More

LGBT people are calling on Beyonce to be a hero and save her hometown.

There's only one person who can stand up for truth, justice, and the American Bey.

LGBT people are calling on Beyonce to be a hero and save her hometown.

A long time ago, in May 2014, a HERO came to Houston, Texas.

HERO was perhaps better known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, and it banned anti-LGBT discrimination in Houston.

Prior to that, Houston was the largest city in the U.S. without a non-discrimination ordinance inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Passing HERO was a big deal for LGBT individuals, who before the ordinance had to worry about whether or not they'd be denied housing, employment, or service at a local business just because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.


This was huge news. Yay, Houston!

But like all good stories, the one has some major conflict. Photo via Thinkstock.

But some homophobic Houstonians wanted to put an end to HERO, and like any villain, they hatched a plan.

Soon after the bill passed, those who opposed the bill began work on collecting roughly 20,000 signatures they'd need to put the law up for a public vote. They had 30 days to do so, but they came up hundreds of signatures short.


End of story, right? Wrong.

Last month, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the public should be able to vote on HERO anyway.

"The legislative power reserved to the people is not being honored," reads the court's ruling. "Any enforcement of the ordinance shall be suspended, and the City Council shall reconsider the ordinance. If the City Council does not repeal the ordinance by August 24, 2015, then by that date the City Council must order that the ordinance be put to popular vote during the November 2015 election."

With rights of the city's 2.2 million residents on the line, it was time to ask for the help of a hometown hero: Beyoncé.

LGBT activist Carlos Maza lit the Beyoncé-signal, calling on her to use her star power to save HERO.

HERO needs a heroine, and her name is Beyoncé.

OK, so no, this isn't actually a Beyoncé-signal, it's a picture from the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show in 2013, but you get the point. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

In a Huffington Post blog, Maza pleads with the singer to once again wade into the political realm and voice her support for LGBT rights:

"Houston is in for a nasty, dishonest and divisive campaign to repeal HERO and legalize discrimination against LGBT Houstonians. These kinds of campaigns don't usually end well for LGBT people: they're dehumanizing, traumatic and usually result in LGBT people losing their basic civil rights.

But that could change if the world's proudest and most famous Houstonian decides to stand up for her LGBT fans and speak out in favor of keeping HERO. With a single post to her over forty million Instagram followers, Beyoncé could change the debate over Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance and mobilize support for protecting LGBT Houstonians from discrimination."

The #BeyBeAHERO movement was born.

"Beyoncé is the world's most famous Houstonian, and she's always been a true ally to her LGBT fans," Maza told me about why he chose to put a focus on Houston and drafting Beyoncé to the cause. "The LGBT community in Houston really needs her help now, and I think this is a really great opportunity for Bey to do a lot of good for her hometown."

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

While she hasn't (yet) responded to the #BeyBeAHERO calls, we do know that Beyoncé supports LGBT rights.

ln a 2014 interview with OUT Magazine, Beyoncé was asked about her lyrics and large LGBT fanbase:

"[W]hat I'm really referring to, and hoping for, is human rights and equality, not just that between a woman and a man. So I'm very happy if my words can ever inspire or empower someone who considers themselves an oppressed minority. ... We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love."

And last month, she posted a short video to her Instagram and YouTube pages in support of the June Supreme Court ruling on marriage to the tune of her song "7/11."

GIFs via Beyonce.com.

Will Beyoncé help save the rights of LGBT Houstonians? Will the rights of 2.2 million people fall by the wayside? Tune into #BeyBeAHERO to find out!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.