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This Way Out Radio Episode #1753: Cavallo Kicks Closet & Schooling Sex Ed!

Updated: Nov 5, 2021


Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo becomes the first active Australian A-League soccer player to tell the world that he’s gay — and he’s okay!

The lack of LGBTQ information included in sex education courses is a serious problem from the perspective of OutCasting Overtime youth participant Justin (produced by Marc Sophos).

Ten years ago this month: Michigan’s now-Governor Gretchen Whitmer took the lead in the state Senate against an anti-bullying bill that would have given school staff and students a “religious bias” exemption.

And in NewsWrap: the Delhi High Court sets a final hearing for consolidated marriage equality cases, Italy’s Senate nixes a Vatican-vexing hate crimes bill, Poland’s parliament considers criminalizing Pride events, Ghana’s debate over an anti-LGBTQ bill makes its president plea for civility, New Zealand’s 2023 census will count LGBTQI people for the first time, an intersex veteran wins an “X” gender-marker U.S. passport, former U.S. President Barack Obama mocks right-wing Republicans’ marriage equality threats, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Marcos Najera and Elena Botkin-Levy (produced by Brian DeShazor).

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Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of November 1, 2021


Cavallo Kicks Closet & Schooling Sex Ed!

Program #1,753 distributed 11/01/21




Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle

NewsWrap (full transcript below): India’s Delhi High Court schedules a final hearing on several consolidated marriage equality cases for November 30th … the Italian Senate bows to Vatican and right-wing pressure to rejects a queer-inclusive hate crimes bill that had already passed in the lower house … homophobic Polish lawmakers risk further “poking the E.U. bear” by considering a bill to essentially ban all public expressions of queer identity …  Ghana’s president calls for “civility” in trying to calm inflammatory debate over a draconian bill to increase penalties for queer sex and criminalize trans healthcare and LGBTQ advocacy … the 2023 New Zealand Census will count LGBTQI people for the first time …  the U.S. State Department issues its first passport with an “X” gender designation … former President Barack Obama tries to lighten the mood over disturbing calls by Republicans in Texas and Virginia to flaunt the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality ruling (with additional remarks from NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers) (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by MARCOS NAJERA and ELENA BOTKIN-LEVY, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR)

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Feature: Covering sex-related issues in the classroom has always been mired in complications. The current controversy about the inclusion of Toni Morrison’s classic novel Beloved in U.S. high school courses is the latest example. The exclusion of LGBTQ-relevant information in sex education classes is the subject for study by JUSTIN and the OutCasting Overtime team (produced by MARC SOPHOS, and with TWO-added intro/outro music by JEWEL AKENS).

Feature: There’s nothing new under the rule of Republican-controlled U.S. states when it comes to targeting queer kids for persecution. In the 2020s, transgender youth have been special victims of opportunity amid the onslaught of voter suppression, anti-choice and other extreme conservative state legislation. The political landscape was similar ten years ago this month, when an anti-bullying bill in Michigan turned into a cynical attack on LGBTQ students. Today’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer was a Democratic state Senator back in November 2011, as much of an opponent of right-wing bigotry as she is now. Current TV’s DAVID SHUSTER reported on her battle against the bullies (with intro/outro music by MICHAEL JACKSON).

Feature: Australian footballer Josh Cavallo couldn’t last another day without coming out of the closet. The Adelaide United midfielder is the first active A-League player to make the leap. His moving video message is worth hearing (with intro/outro music by STYX).

NewsWrap

A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending October 30, 2021
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, reported this week by Marcos Najera and Elena Botkin-Levy, produced by Brian DeShazor

In India, the Delhi High Court is set to hear arguments on marriage equality. The Court consolidated multiple lawsuits targeting laws that regulate secular marriages, religious marriages, and marriages legally performed abroad. The combined cases will get a final hearing on November 30th.

Plaintiffs include an Indian citizen who lives with her spouse in Paris, France. They met in New York City in 2001 and married there in 2012. Another petition was filed by a bi-national gay male couple: an Indian citizen, and a U.S. citizen who’s pursuing his Ph.D. at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The Supreme Court of India unanimously decriminalized same-gender sex in 2018. However, the government continues to claim that civil marriage must be limited to one biological male and one biological female. Some plaintiff couples in the consolidated cases are basing their arguments on that dichotomy.

Rulings from India’s regional jurisdictions like the Delhi High Court generally apply nationally — unless another high court decides differently.

A proposed hate crimes law now lies dead in the Italian Senate. Legislation to protect people from violence based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability was approved last year in the lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies. However, on October 27th, the Senate voted 154-to-131 to end the debate. That shelves the bill for at least six months.

Alarms had been raised by the Vatican that passage of the bill would restrict the Roman Catholic Church’s religious freedoms. Matteo Salvini of the far-right League Party warned that such a law would jail “those who think a mom is a mom and a dad is a dad.” Other opponents claimed that the measure would lead to the teaching of “homosexual propaganda” in Italy’s public schools.

Italian LGBTQ advocacy groups receive hundreds of anti-queer hate crime reports annually. Many go unpunished. For 25 years there have been efforts to criminalize acts of homophobia and transphobia. All have failed.

The current bill is named for the lawmaker and queer activist Alessandro Zan, who proposed it. Supporters of the Zan Bill expressed doubts that it could be reconsidered before this sitting of parliament ends in early 2023.

The Polish government continues to flaunt its homophobia in the face of growing threats of sanctions from the European Union. Now a parliamentary committee is considering a bill that would outlaw LGBTQ Pride marches and other public events that “promote” queer relationships.

Poland’s clash with the E.U. began when dozens of local municipalities and regional governments declared their areas to be “LGBT-Free Zones.” They had at least tacit approval from the country’s ruling Law and Justice Party.

The new “Stop LGBT” bill proposed on October 29th would essentially make the entire country an “LGBT-Free Zone.”

Polish citizens can submit legislative proposals to parliament if they get the signatures of at least 100,000 eligible voters. According to the Associated Press, 140,000 signatures were gathered for the “Stop LGBT” proposal by the Life and Family Foundation. The same group lobbied successfully for a recent restriction on abortion rights.

What’s not clear is whether anti-queer President Andrjez Duda really wants to continue “poking the E.U. bear” by enacting the measure.

In another of the world’s homophobic hot spots, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo is calling for civility in the debate around a draconian bill that would virtually outlaw queer identity.

Same-gender sex is already a crime, punishable by up to three years in prison. The “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021” would further criminalize anal intercourse. It would go on to outlaw transgender healthcare, LGBTQ advocacy, and even sex toys.

The first reading of the bill took place in August, but it’s not clear when actual debate will begin. Akufo-Addo has promised never to allow marriage equality in the West African nation while he’s president. His call for calm may simply be an effort to delay debate until the boiling temperatures can be lowered to simmer.

Drastic actions have been threatened by both sides. One supporter of the bill threatened to storm parliament with thousands of followers if the bill does not pass. A high-profile LGBTQ advocate countered that she’d parade naked into parliament if it does pass.

Human rights groups have condemned the bill. United Nations human rights experts call it a “recipe for violence,” according to Pink News.

The 2023 New Zealand census will count LGBTQ Kiwis for the first time.

The survey will ask individuals about their sexual orientation and gender identity, their sex assigned at birth, and intersex status. All of the data will especially help quantify the number of trans and intersex people living in Aotearoa, the indigenous name for New Zealand.

Advocacy groups are generally applauding the announcement because failure to count LGBTQ populations in the census results in insufficient funding for those communities.

There are concerns, however, about the accuracy of the tally. Tabby Besley of the activist group InsideOUT worries that young people in particular may not be able to safely come out to a parent or guardian who is completing the survey.

Statistics New Zealand Social and Population Insights manager Jason Attewell noted that sexual orientation and intersex status questions would only be asked about people in the household aged 15 or older. He stressed that “all kinds of options” would be available for people to describe their identities, and added, “The rainbow community is an incredibly diverse community, and there’s lots of groups within that.”

The U.S. State Department issued its first passport with an “X” gender marker this week. Proudly out spokesperson Ned Price said the landmark moment continues “the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.”

Intersex Navy veteran Dana Zzyym got the first “X”-designated passport. Non-binary Zzyym filed a lawsuit in 2015 challenging the State Department’s refusal to issue a passport with the “X” gender marker.

Jessica Stern used to lead the global queer advocacy group Outright Action International. She’s now U.S. President Biden’s special envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ rights abroad. Stern told the Washington Blade that the State Department will offer the “X” gender marker option to routine passport applicants beginning in early 2022.

Finally, if you thought the issue of marriage equality had long been settled in the U.S., think again.

Texas Republican lawmaker James White believes he can trump the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling. White wrote to Attorney General Ken Paxton in late October to point out that the state’s exclusively heterosexual civil marriage law is still on the books. He argued that the high court had no power to overrule Texas law, and asked rabidly anti-queer Paxton to confirm that private citizens in Texas are not required to recognize “homosexual marriages.”

Meanwhile, Trump-backed Republican candidate for Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin confirmed his opposition to marriage equality during a recent interview with the Associated Press. Then the evangelical Christian ambiguously claimed, “I, as governor, will support [the federal law].” Youngkin’s Democratic opponent is former governor Terry McAuliffe, who called Youngkin “the most homophobic, anti-choice candidate in Virginia history.”

Former President Barack Obama tried to lighten the mood at a McAuliffe campaign stop on October 23rd. NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers identified yet another career path the former president might explore:

{“Hail to the Chief” with comedy drumbeat tag}

[OBAMA:] “Look, I know a lot of people are tired of politics right now. I mean, I understand why people just feel kind of like oh, when’s … when’s this gonna end? And sometimes politics in Washington feels that way, right? It’s like, oh, are we still arguing about gay marriage? Really? I thought that ship had sailed. I-I-I-I-I thought that was pretty clearly the right thing to do. I-I-I-I thought … we’ve got … we’ve got Republicans across the country who said, “Yeah, of course.” We’re gonna reopen that can of … What?”

[MEYERS:] “I love when “Stand up Obama” comes back. Someone get that man a brick wall and a cordless mic. He must be working on material for his new Netflix special “Barack: Oh No You Didn’t!”

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