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Scott Wooledge
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Scott Wooledge is a New York City writer and activist. He has worked on many campaigns, including Obama 2008, Hodes for Senate 2010, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and New York's marriage equality. He posts under the handle Clarknt67 at the Daily Kos progressive blog and can also be seen at many other LGBT and progressive sites.

Entries by Scott Wooledge

Here's How to Get McDonald's to Send 'Gay Propaganda' to Sochi's Olympic Village for You

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 10:01 AM

The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi have not been kind to the social media teams of Olympic sponsors, at least in the West. Social media campaigns for both McDonald's and Coca-Cola have been essentially shut down by LGBT and human-rights protestors. Contributing writer to Forbes Avi...

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Now Playing on NBC: Olympic Hunger Games: Sochi!

(3) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 9:48 AM

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#CheersToSochi, the campaign responsible for a viral Coca-Cola parody video that has been viewed more than 100,000 times in 170 countries, has released second video, entitled Olympic Hunger Games: Sochi.

The 60-second clip makes satirical use of the conventions of Hollywood-style action movie trailers to tell the horrifying tale of a maniacal Russian despot who runs roughshod over the basic human rights to free speech and assembly. Aided and abetted by a cabal of his Top Olympic "Partners" in crime, The International Olympic Committee, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Panasonic, Samsung, Omega, Visa, Atos, the diabolical Putin terrorizes Russia's gay community daily, with a little help from Neo-Nazi friends. 

Though tongue in cheek in tone, the video footage is 100 percent authentically culled from real-life scenes of government oppression and vigilant aggression that are daily reality for Russia's LGBT community. In fact, on day one of the Olympics, several lesbian women were taken on into police custody and were reportedly being beaten, kicked, spit on and threatened with rape by the Russian police. 

Of course, this will not actually be playing on NBC. That too is satirical. The network is doing an excellent job ignoring incidents like the police brutality described above.

Previously LGBT activists successfully hijacked social media promotions by Coca-Cola, and McDonald's two global Olympic sponsors. #CheersToSochi -- originally conceived by McDonalad's as a means for consumers to send well wishes to Olympic competitors -- has morphed into an ironic tagline of LGBT Olympic protest. The backlash prompted Forbes to say: "For Coke And McDonald's, Ignoring The Power Of Social Media To Disrupt Means No Medals In Sochi." Mashable piled on saying, "Brands Will Need Those War Rooms They Set Up in Sochi."

A parody website, CheersToSochi.org, now serves as a resource for people to continue the conversation with Sochi Olympic sponsors about their concerns about LGBT rights in Russia.  

With huge influential outlets like the New York Times just this week giving big play to the social media backlash, it will be a long Olympic month for the sponsors. The LGBT community worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong to London to Berlin, has not been shy about telling these sponsors what they what: a clear denunciation of Russia's anti-gay laws and an unambiguous call to the Russian government that they must be repealed. They have all thus far stayed shamefully silent, and that is not acceptable way for them to make their mountains of Olympic profits. These multi-national companies' support is much appreciated in Western markets, but they need to support for their LGBT friends -- and employees -- worldwide, not just were it's convenient. LGBT people are increasingly under horrific attack abroad, in countries like Russia, Nigeria, Uganda and elsewhere. It is time for these companies to come out of the international closet with their...

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McDonald's #CheersToSochi Campaign Meets With LGBT Backlash

(116) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 12:37 PM

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Way back in August 2013 the Human Rights Campaign sent an open letter to the top 10 American sponsors of the Sochi Olympics. The letter contained a list of demands, but also a warning: "Your logos and marketing will appear alongside...

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NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office Disavows Sponsorship of Russian Investment Forum

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 11:11 AM

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In February, a study published by Global Financial Integrity showed that "the Russian economy suffered an outflow of US$782.5 billion between 1994 and 2011, a massive figure that is nevertheless in-line with previous estimates of capital flight from Russia."

This is bad...

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Inside the Princeton Club's Shockingly Homophobic Seminar on Investing in Moscow (VIDEO)

(73) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 12:50 PM

On Monday the Princeton Club of New York hosted four officials from the Moscow city government. The occasion was a seminar, "Invest in Moscow," sponsored by the Moscow city government, the Concord Group, Russia Forum NY, and Russia Center NY. Queer Nation NY staged a protest, both in the street outside and by attending the event inside.

The seminar organizers hoped to convince Americans that it is a good idea to invest in the Moscow market. Queer Nation NY's action was to provide a counterpoint argument that maybe this is not such a great idea. The Russian government has embarked on a campaign of harassment and intimidation against its LGBT citizens and passed laws that deny them basic rights like freedom of speech and assembly. Last year the city that these officials represent voted to ban pride events for 100 years, a move that was in belligerent defiance of the European Court of Human Rights. These laws stand in stark contrast to the principles that many or most Western corporations espouse.

In fact, many multinational corporations, such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, McDonald's, and NBC, have recently found themselves in difficult and likely costly public relations battles over their entanglement with the Russian government. The very same day of the protest at the Princeton Club, Forbes magazine published a piece reporting that the International Olympic Committee had heard sponsors express a lot of concern that Russia's LGBT policies might hurt their brands.

These Moscow officials can offer no assurances to the American investors they are courting that they will not feel a similar blowback from investing in a country that is very quickly devolving into a totalitarian regime. There is a very good argument to be made that investing in Russia right now is not worth the return in headaches.

The conversation that needs to be had is not about whether we should invest in Russia but about whether we should divest. A nascent movement toward investor divestment is starting to take hold in California, New York and elsewhere. New York City recently closed its tourism board in Moscow over fears for employees' safety.

What surprised me about the response of the seminar organizer and attendees to the confrontation was how aggressively homophobic it was.

I hate to sound naïve, because anyone who knows me can attest that I am a very hardened and cynical old queer. But even so, I and other Queer Nation members were surprised by it.

Before the seminar began, I overheard a young man (who identified himself as a current Princeton student) ask a much older man if the protestors outside were a problem. The older man scoffed and dismissed them as an angry 10 percent that 90 percent of people don't care about -- an interesting use of percentages.

As the activists attending the seminar aired grievances about attacks on LGBT Russians and the oppression of citizens' right to free speech and free assembly, the panel of Russian government officials laughed, which is not surprising, but the room of Americans took their cues from them and laughed along. It was a little surreal to hear people -- Americans -- laughing at the assaults, the oppression. It was very disconcerting.

Mark Milano confronted Sergey Cheremin, Minister of Moscow, on his laughter. "It's not funny, sir," he said. "People are being killed on the streets."

And unidentified attendee yelled out, "It's hilarious! Hilarious!" This is the same individual who later went to shout, "Gay culture should not be promoted, because it will destroy the population of the educated classes." (If the speaker was Russian, his English could pass as American.)

In the same video you can hear a different gentleman seated near me say, "Well, let's listen to the lesbians!" His manner was sarcastic because, obviously, nobody in their right mind would ask a lesbian for investment advice. Am I right, Suze Orman?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the only concern for this crowd is profit, not the quality of life in the marketplaces that they exploit. But frankly, I had hoped that the investor class of New York City, and the swells who frequent an Ivy League Club, might have been able to handle a discussion of human rights atrocities in a way that was a bit more classy. Laughing at human rights abuses is pretty low.

I had prepared and dressed myself to go to the Princeton Club, not a tea party rally.

Russia Forum NY, in partnership with the New York City Mayor's Office, will be holding another investor conference on Nov. 18. Queer Nation NYC will be holding a town hall meeting on

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Coca-Cola Promises More Engagement With the International Olympic Committee

(20) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 10:03 AM

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Wednesday, 70 to 100 activists gathered under Coca-Cola's iconic Times Square sign in New York City for a protest rally. "By sponsoring the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Coca-Cola is associating its brands with state-sanctioned gay-bashing," said Queer Nation NY...

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Olympic Committees Are Disgracing the 2014 Winter Olympics

(18) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 1:32 PM

Last week the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) took the gold medals in both rhetorical gymnasts and cognitive dissonance. In the space of just 24 hours, the USOC said that Russia's anti-gay law enacted in June is "inconsistent with the fundamental principles" of the Olympics but also that...

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Tennessee State Rep. John 'Don't Say Gay' Ragan Insists He's Not Anti-Gay

(40) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 3:52 PM

Yesterday, May 2, the Knoxville News published a piece on Tennessee State Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), the man at the center of an educational firestorm:

State Rep. John Ragan says the fresh round of criticism he has faced for sponsorship of so-called "don't say gay" bill is uninformed...
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StudentsFirst's Weak Response to Backlash Over Honoring John Ragan, Anti-Gay Tennessee Lawmaker

(28) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 12:31 PM

After four days of radio silence, StudentsFirst has finally released a statement regarding their naming of Tennessee State Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), the author of that state's infamous "don't say 'gay'" bill, as an educational "Reformer of the Year" and fundraising on his behalf. The story is...

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StudentsFirst Selects Author of Tennessee's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill as 'Reformer of the Year'

(93) Comments | Posted April 27, 2013 | 12:30 PM

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Right, Michelle Rhee, CEO and Founder of StudentsFirst, inset, educational "reformer of the year" Rep. John Ragan.

StudentsFirst, a very prominent and controversial educational political action group named Tennessee House Representative John Ragan as the state's "educational Reformer of...

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Washington United for Marriage Launches Groundbreaking Facebook Tool to Get Out the Vote

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 11:23 AM


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The folks working to get the Washington electorate to approve Referendum 74, which affirms the right of LGBT couples to marry, have found a unique and groundbreaking way to harness Facebook to power their Get Out the Vote operation. From Washington...

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David Parker, the Man Behind Frank Schubert's Deceptive Multi-State Anti-Equality Ad

(71) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 4:13 PM



The marriage equality campaigns have been swift to respond to the virtually identical ad that is playing in four states right now. "Deceptive and debunked," says Maine; "False," says Maryland; "Misleading," says Minnesota; "Dead wrong, outdated," says Washington.

Mainstream media will probably be reluctant to tell the truth about the man featured in the ad: David Parker. The truth is that Parker shares more common ground with Michele Bachmann and Pat Robertson than with the average soccer mom. He is a radical anti-gay activist. The record shows that Parker was spoiling for a fight long before he filed his twice-dismissed federal lawsuit against the Lexington Public Schools. As a precursor to his lawsuit Parker orchestrated his own arrest at his child's school over the book "incident," an act he described in his own words as "civil disobedience":

The Administrators agreed to meet with the Parkers to consider their several requests, which appeared related to a picture book entitled "Who's in a Family?" The book was among several included in a "diversity book bag" that children in the Lexington Public Schools are permitted to take home for parents to read with their child if they wish. [Emphasis added.]

According to The Boston Globe:

The parents -- David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin -- said they believe their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion, as well as parental and privacy rights, require they be given a chance to exempt their children from receiving the bag of books or hearing the books read aloud in class. The books are not required reading.

David Parker was arrested for trespassing at Estabrook Elementary School in April 2005, when he refused to leave the building until school officials promised to give him prior notification of their use of books that include homosexual characters.

Rachel Cortez, president of the school's parent-teacher association, said at the time that parents are given a chance to examine the books during a back-to-school night event early in the school year. [Emphasis added.]

Parker could have left at any time, and he declined to pay a $40 bail so that the police would have no choice but to hold him overnight for arraignment. Parker was grandstanding and, in a very literal sense, playing for the cameras, as the Lexington Public School's press release makes clear:

While Mrs. Parker chose to leave before police arrival, Mr. Parker did not. Two plain-clothed detectives arrived at 5:20 p.m., followed by a Police Lieutenant at 6:00 p.m. All attempted to coax Mr. Parker to leave voluntarily. However, Mr. Parker made it clear that he would not leave unless his demands were met and that he knew he was engaging in "civil disobedience" and was willing to accept the consequences. Mr. Parker declared, "If I'm not under arrest then I'm not leaving." Mr. Parker also used his cell phone to make a number of phone calls, and a small group of people began arriving with cameras. [Emphasis added.]

I'm sure the spectacle of his father being arrested at their school did wonders for the Parker boys' mental well-being. Kids love it when their parents are arrested in front of their school and video of the incident is played for their schoolmates on the TV news. That's some great parenting there.

Jeremy Hooper has collected 15 quotations from a variety of radio interviews Parker has done during the course of his anti-gay activism, including appearing on MassResistance's radio program. MassResistance is an extremist anti-gay group that is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate groups list. MassResistance's leader, Brian Camenker, has told followers that the gay community is pushing for a "bill in Massachusetts [that] takes away all the penalties for bestiality." (Need I say no such bill or movement to create such a bill exists?)

In these radio interviews Parker comfortably discusses "the gay agenda" in hyperbolic language and espouses conspiracy theories that can only be described as paranoid and detached from reality-based community. As a matter of course during these interviews, Parker repeats many discredited and dangerous beliefs, such as the notions that prayer "cures" gays and sexual orientation is the result of early sexual trauma. (There is zero scientific evidence supporting either of these theories.) Parker believes being gay is a "disease" akin to drug addiction or alcoholism. He believes gay people are not authentically interested in parenting and just "using" their children for a political agenda. This is a nefarious plot he describes as "brilliant in its deviance and subtlety."

Parker believes LGBT equality will create "apartheid" for Christians in America and that those who disdain gay people will face "segregation" and be treated with a "Jim Crow attitude." It will be "an apartheid, and the Christians are the ones set apart," one radio host says, to Parker's full agreement.

Parker believes that schools should be teaching that the church is "the wedding bride of Christ" and that children can pray the gay away. Parker believes that after gay marriage is accepted, public school teachers will "probably" behave like "sexual predators in parks," and that high schools will soon commence teaching "sodomy" and "how to sodomize." The audio recordings of Parker saying these things are here.

The Parkers' complaint, and that of their co-plaintiffs Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, is the only documented case of such a complaint in Massachusetts in eight years. Frank Schubert has cleverly leveraged a failed case involving two pairs of disgruntled parents into an argument against the equality of millions of...

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Big Sales Spur Chick-fil-A to Announce New 'Hater Wednesdays' Series

(7) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 12:14 PM

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Customers line up at a Chick-fil-A in Skibo, North Carolina. (Caitlin Dineen, Twitter)

On Wednesday Aug. 1, Christians nationwide rushed to fast-food chain Chick-fil-A to express their inherent, Christian, moral superiority over gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. The day,...

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Does Chick-Fil-A Have Any Out LGBT People in Management?

(212) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 4:14 PM

This is a question I haven't heard the media ask, or the company address and I've become very curious about it. It seems they deserve to be heard on the controversy of late surrounding this company and if they exist, they have thus far been silent.

On July 19, Chick-Fil-A...

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Oops, MSNBC Reports (My) Fictional, Satirical HuffPost Piece As Real News

(66) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 9:40 AM


PhotobucketMonday, The Huffington Post was kind enough to publish a satirical post I authored on HuffPost Comedy, "Microsoft, Apple...

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Microsoft, Apple Unite to Demand That the National Organization for Marriage Boycott Them

(164) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 4:54 PM

REDMOND, WA -- Longtime marketplace rivals Microsoft and Apple Corporations came together to hold a joint press conference today to demand that the National Organization for Marriage commence boycotting them both, effective immediately.

A spokesperson for Microsoft said:

Amidst all the "Dump Starbucks"...
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How Much Racial Division and Hostility Did Mitt Romney Buy with His $10,000 Donation to NOM?

(269) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 1:41 PM

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A story ran in the Oct. 28, 2008 edition of Deseret News reporting on Mitt Romney's $10,000 donation to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). We since have come to learn that...

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A Round of Applause for the 'Million Moms' and Their Anti-Gay Campaign... Seriously

(375) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 4:00 PM

The LGBT community owes a great big thanks to the "One Million Moms" (actually, closer to 40,000) for launching the best LGBT-friendly public relations blitz the community has seen in ages, and battering Christian conservative's image in a way the LGBT community could never hope to do.

Not since...

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New Hampshire Marriage Equality Repeal Vote Draws Near

(60) Comments | Posted January 4, 2012 | 10:20 AM

Perhaps in hopes that no one will notice amid the hubbub of the New Hampshire Republican Presidential primaries, the Granite State will quickly follow that circus with a highly anticipated vote. The Nashua Telegraph is just one of many outlets reporting that the New Hampshire legislature is expected to...

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Let's Vote on Minnesota Senate Republican Leader Amy Koch's Marriage! (POLL)

(259) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 1:44 PM

When the Republicans of Minnesota campaigned in the 2010 midterms, their top priority would be jobs and the economy, they told voters.

But after taking power, a funny thing happened. The self-described "socially conservative" Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch decided that what really needed to be done was rewriting...

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