LGBTQ asylum seekers are trapped in Trump’s immigration crisis, and Cher joins trans activists Laverne Cox and Bamby Salcedo at the Los Angeles Families Belong Together rally!
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders can’t eat at the Red Hen, but late night TV hosts serve tasty treats!
U.S. top court tosses wedding bouquet back to Washington state jurists, Angola’s first LGBTQ rights group legally recognized, Kyiv cops bust homophobic protesters, death threats don’t dampen Pride in Kenyan refugee camp, Pride rides into Deadwood, and more global LGBTQ news!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of July 2, 2018
Queers on ICE!
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): The U.S. Supreme Court returns back to the Washington state Supreme Court for re-consideration the case of a devout Christian florist who refused to serve a gay man when she found out that the flowers he wanted would be for his marriage to another man, while LGBTQ groups join the chorus of U.S. human rights organizations to condemn the high court’s support for Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, and progressives worry about what is expected to be the president’s far-right choice to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy; Angola’s Justice Ministry grants its first-ever legal recognition to the southern African nation’s queer advocacy group Iris Angola; Kyiv cops protect the marchers and bust the violence-threatening homophobes at the Ukrainian capital city’s annual Pride march, while hundreds temporarily block the route of Tel Aviv Pride to protest the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, queer refugees in a Kenyan refugee camp face death threats for holding a Pride celebration there, and LGBTQ Pride comes for the first time to the former rough-and-tumble Wild West town of Deadwood, South Dakota (written by GREG GORDON, produced with BRIAN DESHAZOR, and reported this week by MICHELE YEATER & SETH ERIC CUTLER).
Feature: The Trump Administration’s disastrous policy of separating asylum-seeking immigrants from their children at the Mexican border, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, have dramatically added to the crisis faced by LGBTQ people seeking safety. U.S. asylum claims have always been a tough sell for those fleeing homophobic violence. Now claimants from the targeted countries are terrified that their hopes are gone. Even before the strain placed on detention facilities by the new border policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement had abandoned its own rules aimed at protecting the LGBTQs in their custody, leaving them subject to alarming rates of sexual assault and solitary confinement. KATHRYN DAVIS YOUNG of “Public News Service” reports on the latest data showing the particular jeopardy for transgender immigrants (with comments by SHARITA GRUBERG, Associate Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress). And now, amid the outrage over toddler detention camps, the heightened dangers for trans people detained by U.S. immigration did not escape attention at nationwide FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER rallies on June 30th. Emmy-winning trans actress-producer LAVERNE COX and BAMBY SALCEDO of the Trans Latina Coalition spoke at the LOS ANGELES event, and pop star/queer icon CHER added her own personal touch to the proceedings (with intro music from “Some Nights” by FUN).
Feature: And finally this week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was recently asked to leave a DC-area restaurant, and late night TV hosts could not resist adding their own dishes to the menu. So feast on these appetizers served up by STEPHEN COLBERT, TREVOR NOAH, JIMMY FALLON, JORDAN KLEPPER, and SETH MEYERS (with an intro stolen from RONALD REAGAN and intro/outro music from a 1934 animated short).
“Satisfying your weekly minimum requirement of queer news and culture for more than 30 years!”
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBT communities for the week ending June 30th, 2018
As broadcast on This Way Out Program #1,579 distributed 07/02/18 Written by Greg Gordon, produced with Brian DeShazor, and reported this week by Michele Yeater and Seth Eric Cutler
Queer-related developments at the U.S. Supreme Court top this week’s news. The high court first essentially kicked a case down the road that tested a Washington state florist’s “religious right” to deny service to LGBTQ people.
Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Washington, refused to provide flowers for longtime customer Robert Ingersoll in 2013 when she found out that they would be for his wedding to another man. She said she declined his request because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ.” After traveling up the judicial ladder, the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the florist had violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination.
Rather than hearing her appeal, America’s high court returned the case to the Washington Supreme Court, saying it needed to reconsider its ruling in light of the Justices’ decision in the case of a Colorado baker’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. In that case, the high court ruled for the baker because it viewed the state Civil Rights Commission’s decision against him as being based on anti-religious animus. However, there’s no allegation of similar bias in the Washington florist’s case. Attorney General Robert Ferguson said that he was “confident” that the court “will come to the same conclusion they did in their previous, unanimous ruling upholding the civil rights of same-sex couples in our state.”
LGBTQ advocacy groups joined the chorus of other human rights organizations to condemn the second U.S. Supreme Court ruling of the week – this one upholding President Donald Trump’s much-maligned ban on people from predominantly Muslim countries entering the country.
Lambda Legal’s Rachel Tiven wrote that the decision was “as shameful as the internment of Japanese-Americans and the doors slammed to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. … This month,” she added, “the Court expressed deep concern about the slightest perceived animosity toward a Christian baker, but today is untroubled by the President of the United States singling out Muslims for unequal treatment.”
The Transgender Law Center’s Kris Hayashi wrote, “The decision adds yet another disgraceful chapter to our country’s history of targeting people because of who they are.”
Sarah Warbelow of the Human Rights Campaign said the ban “undermines civil liberties in this country,” and “does nothing to keep all Americans safer.”
GLAAD’s Kate Ellis wrote, “Our unified communities will stand together in firm opposition to this abjectly un-American ruling.”
And Aaron Morris of Immigration Equality wrote, “We are so much greater than this moment, and progress is something we must demand every day.”
The week of high court disappointments for equality advocates ended with the announcement by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy that he was retiring at the age of 81. Often considered to be the “swing vote” in 5-to-4 decisions, Kennedy was appointed by Ronald Reagan some 30 years ago and was expected to be a reliably conservative voice on the high court. But he wrote all 4 pro-queer Supreme Court decisions, beginning with the overturning of state sodomy laws in 2003, and through the court’s marriage equality ruling in 2015. A devout Roman Catholic, Kennedy generally argued that it was immoral to deny equal protection of the law to a targeted and otherwise law-abiding group of people.
U.S. progressives are worried about the future make-up of an already right-leaning court. Political conservatives and the religious right are salivating over the chance for President Donald Trump to appoint a judge who would further their efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, marriage equality, and other laws protecting minorities. Trump’s first appointment, Neil Gorsuch, has, as expected, joined the court’s ideologically conservative majority in votes so far.
During his presidential campaign Trump promised to appoint Justices like Antonin Scalia, a staunch opponent of a women’s right to choose, and of LGBTQ rights. “The Advocate” described a published list of possible candidates Trump is considering to take Kennedy’s seat as “appalling.”
Trump’s Republican Party holds a slim 51-to-49 majority in the U.S. Senate, where a high court nominee must be confirmed. Its leadership is intent on getting a nominee onto the high court before the mid-term elections in November. Minority Democrats will do all they can to stall that process until after those elections, hoping that they can ride a wave of anti-Trump sentiment on election day to become the majority party in one, or even both houses of Congress.
In other news, the southern African nation of Angola has granted legal recognition to a queer rights group for the first time. Iris Angola’s Carlos Fernandes called the Justice Ministry’s announcement “historic” and said it would “give more weight to the work of our organization,” which was founded in 2013.
Iain Levine of Human Rights Watch tweeted that it was “good news” from the new government of President Joao Lourenco, who succeeded the four-decade rule of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and seems intent on improving Angola’s much-criticized human rights record. The oil-rich country doesn’t have any specifically anti-LGBTQ laws on the books, and a new penal code approved by Parliament in May includes a ban on sexual orientation-based workplace discrimination. But activists complain about anti-queer bias in accessing health care and educational opportunities.
According to “Reuters”, Iris Angola has about 200 members. A second LGBTQ rights group in the country has yet to seek legal recognition.
Ukrainian police arrested 56 protesters ahead of Kyiv’s LGBTQ Pride March on June 17th – but none of them were among the more than 5,000 people parading with pride. All the detainees were members of far-right radical groups that were trying to stop it.
Riot police scuffled throughout the morning with more than 150 protesters trying to block the route of the march through the center of the Ukrainian capital city. One far-right group, C14, complained in a Facebook post about whose side the police were on. “Look at how they protect ‘sexual minorities’,” it read, “and violate the rights of regular Kyiv citizens.”
Violent attacks disrupted the city’s Pride marches as recently as 2015. A beefed up police presence has kept the festivities peaceful since 2016.
Hundreds of LGBT activists and their supporters took to the streets of Tel Aviv on June 8th to temporarily block that city’s annual Pride parade. They said it was to protest the Israeli government’s cynical use of the queer community to give the impression that the country is a “liberal and progressive” place while, at the same time, infringing upon the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people living in Gaza and the West Bank. Most news outlets focused on the more than a quarter-million locals and tourists waving rainbow flags and enjoying the beach city’s 20th annual Pride parade.
Israeli lawmakers killed a bill to allow same-gender couples to enter into civil unions just two days before the Pride march. Civil marriage doesn’t exist in Israel – something the country’s progressives also want to change. All weddings in the country must be conducted by religious authorities, and none will officiate the marriage of a gay or lesbian couple.
An estimated 600 people in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya braved death threats on June 15th to hold a first-ever Pride celebration. The camp’s population is filled with Islamic settlers and refugees from Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia, where same-gender love is condemned. While the event itself was relatively peaceful, notes were soon posted all around the camp warning queer refugees to “leave the camp” or “we are going to kill you one by one.” There were reports that a lesbian and a transgender person were attacked the following night. But one of the defiant organizers, Ugandan refugee Mbazira Moesa, said he hoped that the celebration would become an annual event at the Camp.
And finally, the rough and tumble U.S. town of Deadwood, South Dakota – now home to some 1270 people, according to the most recent Census – has been immortalized in movies and on TV shows as one of the Wild West’s wilder places. And now Deadwood has hosted its first-ever Pride Festival. The weekend celebration on June 23rd and 24th included a pool party and a pub-crawl, along with a drag contest and dance party, capped of by a Sunday brunch.
Derek Livermont, a member of the organizing committee, told local TV station KEVN that with no bars or community spaces in the Black Hills specifically welcoming LGBTQ people, life “can be a little bit lonely and separated sometimes.” Pride celebrants were “going to meet people that were in their area that they had no idea [were there],” he said, “and really start to feel like there’s other people out there.”