Gay astrologer/author Colin Bedell liberates love in the Queer Cosmos!
U.S. Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sides with Jesus against religious bias!
Lesbian albatrosses flip males the bird in a Rainbow Minute!
U.S. primary elections yield rainbow results, Lipa and Smith Mardi Gras in Sydney, Staten Island Irish banish their bi beauty queen, a Texas lesbian school teacher accepts $100,000 to settle her bias lawsuit, and more international LGBTQ news!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of March 9, 2020
Wisdom From Above!
Program #1,667 distributed 03/09/20
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Among several victorious queer
Feature: U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crushed the false
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending March 7, 2020 Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Michael LeBeau,produced by Brian DeShazor
The largest-ever field of LGBTQ candidates running in U.S. state primary elections on March 3rd generally did very well. Thirty-eight openly queer candidates were backed by the non-partisan Victory Fund, and at least 28 of them will move on to represent their political parties in the November general elections. Three races remain too close to call. Among the notable victories, Todd Gloria won his primary and is expected to become the first openly gay mayor of San Diego, California. Durham, North Carolina City Council member Vernetta Alston won the District 29 primary for state General Assembly.
“Out” Filipina-American Iraq War veteran Gina Ortiz won the Democratic primary in a Congressional district between El Paso and San Antonio. In November Ortiz could become the first queer lawmaker in Texas. She’s just part of what The Advocate calls the Lone Star State’s Democratic primary “Rainbow Wave”: four LGBTQ candidates beating incumbent state representatives, and five queer incumbents fending off primary challenges.
Oh – and what about notoriously homophobic Alabama judge and repeat Republican Senate wannabee Roy Moore? He lost badly in a field topped by another notorious Alabama homophobe — former Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Lesbian former mayor of Houston, Texas Annise Parker now leads The Victory Fund. She said, “We are rewriting the rules on electability, and embracing the fact that America is ready to elect LGBTQ candidates up and down the ballot.” Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz gave credit to former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. Abramowitz told the Reuters news agency that Buttigieg’s presidential campaign “inspired more LGBTQ people to run for office,” and added that, “There’s a greater acceptance of the LGBT community among the public, and a willingness to vote for LGBTQ candidates in many parts of the country.”
It may also be significant that one in ten voters identified as LGBTQ, according to an NBC News exit poll conducted in 12 of the 14 states that voted in the so-called “Super Tuesday” primaries. A third of those queer voters were under the age of 30, and 65 percent were under 45. Virtually half of them identified as “very liberal,” while 30 percent said they are “somewhat liberal.” Only four per cent called themselves “conservative.” According to the same poll, about 42 percent of queer Democrats said they cast their presidential primary votes for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Some 22 percent backed the other progressive candidate, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Warren ended her campaign on March 5th after disappointing “Super Tuesday” results.
That leaves former Vice President Joe Biden vying for the Democratic nomination against Sanders. Biden attracted less than 20 per cent of the queer vote in the primary, but the prospect of another four years of Donald Trump is expected to drive most LGBTQ voters to whichever Democrat opposes him in November.
An Aboriginal smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country by Graham Sims kicked off this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on February 29th. A crowd of about 200,000 people cheered parade leaders Dykes On Bikes and close to 200 floats during the annual evening festivities. Looming coronavirus fears may have contributed to a slightly smaller-than-usual turnout.
Not surprisingly, the loudest cheers were for members of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, who heroically battled this year’s horrendous bushfires. The usual number of local, state, and federal politicians were there to glad-hand potential voters. Dua Lipa and Sam Smith joined the march ahead of their headline performances at the massive dance party later that night.
As QNews.com.au noted, “in the true spirit of Mardi Gras,” the parade was not without political flare. The crowd seemed to enjoy a group in navy blue jumpsuits emblazoned with the words “Department of Homo Affairs”. However, three of them were arrested when they tried to block the Liberal Party float. The Liberal Prime Minister was mocked by several people prancing around in giant Scott Morrison masks — another entertaining but apparently unsanctioned parade contingent.
There were far more thumbs down than up for the ballyhooed free worldwide live coverage of the event. SBS was criticized for spending more screen time on celebrity and host chit-chat – and commercials – than the actual parade itself.
More than 130 filmmakers from around the world are boycotting an Israeli government-sponsored LGBT Film Festival in Tel Aviv. At least a hundred queer filmmakers are among the group refusing to submit films or otherwise participate in events that in the words of their pledge are “partially or fully sponsored by complicit Israeli institutions until Israel complies with international law and respects Palestinian rights.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the petition was organized by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. The group says they want to counter Israel’s effort to project “a progressive image while denying the rights of all Palestinians, queer and non queer alike.” Some critics perpetuate the idea that many of the people behind the boycott actually seek Israel’s destruction. Queer Palestinians are squeezed in the middle between Netanyahu’s policies and those of the Palestinian Authority.
Homosexual acts are illegal in the Gaza Strip but not in the West Bank. However Israeli authorities generally greet Palestinian LGBTQ people fleeing oppression with house arrest or deportation.
The 15th annual Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival is scheduled for June 4th through the 13th.
Miss Staten Island Madison L’Insalata was banned from her New York City borough’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade just hours after she came out as bisexual. Parade President Larry Cummings also banned a parade entry by the Pride Center of Staten Island for the tenth consecutive year. He calls it a “non-sexual-identification parade.”
Cummings claimed that banning Miss Staten Island was for her own “safety.” He then banned 17-year-old Miss Richmond County Outstanding Teen Victoria Montouri for vocally supporting L’Insalata. Miss Richmond County Gabrielle Ryan and Staten Island Outstanding Teen Angelica Mroczek announced that they would boycott the parade in response.
Cummings also gave the boot to two Staten Island high school marching bands because they wore rainbow heart stickers.
Staten Island has held a St. Patrick’s Day Parade for more than 50 years, typically attracting about 50,000 spectators. Just like the event in Manhattan, the Staten Island parade is organized by the Irish Catholic Ancient Order of Hibernians. However the much bigger march in Midtown finally allowed LGBTQ entries for the first time in 2015.
Miss Staten Island L’Insalata doesn’t regret coming out for one millisecond. She told the New York Post, “I said what I have to say – I still think that my message got across, and that’s most important.”
Finally, a Dallas-Forth Worth area Texas schoolteacher suspended for “promoting a homosexual agenda” has won a one-hundred-thousand-dollar settlement.
Art teacher Stacy Bailey was placed on administrative leave at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in August 2017. A parent had complained about Bailey discussing her future wife as part of a “get to know your teacher” presentation. Included were slides showing her fiancée Julie Vasquez, along with photos of friends, relatives and her dog.
Twice named Mansfield Independent School District Teacher of the Year, after the suspension Bailey was reassigned to Lake Ridge High School in 2018. She sued the district in May 2018 in federal court for discrimination based on sexual orientation. A judge ruled in October 2019 that the district had, indeed, violated Bailey’s constitutional rights.
In the out-of-court settlement, the district denied any wrongdoing and said Bailey was disciplined for the “age-inappropriate” presentation. A spokesperson said that it wanted to resolve the matter “to avoid the time, expense, stress and other impacts of continuing litigation.”
The settlement requires the district to conduct mandatory LGBTQ sensitivity training for human resources personnel and counselors, and to also offer it to interested staffers and parents; to have the school board vote for an anti-discrimination policy; to expunge the suspension from Bailey’s record; and to provide her with a “neutral” letter of recommendation.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last October in three related queer right-to-work cases. The legal arguments for the LGBTQ people at the center of those cases, however, center on existing federal civil rights laws, rather than the Constitution, to assert that they are protected from discrimination. The Mansfield Independent School District vote on an anti-bias provision will reportedly come after the high court issues its ruling in those cases, most likely in June of this year.
Bailey and Vasquez, who married in March 2018, say that they’ll donate $10,000 of the settlement to an as-yet unnamed LGBTQ nonprofit group. Their attorney, Jason C.N. Smith, told CNN that he’d donate $10,000 of his reduced legal fees to the Human Rights Campaign.
Bailey said at a press conference that, “If you are a school district who thinks you can bully and shame a gay teacher out of their job, I hope you remember my name, and I hope you think twice.”
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