Caroline: Hi I’m angelbabe_cj and I’m stepping in for Wook this month to give you Episode 39’s LGBT News update.
First I’m going to be selfish and talk about the UK. There is a marriage equality bill which is up for debate and vote in Parliament this month. According to research by The Coalition for Marriage Equality a majority of MPs are actually in favour of the bill. Surprising things about this bill: the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition are the ones to propose it, and yes, yes, conservative, really, seriously Conservatives. Which… screws with my head too a little bit. We’ve had civil partnerships since 2005, but legally speaking you can’t call it a marriage, so I’m really looking forward to marriage equality for everybody.
Among the opposition to the bill the Church of England and the Church of Wales have been forthright, as has the Church of Scotland in regard to a similar bill proposed there. The Catholic Church is opposed to both bills, and there has been opposition from MPs such as Liam Fox the former Defence Secretary. But as I said the majority of MPs are in favour, so I’m looking forward to this bill passing the House of Commons and moving to the House of Lords.
In other good news a marriage equality bill has passed the House in Rhode Island and it’s moving towards the Senate Committee.
Testimony hearings have begun in Wyoming on three LGBT rights bills including one on marriage equality.
Marriage Equality legislation has once more been introduced in Illinois after the 2012 session timed out before the Senate could vote. The legislation is expected to pass this year.
There’s also a civil unions bill making its way to the Senate in Colorado.
Of course it’s not all good news and unfortunately in Virginia an attempt to reverse the 2006 ban on marriage equality failed to get out of subcommittee.
Internationally Italy’s Prime Minister has spoken out against Marriage Equality and the Premier, who is up for re-election this year has been getting a lot of awkward questions about marriage equality which he’s refusing to answer.
Unfortunately in Poland the parliament has rejected a bill on same-sex civil unions by quite a wide margin.
There have been protests in Paris following President François Hollande’s announcement of plans to give marriage equality to France. There’s also been a website launched, it’s called Laissez-Nous Voter, and asks for a vote by the French public on marriage equality. Only it’s not so much by French people as it is by the fuckers at the National Organization for Marriage. You’d think they’d be busy enough with all the great stuff that’s going on in the USA but apparently not!
And moving away from marriage equality finally I’ve got some great news for the Trans* community. The North American Old Catholic Church has ordained their first transgender priest. Father Kearns will be taking up a post in Minneapolis. The LGBT inclusive church follows Catholic traditions and rituals, but isn’t associated with The Vatican.
From October 2014 Oregon will become the first state to cover transition related care for transgender youth on Medicaid. With out-of-pocket costs reaching $1000 a month it really can’t come soon enough, particularly when it’s the sort of care that saves a lot of lives.
Also in Trans* news United Colors of Benetton is featuring transgender model Lea T in their new ad campaign for Spring-Summer. The campaign is said to highlight people who have unusual or different routes into fashion success.
Now turning towards sport, Sanfranscisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh says he’d welcome a gay player, and those of you who follow American Football should know he’s on the way to the Superbowl. He said, "What you ask of a player is to be a great teammate and be a good player. My expectations would be the same,” which I think is great news and would foster a better sense of positivity within the footballing and sporting community in general.
A couple of things in the well, finally column: Montana is considering repealing the outdated law that criminalises same-sex sex. It was ruled unconstitutional back in 1997 thus isn’t enforceable at all, but is still on the law books. Seriously guys, get with the programme!
Also Boy Scouts of America have confirmed that they are considering dropping the ban on openly gay scouts and leaders. I really hope they change it because it’s made me really sad to be pissed off at such a theoretically great organisation because of their discrimination.
And if you missed the Golden Globes earlier this month you’ll have missed Jodie Foster’s coming out speech. It’s got both positive and negative attention, but I’ll leave you some links in the Post Show Post to check that out.
Five years after the Nepalese Supreme Court’s ruling that the government should issue third gender citizenship certificates for anybody who does not wish to be identified as male or female, the government it going to begin actually issuing the certificates, which is great news.
Just when you thought I’d forgotten… Congratulations to President Barak Obama on his second Inauguration and all the historic firsts that included. They’re all going to be quick because there’s quite a lot of them.
Firstly, not only did he call for equality for gay and lesbian people he also mentioned the Stonewall riots of 1969 which most people consider the birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement, and I have to quote here because it’s the first time a President has mentioned gay, meaning the sexuality, in an Inaugural address. And he said, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” end quote. Isn’t that great?
Also at the Inauguration: Richard Blanco a gay latino delivered the Inaugural poem, the LGBT band who marched in President Obama’s first Inaugural Parade returned this year, the Inaugural Prayer service included an out clergy member, and gay and lesbian service members were allowed to bring were allowed to bring same-sex partners to the Inaugural Ball for the first time ever following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
There are two rebuttal moments that I need to mention. Firstly Jon Stewart’s takedown of the collective conservative freakout over the Stonewall mention was apparently amazing. I’ve not seen the video because it’s USA only, but I have seen the tumblr gifs and… yeah it looks pretty darn awesome!
And the final word goes to an 11-year-old transgender girl from Arizona, who wondered why President Obama didn’t mention Trans* people in his address. And in response wrote an essay, ‘Sadie’s Dream for the World’, and it finishes: “It really isn’t that hard to like transgender people, because we are like everyone else.”
And that’s it for the news this month, as usual if you think we’ve missed anything, or there’s anything you’d like us to put into next month’s news please leave a comment on the Post Show Post, tweet us, ask box us, or email us at islashdoyou at gmail.com.
Transcribed by: angelbabe_cj