partnerships.

During a news conference last week to outline the caucus’ guiding principles, members were asked if they supported domestic partnerships or civil unions for same-sex couples. That drew scattered laughter.

Some websites and blogs cast the laughter as majority members laughing off or laughing at the idea of civil unions.

In a statement on Feb. 18, House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, and House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, claimed that wasn’t the case.

Chenault said it is clear “from the totality of the response and circumstances the laughter was in reaction to which legislator had to field the difficult question, and did not go to the merits of the issue. Regardless, laughter was not appropriate and for that we sincerely apologize.”

Pruitt said it was a serious question and issue, just not something the caucus had taken a position on.

The GOP-led caucus identified its guiding principles as affordable energy, building a strong economy, fiscal responsibility, education reform and workforce development and healthy communities.

Pruitt said that the issue of same-sex partnerships did not come up during discussion of the principles. He said there was not a discussion on “what happens inside your home.”

On the Web…

A link to the audio on the press conference: 

http://www.housemajority.org/?attachment_id=1187

Ex-Honolulu councilman apologizes for anti-gay comments

Former Honolulu City Councilman Gary Okino is apologizing to gays, lesbians and their supporters for comments he made during a confirmation hearing.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell withdrew the 71-year-old’s nomination to the city’s Ethics Board of Appeals after he told city councilors on that he has “no tolerance for homosexuality,” and that gay people “are in danger not only spiritually, but physically.”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Okino said in a statement on Jan. 26 that Caldwell’s decision was appropriate.

Okino says he was being overzealous in his efforts to respond to allegations against him.

Devils player sorry for anti-gay slur

New Jersey Devils enforcer Cam Janssen has apologized for a profanity-laced interview in which he made several comments, including one about gays.

Janssen, who re-signed with the Devils this offseason but rarely played during the postseason, issued his apology through the team on July 13. He participated in a Web-based radio show earlier in the week and said he used poor judgment during the course of the show. Janssen says he regrets his action and said he arranged the interview on “The Thom and Jeff Show,” noting the Devils had no knowledge of it.

“I would like to apologize for my poor choice of language,” Janssen said. “The tone of the interview was very casual and off-color, and I lost focus on what is and is not acceptable and professional. I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by my language.”

Janssen said he will try to clean up his language and expressed his support for the work of the “You Can Play” project, an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes without regard to sexual orientation.

“I apologize for the embarrassment my comments have caused to the New Jersey Devils management,” Janssen said, “as well as my teammates.”

Janssen played in just 48 regular-season games for New Jersey this season. He had one assist, 75 minutes in penalties and finished at a minus-8 for the Devils, who won the Eastern Conference after defeating the Panthers, Flyers and Rangers. New Jersey lost to Los Angeles in six games in the Stanley Cup finals.

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