Death, Discrimination and Box Office Joy

Retirement Community Bars Same-Sex Couple
A same-sex couple in St. Louis claims they were denied entrance into a retirement community because of their sexual orientation. When a representative of the Friendship Village Sunset Hill retirement community asked Mary Walsh and Bev Nance to clarify the nature of their relationship, their application status changed, they allege. Feeling that they had been discriminated against based on their relationship, the couple filed a lawsuit. “Mary and Bev were denied housing for one reason and one reason only — because they were married to each other rather than to men,” says Julie Wilenksy of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Their story demonstrates the kind of exclusion and discrimination still facing same-sex couples of all ages.” According to the New York Times, the women still wish to live in the retirement community and are seeking an injunction to permit them to move in. A recent PRRI survey showed that Americans are changing their perceptions on whether gay and lesbian people experience discrimination. “Today, a majority (55 percent) of Americans believe gay and lesbian people experience a lot of discrimination in the U.S., a 13-point drop from 2013, when nearly seven in ten (68 percent) Americans said the same,” the survey reports.
Baptists and Yogis Unite to Fight Pipeline
Dominion Energy, an influential Virginia-based corporation, is planning on building a natural gas compressor station that will be key to a 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The pipeline has drawn protests from a range of community groups impacted by its path, which starts at West Virginia and goes through Virginia and North Carolina. Union Hill, a community located in Buckingham County, Virginia, which was founded in the wake of the Civil War by freed slaves, is the only place in the state that has to deal with the additional issue of a compressor station. This predominantly black community is resisting the building of the pipeline, and in the process, they have formed an alliance with a nearby group: Yogaville, a 660-acre ashram that welcomes as many as 8,000 yoga participants a year.
“Crazy Rich Asians” Hits Number One at the Box Office
A romantic comedy featuring an all-Asian cast pulled in over $25 million in ticket sales this weekend, easily making it the top film at the box office. “Crazy Rich Asians,” based off the 2013 book of the same name, is the first major Hollywood film since “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993, to be led by an Asian-cast. The film’s success has been compared to that of the superhero film “Black Panther,” a film featuring a predominantly black cast. Jon M. Chu, the man who directed “Crazy Rich Asians,” doesn’t believe that is an apt comparison. Chu says, “I mean it’s tricky because it’s hard to compare anything to ‘Black Panther.’ It’s an amazing piece of work that has changed the landscape…We are on the beginning of a journey and I think this cracks the door.” In a 2017 PRRI/MTV survey of young people aged 15-24 years old, 40 percent of respondents believed that the entertainment industry promoted negative stereotypes of Asian people, while 60 percent believed that it portrayed a fair and accurate representation of Asians. However, among Asian or Pacific Islander young people, a striking 71 percent say the media promotes negative stereotypes of Asian people.
Sikh Community Mourns Latest Attack Victim
Terlok Singh, a Sikh man living in East Orange, New Jersey died last week after an attack inside his business. Singh’s cousin found him stabbed to death in the bathroom of the Park Deli and Grocery. Though the Essex County Prosecutors Office does not believe the attack was hate or bias-motivated, they have yet to relay a motive for the attack. Singh’s murder comes several weeks after notable attacks on Sikhs living in California. In early August, the son of a local police chief was arrested for nearly beating a Sikh man to death.
The ‘Mormon’ Church Does Not Want to Be Called ‘Mormon’ Anymore
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced last Thursday, through an update in their style guide, that the moniker “Mormon” should be avoided. Instead, it called for referring to adherents of the faith as ‘the Church,’ ‘the Church of Jesus Christ,’ or ‘the restored Church of Jesus Christ.’ After the announcement, President Russell Nelson, the leader of the church, said, “The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church,” he later added “we have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will.”