Sunday, January 1, 2012

Holiday Greetings from the heterosexual supremacists at the Omaha Chamber of Commerce!

Another great year for the Chamber, which helped block an antidiscrimination ordinance which would have protected gay Omahans from arbitrary discrimination. The Chamber, all business, has nothing against homos, of course; it merely thinks that equal protection costs more than Omaha, which is trying to expand its convention business, can afford. In respect of equal protection, Omaha now trails Salt Lake City, as well as its Hawkeye neighbor, Council Bluffs; also Sioux City, Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Falls, Ames, and every other city, town and village in Iowa.

But hey, the Chamber did produce a beautifully edited and scored video Christmas card for the city. What a shame they forgot to clean the edges of the lens on the flipcam. Oh — that was an effect?

All kidding aside, we at AKSARBENT did appreciate the muted colors of what was obviously a single-, rather than a 3-CCD camera. Professional videography with bright, vivid colors that really "pop" can be quite aggravating if you're hung over just waking up.

From "Chad" via Citizens for Equal Protection tweet:
David Brown (Omaha
CoC photo)
We are very proud of what we have accomplished and love the environment that Omaha has provided for our business. However, as members of the Greater Omaha Chamber, we were disgusted by the Chamber’s stance against Councilman Gray’s Equal Employment Ordinance. As members of the business community, as well as devoted members of many non-profit and volunteer organizations – we felt deeply disrespected and felt a clear message had been sent that the Chamber did not appreciate our contribution to the economic fabric of Omaha, nor did they want to create an inclusive city that would make it easier for us to recruit young, creative, talented professionals from across the country. The talented individuals that live on the coasts don’t want to relocate to a city that they feel is holding onto intolerance and bigotry – this is a brand that is being created for Omaha and it trumps all the positive press of Omaha as #1 such and such in several publications. Young professionals care about this issue. They care about what is right and they won’t sell-out because our houses are cheaper, our unemployment lower or standard of living higher. Whenever a decision making entity like the Chamber sends a negative message like this – it makes our job harder. We want to grow. We want to stay in Omaha. We want to attract talent. In response to the Chamber excluding our business philosophy from what they deemed good for Omaha, we dropped the Chamber, explaining to President David Brown that we had no interest in paying dues to an organization with such archaic, hateful, backwards views. This to me, is the strongest example of discrimination that I have faced as a gay man. I helped create a business that adds to the artistic and tech. culture of Omaha and instead of being encouraged by the very Chamber of Commerce that I was a part of – I was insulted and given every reason to uproot my business and take it elsewhere. Some have. But, my partner and I made a choice – we aren’t going anywhere and instead of leaving we are going to be a constant reminder, a constant thorn in the shoe of the Chamber, reminding them and other decision makers that we want, we demand, an inclusive city and we aren’t going to stay quiet.

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