Check out this cool new ad that businesses can use to show their support for LGBTQ patrons.

The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-gender couple.

Its ruling, however, was particularly narrow and reflective of the specifics in the case. The decision avoided setting any new precedent on if a business owner can discriminate against an LGBTQ patron based on religious belief.

In writing the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy made sure to affirm protections for LGBTQ people, The New York Times reported.


But the misleading narrative that SCOTUS' ruling was "a major victory for religious liberty" — as Sen. Ted Cruz claimed in his tweet below — began to take hold, regardless of the details in the court's decision.

That narrative is music to bigots' ears.

Some anti-LGBTQ leaders and business owners have felt emboldened by SCOTUS' decision.

In a controversial Facebook comment after the ruling, South Dakota Rep. Michael Clark celebrated the development and claimed a business owner "should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants" — even if it includes refusing to provide services to people of color.

(Clark later walked back the claim.)

Jeff Amyx, who first made waves in 2015 for hanging an abhorrent "No Gays Allowed" sign at the front of his Tennessee hardware store, called SCOTUS' new wedding cake decision a "ray of sunshine."

Image from Brandon Rook/YouTube.

"Christianity is under attack," Amyx explained. "This is a great win, don't get me wrong, but this is not the end. This is just the beginning."

Fortunately, at least one LGBTQ rights group isn't sitting idly by.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) decided to fight back against the hate by equipping allies in the business world with a simple but effective tool: a sign of their own.

HRC took out a full-page ad in USA Today that reads, "We stand with the LGBTQ community," and "We are open to all."

The ad, as HRC's Charlotte Clymer indicated on Twitter, can be hung in a business' window to ensure queer and trans patrons know they're welcome inside.  

The nonprofit also put a downloadable and printable version of the ad on its website and is encouraging supporters to stand in solidarity with the queer community by using the hashtag #OpenToAll on social media platforms.

Moves like this one can make a big difference.

In 2015, after then-Gov. Mike Pence signed a now-infamous anti-LGBTQ "religious freedom" bill into law in Indiana, thousands of businesses pushed back against the discriminatory legislation by placing "This business serves everyone" signs in their storefronts.

Some lovely people “shop hopping” at #openforservice businesses #love #support #wewelcomeall http://ow.ly/i/a8vEO

Posted by Open For Service on Saturday, March 28, 2015

That initiative by Open For Service was part of the broad backlash to the law, which was later revised to protect LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and services.

Aside from HRC's sign, there are other simple ways you can ensure patrons know your business is inclusive.

Hang a rainbow flag — as big or small as you'd like — in an area where people will spot it. (They're not just for Pride month, after all. Leave 'em up 365 days a year.)

Let it be known that your restrooms are inclusive of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people. And if your business has only one or two restrooms, why needlessly assign a gender to one or either of them when the facilities can be explicitly all-gender?

Write messages affirming your belief in equality on message boards, menus, and/or customer-facing pamphlets. If you have a space where the community leaves event flyers, include your own LGBTQ-affirming flyers or signs as well. Small but meaningful steps like these can make a difference — not just politically, but on an individual level, too. If you want LGBTQ people to know they're accepted and welcome in your business, speak up!

Vocal allyship is critical in the fight for fairness. Let it be known that you stand for equality.

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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