LGBT News Transcript
Caroline: Hi and welcome to this month’s LGBT news update, I’m angelbabe_cj. We’ve just reached the end of Pride season in a lot of places and I hope you all had a fantastic time with that, but there’s quite a lot of news to get through so let’s get right onto that.
First of all: Marriage Equality update. Importantly the US Supreme Court has made two important announcements about marriage equality issues. In the final day of the current session they announced they voted 5-4 to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA. This means that all married couples can claim the same federal benefits. As Justice Anthony Kennedy said quote "Doma writes inequality into the entire United States Code," unquote. Which, well, exactly. Thank fuck sensible heads prevailed. Seriously this is an amazing step, it means that everybody in states which have marriage equality gets exactly the same rights just as they should do.
The Supreme Court also dismissed the Prop 8 case from California. Following the State of California’s refusal to continue defending the law the Supreme Court refused to rule because the private party who took up the cause had no right defend the constitutionality of a law. This means that the lower court’s ruling stands and Prop 8 is therefore struck down and California rejoins the states that have marriage equality. Yes, right with those benefits DOMA being struck down brings.
Speaking of marriage equality, Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota have become the 10th, 11th and 12th states to legalise marriage equality, in addition to Washington DC. Unfortunately efforts in Illinois didn’t come to the vote by the end of the legislative session.
UK House of Lords approve the UK same sex marriage bill for the next stage of lawmaking. It has now been passed in principal by both houses, but still needs to pass through three more stages in the upper house before both houses consider and vote on each other’s amendments and it can be sent for Royal Assent- isn’t that a wonderful rhyme? Er, it’s still possible the bill might break down but with a large majority in both houses at this stage it looks fairly unlikely. I have my fingers crossed.
Votes in favour of marriage equality have also passed in France, New Zealand, and Uruguay and will all be effective by mid-August. And if you have 90 seconds to spare check out the spontaneous outburst of a Maori love song when the New Zealand count is announced. There’s a link in the Post Show Post for that one, it’s really beautiful.
Okay moving on to other news the American Medical Association voted to oppose the FDAs ban on blood donations from gay men. The ban started in 1983 during the AIDS outbreak, when nothing was known about the disease. The AMA board members are calling for policies which actually reflect current scientific research. This is a nice thing to hear, of course, but it’s not like the FDA policy has changed yet and gay men are still not currently allowed to donate blood.
Exodus International, a Christian Ministry, which led part of the so-called ex-gay movement has closed its doors and the president has apologised extensively for his actions which have caused pain and suffering to so many people. He has said that although his beliefs about the bible and sex and marriage have not changed he has adopted something which is basically a live and let-live attitude, which is amazing news. This is on the heels, of course, of California’s ban for ex-gay therapy for under 18s, a similar ban is being voted on in New Jersey.
A UK-based Muslim group, the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, wants to open mosques which are open to LGBT people. It’s a small group, but it’s a part of a growing global community with similar values. There are mosques of this type in several other countries.
Bisexual writer Basil Papademos won the award for Bisexual Erotic fiction at the Bisexual Book Awards, and packed his prizewinning statue at the top of his bag, was then arrested by the Canadian Border Police when they checked his bags as he crossed into the country. He was actually held for eight hours and interrogated while his laptop and phone were seized to be searched by apparently obscenity detecting software. Thankfully the civil rights lawyer who was called from Legal Aid managed to cite many broken regulations and rules and his property was returned to him within 48 hours, and no charges were brought.
Now, in really horrible news Russia is taking the final steps towards a law which bans the quote ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’ unquote. It will prevent providing information to minors about LGBT people, well actually LGBT anything, and the holding of pride rallies. The lower house of the Russian parliament with a vote of 436 to 0, and it’s expected to pass the upper house and on to President Putin with ease. Homosexuality isn’t a criminal offense in Russia, talking about it soon might be. Which, wow. Seriously, fuck that shit. There are several different petitions online that you can check out and go and sign, there is a link in the Post Show Post. Please, I urge you to go and try and do your bit.
Wook ranted, er talked, last episode about the Arizona bill targeting trans people using public restrooms which match their gender identity the sponsor of the bill says that he has given up on the bill for this legislative session. Which is a start. If only we could get him to do it for good.
Nevada Governor has signed in a hate crimes bill protecting trans people, it says a person’s gender identity or expression can be among motivations which are interpreted as a hate crime. Which basically means they have a huge amount of extra protections under hate crimes legislation, which is fantastic news. I hope more states follow their example soon.
Now, Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow gay scouts, but not gay leaders. Which, I- I have no words. No, that’s a lie, I have quite a lot of words and most of them are pretty angry. I think it’s fantastic that they’re now allowing gay members under the age of 18 because the movement provides amazing opportunities for people. But I think the continued ban on queer adults is utter bullshit. Great you’re now allowing all of these previously barred young men and women to join your organisation, but who do they look up to? I’m not saying they can’t have straight role models because take it from me queer people can and do, but it’s important to give people a range of role models and someone you can identify with as having an experience like you would be so much better. Also what the fuck happens to the young scout who comes out at 15 and is part of the movement and continues to be for three more happy years until he gets told he has to leave? Seriously you put all this effort into doing amazing things for these people and then throw them out on their ear? Fuck that shit! Seriously, I cannot work out what message you’re trying to send out to people, but it’s sure as hell not one I like.
In sad news activist Laura Aguilar, one of the first people to obtain a Gender ID change under Argentina’s Gender Identity Law was murdered in what appears to have been a relationship quarrel. Fellow activists are mourning her and her history-making role.
Since our last episode came out so did the first male in a major US sports league. Kind of old news by now, but although players in various leagues have come out after their careers have ended NBA star Jason Collins is the first to do so whilst he’s still an active player. His coming out essay in Sports Illustrated is well worth a read, and is really touching. There’s a link in the Post Show Post that shows him marching at Boston Pride and it also links to that essay.
And finally, did you see Samantha Bee of the Daily Show take on evangelical Christians who think their freedom to express their bigotry towards LGBT people is being infringed upon? No? Well, you should go and take a look. Her takedown is impressive. And if you can’t see the video we have the gifset on our tumblr.
That’s it for the news, and if there’s anything we’ve missed out on you want us to talk about, please, as always, let us know.
Actually here's a quick update since we had to postpone the episode being released. Just an addition to a couple of the items.
The same-sex marriage bill in the UK is passed and the Queen has signed it into law. The Churches of England and Wales are legally prohibited from performing same-sex marriages, but other religious institutions can opt-in as they wish, and I know some are going to do so. The first weddings are not expected to be until sometime next year but it's fantastic news. I am so happy.
And in absolutely shitty, fucking awful news the anti-LGBT bill in Russia. It passed, it's in force and the stories and the news that's coming out of Russia is really terrifying, LGBT families and people are fleeing the country and there are all sorts of reports of charities and support groups which are being fined and shut down and please try and look this up and see if you can do anything, anything at all. 'Cause we need to get this stopped.
And that's it, um, hopefully the rest of the episode is a little bit cheerier for you.
Transcribed by: angelbabe_cj