Out of the closet come gay U.S. football player Carl Nassib and trans Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama, carrying messages of hope for LGBTQ athletes and youth!.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken puts queer liberation in the context of global U.S. policy.
U.S. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff sends fatherly advice to the It Gets Better Project, as Vice President Kamala Harris meets with queer leaders.
In early 1969, a radio show for “homosexuals” bemoans the lack of pride in the community and forecasts an explosion of rage that would become the Stonewall Rebellion.
And in NewsWrap: E.U. leaders slam Hungary’s “no promo homo” law, banned Istanbul Pride marches into a violent police response, Canadian House passes conversion therapy ban, Anheuser-Busch Pride duplicity goes flat at the Stonewall Inn, and more international LGBTQ news!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of June 28, 2021
Nassib Comes Out & Blinken Speaks Up!
Program #1,735 distributed 06/28/21
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Seventeen European heads of state condemn the passage last week of Hungary’s “no promo homo in schools or on TV” laws … thousands defy increasingly oppressive homophobia in Poland by parading with Pride in Warsaw … organizers of a banned-again Pride march in Istanbul vow to find a way to celebrate anyway … Canada’s House of Commons overwhelmingly votes to ban “conversion therapy” … Norway’s government announces a move against the “cures” that don’t make queers straight … a gay Hong Kong widower re-wins a major housing and inheritance equality case … the Swiss government announces its official “yes” to an upcoming referendum to affirm parliament’s passage of marriage equality … the U.S. Veterans Administration announces that, in addition to mental health services and hormone therapy, covered healthcare for trans veterans will now include gender affirming surgery … Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards keeps his promise and vetos a “ban-the-trans-in-sports” bill … the World War II code-breaking hero and “father of the modern computer” becomes the first gay man to grace British currency as the Alan Turing 50-pound note enters circulation … but no amount of money will buy you a Bud Light, Stella Artois, or any other Anheuser-Busch product this Pride weekend at New York’s Stonewall Inn (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by JOHN DYER V and MELANIE KELLER, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR) + BULLETIN (reported by LUCIA CHAPPELLE): Peaceful Pride celebrants defying a government ban in Istanbul are attacked by riot police firing teargas and rubber bullets.
Feature: Queer National Football League fans and allies are cheering a winning move for LGBTQ rights by Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib this week. Nassib opened his closet door in a video message on Instagram, making him the first active NFL player to do so (with intro music by ZRAZY, and comments by Trevor Project CEO Amit Paley and Outsports’ Jim Buzinski).
Feature: As U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris was meeting with LGBTQ activists, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff put on his “parenting” hat to offer words of support to queer youth during the It Gets Better Project’s 2021 Digital Pride Experience (with intro/outro music from BROADWAY SINGS FOR THE TREVOR PROJECT)!
Feature: One of the people in the room where it happened when U.S. President Joe Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin was U.S. Secretary Of State Tony Blinken. Blinken has expanded on Biden’s post-summit statements, verifying that LGBTQ rights were specifically discussed. In his Pride Month message, Blinken put queer liberation in the context of global U.S. policy (with intro/outro music by OASIS).
Feature: In the late 1960s, Drama and Literature Director Baird Searles of Pacifica Radio station WBAI in New York went out on a broadcast limb. Along with Kermit Lamb and other pre-Stonewall activists, Searles hosted a weekly program to discuss homosexual life and politics. This excerpt from a January 1969 show paints a striking and prophetic picture of the rumblings that boiled over into a rebellion just six months later (with intro music by THE EARLS).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending June 26, 2021 Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, reported this week by John Dyer V and Melanie Keller, produced by Brian DeShazor
The heads of 17 European Union member states signed on to a letter this week demanding that Hungary immediately repeal its new “no promo homo” bill. The measure passed last week bans all discussion of sexual orientation and gender fluidity in schools. It also prohibits such material from television programs that minors could see – which essentially means any positive discussion of queer people on TV, period. The bill was pushed by increasingly autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Luxembourg’s out Prime Minister Xavier Bettel joined letter signatories German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, French President Emmanuel Macron and the other 13 government leaders. They addressed the heads of major E.U. institutions just ahead of the bloc’s two-day summit. It was reportedly an acrimonious gathering, with Orbán playing defense against withering criticism from a number of E.U. officials.
Luxembourg’s Bettel remarked that, “… we have a lot of young people who commit suicide because they don’t accept themselves [as] they are … being gay is not a choice, but being intolerant is a choice and I will stay intolerant to intolerance and this will be my fight today.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte even suggested that Hungary should leave the E.U. if it doesn’t agree with its core values.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called the Hungarian law “shameful.” She said the E.U.’s executive is considering legal action because it violates fundamental E.U. values.
The only member of the 27-nation bloc to support Hungary as a “defender of traditional Christian values” was Poland, whose dictatorial President Andrzej Duda and Hungary’s Orban appear to be in an unspoken race to the homophobic bottom.
Swimming near that bottom, Poland’s Education Minister condemned this week’s annual Warsaw LGBTQ Pride march as an “insult to public morality.” Przemyslaw Czarnek saw the colorful costumes and bedazzled drag queens and asked on a state-run news channel, “are they normal people in your opinion?”
Thousands of those “not normal” people marched through the capital on June 19th in defiant opposition to the rising tide of homophobia that has enveloped Poland under President Andrzej Duda. The Equality Parade kicked off at Warsaw’s Palace of Culture to the beat of dance music amidst a sea of waving rainbow flags. COVID-19 scuttled Warsaw’s in-person Pride events last year, so this year’s parade was especially boisterous.
In its early years the parade was cancelled twice by the mayor as an unacceptable “promotion” of homosexuality, but things do change. Current Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski led this year’s procession to the cheers of spectators in sidewalk cafés and on apartment balconies along the route.
However, President Duda has the support of a majority of lawmakers and the influential Roman Catholic Church. Almost a hundred local governments have condemned so-called “LGBT ideology” and declared themselves to be “LGBT-Free Zones.” And, as with Hungary, E.U. officials are increasingly critical of escalating homophobia in Poland.
Istanbul’s governor has banned the 19th annual LGBTI+ Pride march for the seventh consecutive year – again in the name of public security and good order. That’s “the same crap” this year, as organizers put it in a tweet. They added defiantly that on June 26th queer people “will find each other on the streets and celebrate our honor.” That appears to be what’s happening per their Twitter feed as we record this newscast.
The Turkish capital’s once-vibrant Pride Parade drew tens of thousands from around the region in what was the largest such gathering in the Muslim world. Celebrations have been at best muted since increasingly dictatorial President and former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan first took power in 2003.
Canada’s House of Commons handily passed a bill this week that outlaws “conversion therapy.” The vote was 263-to-63. The measure bans discredited methods to turn queer people straight for all minors and coerced adults. It criminalizes anyone profiting from or advertising the debunked practice.
The Senate’s approval is expected. Liberal Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the conversion therapy ban part of his campaign platform.
Meanwhile, the government of Norway announced this week that it would be introducing a bill to ban the practice. The Local reports that when the draft has been finalized, it will be submitted for a period of public consultation before its expected passage by parliament.
A gay widower in Hong Kong has won a second judicial verdict in the High Court. Henry Li Yik-ho had been denied the right to stay in the government-subsidized home he shared with his late spouse. Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming again rejected the Housing Authority’s policy as “oppressively unfair” over the government’s challenge to his original September ruling.
Li and Edgar Ng Hon-lam legally wed in London in 2017. Ng committed suicide in December 2020. Housing officials refused to treat Li the same as a heterosexual widow or widower, to whom ownership of mutually shared property would be automatically transferred.
The lawsuit demanding equal treatment of same-gender couples in the allocation of public housing was first filed in 2019. It also challenged laws that deny the inheritance of property and other proceeds to the surviving spouse of a legally wed same-gender couple.
Justice Chow declared both policies “unlawful and unconstitutional” violations of the equality provisions in the city’s mini-constitution or Basic Law, and in the Hong Kong Bill of Rights.
In related news, the Swiss government has officially announced its support for marriage equality in an upcoming referendum. Parliament passed the legislation, but opponents gathered enough signatures to force the issue to a public vote.
Polling consistently suggests that the September referendum will overwhelmingly endorse parliament’s passage of marriage equality.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced this week that the government would be offering gender confirmation surgery to transgender veterans through its health care coverage. Mental health services and hormone therapy are already available, but surgery has not been covered until now.
National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling applauded the move in a statement that read, “Every veteran deserves to have access to the health care they need, and the V.A. is working to make sure that includes transgender veterans as well.”
Meanwhile, Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards made good on his promise to the Republican-controlled state legislature. Proclaiming that, “As I have said repeatedly, discrimination is not a Louisiana value,” he emphatically vetoed a “ban the trans in sports” bill this week.
There are enough votes in the legislature to override Edwards’ veto, according to the Associated Press. However, the current session is over, and lawmakers would have to call a special session to take an override vote. That would be a first since the state constitution was adopted in 1974.
The first gay British bank note went into circulation this week. The Alan Turing 50-pound note features a portrait of the World War II code-breaking hero and “father of computer science and artificial intelligence.”
Turing was infamously prosecuted for private consensual adult gay sex in the early-1950’s. He chose a sentence of chemical castration over prison time, and committed suicide a few years later. He has since been offered a posthumous government apology and was royally pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II.
But finally, even a Turing 50-pound note won’t get you certain beers at New York’s world-famous Stonewall Inn. Current co-owners Stacy Lentz and Kurt Kelly are supporting the “Keep Your Pride” campaign this Pride weekend. The action targets 5 companies that advertise their support during Pride but contribute to anti-queer lawmakers. The National Institute on Money in Politics revealed that beer-maker Anheuser-Busch contributed more than $35,000 between 2015 and 2020 to 29 legislators described as anti-LGBTQ. Most of those recipients are anti-trans bill pushers. A company response defends its “clear role to play in bringing real change and creating an inclusive and equitable world where we cherish and celebrate one another.”
In Stonewall Inn co-owner Lentz’s words, “You can’t turn your logo rainbow on social media, call yourself an ally, and then turn around and make donations that fuel hate.” Queer favorites of the St. Louis-based beverage conglomerate include Budweiser and Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois. Lentz said, “As a business owner, it’s never easy to stop selling a product that affects your bottom line — especially during the busiest weekend of the year. But I’m an activist above all else and we at The Stonewall Inn know we bear a unique responsibility to call out hypocrisy when we see it. Anheuser-Busch and other companies must do better.”
======= “This Just In …” (reported by LUCIA CHAPPELLE) =======
Here’s a late-breaking update from Istanbul: Activists made good on their promise to take their Pride to the streets despite a government ban on their parade. Playing cat-and-mouse with riot police in small groups on side streets in the shopping district, 2-300 demonstrators chanted and clogged intersections. Rainbow flags were unfurled from windows overhead. The crowds were ultimately dispersed with rubber bullets and tear gas. Many people were beaten and twenty were arrested, including an Agence France Presse photojournalist.
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