U.S. Wins Rainbow Results!

Dozens of LGBTQ+ candidates are voted into office in the historic U.S. 2020 elections! Hear the victorious voices of many of the winners in our comprehensive round-up, plus the queer-supportive President and Vice President-elect and music to celebrate by!

Puebla joins Mexican matrimonial equality states, Peru’s high court rejects activist’s imported marriage equality claim, Taiwan Pride beats COVID as President beats critics, U.S. top court hears  critical “religious freedom” case while cop’s BLM lawsuit is rebuffed, Olympians Bird and Rapinoe share more rings, and more international LGBTQ news!

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of November 9, 2020

U.S. Wins Rainbow Results!

Program #1,702 distributed 11/09/20

Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle

NewsWrap (full transcript below): Puebla becomes the latest state in Mexico to open civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples … Peru’s Constitutional Court rejects a marriage equality lawsuit … an estimated 130,000 people celebrate Pride in COVID-free Taipei, Taiwan … the U.S. Supreme Court hears a critical “religious freedom” case that could threaten marriage equality and/or anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people … the U.S. high court sends a case pitting an injured unnamed Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officer against gay Black Lives Matter organizer DeRay McKesson back to lower courts for reconsideration … and champion U.S. lesbian power couple basketballer Sue Bird and soccer star MEGAN RAPINOE get engaged (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by PAULA THOMAS and MICHAEL LEBEAU, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).

Feature: “Welcome back, America!” That’s how a tweet from Paris Mayor Anne Hildago summed up the world’s response to the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be President and Vice President of the United States. The announcement of the Democratic ticket’s victory brought sighs of relief and joyous celebrations after days of painstaking ballot counting.  Across the country the LGBTQ community had even more to celebrate: dozens of winning queer candidates. Some of our NewsWrap team provides a round-up of those rainbow races (includes comments by Donald Trump, Annise Parker, Kristin Graziano, Charmaine Mcguffey, Sarah Mcbride, Ritchie Torres, and Mondaire Jones, music by WAR, GEORGE MICHAEL, PENTATONIC, THE CARS, LAURA NERO and LABELLE, THREE DOG NIGHT, THE EARLS, KOOL & THE GANG, BARBRA STREISAND and CHER; reported by CHRISTOPHER GAAL, JOHN DYER V, MELANIE KELLER, MICHAEL TAYLOR-GRAY, TANYA KANE-PARRY, MARCOS NAJERA, and LUCIA CHAPPELLE, and with a midway TWO ID by former U.S. CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK).

NewsWrap

A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending November 7, 2020
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Paula Thomas and Michael LeBeau
produced by Brian DeShazor

Across the United States a record number of openly LGBTQ candidates are winning election to public office, even as LGBTQ-supportive Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get ready to become the nation’s 46th President and the first female and first person of color Vice President.  This Way Out’s comprehensive queer-perspective coverage of the U.S. elections follows NewsWrap.

In other news this week, another state in heavily Roman Catholic Mexico is opening civil marriage to same-gender couples.  The Congress of Puebla voted overwhelmingly on November 3rd for reforming the state’s civil code to recognize the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples. The tally was 31 in favor, 5 opposed, and 2 abstentions.

A favorable 2015 marriage equality ruling from the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation left the matter in the hands of each of Mexico’s 31 states.  Puebla is now the 19th state to allow same-gender couples to legally walk down the aisle.  The federal district of Mexico City is it’s own jurisdiction. It led the country in opening the civil institution to lesbian and gay couples in 2010.

Peru’s Constitutional Court has rejected an activist’s lawsuit demanding the recognition of his marriage.  Óscar Ugarteche Galarza legally married Mexican citizen Fidel Aroche Reyes in Mexico.

The fourteen members of the Organization of American States that don’t have marriage equality are obligated to enact it under a 2017 ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  Peru is one of them.

Ugarteche Galarza says he will now take his case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

It was the largest in-person LGBTQ Pride celebration on the planet since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it happened in Taiwan. About 130,000 revelers marched and danced through the streets of Taipei on October 31st in the 18th annual event.  This year’s theme was “Beauty, My Own Way.”

Taiwan has been COVID-free for more than 200 days. Just 555 infections and 7 deaths were recorded during the entire course of the health crisis there.

Far fewer visitors from other countries attended this year because of the pandemic, but about 20 foreign delegations sent representatives to march in the parade.

President Tsai Ing-wen encouraged participation in the celebration in a Facebook post saying, “Today’s key words are love, tolerance, and a better Taiwan.  Let’s work hard to make them the key words for every day.”

Tsai’s supportive remarks led leaders of various Christian denominations across the island to cancel the National Prayer Breakfast this week. It’s been held every year since 2001. After a majority of the organizing committee indicated that President Tsai would not be welcomed because of her queer-affirming remarks, her spokesperson said that Tsai had “respectfully declined” to attend this year. Organizers then decided to call the whole thing off.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case on November 4th highlighting the clash between so-called “religious liberty” and laws protecting LGBTQ people. It’s also the first case heard by Trump-appointed Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett.  Barrett is known for her fundamentalist religious beliefs, and her evasive responses to questions about LGBTQ rights during her confirmation hearings alarmed equality advocates.

The case is known as Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, and centers on a Roman Catholic Church-affiliated adoption agency. Catholic Social Services refuses to accept applications from same-gender couples referred by the city’s government-funded foster care system. The agency argued that forcing it to accept those couples violates its core religious beliefs.  Its representatives claimed that it had never had an application from a lesbian or gay couple. If any applied, they say, they would refer the couple to similar agencies in the city that would welcome them.

Most observers who listened to the virtually conducted hearing predict that the conservative majority will rule in favor of Catholic Social Services.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh tipped his hand during this week’s hearing by calling Philadelphia’s position “absolutist and extreme.” Another signal came back in early October when Justices Alito and Thomas questioned the high court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling.  Their comments were included in their dissent in a queer workplace anti-bias case – a case for which Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch surprised many by writing the LGBTQ-supportive ruling.

The pivotal vote in the current case may be Chief Justice John Roberts, who was in the marriage equality decision’s minority.

The city of Philadelphia is trying to enforce its laws banning anti-queer discrimination by its government contractors, but some worry that a decision against the city could effectively water down the marriage equality ruling. It could also threaten protective anti-bias laws across the country.

A ruling is expected sometime in May or June next year.


The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case against gay Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson on November 2nd.  However the decision was based on a legal technicality, so Mckesson is not yet off the hook.

The incident in question occurred at a protest over the 2016 police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. An unnamed police officer was seriously injured by a piece of concrete or rock allegedly thrown by a protester.  The alleged assailant has never been identified, but the officer sued Mckesson for damages solely because Mckesson is a Black Lives Matter organizer.

A federal district court dismissed the case on free speech grounds.  However the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that McKesson could be liable if “a violent confrontation with a police officer was a foreseeable effect of negligently directing a protest.”

Justice Clarence Thomas was the only dissenter in this high court decision. Justice Amy Coney Barrett was not involved because the case was argued before she was appointed to the Court.  The 7-to-1 ruling sent the case back to be reconsidered in lower courts.

An ACLU attorney representing Mckesson said in a press release, “We look forward to a ruling reaffirming that the fundamental right to protest cannot be attacked in this way.”

Finally, the Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird has led her team to three Women’s National Basketball Association championships and holds four Olympic gold medals, but now she’s won the heart of another sports superstar. Bird posted a photo on Instagram of celebrated women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe taking a knee to give her an engagement ring.  Rapinoe led the U.S. national squad to two Women’s World Cup titles, and is an Olympic gold medalist herself. She’s also been one of the most vocal champions of “equal pay for equal work” in professional sports.

The lesbian power couple met at the 2016 Rio Olympics. They were the first same-gender couple to appear on the cover of ESPN’s Body Issue.  As co-hosts for this year’s ESPY sports awards with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, both women sported outfits from Black fashion designers, including Black Lives Matter T-shirts.

It’s been reported that a public opinion poll conducted last year indicated that Rapinoe would win the presidency if she ran against Donald Trump.  Rapinoe made reference to the idea in her World Cup victory speech last year saying, [sound:] “We have pink hair and purple hair, we have tattoos and dreadlocks, we got white girls and black girls, and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls. … It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field. There’s no other place that I would rather be, even in the presidential race.”

© 2020 Overnight Productions (Inc.)

© 2020 Overnight Productions (Inc.)
 “Satisfying your weekly minimum requirement of queer news and culture for more than 30 years!”

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