“Don’t Say Gay” laws spreading across the U.S. are allegedly to protect young students, but OutCasting Overtime’s LGBTQA+ youth commentators see through the deception and dissect the nefarious motives (OutCaster Tomas, produced by Marc Sophos).
As “Tom Dooley Sails To Infamy” (read by Dan Roberts), producers Judd Proctor and Brian Burns row into broadcasting retirement and share their own “History of ‘The Rainbow Minute’” (read by Sally Holzgrefe) to bid farewell.
Plus gay Missouri Democratic Representative Ian Mackey’s passionate arguments against a state anti-trans sports measure fails to move majority Republicans, but it does go viral!
And in NewsWrap: Alabama bans “divisive” instruction and gender-affirming care, Tennessee’s “straight marriage” law left at the altar, Jalisco joins Mexico’s marriage equality states, Virginia stops gay-saying while Maryland stops bias, Kentucky trans sports ban vaults over governor’s veto, Australian trans sports ban gets Prime support, Dumbledore’s love life stays closeted in China, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Sarah Montague and Wenzel Jones (produced by Brian DeShazor).
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of April 18, 2022
Why Say Gay & Rainbow Minute Finale!
Program #1,777 distributed 04/18/22
Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
NewsWrap (full transcript below): The Republican-dominated government of Alabama vies for the title of “most anti-queer U.S. state” by enacting bills requiring students, staff and visitors to use school bathrooms that match the gender marker on their birth certificate, banning trans girls and women in school sports, and criminalizing medically-warranted gender-affirming healthcare for any trans young person under the age of 19 … an effort to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling by Christian conservative lawmaker Tom Leatherwood and others in Tennessee by creating a heterosexuals-only state marriage law fails to pass muster in the now-ended state legislative session … Jalisco lawmakers make it Mexico’s 25th state to open civil marriage to same-gender couples … Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin signs a bill banning undefined “sexually explicit content” in public school classrooms … Maryland lawmakers approve the “Inclusive Schools Bill” to ban bias in schools based on a number of identifiable characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity … Kentucky Republicans override Democratic Governor Andy Beshears’ veto of a ban on trans girls and women in school sports … Australia’s conservative Christian Prime Minister SCOTT MORRISON kicks off his re-election campaign by reaffirming his support for a national ban on trans girls and women in school sports … Warner Bros bows to Chinese censors, and the bottom line, by removing two statements confirming hero Albus Dumbledore’s gayness in the latest installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore [starring JUDE LAW and MADS MIKKELSEN] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by SARAH MONTAGUE and WENZEL JONES, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: How many minutes to the end of the rainbow? After more than 2000 episodes exploring LGBTQ history, producers JUDD PROCTOR and BRIAN BURNS are clocking out at The Rainbow Minute. This farewell double presentation tells their story (The History of ‘The Rainbow Minute’, read by SALLY HOLZGREFE) and features one of their favorites (Tom Dooley Sails To Infamy, read by DAN ROBERTS) [with brief intro music by SAM COOKE].
Feature: Does Republican Florida Governor Ron Desantis really think he’s “comprehensively” defending parental rights, or is he really just “grooming” himself for a presidential run? Young LGBTQA+ people like TOMAS and the OutCasting Overtime crew are among “the objects of his protections” who want to “change the complexion” of the “Don’t Say Gay” discussion (produced by MARC SOPHOS, with intro/outro music by SEAN CHAPIN, and an introductory cameo by RON DESANTIS).
Feature: As the Missouri state House held a grueling three-hour debate on a measure to allow school districts to enact transgender student sports bans, gay Democratic Representative Ian Mackey made his own news. He took on sponsor Representative Chuck Basye with a harangue that won millions of social media views, if not the hearts of majority Republicans. Mackey made it personal with some truths from his own life, and the life of anti-queer Representative Basye (with brief intro/outro music by QUEEN).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending April 16, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Sarah Montague and Wenzel Jones,
produced by Brian DeShazor
Alabama took the “most anti-queer U.S. state” prize this week. Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed both a “Don’t Say Gay” bill and a law making gender-affirming healthcare a felony.
Alabama’s ban on the discussion of “divisive concepts” in public school classrooms began as a “trans bathroom ban.” It confined students, staff and visitors to sex-segregated campus facilities that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificates. The Republican-dominated legislature hastily scrawled “Don’t Say Gay” on the bathroom door. That addition stipulates that “divisive concepts” be handled with “age-appropriate” instruction, but does not define what that is.
The Alabama Vulnerable Child Protection Act is even more egregious. It not only outlaws medically approved gender-affirming care for transgender young people, it makes it a felony for medical professionals to provide such care to anyone under the age of 19. Convictions carry up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Alabama is the third U.S. state to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth, but the first state to criminalize it.
At least two lawsuits have already been filed in federal court challenging the criminalization of medically approved gender affirming care for trans youth.
Tennessee’s current legislative session ends this week without passing a bill to create a “heterosexuals only” marriage law. Sponsoring Representative Tom Leatherwood got the approval of a House committee to move his proposal to “summer study.” His controversial measure had already raised the temperature on both sides of the Republican-dominated legislature.
Religious conservatives like Leatherwood have been trying to circumvent marriage equality ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision in 2015.
The far-right Republican’s original bill to create a “separate but equal” heterosexual alternative was mocked nationally for not including age provisions – an omission that would have opened the door to “child brides.”
There’s no guarantee that Leatherwood and other supporters of the bill won’t try again in Tennessee’s next legislative session.
Marriage equality did chalk up a 25th state in Mexico this week. Jalisco’s Civil Code now defines marriage as the union of two people freely and in community with respect, mutual help, and equality of rights and obligations, according to the Spanish news agency EFE. Twenty-six Congress members voted in favor and 10 were opposed with one abstention. Perhaps the best-known city in Jalisco is its capital, Guadalajara.
Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that state marriage equality bans were unconstitutional. The ruling left it to the states to decide how to eliminate those bans. Some accomplished the changes in court, others did it legislatively. The federal district of Mexico City pre-dated the Supreme Court decision by passing a marriage equality law in 2009.
Six of Mexico’s 31 states have yet to follow the high court order.
Back in the U.S., Virginia’s Department of Education “shall develop and make available to each local school board model policies for ensuring parental notification of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content.” Sound familiar? Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin signed his state’s version of a “Don’t Say Gay” bill this week. The Department has until July 31st to write the policies, and local school boards must adopt them no later than January 1st, 2023.
As usual, the law fails to define “sexually explicit.” Critics warn that it seems to ban any discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools – and that includes acknowledging the existence of queer students, or families headed by LGBTQ parents.
Maryland’s General Assembly is moving in the opposite direction with its “Inclusive Schools Act.” It bans state-funded schools and county boards of education from discriminating against students on the basis of race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and other identity markers. Retaliatory actions against anyone who files a discrimination complaint are also prohibited.
This week’s vote in the House of Delegates was 96 in favor and 36 opposed. It’s already cleared the state Senate.
The bill now heads to Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who has 30 days to sign, veto, or let it become law without his signature.
Maryland’s minority students have needed support for a long time. The Baltimore Sun did a major report in 2020 on the racial harassment endured by Blacks on school campuses. The Washington Blade points to that issue as fueling the new legislation, although the measure is indeed inclusive of homo- and transphobia.
Majority Republicans in the Kentucky legislature overrode Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s trans sports ban veto this week. The contest to block transgender girls and women from competing against cisgender females on school teams was not even close: lawmakers in the Senate voted to override by a vote of 29-to-8. It was 72-to-23 in the House. The bill covers sixth grade through college.
Kentucky now joins Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia with trans sports bans enacted. Most specifically target trans girls and women.
Some bans are on hold while legal challenges proceed through state and federal courts.
Governors in Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana and North Dakota have successfully vetoed such bills.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison would like to see a national ban on transgender girls and women in school sports. This week the conservative Christian reaffirmed his support for Liberal Party backbencher Claire Chandler’s proposed bill to do just that. It’s also championed by local, Morrison-backed Liberal Party candidate Katherine Deves, a founder of the group Save Women’s Sport.
Morrison first voiced his encouragement for a national trans girls and women sports ban in February. He told an April 11th press conference that his position has not changed:
[SOUND:] “I think I've already conveyed my own personal view on these matters. And I welcome Catherine Deves’ selection and I was very pleased to play a role in that. I think she's raised very important issues. And I think Claire Chandler has also been very outspoken and brave on these issues and … and I share their views. And, uh, we have more to say about that at another time then I, then I will … we'll deal with that another time.”
Not coincidentally, Morrison has called a federal election for May 21st. Polls currently suggest that his coalition government’s re-election is in serious danger of falling to Anthony Albanese and his much more queer-friendly Labor Party.
Finally, here’s a “Secret of Dumbledore” that won’t be revealed if you live in China:
Grindelwald: “It was you who said we could reshape the world. It's what we said we’d do.”
Dumbledore: “Because I was in love with you.”
That’s what Jude Law as protagonist Albus Dumbledore and Mads Mikkelsen as his antagonist Gellert Grindelwald really say to each other in the latest installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
However, that last line …
Dumbledore: “Because I was in love with you.”
… along with another that has Dumbledore saying, “… the summer Gellert and I fell in love” have been yanked by Warner Brothers in a bow to Chinese censors.
It’s just the latest example of escalating censorship by China’s media authorities of LGBTQ-related material. Portrayals of so-called “sissy men” have been banned, and scenes from the popular TV sitcom Friends that referenced anything gay have been deleted. Censors entirely eliminated the existence of a leading male character’s ex-wife and her lesbian partner.
China is a fertile movie market, and Warner Brothers did not want the release of The Secrets of Dumbledore blocked. The bottom line trumped any moral high ground.
One fan on China’s social media site Weibo condemned the cuts as “defiling a classic.”
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