The story of Pride as heard through the LGBTQ+ music that made a movement’s soundtrack, put into perspective by Steve Sims in this edition of Queer Music Focus (including The Tom Robinson Band, Sandy Rapp, Jon Gilbert Leavitt, Tundo Olaniran, The Deisel Tykes and more).
And in NewsWrap: Thailand’s Cabinet sends a civil partnership proposal to Parliament, the Czech president vows to veto marriage equality, Istanbul’s peaceful Pride is attacked by riot police, Ohio’s House votes to verify student athletes’ genitals, drag queen readings rile rightwing hate “groomers,” U.S. Rep. Lieu tells Christian congressional homophobes to come to Jesus, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by John Dyer V and Melanie Keller (produced by Brian DeShazor).
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of June 13, 2022
Queer Music Focus on Pride
Program #1,785 distributed 06/13/22
Hosted this week Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Thailand’s Cabinet sends a first-in-Southeast Asia-but “not marriage” proposal for queer couple civil partnerships to parliament … President Milos Zeman vows to veto a civil marriage bill introduced this week in the Czech Parliament … Turkey’s national security police and local riot cops roughly arrest and reportedly beat 11 Istanbul Pride organizers simply for trying to issue a public Pride month declaration … Louisiana becomes the 18th U.S. state to ban trans girls and women from competing in school sports … Ohio Republicans add an invasive “genital exam” to their ban, which easily passes in the House and heads to the state Senate … a county judge issues a temporary injunction the day after a new lawsuit is filed that, for the time being, prevents Texas’ child protective service agents from investigating supportive families with trans children, or even their caregivers, for “child abuse” … protests against Drag Queen Story Hours lead to violent threats and efforts to legislate age restrictions on cross-dressing entertainment [with a brief excerpt from a Drag Queen Story Hour reading and sounds of protests] … and U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu of California reminds his rightwing Christian Republican colleagues what their Savior said about homosexuality (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by JOHN DYER V and MELANIE KELLER, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: Shout out from TWO station affiliate KHOI/Ames, Iowa + “About This Way Out” Pride 2022 Promo.
Feature: The soundtrack of the queer revolution has come from a long list of dedicated artists. This Way Out’s STEVE SIMS syncs some of their stories with our legacy of liberation in this Pride Month Queer Music Focus (featuring music by Ma Rainey, The Tom Robinson Band, The Berkeley Women’s Music Collective, Sandy Rapp, Jon Gilbert Leavitt Feat. Freddy Freeman And Kevin Hannan, Against Me, This Human Condition, Tunde Olaniran, Mosaic Lgbt Youth Centre & The London Gay Men’s Chorus, Mike Rickard, The Diesel Tykes Feat. Scott Free, And Jeffrey Marx & Robert Lopez, and segment intro music by THE O’JAYS).
Feature: This Way Out E-newsletter PROMO (briefly introduced with music by SAM COOKE).
Feature: Promo with a brief tease for next week’s feature interview by BRIAN DESHAZOR with Bonnie Morris about her 19th book What’s The Score?: 25 Years of Teaching Women’s Sports History (with intro music by MEG CHRISTIAN).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending June 11, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by John Dyer V and Melanie Keller,
produced by Brian DeShazor
Thailand could become the first Southeast Asian nation to legally recognize lesbian and gay couples. The Cabinet sent a proposal to Parliament on June 7th to create same-gender civil partnerships. Eligible partners must each be single, at least 17 years of age, and at least one must be a Thai citizen.
The draft legislation carefully avoids the word “marriage.” However, same-gender couples in civil partnerships would gain the right to jointly own property, manage other assets, share responsibility for liabilities, and have mutual inheritance rights. They’d also be able to adopt children. Like married heterosexuals, they could divorce.
Filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit calls it, “another form of discrimination in disguise.” Sukkhapisit was also the first trans member of Parliament, and told CNN she wonders why the bill cannot “just call everyone, both traditional and non-traditional couples, as married partners.” She said, “We don’t want anything special, we just want to be treated like others.”
Taiwan is the only Asian nation with marriage equality.
Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman says he’ll veto proposed legislation to open civil marriage to same-gender couples. The cross-party proposal was formally re-introduced in Parliament on June 7th, and Zeman announced his intentions the same day. A similar measure was first introduced in 2018, but it died as national elections loomed last year.
Czech marriage equality has antagonists from both sides. The ruling coalition is governed by five parties, with the Christian Democrats strongly against the measure according to the Associated Press. The far-right opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy Party is anti-migrant, anti-Muslim and anti-Europe, so it’s naturally anti-this, too.
Zeman pointed to the less-than-equal civil unions available to gay and lesbian couples while adding, “But, a family is a union between a man and a woman. Full stop.”
His anti-queer comments are not new. Zeman most recently defended Hungarian President Viktor Orbán’s efforts to roll back LGBTQ rights, saying that the autocrat is “not against homosexuals,” just, “against the manipulation” of queer-positive sex education. In Zeman’s words, “I am [also] completely annoyed by the suffragettes, the Me Too Movement, and Prague Pride.” Suffragettes?
Fortunately, the Czech presidency is largely ceremonial, and a majority in the lower house can override his veto.
Exactly when debate on the bill will begin in Parliament has yet to be announced.
More than 200 police officers descended on a few dozen activists in Istanbul, just as they started reading a media statement marking the beginning of Pride month. It was all captured on video and posted to social media by Istanbul LGBTI+ Onur Haftasi, organizers of Pride activities in Turkey’s largest city. Officers from the national police force joined local cops in riot gear.
Many onlookers booed as eleven people were arrested in the June 5th melee. They were reportedly beaten during the bus trip to the police station.
Istanbul once hosted one of the largest Pride Parades in the region, but that flowering liberation wilted under the increasingly dictatorial rule of rightwing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. At least 20 Pride-goers were arrested last year in clouds of tear-gas and rubber bullets.
Turkish government press agency Bianet reported that the statement the activists were prevented from reading said in part, “We LGBTIQA+ people are on the streets again. … We are here with our identities, orientations, queerness, and all our existences. … We are strong together, we continue to exist. Happy Pride.”
Istanbul LGBTI+ Onur Haftasi still plans a Pride parade for June 26th. They declared on Twitter, “This year, we will resist!”
Transgender girls and women continue to be targeted in the United States.
Louisiana is the 18th state to enact a law banning trans girls and women from participating as females in interscholastic and college sports. Since the Republican-dominated state legislature would easily override his veto, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards reluctantly let the measure become law without his signature this week. He called it a solution in search of a problem, and observed that there “hasn’t been a single instance in Louisiana of a trans girl participating in sports.”
Some queer activists criticized Edwards for failing to at least symbolically veto the bill. He told a press conference that it was “going to become law regardless of what I did.”
Louisiana’s trans sports ban is set to take effect on August 1st.
Ohio is one step closer to passing what may be the most offensively invasive trans sports ban yet. It not only bars trans girls and women from competing in high school and college sports, it requires medical “verification” that the athlete has the appropriate female genitalia. The so-called “Save Women’s Sports Act” was introduced as a last-minute amendment to a bill regarding the state’s Teacher Residency Program. It passed easily in the Republican-dominated state House this week by a vote of 56 to 28. Fifteen representatives were absent or silent.
The specific text of the bill says, “If anyone questions an athlete’s biological sex, regardless of gender identification, the athlete would have to present a signed doctor’s note indicating the student’s sex via the participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy; the participant’s normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone; [and] an analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.” Schools or interscholastic sports organizations could be sued for violating those provisions.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association says there’s exactly one transgender girl currently participating in school sports in the entire state -- a high school junior who plays on the girl’s softball team.
It’s “a made-up controversy” to Democratic state Representative Dr. Beth Liston. She calls it “state-sanctioned bullying against one child.”
Trans athletes and their supporters in Ohio have some time to lobby against the bill. The state Senate does not convene again until November.
A county judge in Texas quickly granted a temporary injunction to stop the state’s investigations into transgender kids, their families and caregivers. The probes were ordered by rightwing Republican Governor Greg Abbott, based on the error-filled legal opinion of anti-queer Attorney General Ken Paxton that gender-affirming care could be child abuse.
The new lawsuit filed on June 9th sought protection for all members of the Texas chapters of P-FLAG, a global organization of families and other LGBTQ allies. Austin-based Travis County District Judge Jan Soifer issued the temporary injunction the following day. She told lawyers for the plaintiffs and the state to schedule a hearing soon for a judge to hear evidence and decide on extending the restraining order.
One family has already been successful in getting the courts to stop investigating them. At least eight other families have been under scrutiny, according to the Texas Tribune.
The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Texas and a private Texas law firm are representing more than 600 P-FLAG members. Any non-member family can join the lawsuit by joining the organization.
Meanwhile, Governor Abbott is up for re-election in November against progressive Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Attorney General Paxton is being challenged by former ACLU attorney Rochelle Garza.
Trans kids and their families are not the only threat to children putting a twist in Republican knickers – and it’s not school shootings.
[SOUND: Drag Queen reading] “’Every one is different and everyone is not bad,’ said Scooter, who is a turtle. Different is special.”
[SOUND: Protester on bullhorn] “A Drag Queen reading stories is child abuse!”
Texas state Representative Bryan Slaton vowed this week to introduce legislation to “protect kids from drag shows” and other “inappropriate displays.” He’ll have plenty of time in the dressing room, because the next session of the Texas legislature won’t hit the runway until January 2023.
It’s still not a moment too soon for Georgia Q-Anon Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene to enlist for Slaton’s war on drag queens, although she’s confused between where they put it all on and where they take it all off. Greene tweeted this week, “It should be illegal to take children into Drag Queen shows and strip clubs.”
On the not-so-humorous side, a Pride Month Drag Queen Story Hour in Apex, North Carolina had to be cancelled because of violent threats. It started with profanity-laced criticism in phone calls and on social media and escalated.
Hate did not win in Dallas, Texas, where protestors did their best to disrupt a “Drag the Kids to Pride Drag Show” at Mr. Misster, a local bar. They hurled the popular “groomer” lie at parents and performers as they entered and exited the bar.
This is no doubt the start of something … small.
[SOUND: Drag Queen singing] “Goodbye for now, until we meet again.”
Finally … U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu of California used some of his floor time this week to remind pious rightwing Christian Republicans about all the things their Savior said to condemn same-gender love:
[SOUND: Lieu] “In March of this year, the ‘Washington Post’ published an article titled, “GOP lawmakers push historic wave of bills targeting rights of LGBTQ teens, children and their families. … I just thought I would now recite for you what Jesus Christ said about homosexuality …
[SOUND: dripping water]
… I yield back.”