Democratic hopefuls debate for the Party’s U.S. presidential nomination, and “Mayor Pete” holds his own!
Country music star Ty Herndon came out … and now his first big hit is out, too!
YouTube’s singing satirist Randy Rainbow roasts A Very Stable Genius!
Anti-trans hate crime stats shock the U.K., black civil rights lawyer to head HRC, Pride celebrated in Kyiv, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv and Paris, Trump still dishonors the rainbow flag, and more international LGBTQ news.
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of June 24, 2019
Dems Debate & Musical Updates!
Program #1,631 distributed 07/01/19
Produced and Hosted this week by Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): The BCC reviews alarming statistics revealing an 81% spike in hate crimes against transgender people in England, Scotland, and Wales in the past 12 months the world headquarters of the leading global LGBTQ rights group ILGA in Geneva is vandalized for the second time in three months, according to a report by Gay Star News African-American civil rights lawyer Alphonso David becomes the first gay man of color to lead the leading queer advocacy group in the U.S., the Human Rights Campaign [with audio from his introductory video posted by the HRC] Kyiv celebrates its biggest LGBTQ Pride ever Sao Paulo’s always-colorful procession is tempered by worries over Brazil’s self-avowed “proud homophobe” President Jair Bolsonaro International Ambassador Neil Patrick Harris joins 250,000 of his closest friends in Tel Aviv at the Israeli beach city’s annual Pride parade, with hubby David Burtka in tow and Paris unveils a plague honoring rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker, U.S. political pioneer Harvey Milk gets a square, and dozens of other LGBTQ figures from different parts of the world are celebrated with similar designations across the City of Light email exchanges exposed this week show a skittish Trump administration ordering that the rainbow flag not be flown at the Stonewall National Monument because the flag pole was on federal land queer penguin couples (with the help of Stonewall and the London Zoo) are the focus of a LGBTQ Pride month “beachside” celebration – and most everyone has been able to “get over it” (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by LAURA DICKINSON-TURNER and ROB LECRONE, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).
Feature: U.S. Democrats and many others across the U.S. are challenged by more than 20 qualified candidates for the party’s presidential nomination, 20 of whom squared off for the first in a series of debates on June 26th and 27th. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg made history just by being there as the first legitimate openly gay or lesbian candidate for a major party’s nomination. We’ve selected some of the most compelling queer moments over the tow evenings (in addition to Buttigieg, also including comments by Julian Castro, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris, with music by MEN AT WORK, and a cameo by now-retired proudly pioneering U.S. Congressman BARNEY FRANK).
Feature: With bookends by Democratic debates Jay Inslee and Julian Castro, gay song parodist supreme Randy Rainbow roasts A Very Stable Genius.
Feature: U.S. Country superstar Ty Herndon “reimagines” his first big hit, What Mattered Most.
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending June 29, 2019 Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, reported this week by Laura Dickinson-Turner and Rob Lecrone, produced by Brian DeShazor
Hate crimes against transgender people in the UK have jumped an alarming 81 percent during the last fiscal year. There were 1,944 hate crimes in England, Scotland, and Wales in the 2017-18 year – up from 1,073 similar crimes in 2016-17.
The BBC quoted statistics it obtained from police precincts. Thirty-four of the 36 precincts that provided data for the review reported a spike in hate crimes against trans people. Only Suffolk and Merseyside Police reported a drop in those crimes. West and South Yorkshire Police each reported that anti-trans hate crimes in their areas have tripled during the past 3 years.
Laura Russell is with Stonewall, one of the UK’s leading queer advocacy groups. She told the BBC that the shocking statistics “are the real life consequences of a society where transphobia is everywhere – from the front pages of newspapers, to social media, and on our streets.” Debate in Parliament around updates to the Gender Recognition Act has also made trans issues part of an ongoing national discussion.
The government ordered a Law Commission review into hate crime protections in October. Russell commended the action, but added that Stonewall wants “to see the law reformed so that crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability are treated equally to those based on race and faith.”
Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke of the National Police Chiefs’ Council told the BBC that transphobic hate crimes too often go unreported. Cooke said, “We are working closely with trans groups to increase awareness and understanding of our staff, as well as to build confidence and trust in the police by the trans community.”
Hate crimes against transgender people have been on the rise around the world. Brazil tops the list with 167 killed in 2018. There were 71 trans murders in Mexico and 28 in the U.S.
For the second time in the past three months, vandals sprayed anti-queer and anti-Semitic messages outside the world headquarters of the LGBTQ rights group ILGA in Geneva. Gay Star News reported that the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association has filed a complaint over the offensive messages and property damage.
ILGA World Executive Director André du Plessis told Gay Star News that, “Sadly these types of incidents are all-too common in the world … LGBTI people everywhere face this – and much, much worse – on a daily basis.”
ILGA also noted that Switzerland may not be as queer-friendly as some think. One in two LGBTQ people under the age of 25 reported being subjected to at least one form of anti-queer violence in the past 6 months. Nearly nine in 10 transgender students said they’d been verbally abused, and more than half say they’ve been bullied in school. Switzerland has no hate crime laws protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. The government announced in December that it intended to add lesbians and gays to relevant sections of the penal code dealing with hate crimes – but transgender people would not be included. Even so, a petition to hold a referendum on including gay people was filed by opponents a few weeks later. Gay Star News reports that a public vote on the issue may be unavoidable.
African-American civil rights lawyer Alphonso David was named this week to succeed Chad Griffin as President of the Human Rights Campaign. David becomes the first person of color to lead the 40-year-old HRC, which is one of the leading U.S. advocacy groups.
Outgoing HRC President Griffin earned his “activist stripes” before and during the battle over Proposition 6 in California. Incoming President David helped enact marriage equality in New York as well as the state ban on so-called “conversion therapy”. David was also instrumental in crafting measures to protect transgender people from discrimination.
David was born in the U.S. but spent most of his youth in Liberia. His family moved to Baltimore, Maryland soon after a violent military coup toppled the government of the president, David’s uncle. David introduces himself in a nicely-produced video posted by the Human Rights Campaign:
[David:] “I told my father on the telephone that I was gay. And he got very, very angry, disowned me and said ‘I wish you were never born. I had to — at a very young age — understand the purpose of life, the value of democracy and really think about why am I here? What am I going to do? I became a civil rights lawyer defending LGBTQ people from discrimination.” David said he “could not be more proud” to take the helm of the Human Rights Campaign.
[David:] “I believe that together, all of us, we can harness the strength that’s inherent in our differences, to stand together in the face of fear and division … In unity, we will fight back. And we will win.”
It’s just past that time of year again: June, the traditional month of LGBTQ Pride – which is, of course, celebrated every day of the year. The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion was observed in lots of ways around the world. Here are some of the highlights and, alas, one lowlight, of the past month:
Ukrainian politicians and foreign diplomats marched in what’s been called their biggest Pride Parade ever in Kyiv on June 22nd. Banners displayed during the colorful procession along streets in the center of the nation’s capital city proclaimed, “Diversity is Beautiful,” “Human Rights Equals Happy Country,” and “No violence – yes rights!” A few hundred protesters on the sidelines of the “March For Equality” were kept at bay by helmeted police officers. Organizers said that the more than 8,000 people who participated this year by far topped last year’s crowd, estimated at 5,000.
Pride parades – or attempted parades – were met with violent attacks in the former Soviet country as recently as 2015.
Sao Paulo hosted what’s purported to be one of the world’s largest Pride parades on June 23rd. Organizers said they expected up to three million celebrants at the annual march through the center of one of Brazil’s major economic hubs. But many people this year said they were going not only to party during the traditionally festive Carnivale-like procession. They wanted to express their demands for liberty under the recently-installed President Jair Bolsonaro. Many in the queer community have felt threatened since the election of the far-right politician and self-avowed “proud homophobe.” 31-year-old participant Monique Barber said that, “I came to fight against homophobia and disrespect.”
An estimated 250,000 people took to the streets and beaches of Tel Aviv on June 14th in the annual celebration of Pride and sunshine. The Israeli city is considered to be one of the most queer-friendly places in the Middle East. The parade’s International Ambassador was global TV star Neil Patrick Harris, who waved gaily from a float with his husband David Burtka.
The city of Paris helped celebrate Pride on June 19th with the unveiling of a plaque honoring U.S. rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker. The plaque includes the famous six-striped symbol of Pride. Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other dignitaries attended. On the same day, the city renamed one of its public squares for martyred U.S. politician Harvey Milk, trans activist and poet Ovida Delect, and those who fought back at Stonewall. A nearby street now bears the name of gay activist Pierre Seel, who was deported in 1940. According to Gay Star News, more than 40 places around the city now bear the names of LGBTQ people. They include Irish gay activist Mark Ashton and bisexual U.S. feminist author Susan Sontag, longtime partner of the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. Paris officially marched with Pride on June 29th.
On the Pride downside, the petty presidency of Donald Trump has struck again. As previously reported, dozens of U.S. diplomats have thumbed their noses at a Trump administration directive ordering embassies not to fly the rainbow flag during Pride month. That had become customary during the Obama years. President Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and the area around it a National Monument in 2016. However email exchanges published through a Freedom Of Information request by E&E News this week describe how squeamish Trump officials were about flying the rainbow on the federally-maintained flag pole at the site. The rainbow colors were eventually raised on a pole maintained on adjacent property owned by the city of New York.
And finally, the London Zoo’s famous gay penguin couple Ronnie and Reggie have joined other queer penguin couples in their own Pride celebration. The pair made global headlines in 2015 when they adopted and raised an abandoned chick. Starting on July 5th they’ll be starring in Zoo Nights, a Pride-themed program that teaches zoo visitors over 18 about same-sex behavior among animals. Other queer penguin couples keeping company with Ronnie and Reggie at the zoo include Nadja and Zimmer and Dev and Martin. Brightly-colored signage erected in front of the gay and lesbian penguin couples’ beach habitat comes from the advocacy group Stonewall’s Pride-related anti-bullying campaign. It reads, “Some Penguins Are Gay. Get Over It!”
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