A Florida House committee passes a “Parental Rights in Education” bill to outlaw encouraging the discussion of LGBTQ issues in primary grades, but Equality Florida’s Brandon Wolf and educator Chasten Buttigieg (husband of the U.S. Transportation Secretary) are fighting back!
Trans Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider’s monumental winning streak breaks records in both episodes and cash (interviewed by George Stephanopoulos of ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America”)!
When redesigned M&M’s mascots put Fox News host Tucker Carlson into sugar shock, Ms. Green (voice actress Larissa Murray) offers her candied criticism.
A Pennsylvania town’s newly Republican-controlled Borough Council revokes its LGBTQ-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance over the objections of a hundred citizens who spoke out to support it.
And in NewsWrap: Botswana accepts court repeal of anti-queer sex law, Namibian High Court's marriage equality denial supports rights, Hong Kong demands full trans surgery for legal ID change, France bans conversion therapy, Pope encourages parents to support their LGBTQ children, Football Australia fines Melbourne's team for homophobic fans, Mexican Football Federation bans anti-queer taunting, LGBTQA soccer fans sue Chicago stadium for uncontrolled homophobia, "Skyfall's" villain becomes Bond girl for birthday surprise, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Marcos Najera (produced by Brian DeShazor).
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of January 31, 2022
Don't Say Gay, Trans Quiz Queen, Candy Man!
Program #1,766 distributed 01/31/22
Hosted this week By Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Botswana’s government announces that it will
abide by court rulings decriminalizing private adult consensual gay sex … a Namibian court
cites the Supreme Court’s more than two-decades-old ruling against constitutionally
recognizing queer couples to reject a lawsuit by gay and lesbian bi-national couples seeking
work permits for the non-Namibian spouses … a Hong Kong court upholds the requirement
that trans people must undergo full reassignment surgery and sterilization to legally change
their gender on government documents … the French parliament makes its national ban
official on “conversion therapy” that falsely purports to make queer people straight … Pope
Francis urges parents to support, not condemn, their queer kids, although his several pro-
queer pronouncements over the years have not been reflected in substantive change in RomanCatholic Church doctrine or policies … the Australian A-League Melbourne Victory is fined $5,000 for its fans chanting homophobic epithets against famously-out Adelaide United defender Josh Cavallo … the Mexican Football Authority announces that it will punish fans who chant the anti-queer slang word “puto” at matches with five-year stadium bans … queer and allied U.S. fans sue Chicago's Soldier Field for not stopping Mexican fans’ abusive “puto” chants when it hosted Gold Cup matches there in 2019 … Skyfall star Daniel (“James Bond”) Craig and his film nemesis Javier “Raoul Silva” Bardem, celebrated their real-life one-day- apart birthdays by Bardem coming out of a cake in drag as the evening’s “Bond girl” to surprise Craig [with brief excerpts from one of their Skyfall scenes together, and their quick exchange about sharing a particularly memorable birthday on Variety’s online series Actors on Actors, with a capping cameo by Marilyn Monroe] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by TANYA KANE-PARRY and MARCOS NAJERA, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: Florida’s Republican legislators oppose masks to keep school children from
spreading COVID, but they’re eager to gag queer kids to prevent the spread of information
about sexual orientation and gender identity. A state House committee passed the “Parental
Rights in Education” bill last week, which would outlaw encouraging the discussion of LGBTQ issues in primary grades. Rights advocates call it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Representative Joe Harding, who sponsored the measure, spoke to it on the House floor. It was dissected by Equality Florida’s Brandon Wolf on Tampa’s WUSF public television, and by Chasten Buttigieg (an educator and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete’s husband) on CNN (with music from Don’t Say Gay by SEAN CHAPIN).
Feature: Elections have consequences, even local ones. Just ask the LGBTQ residents of
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and their allies. They saw the new Republican-dominated
Borough Council repeal the anti-discrimination ordinance that was passed last October by a
Democratic majority (with comments by Borough Council President Allen Coffman,
residents Shannon Brown, Chris Simon Petri and Melissa Mattson, with intro/outro
music by THE TOM ROBINSON BAND).
Feature: In the category All-Time Jeopardy! Greats, The answer is: She’s the first woman
to win over a million dollars and the first trans woman to qualify for the Tournament of
Champions. You won if your answer was, “Who is Amy Schneider?” The Oakland, California
engineering manager was finally taken down by a queer librarian from Chicago, Rhone
Talsma. Schneider talked about her success with GEORGE STEPHANOPOLIS on ABC-TV’s
Good Morning America (with intro/outro Think Music from the show).
Feature: If you’ve ever wondered what turns Fox News’ homophobic pro-authoritarian Little
Lord Fauntleroy on, Tucker Carlson has come out as a candy-phile. The announcement
that the cartoon M&M’s characters were being redesigned to make them more inclusive sent Tucker up the wall, especially the changes to Ms. Brown. Larissa Murray is the Ms. Green
voice actress who served as the jaded “spokescandy.” She gave the yellow journalist
something to chew on in an interview with TMZ (with music by DONNA SUMMER and
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending January 29, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Marcos Najera
produced by Brian DeShazor
Botswana will accept court rulings that repealed Penal Code statutes against private, consensual adult gay sex. The government had appealed the High Court’s 2019 de-criminalization ruling to the Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision last November.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi reportedly met with members of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana on January 24th after officially announcing that his government would abide by the final court ruling. He told them, "We demand and expect anybody to respect the decisions of our court."
The Southern African Litigation Center is the national rights group that fought the decriminalization battle in Botswana’s courts. The country is one of a handful in Africa that has overturned antiquated anti-queer sex laws: Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, and the Seychelles.
LGBTQ equality is embedded in South Africa’s Constitution. Civil marriage was opened to same gender couples there in 2006.
In neighboring Namibia, two queer couples who legally married abroad lost their quest for recognition at the nation’s High Court. Daniel Digashu and Johan Potgieter married in South Africa, and Anette Seiler-Lilles and Anita Seiler-Lilles tied the knot in Germany. Both couples now live in Namibia, where their legal fight is a bread-and-butter issue:
South African Digashu and German-born Anita Seiler-Lilles are both denied government permits to work in Namibia based on their marital status – that’s essentially automatic for opposite-gender bi-national married couples.
The three-judge panel wrote, “We believe it is time … for the Namibian Constitution to reflect that homosexuality is part and parcel of the fabric of our society and that persons – human beings – in homosexual relationships are worthy of being afforded the same rights as other citizens.” However, they felt bound by a more than 20-year-old Supreme Court decision that rejected the constitutional recognition of same-gender relationships. Judge Hannelie Prinsloo said that only the top Court “can correct itself.”
Attorneys for the two couples said that they would take that suggestion to heart: they’ll now appeal to a hopefully more enlightened Supreme Court.
Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal has upheld the requirement that trans people undergo full gender reassignment surgery before changing the gender marker on their government identification documents.
Two transgender men challenged the policy, which was upheld by a November 2019 High Court judgment. But on January 26th the Court of Appeal ruled that authorities must have what it called a "clear, definite, consistent and objective yardstick" to determine a person's gender. It said that surgery provides “clear and irreversible resemblance closest to the preferred sex.”
Both plaintiffs have British passports that list their gender as male. They’ve both had top surgery, but fear the physical and emotional scars of being forced to endure full gender reassignment surgery, which also requires sterilization.
Joanne Leung is chairperson of Hong Kong's Transgender Resource Centre. She told Agence France Presse, "The court has a very limited understanding of what sex and gender are, and still upholds a binary separation of biological sex."
At least one of the plaintiffs, Henry Tse, said he would file a challenge to the latest setback with the Court of Final Appeal.
The French Parliament has driven the final nail into the coffin of conversion therapy. Lawmakers made it official with a unanimous vote on January 25th. President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “Let’s be proud, these unworthy practices have no place in the republic. … [B]eing yourself is not a crime, because there is nothing to be cured.”
The national ban prohibits the barbaric, medically debunked practice that claims to turn queer people straight through a combination of counseling and prayer.
It outlaws “behaviors or words aiming to modify or repress [a person’s] sexual orientation or identity, having an effect that alters their physical or mental health.” The new Penal Code statutes punish offenders with up to two years in prison and a fine equivalent to about 34 thousand U.S. dollars.
Roman Catholic Pope Francis has issued yet another pro-queer pronouncement. During his weekly general audience on January 26th the Pope made “off the cuff” remarks concerning the difficulties parents may encounter raising their children. He said, “Parents who see different sexual orientations in their children [should consider] how to handle this, how to accompany their children, and not hide behind an attitude of condemnation. … Never condemn your children.”
Francis first alarmed traditionalists in 2013 when he told journalists that LGBTQ people should not be marginalized in society, famously saying, “Who am I to judge?” He said in 2020 that queer family members should be embraced. While reiterating that the sacrament of marriage cannot be changed, he has also supported civil union laws for gay and lesbian couples.
LGBTQ members of the 1.3 billion-member Church have generally expressed appreciation for the Pope’s supportive words, but continue to lament any real changes in doctrine or policy.
Football Australia took action against the A-League Melbourne Victory this week for homophobic fan chants taunting Adelaide United defender Josh Cavallo in early January. The $5,000 fine will fund LGBTQ awareness and education initiatives. F.A. Chief Executive James Johnson said, "To be clear, the actions of the spectators responsible for using homophobic slurs against Josh Cavallo were completely unacceptable."
Cavallo has called on social media behemoths Instagram and Twitter to address continued online bullying. Adelaide United has asked for a police investigation into abusive language and death threats directed at Cavallo on those and other platforms.
Homophobic verbal abuse has been a long-running problem in Mexico. Derogatory anti-queer chants of “puto” have been criticized but rarely punished … until now. The Mexican Football Federation has announced that football fans there will be banned from stadiums for five years if they’re found to have chanted homophobic epithets. The Federation has been fined by world football authority FIFA in the past for such chants during matches. Some matches have even been held in empty stadiums because of unruly anti-queer fans.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ fans and allies in the U.S. are suing the owners of Chicago’s Soldier Field for “puto” chants by Mexican fans during 2019 Gold Cup matches. The lawsuit alleges that Soldier Field failed to adequately protect LGBTQ fans from seemingly endless “puto” chants, even though management had been warned in advance that such abuse might become a problem.
A prestigious law firm has succeeded in moving the lawsuit from state court to federal court according to Outsports, “because the case involves citizens of different States and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.” If successful, the lawsuit will put owners and managers of other venues, stadiums and arenas on notice -- they can be held financially liable for not taking effective action to stop such verbal abuse from taking place.
Finally, as we’ve previously reported, retiring “James Bond” star Daniel Craig has dabbled in queerdom before – and so, perhaps has his iconic master-spy character. A particularly homoerotic scene between Craig and Skyfall villain Javier Bardem was nearly cut by the studio, but the producers insisted on keeping it in the movie:
“SILVA”: Oh, Mr. Bond … See what she’s done to you.
“BOND”: Well, she never tied me to a chair.
“SILVA”: Her loss. Well, first time for everything … yes?
“BOND”: What makes you think this is my first time?
The co-stars’ latest flirtation with fabulousness came during an online conversation this week on Variety’s Actors on Actors series. The two actors’ birthdays are one day and one year apart.
BARDEM: We actually celebrated our birthday together once.
CRAIG: I seem to remember you were in drag …
BARDEM: Yes …
CRAIG: … but that's a whole other story …
BARDEM: … coming out of a cake. I was supposed to be “the Bond girl” that night, and oh my god, I was!
Bardem reportedly sang Happy Birthday to Craig a la Marilyn Monroe to U.S. President John Kennedy:
MONROE: Happy Birthday to you.
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