Gender identity — and how certain media players and politicians are using it as a cudgel — is considered.
North Carolina’s 2016 “bathroom bill” effort can teach a lot to proponents and opponents of similar laws moving through U.S. states today!
German NGO joins Russian LGBT group to target Chechnya’s gay purge, Namibian judge splits gay dads’ family, Tennessee and Arkansas advance trans bathroom restrictions, two U.S. governors veto trans school athlete bans, New South Wales activists fight trans schools erasure bill, and more international LGBTQ news!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of April 26, 2021
Changing Attitudes & Repeating Politics!
Program #1,726 distributed 04/26/21
Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
NewsWrap (full transcript below): A German NGO files crimes against humanity charges against five high-level government cronies of Chechnya’s leading homophobe, Ramzan Kadyrov, for leading the ongoing “purge” of perceived-to-be-LGBTQ people … a Namibian court refuses to reunify a Namibian gay dad and his son with his spouse and newborn twin daughters, who are stranded in South Africa [with brief comments by Namibian attorney UTO KATJIPUKA-SIBOLILE] … this week’s anti-transgender youth attacks in Republican-controlled U.S. states include Tennessee and Arkansas advancing their own versions of North Carolina’s infamous “bathroom bill” … Oklahoma lawmakers advance a ban on trans athletes competing in school sports … similar measures are vetoed by the governors of both North Dakota and Kansas, and killed in the Florida Senate … Arizona’s governor vetoes an “overly broad and vague” bill to ban queer content (and HIV/AIDS) in sex education classes … Montana’s Senate rejects a bill to outlaw medically-approved treatment of transgender young people … Louisiana’s governor vows to veto any anti-queer bills that reach his desk … APRIL HOLCOMBE leads trans activists in the Australian state of New South Wales disrupting the beginning of far-right lawmaker Mark Latham’s committee hearings on his bill to eliminate the concepts of gender identity and gender diversity from public school discourse [with on-scene sound] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by TANYA KANE-PARRY and MARCOS NAJERA, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).
Feature: You’d almost think it was 2016 … but don’t be fooled! While time may have moved on in the last five years, Republican state legislatures in the U.S. have not. To remind them how their anti-trans strategy played out back when North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” took the country by storm, and to remind queers and allies how to fight back, we review a report by GREG GORDON from exactly five years ago this week. It was the pre-Trump rather than the post-Trump era, but almost everything else sounds eerily the same (includes a report by Pacifica Radio’s GABRIELLA CASTELLON featuring Rev. William Barber, GOP presidential wannabes Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on their “who’s in there” bathroom policy, North Carolina Republican Governor Pat Mccrory inexplicably continuing to defend his state’s discriminatory law, and late-night TV hosts Seth Meyers [NBC] and Stephen Colbert [CBS] offering satiric jabs at the U.S. tempest over toilets (with music by THE CARS, PAUL McCARTNEY and SONNY & CHER).
Feature: M? F? X? Y? This Way Out’s JOHN DYER V considers the changing views of gender, and how identity plays in politics and in the media (with music by YES, and from the Broadway Musical HAIR, and with thanks to MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending April 24, 2021 Written this week by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, reported by Tanya Kane-Parry and Marcos Najera, produced by Brian DeShazor
Five officials of the homophobic government of Chechnya are being charged in a German court for crimes against humanity. They’re all said to be part of the inner circle of heavy-handed leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Two of them have already been sanctioned by the European Union, the UK, and the US. Pressure is building on the Australian government to follow suit.
The 97-page indictment accuses the five officials of leading Chechnya’s persecution, unlawful arrests, torture, and incitement to murder of at least 150 people based on their perceived sexual orientation. The Russian alternative Novaya Gazeta newspaper first published reports of so-called “gay concentration camps” in 2017. Both the Russian government and its mostly-self-governing Muslim region of Chechnya consistently deny any alleged “gay purge.”
So the German NGO European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights has stepped in. They’re submitting the case in partnership with the Russian LGBT Network, the group that’s been helping queer Chechen refugees flee the region.
Reporters from The Guardian who have seen parts of the indictment identify Kadyrov’s personal body guard and Deputy Prime Minister Abuzayed Vismuradov, Police Chief Ayub Katayev, and Chechen Parliament Chair Magomed Daudov among the 5 named officials. Kadyrov himself has apparently not been charged.
The founder of the German NGO Wolfgang Kaleck told The Guardian that, “In an imperfect system of international criminal justice … Germany attempts to guarantee that Europe is no safe haven for war criminals. … If no other jurisdiction investigates, Germany is able and must be willing to take over tasks, representing thereby Europe and the international community.”
Advocates in France lodged a complaint in the International Criminal Court in The Hague against the Chechen government in 2017 when the atrocities were first reported. That effort fell apart after Russia flatly rejected the Court’s jurisdiction.
German law specifically allows prosecution for crimes against humanity if other attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice fail. If the German federal prosecutor decides to take on the case, Kadyrov’s cronies could be arrested the second they set foot on German soil. It could also bolster fleeing queer Chechens’ appeals for asylum in Europe. According to The Guardian, the governments of France, Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania are among the few that have specifically rolled out the rainbow carpet for them
Namibia’s High Court has rebuffed the effort of two gay dads to reunite their growing family. Namibian citizen Phillip Lühl and his Mexican husband Guillermo Delgado have a two-year-old son, whose citizenship they were already fighting for. The latest additions to their little brood are twin daughters, born in March to a surrogate in South Africa. Namibian authorities rejected the application for the twins to enter the country. They said that Lühl must first prove a genetic link to them.
Lühl and Delgado are both listed as the parents on their infant twins’ South African birth certificates. However, Namibia High Court Judge Thomas Masuku ruled on April 19th that ordering the Ministry of Home Affairs to allow the babies to enter the country would be “judicial overreach.”
That decision left Lühl stranded in South Africa with the twin girls, while Delgado and the couple’s son remain in Namibia. If they were a married heterosexual couple, the southern African nation would welcome their newborns with no questions asked.
Lühl’s lawyer Uno Katjipuka-Sibolile found the judge’s decision difficult to understand:
A judgment on the citizenship of the couple’s two-year-old boy is expected in August.
In the vicious game of Republican-controlled U.S. state legislatures taking target practice against transgender youth in particular, here’s this week’s scorecard:
Tennessee’s Senate voted 21-to-7 to allow private civil lawsuits for monetary damages against public schools and districts that allow trans people to use public facilities according to their gender identity. The House has passed a slightly different version.
It’s just the latest wrinkle on so-called “bathroom bills” currently overflowing in the country. Republican lawmakers have apparently forgotten what happened when North Carolina tried to politicize the potty five years ago this week. More on that later – wherever you hear This Way Out.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee already signed a bill banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ public school sports.
A similar bill is moving in Oklahoma. Arkansas’ Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson already signed one. He said this week that he will sign another bill heading his way that will allow the state Attorney General to sue any school that violates the trans-in-sports ban. The Arkansas legislature overrode his veto of a bill that denies medically approved care for transgender young people.
The tide may be turning, however, thanks at least in part to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Republican North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly each vetoed bills this week that would have banned trans competitors in school sports. That came on the heels of the NCAA’s announcement last week that the country’s collegiate sports authority would pull key events like championship tournaments out of states that discriminate against LGBTQ people – or anyone else. That threat was not directly mentioned in the vetoes. North Dakota Republicans are reportedly lining up votes to attempt an override.
Florida’s Senate has killed an anti-trans-in-sports ban. Some lawmakers there specifically did cite the threatened boycott by the NCAA.
In an Associated Press survey of a number of Republicans in states considering the trans sports ban, not one could point to a specific example of the problem such a ban is allegedly supposed to solve.
Montana’s Senate voted this week to “indefinitely postpone” a bill to outlaw gender-affirming surgery for transgender minors. For the record, puberty blockers and other therapies are the medically accepted treatments for transgender teens. Surgery is not recommended.
Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey has vetoed a bill that he called “overly broad and vague.” It would have prohibited all discussion in sex education classes about sexual orientation, gender identity, or even HIV-AIDS, unless parents were given advance notice allowing them to pull their children out of those classes.
And Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards decided to get ahead of the curve this week. He vowed that he would veto any “unnecessary” and “discriminatory” legislation that targets “fragile” transgender youth.
Finally, activists are fighting an anti-trans proposal in the Australian state of New South Wales by far-right lawmaker Mark Latham. It would essentially ban the recognition of transgender identity and gender diversity in schools. Latham claims that Parliament needs “to defend the family unit and the biological science of gender.”
Trans activist April Holcombe led more than a dozen outraged protesters who disrupted Latham’s parliamentary committee as it began considering his bill …
Some security force members had their hands on their holstered pistols, according to at least one report. The protesters offered no resistance as they were forcibly escorted out of Parliament House.
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