Hear what went on in the background of Tammy Faye Bakker’s historic interview with gay Christian minister and AIDS activist Steve Pieters — a significant plot point in the newly-released movie, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (interviewed by Lucia Chappelle, part 1 of 2).
And in NewsWrap: marriage equality is proposed in Cuba’s new Family Code, COVID benches Hong Kong’s Gay Games and Taiwan Pride, the U.K. appeals court overturns a trans youth treatment ban, out NFL player Nassib forces a fateful fumble in his first game, Lil Nas X thanks “the gay agenda” for his MTV Video of the Year Award, RuPaul’s Emmy win bugs a gay Australian entomologist, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Sarah Montague and Wenzel Jones (produced by Brian DeShazor).
All this and more on the September 20, 2021 edition of This Way Out!
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Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of September 20, 2021
Eye to Eye with Tammy Faye!
Program #1,747 distributed 09/20/21
Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Cuba’s Justice Minister announces a marriage equality-inclusive new Family Code … Curacao’s high court rules that, short of an equivalent alternative,denying civil marriage to a lesbian couple is unconstitutional … COVID-19 delays the Hong Kong Gay Games for at least a year, and moves Taiwan’s annual Pride from an on-the-streets to virtual celebration … after two years, police finally arrest four suspects in the shot-in-the-head murder of award-winning Northern Irish lesbian journalist Lyra McKee … the U.K. Court of Appeal overturns a High Court ruling forbidding medical professionals from prescribing gender-affirming puberty blockers to under-16-year-old transgender youth because they’re too immature to provide informed consent … Rev. Megan Rohrer becomes the first trans person to be elected Bishop in the 3.3-million- member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America … the National Football League’s Washington Football Club hosts its first Pride Night … the NFL’s first out player, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, makes a game-changing play in his first regular season game … Lil Nas X thanks “the gay agenda” in accepting this years MTV Video of the Year Award … RuPaul wins his record 10th Emmy and inspires a gay Australian entomologist (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, and reported this week by SARAH MONTAGUE and WENZEL JONES, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: Is our introductory audio clip real, or is it from a newly released major motion picture? The Eyes Of Tammy Faye paints an insightful portrait of Tammy Faye and her husband Jim Bakker, the infamous televangelists whose outlandish antics made them headliners in the 70s and 80s. Jim’s fiscal malfeasance ultimately brought them down, but Tammy Faye became known for bucking the evangelical culture of their times. She did that in a groundbreaking interview with Steve Pieters, a gay Christian minister with AIDS. This Way Out’s LUCIA CHAPPELLE and Steve are long-time friends, and they got together to relive the event that’s now a significant plot point in the movie (with audio clips; a :53 combo voices INSIDE This Way Out newsletter promo at about 8:15 into this segment, and brief instrumental music by THE GUESS WHO).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending September 18, 2021 Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, reported this week by Sarah Montague and Wenzel Jones, produced by Brian DeShazor
Cuba would finally open civil marriage to queer couples under its revised Family Code. A draft was released by the Justice Ministry this week. Tremenda Nota reports that the proposed Article 61 defines marriage as “a union of two people with legal aptitude who voluntarily agreed to enter into it in order to build a life together based on affection and love.” The draft must first be approved by the National Assembly — probably in December, according to the Associated Press. If it passes there, the proposed new Family Code will go before the voters in a grassroots plebiscite. The changes in the Family Code also include adoption rights for same-gender couples. Yamila González Ferrer is vice president of Cuba’s National Union of Jurists of Cuba. In her words, the draft “protects all expressions of family diversity and the right of each person to establish a family in coherence with the constitutional principles of plurality, inclusion, and human dignity.” Evangelical Christian groups prevented a marriage equality provision from being added to the new Constitution Cuban voters approved in February 2019. They’re expected to oppose the new proposal as well.
Curaçao’s Court of First Instance ruled this week that preventing same-gender couples from legally marrying is a violation of Article 3 of the Constitution. This according to the Northeast Caribbean’s Daily Herald newspaper. However, the Court may have opened the door to a less-than-equality option. The rulings says, “There is no justification to deny same-sex couples the right to get married, certainly as long as there is no comparable legal system such as a registered partnership.” The case was filed by the Human Rights Caribbean Foundation and a lesbian couple in a 10-year relationship. They challenged Civil Code provisions that only allow heterosexual couples to legally wed. Curaçao is located about 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, and is officially a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 2001 the Netherlands itself was the first country on the planet to open civil marriage to same-gender couples.
COVID-19 has forced the postponement of the 2022 Gay Games in Hong Kong. Organizers announced on September 15th that the pandemic requires at least a one-year delay. Their statement said in part that, “This decision has been made primarily due to the unpredictable progression of COVID variants and the corresponding travel restrictions that continue to make it challenging for participants from around the world to make plans to travel to Hong Kong.” COVID has also forced Taiwan’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade in Taipei to go virtual for the first time. More than 130,000 people celebrated last year when the contagion was more controlled. But as Taiwan News reports, “as the nation is currently struggling to curb the spread of the Delta variant, organizers have decided it would be impossible to meet epidemic-prevention standards this year.” The Taiwan Rainbow Civil Action Association promises to build an interactive website to provide an immersive “online parade” experience in place of its annual event. Discussions of queer issues, celebrity shows and chats, and a 100-vendor online market peddling Pride-related merchandise will be included.
Suspects have finally been arrested for the April, 2019 murder of Irish lesbian journalist Lyra McKee. She was reporting on riots in the Northern Ireland city of Derry when she was shot in the head. The Police Service of Northern Ireland announced on September 15th that four men had been detained under provisions of the Terrorism Act following a two-year investigation. The BBC reports that they’re all now behind bars in Belfast. They range in age from 19 to 33. The well-loved reporter had been named one of Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30 in media” for her impassioned dedication to investigative journalism. At 29, McKee had just announced plans to marry her longtime domestic partner Sara Canning.
The U.K. Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court ruling that banned trans youth from being prescribed puberty blockers. The original decision found that people under 16 were not mature enough to give informed consent for the drugs to aid their gender transition. That’s what the now 24-year-old plaintiff in the case had claimed. Keira Bell began taking puberty blockers when she was 16, but later de-transitioned. On September 17th, the Court of Appeal decided that the High Court judges were treating all under-16-year-olds the same, and that informed consent does not just come on a trans person’s 16th birthday. The London-based Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust is the primary provider of gender-affirming care for young people in the U.K. They had been forced to stop providing those services after the High Court ruling, so it was no surprise that a statement from them praised the Court of Appeal reversal. Keira Bell may not let the issue die, however. The Guardian reports that the plaintiff intends to appeal the ruling to the U.K. Supreme Court.
Reverend Megan Rohrer made history this week when they were installed as the first transgender Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ceremony was held at San Francisco’s fabled Grace Cathedral, where they once served as a pastor. They were elected in May, and will oversee almost 200 congregations in the Sierra Pacific Synod of northern California and northern Nevada during their six-year term. Rohrer is married and lives in the Bay Area with their wife and two children. They told Cosmopolitan magazine in 2018 that homophobia and trans-phobia are based on feelings, not logic. Their advice: “The way to respond to that is by being our best self and by being louder than other people’s fear.” With more than 3.3 million members, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is one of the country’s largest Christian denominations.
The National Football League’s Washington Football Team also made a bit of history this week by hosting its first Pride Night. In addition to special sections at FedEx Field for Pride Night attendees to watch the September 16th game together, the team threw a pre-game party offering beer, wine and food to Pride Night fans. It was a nail-biter, with the as yet not “offensive-epithet-free” renamed Washington Football Team defeating the New York Giants 30-to-29. Meanwhile, the NFL’s first openly gay professional football player made an auspicious debut in his first regular season game. Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib forced a fumble in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens that opened the door for the Raiders offense. Here’s the call on “ESPN’s Monday Night Football: [sound:] “Third and seven. Jackson’s trying to get out — can’t do it! He’s taken down, and it’s out! And the Raiders have recovered it! Carl Nassib had the hit on Jackson, who is down. Only now is Lamar picking himself up. Darius Philon fell on the football. Nassib poked it free, and the Raiders are back in business!” The Raiders went on to win the game 30-to-27.
[a few seconds of his “Call Me By Your Name” live performance
at the MTV Video Awards, fades out under:)
Lil Nas X added a “Video of the Year” trophy to his growing collection at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 12th. He was not bashful about who to thank: [Lil Nas X:] “Let’s gooooo! Wow! Oh my god! Okay first … first I want to say … I want to say thank you to the gay agenda. Let’s go gay agenda! … Thank you to every single person on my team … I love you guys so much. I will not take this for granted.”
Finally, drag diva RuPaul made his own history at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 12th with his sixth “Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program” Emmy. RuPaul’s Drag Race also won for “Outstanding Competition Program.” His total of 10 trophies to date ties him with cinematographer Donald A. Morgan for the most Emmy wins by a person of color in the Television Academy’s history. Executive Producer RuPaul’s thank you speech echoed a theme that’s been consistent over his fabled career: [RuPaul:] “A special thank you to the viewer, and a special note to the viewer. Kiddo, I know how you feel right now. Just know that you are loved. And don’t give up on love. Believe in love and the power of love, okay? Thank you so much. Thank you. I love it!”
And in late-breaking news, gay Australian entomologist Bryan Lessard has discovered a new species of soldier fly. Inspired by its resplendent rainbow colors, thorny belly and long legs, Lessard has named the species Opaluma RuPaul.
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