US Queer Job Justice!

The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the employment rights of LGBTQ workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act! We turn to the experts, along with plaintiffs Gerald Bostock and the late Aimee Stephens for analysis of the ruling and its broader impact.

Lesbian musical duo Emma’s Revolution (joined by Reggie Harris) proclaim Our People Gonna Rise!

The United Nations calls for a global ban on conversion therapy, protesters confront Poland’s propaganda-prone president, U.S. gay dads win their baby’s citizenship rights, Missouri Episcopalians consecrate their first Black gay bishop, a Spanish crooner sings “out” loud, a Chilean basketballer is now “proud and free,” and more international LGBTQ news!

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of June 22, 2020

U.S. Queer Job Justice!

Program #1,682 distributed 06/22/20

Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): A United Nations report calls for a global ban on so-called “conversion therapy,” the bogus practice claiming to make queer people straight Polish President Andrzej Duda plays the “gay card” again to win re-election a U.S. federal judge adds insult to injury for the Trump administration on top of the Supreme Court “right to work” ruling by deciding that the daughter of a U.S. gay couple born via surrogate in Canada is indeed a U.S. citizen Barbados-born Deon Kevin Johnson becomes the first openly gay Black bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and popular Spanish crooner Pablo Alborán and Chiléan pro basketball star Daniel Aros each comes out (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by CAROLE MEYERS and MICHAEL LEBEAU, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).

Feature: This Way Out June 25th Virtual Queer Global READ-IN Promo (voiced by producer BRIAN DESHAZOR).

 

Feature: The U.S. Supreme Court’s fourth decision involving lesbians and gay men is its first to recognize transgender people. It marks a monumental advance for LGBTQ rights, but it comes with limitations, so we’re turning to a gaggle of experts to sort it all out (featuring comments by the ACLU’s Chase Strangio and James Esseks, former National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn, Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, veteran activist Richard Socarides, TransLash creator/founder Imara Jones, surviving plaintiff Gerald Bostock, and the late plaintiff Aimee Stephens; selected audio from Democracy Now!, The Pacifica Evening News, CNN, Now This, and GayUSA, with intro music by SLY & THE FAMILY STONE, outro music Our People Gonna Rise by EMMA’S REVOLUTION featuring REGGIE HARRIS).

NewsWrap

A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending June 20, 2020
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Carole Meyers and Michael LeBeau,
produced by Brian DeShazor

The United Nations is calling for the debunked practice of conversion therapy to be banned … everywhere. A new report documents the negative impact of the so-called “treatment” that’s supposed to push queer people down a straight and narrow path. The report concludes that it’s a scientifically bogus invention that leads nowhere.

Researchers underscored how particularly horrific the practice is on minors, who have no legal right to control their own health care decisions. They found that the young fall prey “as a result of the desire of parents or guardians to have them conform to expectations, either their or their community’s, regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The document was issued by the U.N.’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz. NBC News reports that it “faced a lot of pushback from a number of states.” OutRight Action International’s Sahar Moazami said “It’s been ‘controversial,’ as they say at the U.N.”

There are “conversion therapy” practitioners in at least 68 countries identified in the report, but researchers suggest that it’s virtually a global pandemic — and, “in many cases, a lucrative business for providers around the world.”

OutRight Action International can only find five countries that have outright bans on conversion therapy: Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, Malta, and Taiwan.

Canada is considering becoming number six. There are regional bans in a number of other countries.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda is playing the “queer card” again in his bid for re-election. In recent speeches Duda is claiming that what he calls “LGBT+ ideology” is just like communist indoctrination in the former Soviet Union. He says, “They are trying to convince us that they are people, but this is an ideology.” His “family charter” includes promises to prohibit “the propagation of this ideology [and] defend the institution of marriage” – marriage defined as a “relationship between a woman and a man.”

After about a hundred pro-queer protesters surprised him at a campaign rally on June 15th, Duda invited them to meet with him. Only 29-year-old filmmaker Bartosz Staszewski agreed. Other activists demanded a public apology for Duda’s inflammatory and dehumanizing comments first. The incumbent also invited his openly gay left-wing challenger to the meeting, Warsaw Mayor Robert Biedron. Biedron joined the call for Duda’s public apology … which, of course, never came.

A presidential spokesperson called Duda’s meeting with Staszewski “good and constructive.” However the activist said that he spent more than an hour talking and displaying photos of young Polish people who had died by suicide and gay people in Auschwitz … then finally stood up and walked out without a perfunctory handshake after Duda kept insisting that campaigning against “LGBT+ ideology” was a free speech issue.

Duda can expect a friendlier visit with someone who has an affinity for rightwing autocrats. He’ll be President Donald Trump’s first White House visitor since the COVID-19 pandemic began. That meeting is set for June 24th.

The Trump administration took a licking in litigation this week. The U.S. Supreme Court declared on June 15th that LGBTQ people are protected from workplace discrimination by federal civil rights laws banning bias based on sex. We’ll have comprehensive coverage of that groundbreaking decision following NewsWrap.

Yet another legal setback may have gotten lost in the high court headlines. A federal district judge ruled that a U.S. gay couple’s daughter born in Canada via a surrogate is indeed a U.S. citizen. Mike Pompeo’s State Department essentially argued that the child was born out of wedlock because one of her married parents is not her biological parent.

U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang disagreed. He ruled that the daughter of Roee and Adiel Kiviti was a U.S. citizen at birth, born of married parents who were both U.S. citizens who had legally resided in the country before her birth.

The Kivitis are naturalized U.S. citizens. They were each born in Israel but came to the U.S. separately. Their daughter Kessem was born in February 2019.

The family was represented by attorneys from the queer advocacy groups Immigration Equality and Lambda Legal. Lambda Legal attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan helped argue the case. He celebrated with a tweet, saying, “Today’s victory confirms once again that married same-sex couples cannot be carved-out from laws tied to marriage.”

A State Department official had no further comment for the Washington Blade on June 17th beyond saying that it is “reviewing the decision with the Department of Justice.”

The Kivitis’ lawsuit is reportedly just one of five cases challenging how the State Department under Trump sycophant Mike Pompeo mistreats married same-gender couples.

Just in time for Pride month, the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri is celebrating its first openly gay Black bishop. The Right Reverend Deon Kevin Johnson was born in Barbados, and has been an Episcopal priest since 2003. He was consecrated on June 13th at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. He marveled during his ordination service that a descendant of a slave could be “called to be the bishop of Missouri – God is good!” he said, according to the Episcopal News Service. It only took 179 years.

Johnson went on to say, “We must be about the mission of working for justice and showing God’s love in this time and place. We must be about the mission of speaking truth to power and making no peace with oppression.”

The new bishop marched in recent Black Lives Matter protests in St. Louis, and said in a statement that, “Fear would tell us that dignity belongs to some and not to others. As followers of Jesus, we must live and know that perfect love casts out fear.”

Finally, two new openly gay stars were added to the arts and athletics universe this week.

Popular Spanish crooner Pablo Alborán posted a three-minute video on Instagram declaring, “I want my voice to be louder, and for it to have more value and weight. I’m here to tell you that I am homosexual, and it’s okay.”

Alborán has been nominated for a number of Latin Grammy Awards and has released several albums.

He went on to say, “Life goes on, everything will remain the same, but I’m going to be a little happier than I already am.”

He described a supportive upbringing that allowed him to find his true self, but noted that many other LGBTQ people have not been so lucky. He said, “I hope I can make somebody’s journey easier with this message. But above all, I do this for me.”

Alborán also said that he wanted to focus on his music career, and not on being a high-profile queer activist.

Chiléan pro basketball player Daniel Arcos “decided to love and value” himself by coming out, declaring himself to now be “proud and free” in a three-page letter. The 26-year-old six-foot-three small forward for CD Castro said that he had struggled with shame and self-acceptance for a long time.

Leading Chiléan advocacy group The Homosexual Movement of Integration and Liberation applauded Arcos for “making a significant contribution to other players who may find themselves in a situation of grief or pain for not being able to reveal who they are.”

Arcos’ lengthy letter concluded saying, “I am convinced that sport can include us all … but as long as issues like this are not visible and made natural, it will be difficult to advance. … Respect is essential, and the minimum we need to live in a better society free of prejudice.”

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