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This Way Out Episode #1804: "Paul for Pete"

One bite from the Buttigieg bug, and author Paul Mason Barnes turned into “Paul for Pete: Politics. Theatre. Life. One Man’s Adventures (Or, How I Became A Septuagenarian Fanboy) — and his election activism didn’t stop there (interviewed by Eric Jansen of Out in the Bay Radio and Podcast).

And in NewsWrap: Tabasco and Endomex bring Mexico one state shy of nationwide marriage equality, British queer activists glad to see short-lived P.M. Liz Truss go, Russian lawmakers consider expanding the ban on “LGBTQ propaganda” to include adults, Brittney Griner's release stalls as U.S. officials bust the son of one of Putin pals, Byron Perkins scores as the first out HBCU football player, U.S. House Republicans propose nationalizing ”Don't Say Gay,” Florida adds harsh penalties to its Parental Rights in Education law, Idaho right-wingers pitch a ban on drag shows, satirist John Oliver takes on transphobes, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by John Dyer V and Wendy Natividad (produced by Brian DeShazor).

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of October 24th, 2022

"Paul For Pete"

Program #1,804 distributed 10/24/22
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): Tabasco and Mexico become the 29th and 30th Mexican states to open civil marriage to same-gender couples, while a marriage equality bill advances in the state of Tamaulipas, putting pressure on the country’s remaining hold-out, Guerrero, to comply with a 2015 Supreme Court marriage equality ruling … anti-queer Tory Liz Truss resigns, becoming the shortest-tenured Prime Minister in modern British history after members of her own party refuse to back her mostly-tax-cuts-for-the-rich economic package … Russian lawmakers ponder new proposals to extend the country’s 2013 “no promo homo to minors” law to adults, and to deport foreign nationals who “promote” LGBTQ identities … lesbian U.S. WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner, sentenced in Russia to nine years behind bars for accidentally including medical cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage, spends her 32nd birthday in a cramped penal colony as efforts to secure her release continue … Hampton University defensive lineman Byron Perkins becomes the first Division I football player at a U.S. Historically Black College or University to come out … 33 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives endorse a bill to nationalize Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law … the Sunshine State’s DeSantis appointed Board of Education expands the “no promo homo” law there by adding harsh punishments for violators, ranging from termination to loss of their state teaching credentials, and also votes to penalize schools that allow trans students and staff to use the campus bathrooms and changing rooms that match their gender identity … a rightwing group in Idaho is pushing lawmakers to enact a state ban on drag shows — seriously … satirist/host John Oliver shreds irrational trans-phobes in 30 seconds on his HBO series Last Week Tonight (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by JOHN DYER V and WENDY NATIVIDAD, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).

Feature: From Ukraine to the U.S.A., democracy is on the line. Campaign fever and electoral fears are rising in the land that’s always been thought of as the beacon of democratic participation. It’s as exciting as it is scary for Paul Mason Barnes, the author of Paul For Pete: Politics. Theatre. Life. One Man’s Adventures (Or, How I Became a Septuagenarian Fanboy). Barnes talked with Out in the Bay’s ERIC JANSEN about his passion for the process and the candidate who lit his fire.

Feature: – A TWO “Get Out The Vote” follow-up mix (with comments by Joe Biden, Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump, and music by LEONARD COHEN) + A TWO mix of two reinforcing PSA’s produced by the media watchdog group GLAAD.


A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending October 22nd, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by John Dyer V and Wendy Natividad,
produced by Brian DeShazor

Civil marriage is now open to queer couples in the Mexican states of Tabasco and Estado de México, or Edoméx.

Estado de México, the State of Mexico, is the country’s most populous. Seventeen million people in a region that almost entirely surrounds Mexico City call it home. Their legislature voted 49 in favor and 12 opposed for marriage equality with six abstentions on October 16th.

In the southern state of Tabasco, the Congress approved a marriage equality bill on October 20th. That vote was 22 in favor and six opposed with seven abstentions.

Including Edoméx and Tabasco, there are now 30 states in Mexico with marriage equality.

On October 19th, committees in the state of Tamaulipas’ Congress cleared its own marriage equality bill. If that one passes, Guerrero will be Mexico’s lone state holdout.

The federal district of Mexico City established marriage equality in 2009. The nation’s highest court ordered it in 2015, but left each state to decide how to do it. Guerrero will have to get with the program soon.

If you blinked, you may have missed the shortest tenure of a Prime Minister in British history. Conservative Party P.M. Liz Truss admitted in her brief October 20th resignation speech, “I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.” That mandate included her “tax-cuts-for-the-rich” economic package that failed to get support from her own party. She officially offered her resignation to King Charles III after all of 44 days at the top.

Most LGBTQ people are happy to see Truss go. She had appointed a number of notoriously anti-queer ministers, many of whom echoed her anti-trans rhetoric. Some even voiced opposition to marriage equality. There’s no telling how much better, or worse, the next Tory P.M. will be.

Truss will stay at Number 10 Downing Street until the Tories select their new leader to be formally appointed to succeed her by the King.

That makes two Conservative Prime Ministers with another in the wings over three months. Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is calling for a general election. He says, “Britain is not [the Tories’] personal fiefdom to run how they wish.”

Russian lawmakers are discussing an expansion of the law against the dissemination of so-called “LGBTQ propaganda” to minors. One proposal would extend the 2013 “propaganda” ban to adults. Violators can already be fined or even jailed.

State Duma Information Committee Chairman Alexander Khinshtein used the war in Ukraine and “Western influence” as an excuse this week, railing, “Our enemy really holds the propaganda of sodomy as the core of its influence.”

It’s the Chairman’s propaganda that concerns the Russian Book Union. They sent an open letter to Khinstein warning that some classics of Russian literature could become the measure’s collateral damage. They cited a scene in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel Devils that describes child sexual abuse, a monologue from Alexander Ostrovsky’s play The Storm that could be viewed as “suicide propaganda,” and an excerpt from Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel Morphine that could be considered “drug propaganda."

Lawmakers are reportedly also considering a law to deport foreign nationals thought to be promoting “LGBTQ propaganda.”

Maybe such a move to deport “queer-promoting” foreign nationals would help get U.S. basketball All-Star Brittney Griner out of Russian hands. Griner spent her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison on October 18th, showered with messages from well-wishers. As negotiations for her release continue, the Kremlin is now howling about the arrest of the son of a prominent Russian official and close Putin ally. U.S. officials detained him in Milan on charges of money laundering and evading sanctions. Ironically the official response from Moscow accused the Biden administration of “taking hostages” for “political purposes.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to speculate when asked if the U.S. was upping the ante for a prisoner exchange that would include Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who’s serving a 16-year sentence in a Russian prison on trumped-up espionage charges. Griner has been jailed in Russia since mid-February, soon after Putin launched his unprovoked war on Ukraine. Convicted of illegal distribution of medicinal cannabis vape cartridges that she had accidentally left in her luggage, she’s been sentenced to the near maximum, nine years in a Russian prison.

Biden and Putin are each expected to be at the G-20 economic summit in mid-November in Indonesia. The U.S. President has said he’ll only meet directly with Putin if Griner’s release is part of the conversation.

Griner was able to respond to her birthday messages on social media to say, “All the support and love are definitely helping me.”

Her wife Cherelle and a number of WNBA players renewed their campaign this week to demand her release.

Griner’s attorneys told the New York Times that she’s not doing well in cramped quarters at a Russian penal colony. They say conditions there are “borderline inhumane.”

A U.S. college football player made history this week. Hampton University defensive lineman Byron Perkins became the first Division One player at a Historically Black College or University to come out as a gay man. A junior at the HBCU in Virginia, Perkins’ Instagram post said, “I will no longer be living a lie. … No one should have to live a life crippled by what society thinks. … Authenticity is everything to me.”

Perkins told in an exclusive interview that his coaches have been supportive, and that the reaction from teammates has been mostly “very good.” He declared, “I want people to know they can be themselves. It’s about that kid who’s going to see this and think he can be himself, too.”

High-profile U.S. Republicans are not in the policy closet ahead of the crucial midterm elections on November 8th. They’ve already promised to push for a national abortion ban, and to gut the vital social safety nets of Medicare and Social Security. This week, 33 Republican members of the U.S. House signed on to a bill to nationalize Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law. Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson is sponsoring the measure to ban federal funding of LGBTQ-inclusive instruction for students under the age of 10 in U.S. public schools.

The Florida law is so vaguely written that teachers at every grade level in that state fear repercussions if they allow any discussion of LGBTQ identities in their classrooms.

No Republican proposals will see the light of day -- unless they win legislative majorities in the midterm elections. However, any regressive Republican-approved legislation would most certainly be vetoed by President Joe Biden, who still has two more years in office.

In Florida itself, the “Don’t Say Gay” law is getting new teeth. The Board of Education appointed by anti-queer Republican Governor Ron DeSantis voted to punish any teacher found to have “said gay” with the loss of their jobs under the Parental Rights in Education law. Suspensions or revocations of their credentials to teach in the state’s public schools are possible.

The Board also voted this week to require public school officials to notify parents by mail and online if they allow students and staff to use gender-segregated campus bathrooms or changing rooms “according to some criteria other than biological sex at birth.”

A law to ban drag shows? Seriously. That’s a real proposal being offered to the majority Republicans in Idaho’s legislature.

Idaho Family Policy Center leader Blaine Conzatti told the Idaho Capital-Sun, “No child should ever be exposed to sexual exhibitions like drag shows in public places, whether that’s at a public library or a public park.” He compares drag to the racism of blackface in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Idaho LGBTQ activists say they’ll mount a strong campaign against the bill -- if it’s ever actually introduced in the state legislature.

Finally, multi-Emmy-winning satirist John Oliver schooled irrational trans-phobes in a recent installment of his HBO series Last Week Tonight, and it only took 30 seconds:

[SOUND – Oliver:] As the writer Julia Serano has pointed out, when you look at a chart of left-handedness among Americans over the 20th Century, and see a massive spike when we stopped forcing kids to write with their right hand and then a plateau, that doesn’t mean everyone became left-handed, or that there was a rapid onset southpaw dysphoria. It means people were free to be who they f****** were! And to the extent some young people are just exploring their gender identity, how exactly is that a bad thing? Who the f*** are they hurting?

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