The celebration is on for World Pride in Sydney, Australia starting February 12th, but ACON’s Director of HIV and Sexual Health Matt Vaughan advises getting vaccinated for monkeypox and COVID-19 well before the event (interviewed by Barry McKay).
The diversity-challenged Hollywood Foreign Press Association put its queer foot forward for the 80th Golden Globes, honoring gay television producer Ryan Murphy with the Carol Burnett Lifetime Achievement Award.
And in NewsWrap: Delhi’s first Pride Parade after a three-year COVID shut down supports current marriage equality cases in India’s Supreme Court, authorities in Algeria clamp down on anything featuring rainbow colors, Wisconsin’s Republican-dominated legislature blocks a ban on conversion therapy, a U.S. federal judge finds West Virginia’s trans sports ban constitutional, a Christian “Karen” douses a gay couple with holy water in front of a Mexican church, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Elena Botkin-Levy and David Hunt (produced by Brian DeShazor).
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of January 16th, 2023
World Pride Vax Alert!
Program #1,816 distributed 01/16/23
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Marchers at Delhi’s first Pride parade after a three-year COVID shutdown lobby India’s Supreme Court to rule for marriage equality in cases it’s currently considering … Algerian authorities move to suppress displays of LGBTQ Pride flags, and the rainbow in general, because they’re “un-Islamic” … Wisconsin Republican lawmakers block a state conversion therapy ban by Democratic Governor Tony Evers after delaying its implementation … a U.S. federal judge decides that West Virginia’s state ban on trans girls and women in female middle, high school and college sports is perfectly constitutional … Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law shuts down a high school performance of lesbian playwright Paula Vogel’s queer-content Indecent, and forces the removal of queer-positive books from school library and classroom shelves in at least three different districts … and a video gone viral shows a Mexican “Karen” spraying a hugging gay couple sitting near a church with holy water for “trespassing on The House of the Lord” and phoning the police demanding their arrest for “spreading immorality to young people” (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by ELENA BOTKIN-LEVY and DAVID HUNT, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature:The diversity-challenged Hollywood Foreign Press Association put its queer foot forward for its 80th Golden Globe Awards. Black gay comedian Jerrod Carmichael hosted the event in Los Angeles, several LGBTQ nominees took home prizes, and gay television producer Ryan Murphy was given the Carol Burnett Lifetime Achievement Award. Usually the stars of his creations like Billy Porter, MJ Rodriguez, Niecy Nash, Matt Bomer and Jeremy Pope are the ones in front of the camera, but on January 10th — thanks to the Golden Globes and NBC — it was Murphy’s turn (with intro/outro music from Hooray For Hollywood from the classic movie Hollywood Hotel).
[The Golden Globe Awards are still streaming on Peacock.]
Feature:The celebration is on for World Pride in Sydney, Australia starting February 12th, but the anticipation comes with a health warning from ACON, the state of New South Wales’ leading LGBTIQ+ health organization. It’s Director of HIV and Sexual Health Matt Vaughan shared some important advice about Monkeypox with our Down Under correspondent BARRY McKAY (with intro music by KOOL & THE GANG and MICHAEL CALLEN, and an outro music tag by DERRICK HARRIOTT)
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending January 14, 2023
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Elena Botkin-Levy and David Hunt,
produced by Brian DeShazor
It was Delhi’s first Pride Parade after a three-year COVID shut down, and LGBTQ people and their allies marched demanding marriage equality. The January 10th event focused on lawsuits now being considered by India’s Supreme Court, according to Agence France Presse. Justices have been hearing petitions from several queer couples in the past few weeks, with more hearings scheduled in March. The high court overturned British colonial-era laws against consensual adult same-gender sex just five years ago.
Equality activists believe the momentum is on their side. They’re encouraged by the recent selection of a pro-queer Chief Justice and the softening of attitudes in the mostly socially conservative country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s conservative government has fought all the court challenges, and has opposed all legislative efforts for marriage equality as well.
A week before the Pride march, right-wing Hindu groups staged a small anti-queer demonstration in Delhi outside the Supreme Court. However Reuters pointed to a statement issued shortly afterwards by the head of a leading Hindu group that might moderate the national government’s resistance. Mohan Bhagwat wrote that LGBTQ people “should have their own private and social space as they are humans and have the right to live as others.” His group is affiliated with Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
India is the planet’s second-most-populous nation. Its population of about 1.4 billion would dwarf the number of people free to marry who they love in Taiwan, which led the way opening civil marriage to queer couples in Asia.
Authorities in Algeria are clamping down on rainbow regalia, especially LGBTQ Pride flags. Police officers and other officials are seen handing out informational pamphlets decrying such displays in at least one video clip posted to Twitter and Reddit. The pamphlets illustrate variations on the flag, including the Gilbert Baker-created original and the Progress Pride version. A slogan above them states, “I’m a Muslim and these flags and symbols don’t represent me.”
The anti-queer campaign also urges all Algerians to boycott rainbow-colored items as being anti-Islam.
Private consensual adult same-gender sex is a criminal offense in the North African nation, punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine.
Queer advocates fear that the government’s latest moves will exacerbate the challenges faced by sexual and gender minorities in the socially conservative country.
Meanwhile in Kenya, the decomposing body of queer activist Edwin Chiloba was found in a metal box by the side of the road. The 25-year-old fashion designer had been suffocated to death, and his body had been mutilated. A number of suspects are now in custody and the police investigation is ongoing, according to the latest reports.
A conversion therapy ban is being blocked by Republican members of the Wisconsin state legislature. Democratic Governor Tony Evers issued guidelines against the practice in 2020 through occupational licensing requirements of the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board. The Republican-dominated legislature scuttled those directives soon thereafter. All six Republican members of the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules outnumbered the Democrats on January 13th to continue to block Evers’ efforts. Opponents did not directly support conversion therapy. They claimed that Evers and the Board had overstepped their authority, creating guidelines that could violate freedom of speech.
While attempts to ban conversion therapy at the state level appear to be stymied for the time being, the debunked practice that claims to turn queer people straight has been banned in several Wisconsin cities, including Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, Racine, Sheboygan, and Appleton.
West Virginia’s ban on transgender competitors in female school sports is perfectly constitutional -- this according to U.S. District Court Judge for the state’s Southern District Joseph Goodwin. Republican Governor Jim Justice signed the Save Women’s Sports Bill into law last year. It defines “girl” and “woman” as anyone assigned female at birth. The ban applies to middle school, high school, and college athletics.
Goodwin acknowledged, “being transgender is natural and is not a choice.” He decided, however, that it also, “dictates physical characteristics that are relevant to athletics.”
Lambda Legal and the ACLU joined a number of advocacy groups to challenge the ban on behalf of a pre-teen transgender girl.
West Virginia government officials approved of the ruling. Attorneys for the plaintiff have yet to announce an appeal or other action in response.
A high school theater production is called off and LGBTQ-supportive literature is being removed from Florida’s library shelves – all because of the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. Students at Jacksonville’s magnet Douglas Anderson School of the Performing Arts had been rehearsing Indecent, set to open on March 1st. The award-winning 2015 work by lesbian playwright Paula Vogel recalls 1923’s controversial God of Vengeance. That historic drama centered on a queer Jewish couple, and cast members were arrested on obscenity charges.
Senior Madeline Scotti was to portray one of the leading characters in Indecent. In her words, the production was “Don’t Say Gay’d.” School officials deny that the Parental Rights in Education Law caused the shut down. Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Tracy Pierce countered Scotti’s accusation in Teen Vogue, saying that the play “contains adult sexual dialog that is inappropriate for student cast members and student audiences.” Previous student productions of RENT and Chicago met no such resistance, despite their clearly adult themes.
Scotti told Teen Vogue that the cast was exploring alternative off-campus venues so that the “show can go on.”
Meanwhile, central Florida’s Lake County School District ordered the removal of three queer-positive books from library shelves this week: In Our Mother’s House by Patricia Polacco, which is about a family of two woman and their three adopted children; A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, Jill Twiss’ gay-themed satirical spin on a children’s book about the pet rabbit of former Vice President Mike Pence’s family; and the award-winning And Tango Makes Three, the true story by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell about a gay penguin couple raising an adopted chick. The Board specifically cited the “Don’t Say Gay” law for those removals, according to Popular Information.
It also reported that books pulled from school library and classroom shelves in Seminole County include gender non-confirming characters, such as the little boy who likes to wear dresses in Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman. Officials in Manatee County also cited the Parental Rights in Education Law for the removal of several queer-themed books.
Finally, a Christian “Karen’s” holy water assault on a gay couple in front of a Toluca, Mexico church has become a TikTok sensation. Mexico City resident Leonardo Hernandez posted the video of the woman telling him that hugging his partner on church grounds was “teaching immorality” to the country’s youth. She sprinkled them with “holy water” and called the police to demand that the couple be arrested for trespassing on the private property of “The House of the Lord.”
A bystander is seen telling the woman, “They’re not doing anything. They’re just sitting here.” Hernandez is heard saying, “It’s bad to hate, lady.”
The video then shows Hernandez explaining to a police officer the unidentified woman had called that hugging one’s partner is not immoral. He also insists that they were not being disrespectful to the Church, nor to the woman. The police officer chastises the woman and calls her actions “discriminatory,” but he also asks Hernandez and his partner to leave to avoid further conflict.
The TikTok video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. One user simply asks, “These people still exist?”
After a years-long state-by-state struggle, marriage equality finally became the law of the land across Mexico last October.
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