This Way Out Radio Episode #1689 August 10, 2020 “Queer Poland Rising!”

Belgian queer political science researcher Remy Bonny resists the anti-LGBTQ crackdown that may spark Poland’s Stonewall!

A Rainbow Minute offers A Tribute to Caregivers!

El Salvador makes history convicting cops of trans woman’s murder, Yemeni blogger jailed in Saudi Arabia for pro-queer post, Caymans’ British chief forces domestic partnerships, Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribal Council passes marriage equality, Sweden’s top pop singer Darin “doing just fine” after coming out, and more international LGBTQ news!

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of August 10, 2020

Queer Poland Rising!

Program #1,689 distributed 08/10/20

Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): For the first time in El Salvador’s history, there have been convictions for the brutal murder of a transgender woman: three police officers are each facing 20 years in prison Saudi Arabia jails a Yemeni migrant for a social media post supporting LGBTQ rights, and he’ll then be deported to the country he fled after death threats Tunisia jails two men for sodomy after refusing anal exams and being forced to confess; the Governor of the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory, declares that the Domestic Partnership Bill for same-gender couples that the Legislative Assembly failed to pass will become law, probably in September the Tribal Council of the Turtle River Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota votes to change their marriage laws from “husband and wife” to “spouse” and best-selling 33-year-old Kurdish-Swedish pop star Darin (Zanyar) celebrates Stockholm Pride by coming out to his 110,000 Instagram followers [includes a brief excerpt from his Money for Nothing] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by TANYA KANE-PARRY and MICHAEL LEBEAU, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).

Feature: This Rainbow Minute offers A Tribute To Caregivers (produced by JUDD PROCTOR and BRIAN BURNS, read by ALLEN BROWN).

Feature: Could it be Poland’s Stonewall? Police reacted violently to thousands of protesters in the streets of Warsaw, Krakow, Lublin and other cities around the country. Many were injured and dozens have been arrested. The massive, spontaneous demonstrations followed the “preventative detention” of trans activist Malgorzata Szutowicz, who is known as Margot. Margot is part of the group Stop the Nonsense. They had been recently hanging rainbow flags and putting facemasks on public monuments, including a statue of Jesus. ILGA-Europe, Human Rights Watch and other international organizations are calling on institutions like the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations to intervene. Remy Bonny is adding his voice to that call. He’s a political scientist and LGBTQI activist from Belgium, specializing in queer movements in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Bonny warned in a written statement that, “If Europe does not intervene in Poland right now, the E.U. is going into the same direction as what happened to LGBTI-people during World War II.” Just before the crisis erupted, Bonny spoke from Warsaw with This Way Out’s Sydney-based correspondent WILLIAM BROUGHAM about the situation in Poland in the wake of President Andrzej Duda’s homophobic and successful re-election campaign (with instrumental intro/outro music from the Polish National Anthem, and a tease for next week’s concluding Part 2).

NewsWrap

A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending August 8, 2020
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Michael LeBeau,
produced by Brian DeShazor

The conviction of three police officers in El Salvador made headlines this week because it’s such a rare event. Most murders of transgender people around the world remain unsolved because authorities consider investigating them to be a waste of time. But the brutal killers of 29 year-old transgender sex worker Camila Díaz Córdova have been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

When the three officers responded to a public disorder complaint last year, according to reports they offered to drive Díaz Córdova home. Instead they held her face down in the back of the patrol car with her hands handcuffed behind her back and beat her mercilessly. They finished the assault by throwing her out of their moving car. She died a few days later in a local hospital.

Human Rights Watch says this is the first conviction for the murder of a transgender person in the country’s history. However, even though El Salvador’s 2015 hate crimes law requires longer sentences for hate-based violence, prosecutors declined to add that charge. Queer activist Roberto Zapata said that failure “leaves a bad taste in our mouths.”

Díaz Córdova was deported from the U.S. several months ago after she had fled homicidal gangs in her homeland. Immigration officials did not believe her life was actually at risk.

Lawyers for the convicted police officers say that they will appeal.

In Saudi Arabia, an undocumented migrant Yemeni blogger will serve 10 months in prison for a social media post supporting LGBTQ rights. Mohamad al-Bokari must also pay a fine equivalent to $2,700-US, and will be deported back to his homeland after he’s released from prison. The 29-year-old has been living in Riyadh since fleeing Yemen in June 2019 after several death threats.

Saudi Arabia has no specific laws against LGBTQ people. Bokari was charged with “violating public order and morality” because of what authorities called “sexual references” in his posting. That’s common practice in cases involving sexual orientation or gender identity. Other charges included “promoting homosexuality online” and “imitating women.” Human Rights Watch says Bokari was forced to endure the infamous anal exam that’s falsely claimed to prove whether someone is gay. He was also repeatedly beaten in custody to coerce a confession of his sexuality. He was held in solitary confinement for weeks, and denied medical attention for his heart condition.

A statement by Human Rights Watch’s LGBT+ Rights Researcher Rasha Younes pointed out that “Saudi Arabia’s public relations campaigns tout the kingdom’s ‘progress’, but the court’s jail sentence for peaceful speech and then deportation to Yemen where the defendant’s life is at risk shows how hollow these claims are.”

Bokari has until August 20th to appeal.

Another Human Rights Watch alert involves two men in the North African nation of Tunisia. An appeals court on July 28th upheld their prison sentences for sodomy, but reduced the penalty from two years to one year of a possible three-year maximum.

One of the men unwittingly initiated the case by complaining to authorities that the other man had failed to repay a loan. A lawyer for the men said that when they were both brought to the police station, an officer said that one of them “looked gay.” The lawyer said both men were bullied into confessing that they are gay. They denied that in court.

According to local activist groups, the men’s refusal to undergo debunked “gay-proving” anal exams was judged by the court to be evidence against them.

Tunisian President Kais Saied’s support for the continued criminalization of private consensual adult same-gender sex is on record. He has reportedly called LGBTQ people “deviants.”

Human Rights Watch’s Rasha Younes* called any prison sentence in cases like this “a grave injustice.”

In a rare intervention by the U.K. in territorial affairs, the Cayman Islands’ British de facto head of state is forcing the legal recognition of same-gender couples. The Overseas Territory’s Governor Martyn Roper acted after local lawmakers failed to pass a domestic partnership bill.

A Caymans appeals court ordered the Legislative Assembly to enact a measure to provide lesbian and gay couples the “legal status equivalent to marriage,” while noting that it need not be marriage itself.

Roper said that the Cayman Islands must comply with the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. He told local media that, “It was clear to me that the [Domestic Partnership] Bill would satisfy the legal requirement and at the same time maintain the current definition of marriage.” However Roper acknowledged a challenge to the appeals court ruling that demands full marriage equality at the U.K. Privy Council in London. It’s the final arbiter in legal issues involving British Overseas Territories. The case is likely to be heard in December along with another marriage equality case from the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda.

Roper said that after consultation with the U.K. Foreign Office, the Domestic Partnership Bill would be published on August 10th for a period of public consultation, and would probably take effect in September.

The Tribal Council of the Belcourt, North Dakota Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians has voted to change husband and wife in its marriage statutes to spouse. Unmarried tribal members will now also be able to adopt, according to local TV station KFYR. The August 6th six-to-two decision came on the heels of a pro-marriage equality march in Belcourt.

As sovereign nations within the borders of the U.S., Native American tribes were generally not affected by the U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality ruling in June 2015. Some tribes follow the marriage laws of the state they’re in, so that ruling did automatically cover them. For the rest, it’s up to each tribal governing authority to change any heterosexual only marriage laws.

Veteran gay journalist Rex Wockner tracks marriage equality around the world. He notes that of the 574 Native American tribes, at least 29 have taken specific action to open marriage to same-gender couples.

Finally … {music drop-in from the first ca :20 of his Money for Nothing] one of Sweden’s top pop music stars came out this week. And Darin Zanyar is “doing just fine.”

Known professionally by just his first name, Darin rose to fame on Swedish Idol in 2004. He’s had seven #1 albums in Sweden since then.

Darin was born in Sweden to Kurdish parents. His announcement was a breath of fresh air in Kurdistan’s burgeoning LGBTQ community, where his bravery was universally praised.

The now-33-year-old heartthrob came out to his 110,000 followers in an Instagram post on August 3rd to coincide with Stockholm’s annual Pride celebration.

He said, “Everyone in the world should be able to be proud and accepted for who they are. … I know how difficult it can be. Took me a while, but I am proud to be gay. Happy Pride!”

© 2020 Overnight Productions (Inc.)
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