Comments and readings by poet Steven Reigns from his “A Quilt for David,” and period news reports about the dentist falsely accused of spreading AIDS to his patients (part 2 of 3, produced by Brian DeShazor).
Melbourne marriage equality activist Antony McManus counts his “Monte Cristos” on an Australian quiz show!
And in NewsWrap: Chile adopts marriage equality ahead of a tense presidential election, New Zealand approves a simple “statutory declaration” for legal gender change, Canada cures its conversion therapy problem, Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson steps in stupid, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Marcos Najera and Tanya Kane-Parry (produced by Brian DeShazor).
All this on the December 13, 2021 edition of This Way Out!
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Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of December 13, 2021
Kosher Christmas & “A Quilt for David” (Pt 2)!
Program #1,759 distributed 12/13/21
Hosted this week By Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Conservative President Sebastian Pinera breaks the five-year legislative logjam to finally usher in marriage equality in Chile … Tokyo’s governor announces a plan to recognize same-gender couples, albeit mostly symbolically … New Zealand lawmakers take almost four years, but finally vote unanimously to allow trans people to self-declare their gender identity without medical or legal intervention … Canada’s Senate follows the House in banning so-called “conversion therapy” nationwide, which quickly receives “royal assent” … lawmakers in the Australian state of Victoria ban religious institutions, including religious schools, from hiring or firing any staff member based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, or religious schools from expelling any student based on the same criteria … a Brazil Supreme Court Justice responds to a parliamentary committee request and orders an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro’s highly-criticized handling of the COVID crisis on the heels of his widely-disseminated social media claims that people who get vaccinated risk contracting HIV/AIDS … and CBS-TV’s Late Show host Stephen Colbert is fed up with Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin for downplaying the seriousness of the health crisis in the U.S. [with a brief audio excerpt] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by MARCOS NAJERA and TANYA KANE-PARRY, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: In the second of a three-part series, This Way Out’s BRIAN DeSHAZOR presents a radio adaptation of the book, A Quilt For David by poet, artist and educator, Steven Reigns. It includes readings and comments by the author, mixed with news reports from the early years of the AIDS epidemic, to illuminate the hidden history of a vulnerable gay man whose life and death was turned into tabloid fodder.
Feature: Melbourne, Australia’s Antony McManus and his husband were a high-profile marriage equality activist couple who were finally able to legally marry in January 2018. Antony was in the spotlight for a very different reason in late November of this year when he took on the big money question on Channel 9’s Millionaire Hot Seat (with brief instrumental intro music by MEN AT WORK, and a TWO hat-tip to Barry McKay).
Feature: It may not be Talmudic, but it’s become a tradition for Jews to go out for Chinese food on Christmas. Undaunted by the pandemic lockdown, San Francisco-based comedian Lisa Geduldig took her annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy show from a Chinatown restaurant to cyberspace last year. Lisa has also been hosting a virtual Lockdown Comedy show year-round. She talked about taking her funny business online with ERIC JANSEN of Out In The Bay — Queer Radio From San Francisco (with intro/outro music by DARLENE LOVE from a Saturday Night Live animated short feature).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending December 11th, 2021
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Marcos Najera and Tanya Kane-Parry
produced by Brian DeShazor
Lesbian and gay couples will soon be legally marrying in Chilé. The bill to open the civil institution to queer couples was signed by President Sebastián Piñera on December 9th after it passed in both chambers of Congress.
It’s taken a while. MOVIHL is the South American country’s major LGBTQ advocacy group, and it’s been pushing for marriage equality since at least 2012. Less-than-equal civil unions have been available to gay and lesbian couples since 2015. When U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet was Chilé’s President, her government introduced a marriage equality bill in 2017. It languished in Congress until her conservative, anti-equality successor Piñera unexpectedly changed his mind. He announced his support for the measure in June. The first same-gender weddings are expected to take place shortly before his term expires in March. By the The New York Times’ count, Chilé will be the 31st marriage equality country on the planet.
Not a moment too soon. There’s a run-off election on December 19th pitting far-right anti-queer Congressman José Antonio Kast against left-leaning former student activist Gabriel Boric in a race to replace Piñera. Kast topped all candidates in November’s first round of presidential voting, with Boric finishing second.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said this week that her government would be creating a path to legally recognize same-gender couples by April of 2022. Her announcement follows a unanimous call for the action by the Metropolitan Assembly of Japan’s capital city.
Gay and lesbian couples would be able to share and rent homes together, and to have mutual hospital visitation rights under the limited partnership plan. Tokyo is not the first to make this move – more than a hundred other municipal governments have already done so. But it will make Toyko the largest jurisdiction in Japan to extend some type of recognition to same-gender couples. When Tokyo begins to issue recognition certificates, about half the country’s gay and lesbian couples will be living in areas that at least symbolically recognize their unions, according to Bloomberg News.
That symbolism is far from enough, according to critics of the partnership offers in Tokyo and the smaller jurisdictions. Still, Japan’s conservative federal government resists calls for nationwide marriage equality, even though it’s the only G7 nation without it. Some lawmakers claim that even symbolic recognition undermines Japan’s traditional family system.
New Zealand’s trans citizens will be able to change the gender designation on their birth certificates without medical or legal intervention. Debate on the bill has raised the heat sometimes since its introduction in 2018. After its third reading in this legislative session, the final December 9th vote was unanimous.
The bill replaces the requirement for legal and medical gender certification with a simple “statutory declaration.” Cis-gender lesbian Green Party MP Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere told her colleagues, "This bill recognizes that those who need to amend their birth certificate can do so, that the courts do not have the right to make that choice for them, that parents do not have that right, that cis-gender people who don't even know them or care about them do not have that right.”
Lawmakers will now go into consultation with trans and queer organizations to determine how to implement the new rule with sensitivity to cultural issues, to figure out how minors might be included, and to be inclusive of non-binary people. The measure will take effect in about 18 months.
Canada’s Senate unanimously approved a bill on December 7th to ban conversion therapy nationwide. It had passed unanimously in the House on December 1st. The Governor-General of Canada quickly gave the required “royal assent” as the Queen’s representative, according to the Washington, D.C. newspaper The Hill. The law is expected to take effect next month.
Those purporting to be “conversion therapists” claim the power to turn queer people straight, usually with a combination of counseling and prayer.
It’s a medically debunked practice that often creates even more psychological problems for its victimized “patients.”
Bill C-4 amends Canada’s Criminal Code making it illegal to “[cause] another person to undergo conversion therapy; [to remove] a child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada; [to promote or advertise] conversion therapy; and [to receive] a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.” It also authorizes courts to order that advertisements for conversion therapy be removed.
No Conversion Canada founder Nicholas Schiavo told The Hill, “Today, as we celebrate this historic moment, we must thank survivors and their tireless advocacy to reach this moment where conversion ‘therapy’ is finally outlawed in our country.”
Canada joins a small number of other countries that have banned conversion therapy, including Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, and Malta.
Lawmakers in the Australian state of Victoria have voted to protect employees of religious institutions. The measure prevents religious schools and other institutions from firing or refusing to hire any staff member based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It also prevents those schools from expelling students on that basis.
The upper house of parliament voted 22-to-12 on December 3rd to approve the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill. It had passed in the lower house in November.
The bill goes on to prohibit government-funded religious entities from refusing services to LGBTQ people.
Religious schools and other institutions can still make employment decisions based on religious belief when it is integral to the job, such as in the hiring of a religious studies teacher or school principal.
State Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes noted that some teachers and staff at religious schools stay closeted for fear of being sacked. They’ve seen their peers lose jobs elsewhere just for getting married. Symes hoped that “with these changes all Victorians can live authentically, free of fear and in no doubt that the law has their back, too.”
As Brazil’s parliament looks into President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a Supreme Court Justice has ordered an investigation into his claim that COVID vaccination increases the chances of contracting AIDS. The notoriously homophobic vax-denier’s absurd assertion was broadcast live in October and carried by a number of social media platforms.
Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the probe in answer to a request from the Senate committee now investigating Bolsonaro’s management of the crisis. It’s looking into charges that Bolsonaro committed nine specific crimes related to his widely criticized pandemic response, including crimes against humanity.
Unfortunately, Brazil’s Prosecutor-General is a Bolsonaro appointee. The court’s order implies that Moraes intends to closely scrutinize the investigation, as Reuters reports. That includes the Justice’s insistence on regularly reviewing documents “showing the status of the investigation in question.”
Bolsonaro redefines misogynistic machismo. He’s refused to get vaccinated, and already survived a minor bout with COVID. His country is second only to the United States in fatalities, with more than 615,000 COVID deaths. Yet as the numbers spiked in March, the President told Brazilians to “stop whining” about the pandemic.
Even in the face of the investigations, Bolsonaro, of course, insists that he is “guilty of absolutely nothing.”
Finally, U.S. Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is not fazed by the nearly 800 thousand COVID deaths in his country. He continues to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic. Johnson most recently advised his social media followers to gargle with a popular mouthwash to kill the virus — a prescription that would be laughable if it weren’t potentially lethal. CBS-TV’s Late Show host Stephen Colbert was not having it:
COLBERT: Last week, Johnson accused Anthony Fauci of overhyping COVID, and claims it wasn't the first time
JOHNSON: Fauci did the exact same thing with AIDS. He - he overhyped it.
COLBERT: Yes, AIDS, the pandemic the federal government famously took too seriously. Well, if AIDS was overhyped Senator Johnson, then I guess you don't have to wear protection when you go [bleep] yourself. [extended laughter/cheers/applause slowly fade out]
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