Art, Love, Peace … and Guns?

Master performer John Kelly conquers theater as a man for all media with Time No Line!

OutCasting Overtime youth commentator ponders bisexual erasure!

The Rainbow Minute celebrates the 50th anniversary of history’s greatest music festival and The Man Who Saved Woodstock!

US terrorists target the LGBTQ community as mass shootings escalate and gun control measures are stalled in the Senate … but queer activists and allies remain committed to change!

Uruguay trans rights rollback defeated by apathy, Ireland’s P.M. parades his Pride in Belfast, queer ads spark Coke boycott in Hungary, Sydney City Councillor fined for vilifying gay neighbor, and more international LGBTQ news!

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of August 12, 2019

Art, Love, Peace … and Guns?

Program #1,637 distributed 08/12/19

Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): Uruguay voters “respect” transgender rights  Irish P.M. Leo Varadkar marches with Pride in Belfast Coca Cola causes Hungarian controversy with its queer couples “zero sugar, zero prejudice” ad campaign a Sydney pol is punished for ranting against marriage equality and equating the rainbow flag to ISIS a zealous burner of queer youth-supportive library books gets the minimum fine in Iowa – but book-lovers get the last laugh an Ohio state lawmaker blames recent U.S. mass killings on, among other societal ills, marriage equality and “drag queen advocates” a clueless V.P. Mike Pence urges a far-right anti-queer gathering to “spend more time on your knees …” (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by SARAH SWEENEY and JESSICA ANDREA, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).

Feature: Imagine the letters LGBTQ on a bright neon sign with the “B” flickering on and off. OutCasting Overtime (formerly called OutCasting Off-Air) considers mistaken ideas about bisexuality and Bisexual Erasure (with intro music from Gettin Bi by PETE GARDNER, and featuring “OutCasters” BRIANNA and MARK, produced by MARC SOPHOS).

Feature: If you missed the queer connection to history’s greatest musical festival in the movie version (Saving Woodstock), return to Max Yasgur’s farm fifty years later in this expanded Rainbow Minute to celebrate The Man Who Saved Woodstock (with intro music by JONI MITCHELL, produced by JUDD PROCTOR and BRIAN BURNS, read by KELLY NOURSE).

Feature: This Way Out Entertainment Correspondent JOHN DYER V took in a recent REDCAT production in Los Angeles featuring one man and many, many media: John Kelly’s Time No Line.

Feature: As Amnesty International warns travelers that they might be targeted by gun violence in the U.S. depending on their identity, a Las Vegas man is arrested while planning to attack synagogues and queer venues. The transgender brother of the shooter in the recent Dayton, Ohio massacre is among the dead. LGBTQ asylum-seekers languish in U.S. detention centers while Latinx patrons of an El Paso, Texas Walmart are murdered in cold blood. It’s been more than a year since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that prompted Alex Wind and his schoolmates to organize a huge March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC. We recall Alex’s words today as gun control bills passed in the House continue to be blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell … and beloved country western singer-songwriter Willie Nelson puts the young activists’ words to music.

NewsWrap

A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending August 10, 2019
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Sarah Sweeney and Jessica Andrea,
produced by Brian DeShazor

Voters in Uruguay failed to show up in sufficient numbers for a ballot-initiated rollback of transgender rights. The proposal required the support of at least 25% of all eligible voters. Less than ten percent cared enough to participate on August 5th.

Conservative forces were trying to overturn laws passed last year. Those laws made it easier for trans people to change the gender designation on their government documents without medical intervention. They also guaranteed access to health care, housing and a number of other benefits.

Conservative opposition Congressman Carlos Iafigliola sponsored the referendum. He claimed that the new laws would allow minors to undergo hormone treatment without parental approval. The Uruguayan Medical Union quickly rebutted that charge in a statement saying that, “in no case have these interventions been practiced in children.”

Federico Graña is a queer activist now serving as the National Director of Socio-Cultural Promotion for the Uruguayan Ministry of Social Development. Graña told Reuters that the laws do allow transgender adolescents to undergo limited hormonal treatment without parental consent. That right applies especially to those who have left home, and only after a state-appointed guardian secures legal approval on the child’s behalf. Graña applauded the vast majority of voters for staying away from the polls. He said that voters “did not want to express support for a referendum that would take rights away.” Graña thinks that, “it sends a message of great respect.”

The Uruguayan advocacy group Law Trans Ya told Montevideo.com that citizens had “demonstrated that human rights are not subject to plebiscite.”

Uruguay is considered to be one of the more queer-progressive countries in South America. It’s had marriage equality since 2013, and gay people can serve openly in its armed forces. However transgender people face routine discrimination and violence. According to the Uruguayan Medical Union, trans people have a life expectancy of just 35 years.

Out gay Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar made an unannounced visit to Northern Ireland to march in Belfast’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade on August 3rd. Varadkar told the crowd, “What we see in Belfast is Northern Ireland at its very best: open, inclusive, diverse, and for everyone.” It was the Prime Minister’s second visit to Belfast Pride since he took office.

Varadkar tweeted that he also spent some time before the march “to talk about the future” with Sara Canning, the partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee. According to Pink News, the couple was about to get engaged before McKee was shot dead at a Belfast political rally in April.

The British Parliament is forcing marriage equality on Northern Ireland by January 2020 if lawmakers in the region’s Assembly fail to do it themselves. Northern Ireland has had an essentially dysfunctional government since 2016 when power sharing talks broke down between the ruling Democratic Unionist Party and the leading opposition party, Sinn Fein.

Coca Cola used to bill itself as “the pause that refreshes,” but the “pause” the soft drink is giving Hungarian M.P. István Boldog has done anything but. An ad campaign for the popular Coke Zero has led the ruling conservative right-wing Fidesz Party member to call for a boycott of all Coca Cola products. The “Love is Love” ads feature images of same-gender couples hugging and kissing, with the caption “zero sugar, zero prejudice.” There’s an online petition to support Boldog’s Coke boycott, and to remove the ads from the Budapest subway system. The petition has thus far gathered more than 30,000 signatures.

Tomas Dombos of the queer advocacy group Hatter told a number of news outlets that the ruling party could be testing people’s reaction to the pro-queer campaign. Dombos explains that, “The government builds all of its propaganda on conflict, and they need enemies. After the E.U., migrants, NGOs, and even the homeless, now it may be LGBTQ people.”

A statement issued by Coca Cola defended the ad campaign. In it the company stressed its corporate culture of “diversity, inclusion and equality.” They said, “We believe everyone has the right to love the person they choose. The campaign currently running in Hungary reflects these values.”

A spokesperson said that the company has not seen any significant change in Coca Cola sales in Hungary – at least not so far.

Same-gender couples were allowed to enter into less-than-marriage registered partnerships in Hungary in 2009. However Pink News notes that a European Union agreement to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ people was blocked by Hungary in 2016.

A Sydney, Australia City Councillor has been fined $2,500 for “homosexual vilification” by the state of New South Wales’ Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Julie Passas demanded that neighbor Daniel Comensoli take down the rainbow flag he was displaying following the victorious marriage equality vote in November 2017. Passas harangued Comensoli because she said the flag was “offensive to my culture and religion.” She shouted that the man should not be able to marry “until you could breastfeed and have children.” Passas was also accused of saying that the flag was “as offensive as the flag of ISIS” – but later called that “an analogy.” The Tribunal heard testimony that the verbal harassment continued for several days until Comensoli called the police to file the official complaint.

Passas cited local restrictions that prohibited hanging flags from balconies, but admitted that she found the flag to be personally offensive.

Comensoli had sought $10,000 in damages from Passas, but was awarded only a quarter of that amount. However, the Tribunal ordered Passas to issue a statement in the local newspaper describing the marriage equality vote as an historic day, and apologizing for “publically yelling abuse at Mr. Comensoli.” Comensoli has moved.

A far-right Christian fundamentalist in the U.S. state of Iowa has only been fined $65 for publically burning four queer-supportive children’s and young adult books. 63-year-old Paul Dorr of the group Rescue the Perishing had checked the books out from the Orange City Public Library. Dorr posted a video on social media in October 2018 that showed him burning the books while spewing homophobic comments. He said he was protesting a local LGBTQ Pride event.

Dorr was convicted this week in Sioux County District Court of fifth-degree criminal mischief. $65 was the lowest possible fine for the offense. The State of Iowa had sought the maximum penalty of $625. Dorr was also ordered to pay a 35 percent surcharge and court costs. In his defense, Dorr told the Court that he wanted “to protect the children of Orange City from being seduced into a life of sin and misery.”

Rita Bettis Austen of the ACLU of Iowa said this was about the destruction of library property, not free speech. Austen said, “Burning public library books is the destruction of ideas, and that’s reprehensible. No one person or even group should decide that they are the gatekeepers of ideas for the rest of the public.”

In the weeks following Dorr’s book burning video, the Orange City Public Library received more than $3,700 in cash donations, and almost a thousand book donations, including replacements for the four titles Dorr had burned. The library kept about 50 of those books, and sold or returned the others.

What causes massacres like the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas? An Ohio state lawmaker whose district is near Dayton has topped the incredulity charts with her theories. Republican State Representative Candice Keller’s now-deleted Facebook diatribe blamed such violence on the “breakdown of the traditional American family – thank you, transgender, homosexual marriage, and “drag queen advocates.” Keller also blamed “violent video games,” “recreational marijuana use,” “former President Barack Obama,” and “open borders.” “Snowflakes who do not respect President Trump” were on Keller’s guilty list, too.

Keller has so far resisted calls to resign, including one from Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken. Keller has already survived equating Planned Parenthood to Nazis, and promoting white supremacist views on a radio show as she defended a proposed ban on sanctuary cities.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said on Twitter that she doesn’t often agree with Republican State Chair Timken, but joined the resignation chorus. Whaley added that “No matter where you’re from, who you love, or what you look like, you’re welcome in Dayton.”

And finally, blatantly anti-queer U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his family are well known for hiding behind their religious convictions to support discrimination against LGBTQ people. Mr. Pence made the rounds of rightwing hate groups in early August to support his personal bias. One event he attended was an Atlanta, Georgia conference organized by conservative evangelical blogger and radio host Erick Erickson. Another event was sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a far-right so-called “Christian” organization that fights LGBTQ and women’s rights in the courts. The Vice President urged that gathering to “spend more time on your knees than on the internet.”

We’re pretty sure Pence meant on your knees in prayer, but unfortunately “on your knees” is a long-standing gay euphemism for oral sex. Needless to say, Twitter lit up with comments about Pence’s cluelessness.

© 2019 Overnight Productions (Inc.)

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