A whole list of questions about Straight Pride events are raised by the young queers of OutCasting Overtime!
Once upon a time in the Oval Office, Bill Clinton’s political choices reveal insights into US politics today!
Victim Number One of the US ban on LGBT service members was discharged by George Washington himself in a Rainbow Minute!
Montenegro rejects same-gender couple rights, Warsaw court overrules anti-queer sticker, Justin Trudeau’s gay bar visit makes Canadian history, “Christian” Israel Folau files wrongful termination lawsuit against Rugby Australia, and more international LGBTQ news!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of August 5, 2019
Straight “Pride” & Clinton Flashback!
Program #1,636 distributed 08/05/19
Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Montenegro lawmakers reject a measure to legally recognize same-gender couples a court in Warsaw, Poland orders a popular rightwing magazine to stop distributing “LGBT-Free Zone” stickers Justin Trudeau apparently becomes the first Canadian head of government to visit a gay bar zealous “Christian” star player Israel Folau sues Rugby Australia for unlawful termination based on his religious beliefs for firing him for posting bible-quoting offensively homophobic comments on social media Australia denies entry to “death to gays” U.S. preacher Steven Anderson the Indianapolis, Indiana Roman Catholic Archdiocese fights unlawful termination lawsuits for firing two of its high school guidance counselors for marrying same-gender partners and extremist rightwing U.S. Tru-TV host Rick Wiles warns his viewers about “homosexual communist” news commentators and an imminent Rachel Maddow-led coup to violently remove Donald Trump from the presidency [also includes a quickie Trump cameo] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by ROB LECRONE and LAURA DICKINSON-TURNER, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).
Feature: It’s not unusual for a majority group to react badly when an oppressed minority begins to express its rights. Often the majority feels that they have to lose some rights for the minority to gain any. And maybe that’s true. As cities like Boston, Massachusetts and Modesto, California prepare for Straight Pride events, the OutCasting Overtime crew wants to explain something: the difference between asserting rights and maintaining privilege (featuring OutCasters Kaspar and Alex, produced by MARC SOPHOS).
Feature: The early 21st Century saw the fall of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but the story of queers being drummed out of the U.S. military started three centuries before that. This Rainbow Minute pays tribute to Victim Number One, Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin (produced by JUDD PROCTOR and BRIAN BURNS, read by WHITNEY VAUGHN).
Feature: The long arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but there’s a pendulum dangling from the peak of that arc. It can swing back and forth along the way. In shifting times, politicians can find themselves riding the pendulum instead of the arc. The arc has indeed bent toward LGBTQ justice since the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was the U.S. President. Clinton was riding the pendulum when he enacted the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy and signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Both of those measures were heading toward extinction in August of 2009 when Clinton was a guest at the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gay blogger Lane Hudson challenged Clinton on those two anti-queer laws during his keynote address. The former president might sound defensive and even a little self-serving. However what he had to say about the political pressures of his tenure might be relevant … in case the pendulum is swinging again.
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending August 3, 2019 Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, reported this week by Rob Lecrone and Laura Dickinson-Turner, produced by Brian DeShazor
Montenegro’s Parliament has defeated a proposal to legally recognize gay and lesbian unions. The measure was backed by the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists. Deputies from junior coalition parties representing ethnic minorities joined forces to defeat it on July 31st, according to the online news outlet Balkan Insight. The politically powerful Eastern Orthodox Church had also been a vocal opponent.
The defeated proposal would have only offered limited marital rights to the legally recognized lesbian and gay couples. It would have prevented couples from fostering or adopting children. They would also not be recognized as a “family.”
The main opposition in Parliament came from the Democratic Front, which is closely aligned with Russia in politics and homophobia. The Democratic Front claimed that most citizens in the small Southeast European nation were opposed to same-gender unions. Recent public opinion polls seem to bear that out. Still a defiant statement from the advocacy group Queer Montenegro told equality opponents that, “Your resistance strengthens us, your hatred will never falter, slow, or stop us.”
Proponents say that if Montenegro wants to join the European Union, it will have to deal with legal recognition of same-gender couples first. Croatia and Slovenia have legalized same-gender unions, and Balkan Insight notes that those former Yugoslav countries are now part of the E.U.
Montenegro’s first effort to legalize same-gender unions failed in 2014.
“LGBT Free Zone” stickers with an “X’d-out” rainbow flag. The popular rightwing Gazeta Polska magazine was distributing them for free in its weekly publication – until a Warsaw District Court ordered them to stop.
The stickers sparked outrage in late July when they first appeared. A few major advertisers said they would stop buying space in Gazeta Polska soon thereafter. Pink News said some advertisers were pressured to yank their dollars by a U.K.-based social media campaign called “Stop Funding Hate.”
The Court’s ruling cited constitutional guarantees of equal treatment and protections against bias based on sexual orientation. Gazeta Polska publishers are calling it “the largest act of censorship in the history of the Third Polish Republic.” They vow to appeal.
A number of prominent Polish government officials and politically powerful Roman Catholic Church leaders have ramped up their anti-queer rhetoric in recent months. Schools were told to stop including LGBTQ-related information in classroom instructional materials by the Education Minister of the ruling Law and Justice Party late last year. Poland’s Defense Minister has called LGBTQ Pride marches “parades of sodomites.” No wonder Bialystok’s first Pride parade needed riot police protection from rock-throwing right-wing opponents at the end of July. A major march protesting the anti-queer violence was held a week later in Warsaw.
The Advocate also reported an ongoing Twitter campaign trending in the tens of thousands with the hashtag “jestem LGBT” or “I am LGBT.”
This week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apparently became the first sitting Canadian head of government to visit a gay bar. He shook hands, posed for selfies, chatted, and sipped a brew for about 15 minutes. It was Happy Hour at the packed Fountainhead Pub in Vancouver’s West End, the July 29th kick off of the city’s Pride Week. Trudeau shared a photo on his official Twitter account saying that, “the spirit of pride and inclusivity is strong here all year long! Thanks to the folks at @fountainheadVAN for the warm welcome today.”
Trudeau has been Prime Minister since 2015, and he’s been a consistent queer rights supporter. A year after he took office he became the first Canadian head of government to participate in Toronto’s annual Pride parade. He marched last year in Montreal with his wife and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s reigning reality show heartthrob Antoni Porowski. Trudeau has also marched in Halifax and Vancouver Pride parades, and he raised the rainbow pride flag above Parliament Hill.
Australia’s controversial Christian rugby star Israel Folau is suing the sport’s governing body and his former team, the New South Wales Waratahs. Rugby Australia says that Folau was fired for public remarks denigrating LGBTQ people and other league violations. Folau is claiming unlawful termination based on his religious beliefs. The controversy has cost Folau major endorsement contracts in addition to his job on the rugby field. He filed his eight-page lawsuit on July 31st with the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne after mediation attempts before the Fair Work Commission failed in late June. The lawsuit seeks 10 million dollars in damages from Rugby Australia and the rugby star’s professional reinstatement. A directions hearing is scheduled for August 13th.
Rugby Australia terminated Folau’s multi-million dollar contract after a series of offensive social media posts by the Tonga-born athlete. The final straws apparently came with one post by Folau citing a bible passage and warning that unrepentant “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters” are headed for hell. Another graphic image had the caption “hell awaits homosexuals.”
Folau’s legal team argues that there is “nothing unlawful about his conduct.” They said that it “certainly did not justify Mr. Folau losing his career and livelihood.”
Folau has been receiving major financial support from the Australian Christian Lobby. However that group has toned down its vocal support since news reports described the extremist and anti-Catholic views of the church Folau attends. The Truth of Jesus Christ Church is also where his father preaches.
Folau’s cousin made his own news this week. Josiah Folau was fired from a teaching job at a prestigious Catholic school after he described the Roman Catholic Church as “the synagogue of Satan.” The Christian parent of a young rugby player told the Sydney Morning Herald that she’s attended services there. She said the church preaches “counterfeit Christianity,” and called it “an isolated hate group.” The Truth of Jesus Christ Church is in some ways reminiscent of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. It’s family-based like the “God Hates Fags” Phelps congregation, and similarly warns that everyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do is going to hell.
Ironically Phoenix, Arizona preacher Steven Anderson of the fringe Faithful Word Baptist Church was denied entry into Australia in late July. Anderson’s church celebrated the Pulse massacre, and he has called for all LGBTQ people to be stoned to death.
The high-profile Folau case highlights tensions building in Australia and other parts of the Western world between queer rights advocates and conservative religious groups who demand the right to discriminate against them.
The Roman Catholic Church Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana is embroiled in a growing controversy over the recent firing of 2 employees because of their sexual orientation and martial status. Lynn Starkey worked as a guidance counselor at Roncalli High School for almost 40 years before she was fired for having a wife instead of a husband. Shelley Fitzgerald made national headlines a few weeks ago when her marriage to another woman became known and prompted school officials to suspend her.
Starkey’s termination letter said that her marriage vows violated her contract and were “contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.” Both guidance counselors have charged school leaders with subjecting them to a hostile work environment. They accuse the school of sometimes-petty retaliation in response to their discrimination complaints.
The archdiocese issued a statement this week insisting that it has the right “to hire leaders who support the schools’ religious mission.”
Gay Star News cited a lawyer for one fired gay teacher in mid-July who said that the Indianapolis Archdiocese had forced at least three of its schools to fire an openly queer employee in the past year. Roncalli is one of seven high schools and 61 lower schools run by the Archdiocese.
And finally … Impeachment? Defeat in 2020? How will the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump end?
[Trump:] “I know nothing.”
Televangelist Rick Wiles is spewing prophesies of a violent overthrow to anyone who will watch his TruNews TV program. And who will be the new George Washington … or Madame Defarge, if you prefer? None other than MSNBC’s proudly lesbian TV news anchor Rachel Maddow!
Wiles has been tagged as one of the farthest of the far right by Right Wing Watch. He’s in turn called the well-respected media organization an “anti-Christian hate group” supported by “Jewish money.” Who’s “true”?
[Wiles:] “Now, we showed you CIA agent homosexual Anderson Cooper on CNN. Well, over on the other communist news channel MSNBC they have another homosexual, Rachel Maddow. You see, you’ve been Jew-de-ized, you have been homosexualized, you’ve been Babylonianized. Your minds have been tainted. You don’t even think like a Christian anymore. And so Rachel Maddow, she was spewing out last night, calls to remove the president of the United States. She was telling the left. Take a deep breath. We’re at that moment. Be prepared for a mob, a leftist mob, to tear down the gates, the fence of the White House, and go into the White House and drag him out with his family and decapitate them on the lawn of the White House.”
Well, it’s true enough for Rick Wiles of TruNews – and that’s just “t-r-u” … more than a little short of “truth,” and a close contender with “truthiness.”
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