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This Way Out Radio Episode #1736 July 5th, 2021: “Grimm’s Win, Biden’s Pulse, Latifah’s Crown!”


This Way Out Radio · Grimm’s Win, Biden’s Pulse, Latifah’s Crown!

Trans former high school student Gavin Grimm claims victory in his seven-year bathroom battle when the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review lower court rulings in his favor!

U.S. President Joe Biden signs a bill making the site of Orlando, Florida’s Pulse Nightclub massacre a national memorial as Pride returns to the White House!

BET Awards Lifetime Achievement honoree Queen Latifah accepts with a proud shout-out to her partner, and Lil Nas X highlights the ceremony with a lip-locking “Call Me By Your Name” performance!

Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez becomes the first trans contestant in the Miss USA Pageant, bringing inspiration to queer youth!

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, with assistance from trans teen activist Ryland Whittington, announces the addition of five more states with anti-queer laws to a “no official travel” list!

And in NewsWrap: Honduras held accountable for trans woman’s murder, Malawi’s first Pride marches for equality, British Methodists okay marriage and nix conversion, Hungary’s Orban blasts EU’s pro-LGBTQ “colonialists,” France offers fertility aid to lesbian couples and single women, and more international LGBTQ news!

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of July 5, 2021


Grimm’s Win, Biden’s Pulse, Latifah’s Crown!

Program #1,736 distributed 07/05/21

Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle

NewsWrap (full transcript below): The Inter-American Court of Human Rights rules that the brutal murder in Honduras of transgender woman Vicky Hernandez during the 2009 coup amounted to state-sanctioned execution, and ordered the Central American nation to part reparations to her family and get its LGBTQ rights act together … the U.S. Supreme Court hands equality advocates two victories by refusing to hear challenges to lower court rulings that trans students should be allowed to use campus bathrooms that match their gender identity, and that a devout Christian florist was guilty of state-prohibited bias by refusing to sell flowers to a longtime gay customer for his wedding ceremony … about 50 brave activists march with Pride for the first time in the southeast African nation of MalawiBritain’s Methodist Church becomes the largest Christian denomination in the U.K. to bless the marriages of same-gender couples … Hungary’s Viktor Orban intractably defends the recently-passed “no homo promo” law from E.U. criticism … Czech President Milos Zeman finds transgender people “disgusting” … French lawmakers open government-funded assisted fertility services to lesbian couples and single women … and a ban on so-called “conversion therapy,” which sailed through Canada’s lower chamber of parliament, stalls in the Senate ahead of the summer legislative recess, and has an uncertain future (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by TANYA KANE-PARRY and MARCOS NAJERA, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).

Feature: Crowned Miss Nevada on June 27th, Kataluna Enriquez becomes the first transgender Miss U.S.A. Pageant contestant; she’ll try to blaze more trails in November (with inspiring comments by the trailblazer and intro music from the West Side Story movie soundtrack).

Feature:  Transgender former high school student Gavin Grimm is finally able to claim victory. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to rulings in support of his bathroom rights, so his lower court wins will stand (with comments by the now 22-year-old activist and intro/outro music by JOHN FARNHAM).

Feature: California Attorney General Rob Bonta announces the addition of five more U.S. states to the existing “dirty dozen” that have enacted anti-queer laws (this report by Pacifica Radio’s MARK MERICLE also includes comments by young trans advocate Ryland Whittington; with intro music by HALL & OATES and brief outro music by THE BEATLES).

Feature:  The U.S. Congress voted to make Orlando, Florida’s Pulse Nightclub a national memorial on June 12th, five years after a gunman slaughtered 49 people at the queer venue. U.S. President Joe Biden signed that bill on June 25th (with intro music by ELI LIEB and BRANDON SKEIE, and outro music by MELISSA ETHERIDGE).

Feature: Lil Nas X electrified the red carpet at the BET Awards in LOS ANGELES on June 27th, and turned heads again sharing a lip-lock with a male dancer while performing Call Me By Your Name. But all hailed Queen Latifah when the actress/super-star accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award – with a shout-out to her long-time partner choreographer Eboni Nichols and their son Rebel (with intro/outro music from LIL NAS X’s live performance).

NewsWrap

A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending July 3, 2021
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Marcos Najera, produced by Brian DeShazor


The government of Honduras is being called to account for the brutal murder of trans woman Vicky Hernández.  Hernández was a victim of the anti-queer killings following the June 2009 coup that ousted the democratically elected president.  The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled this week that the 26-year-old’s death was essentially a government-sanctioned execution. Honduras is now ordered to keep track of anti-queer violence and provide diversity training to security forces.  The Central American country must enact laws to protect LGBTQ people from violence, and to allow trans people to officially change their gender identity.  The court also ordered the Honduran government to pay $30,000 in reparations to the Hernández family, and to create a scholarship in Vicky’s name.

Vicky’s mother Rosa Hernández has led the fight for justice for her daughter.  She told the New York Times, “It’s so significant that there will always be this memory of her. … [LGBTQ people] are human.  Why discriminate against them?”

Fourteen trans women and 16 gay men are known to have been murdered during the coup, according to advocacy groups. There were probably many more.  Activists vow to keep the heat on the Honduran government to follow through on the directives from the region’s highest court.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to consider two cases as its current session closes handed victories to equality advocates this week.

Justices declined to hear a Virginia school district’s appeal to challenge lower court rulings ordering them to allow trans students to use gender appropriate campus bathrooms. You’ll hear from victorious plaintiff Gavin Grimm later on This Way Out.

The Supreme Court also rejected a florist’s appeal. Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Washington refused to provide services for the wedding of a gay male couple because of her religious beliefs. Lower courts had ruled that Stutzman violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws by refusing her longtime customer’s order. Justices let those rulings stand.

It takes four of the nine Justices to hear an appeal.  Rightwing Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito predictably joined the less-predicable Justice Neil Gorsuch in voting to hear the case.

Bridegroom Robert Ingersoll celebrated the high court’s refusal to hear the appeal.  He said that he hopes his hard-won flower power “sends a message to other LGBTQ people that no one should have to experience the hurt that we did.”

However, it should be noted that by refusing to hear the florist case, Justices dodged the thorny issue of queer human rights versus so-called “religious liberty.”  The Court similarly punted three years ago when it ruled in favor of a conservative Christian who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. That decision rested on the narrow grounds that the state’s Civil Rights Commission had discriminated against Colorado’s Masterpiece Cake Shop owner Jack Phillips because of his religious beliefs.  Phillips lost another case in mid-June. The Denver District Court said that he violated state law by refusing to make a cake for plaintiff Autumn Scardina to celebrate her gender transition.

About 50 courageous LGBTQ people and allies took to the streets of Lilongwe on June 26th to celebrate the first-ever Pride parade in the capital of Malawi.  Many augmented their pandemic facemasks to conceal their identities.  Nyasa Rainbow Alliance leader Eric Sambisa told reporters that he did not blame participants in the parade organized by his group for covering their faces. “[T]hey are targeted for violence all the time,” he said.

Rainbow flags flourished, dance music blared from a pick-up truck, and placards held on high included messages like “We Are Also Human Beings,” “Diversity Creates Community” and “We Are Also an Image of God.”

Marchers presented a petition demanding anti-discrimination protections, marriage equality, and full access to health care.  Principal Administrative Officer for the Lilongwe City Council Hudson Kuphanga received the petition and assured the marchers that it would be sent to the Office of the President and Cabinet, according to Malawi24.com.

Consensual adult gay sex in the southeast African nation is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Lesbians can be sentenced to up to five years.  Social stigma also keeps most queers in the closet.  Anti-LGBTQ verbal and physical assaults are common.

A judge in Malawi made headlines in 2010 when he sentenced a gay couple to the maximum 14 years in prison for holding an engagement party.  They were ultimately freed after intense global pressure.  However, the government continues foot-dragging on reforms to protect LGBTQ people that have been ordered by the United Nations.

Britain’s Methodist Church has become the largest religious denomination in the country to bless same-gender weddings.  The tally at their annual Conference this week was overwhelming: 254 in favor, and 46 against.  The vote changes the Church’s definition of marriage from the union of “one man and one woman” to “a life-long union in mind, body and spirit of two people who freely enter into it.”

Actually the resulting Standing Order allows for two views of marriage: one that it is between a man and a woman, and one that it can be between any two consenting adults.  Methodist ministers who oppose conducting weddings for same-gender couples can opt out under freedom of conscience provisions.

Almost every delegate’s hand went up to approve a measure that labeled “conversion therapy” “contrary to Methodist values” on the last day of the Conference, according to Pink News. All members of the Church are called on “to refuse to offer or participate in offering” any form of so-called therapy that claims to make queer people straight.

The Conference closed on July 1st.

The Methodist Church is the fourth largest Christian denomination in the U.K. The smaller Scottish Episcopal and United Reformed Churches and the Quakers already bless same-gender unions.

In the U.S., the issue is forcing the United Methodist Church to split into two denominations: congregations in support of marriage equality and congregations opposed.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán remains intractable in his defense of a recently enacted “no promo homo” law. He told Hungarian public radio this week that European Union leaders who assailed him at their Brussels Conference last week had “behaved like colonialists.” Orbán charges that they “want to dictate what laws should take effect in another country.” The law in question bans the “display or promotion” of homosexuality or gender reassignment in schools or on television.

The heads of 17 of the 27-member E.U. had signed an open letter condemning Hungary for the law.  Czech President Milos Zeman was not one of them. He seems to agree with Orbán that the condemnation amounted to meddling in a country’s internal affairs.  Zeman said during a television interview this week, “I see no reason to disagree with him because I am completely annoyed by the suffragettes, the Me Too movement and Prague Pride.”  Compounding his ignorance, Zeman continued, “If someone undergoes a sex-change operation, he commits a crime of self-harm. I can understand gays, lesbians, and so on … but … these transgender people are really disgusting to me.”

France’s National Assembly approved a measure this week that opens medically assisted reproductive services to lesbian couples and single women.  Passage in that lower house of parliament was a lopsided 326 in favor and 115 opposed. The conservative majority in the French Senate repeatedly rejected the proposal, according to the Associated Press. However the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron holds a majority in the National Assembly. Their word is final.

Previously, government-funded fertility services were only available to infertile heterosexual couples.  Activist groups have lobbied for the expansion since France ushered in marriage equality in 2013.

Finally, Canada’s effort to ban conversion therapy needs prayer. A ban measure easily cleared the House of Commons last week. However amidst a last-minute flurry of bills, Reuters reports that it did not come up for a vote in the Senate this week ahead of the summer recess.

It could be considered when the Senate reconvenes in September, but two unnamed sources told Reuters that Liberal Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considering a snap election to ride the wave of post-COVID euphoria.  If an election is called before September, all unfinished business will die, including the conversion therapy ban.

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