Smithsonian in National Latino Musuem controversy

Smithsonian, National MallThe Smithsonian Institution is considering building a National Museum of the American Latino in Washington, DC, but is facing controversy over the idea.

The museum is planned for the National Mall, shown here in this image courtesy Andrew Bossi, and would complete a set of museums that include the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The latter museum is due to open in 2015. While a museum to the contributions of Latinos to American history and culture makes sense, it’s meeting opposition in Congress over funding and the concept itself.

Jim Moran (D-VA) says he doesn’t want each minority group going to their own museum and skipping the others. This reasoning would hold water if the other museums hadn’t been established already, but it seems a bit late in the day to be bringing forth this argument now.

The current financial crisis is a more persuasive argument against a new museum. The National Museum of African American History and Culture sported a $500 million price tag. Half of that was paid for with Federal dollars, something that’s not going to go over well in the current Congress. There’s also talk of a national woman’s museum, but that’s likely to face the same hurdles as the Latino Museum.

Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and have been here since well before the country was founded. Many modern states, such as Florida, Arizona, even Missouri, were Spanish colonies before they became U.S. states.

Do you think there should be a National Museum of the American Latino? Should it be paid for with tax dollars? Tell us what you think in the comments section!

Lesbian couple sues hotel after being denied double room

lesbianA lesbian couple is suing a hotel in England after being refused a double room.

Rebecca Nash and Hope Stubbings say they tried to check into the Brunswick Square Hotel in Brighton but were refused a room because the hotel only gives rooms to couples.

This is surprising for a number of reasons. First, it’s illegal in the UK for hotels to refuse rooms to gay and lesbian couples. Second, Brighton is England’s most popular gay and lesbian seaside town and surely the Brunswick Square Hotel has had to deal with gay guests before. And third, a court fined a bed and breakfast for refusing a room to a gay couple earlier this year.

In the earlier case, the hotel owners were defiant, saying homosexuality was against their Christian principles. In the Brighton case, it’s a matter of “he said, she said.” The manager says the couple hadn’t made a booking. The lesbian couple said the manager got angry and told them “no two boys, no two girls” in the rooms before kicking them out.

[Lesbian flag image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

Thailand’s new PC Air first airline in country to hire transsexual flight attendants

transsexual flight attendantsBeing the hostess with the mostess just got more competitive. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Thailand’s newest airline, PC Air, is raising the bar on airline personnel. It’s the first Thai airline to hire transsexual flight attendants, as part of a pioneering effort to redefine equal rights within the industry. PC Air is slated to debut in April, running charter flights across Asia. The airline has already hired six transsexual crew members, including Thanyarat ‘Film’ Jiraphatpakorn, winner of the Miss Tiffany Universe Transsexual beauty pageant in 2007. Over 100 transsexual people applied during the first round of hiring.

Thailand has one of the world’s largest transsexual, or “third sex” populations, and its surgeons have achieved a global reputation for providing relatively affordable, easily accessible sex change operations (which pertain to the transgender, not transsexual, population). PC Air doesn’t require sexual reassignment surgery; rather, applicants need to meet criteria that include language and customer service skills.

While many Thai transsexuals are involved in prostitution or more legitimate forms of entertainment, PC Air’s president, Peter Chan, wants to provide more opportunity for the trans community. “I think these people can have many careers, not just in the entertainment business, and many of them have a dream to be an air hostess…When it’s their dream job or the job they love, they can do it even better,” he says. “Our society has changed — it’s evolution. I’m a pioneer, and I’m sure there will be (other) organizations following my idea.”

Hot or not? JetBlue decides for flight attendant

JetBlue may not comment on litigation, as it told USA Today, but clearly flight attendant attire is fair game. The airline is being sued by Karin Keegan. In what appears to be the friendly skies’ version of “put out or get out,” Keegan was not allowed to board a JetBlue flight because she wasn’t dressed provocatively enough. After ditching her threads for something she felt would be more consistent with JetBlue’s unusual “standards,” Keegan was told that she had missed her flight … and that she should have dressed the part of a sexy flight attendant from the start.

Keegan was flying JetBlue because of an agreement the airline has with her employer (Delta), under which Delta employees are ferried among locations. The altercation occurred in October 2007. The flight attendant complained to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, which gave her a “right to sue” letter late last year. Though not an employee of JetBlue, the law gives her the right “sue over workplace harassment even when they are not directly employed by the alleged harasser,” according to reporting by USA Today.

JetBlue’s recent spanking in Connecticut small claims court is nothing compared to this debacle, which is headed for federal court. If the airline is looking for some form of precedent to cite, it may want to consider France’s advances in attire and accommodation.

Maybe a scantily clad workforce is JetBlue’s way of making a nine-hour stint on the runway more bearable for passengers, but c’mon guys, there has to be a better way.

[Via USA Today]

[Picture via The Sun]



Keegan wasn’t provocative enough. Check out the stories from these women — who were all too provocative!