I knew we Tucsonans are pretty proud of our fun little city, but there is a whole gay world out there full of amazing people and we should know a little about their lives. With that in mind, I present to you the Gay News section; a few of my favorite news sources talking about Gay News and Events around the world. Check back regularly for constantly updated news and information that truly matters.
Homophobia is on the march even as mainstream TV embraces same-sex dance partners and Caitlyn Jenner’s frankness
I keep thinking of the same joke. Imagine getting to a point in Strictly Come Dancing, a competition built on a sparkly tower of sequins and shimmies, a show that had its regular musicals week last weekend, and thinking, no, that bit is just too gay for me to stomach. Bring me the telephone, Steve, there’s homosexual activity on my ballroom dancing show.
Last month, Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima danced together in the show’s first complete same-sex dance in its 15-year history. Around 200 or so people had enough of an issue with it to formally complain, with another 100 adding their objections over the last few days. It boggles the mind that two men dancing can provoke any kind of upset, that it appears to have infuriated people who watch Strictly makes it all the more baffling. Last week, Craig Revel Horwood opened musicals week by dragging up, climbing aboard a giant cake and belting out Hello Dolly (“wow, wow, wow, fellas / look at the old girl now, fellas”). It was left open to viewers’ interpretation whether it was a direct response to the complaints of the week before.
Hungary has upped its anti-LGBTQ rhetoric by pulling out of the Eurovision song contest
Accusations of a homophobic slur in lyrics haven’t dampened song’s popularity, which was most-played Christmas hit on UK radio last year
The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York has been voted the most popular Christmas song in the UK in a survey by PRS for Music, and was also the most played Christmas song on British radio last year – despite ongoing controversy around its lyrics.
The song has been subject to criticism in recent years for its lyric, sung by Kirsty MacColl: “You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot.” In 2018, Eoghan McDermott, a DJ for Irish national broadcaster RTE, had called for the lyric to be censored, arguing: “Enough vitriol out there without gay people having to feel uncomfortable so people that aren’t affected by an insult can tap their toe.” Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan responded, saying it was “not intended to offend … The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character … She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history, and she is down on her luck and desperate.”
The employee-activists accuse the company of attempting to quash employee organizing, in violation of federal labor laws
The four worker-activists who were fired by Google during Thanksgiving week plan to file federal charges alleging that their former employer fired them to quash worker organizing, in violation of federal labor laws.
Google told its staff of approximately 100,000 last week that the employees were fired for “clear and repeated violations of our data security policies”, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg. But in defiant interviews with the Guardian on Monday, the workers rejected that justification as a pretext.
Lawyer for activist Christie Elan-Cane says current system breaches human rights
Forcing non-gendered applicants to apply for either male or female passports is unlawful, the court of appeal has been told.
Opening a challenge to the Home Office’s refusal to provide gender-neutral, or “X”, passports to UK citizens, Kate Gallafent QC said it was a breach of their human rights. “The current passport system says [that applicants] must accept that they are either male or female,” she said.
Australian Bureau of Statistics recommended against including the new questions, despite acknowledging two departments needed the data to deliver services
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recommended the government not put a new question on sexual orientation into the 2021 census, despite acknowledging that two federal departments need the data to deliver services and it would have “strong value across all levels of government”.
Documents produced to the Senate on Monday reveal that despite extensive consultation with LGBTI health groups about questions on sexual orientation and gender identity and an “identified need” for sexuality data, the ABS believed the potential new topics were too sensitive and risked public backlash.
Politicians ignore the gay vote at their peril. The Conservatives’ lack of policies on equal rights will not go unnoticed
Can the gay vote swing an election? Ask Nicolas Sarkozy. He lost the French presidency to François Hollande in 2012. Having toyed with LGBT equality in the 2007 French presidential election campaign, Sarkozy won a comfortable majority, but by speaking out against equal marriage in 2012, he turned his back on the LGBT vote.He paid the price.
There’s a science to how people vote. Approximately 4% of the population will factor in support for LGBT+ rights in deciding who they vote for. Hollande pipped Sarkozy to the post with the tiniest of margins, just over 3%.
Labour, in contrast, has an LGBT action plan. It wants LGBT people to live in 'safety' and 'dignity'
The tennis legend, who has aroused furious opposition with her views on homosexuality, has agreed to attend the Open in January
Margaret Court has accepted Tennis Australia’s invitation to the Australian Open in January to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her 1970 grand slam sweep.
The governing body said it did not agree with Court’s opposition to same-sex marriage, which had “demeaned and hurt many in our community”, but acknowledged it was important to recognise her efforts in winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same calendar year.
Four officers from Newtown Police Station were ordered to undergo drug testing because they formed a ‘close-knit group’ and frequented a gay bar
Four gay police officers will seek compensation after winning an anti-discrimination case against NSW Police because they were subjected to drug testing due to their sexuality.
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Friday ruled in favour of Steven Rapisarda, Shane Housego, Christopher Sheehy and Christian McDonald, finding a superior officer was “motivated, consciously or unconsciously, to make the complaints ... by reason of their homosexuality”.
The United Kingdom government has been forced by Parliament to make public its contingency plans in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The “Operation Yellowhammer” document sets out the risks in a “no-deal” Brexit scenario. The document makes clear the severe implications for the human rights of people in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU.
The immediate rights impacts are likely to be worse for people on the lowest incomes, as their standard of living is more vulnerable than other groups to rising food and fuel prices caused by supply shortages and disruption.
The Yellowhammer document also states clearly that “certain types of fresh food supply will decrease,” and although widespread food shortages are unlikely, reduced availability will likely drive up prices. The government concedes “this could impact vulnerable groups,” and foresees additional food supply disruption caused by panic buying and stockpiling by those who can afford it.
Yellowhammer also outlines the impact on medicine supplies, affecting people’s right to health. It also flags potentially significant electricity price increases for consumers, negative impacts on social care for older people, regional fuel shortages, and the danger of civil unrest.
I have spent a lot of time recently documenting problems faced by people on the lowest incomes in the UK. Low income and single-parent households are already struggling after a decade of cuts to social security support and rising living costs. Their reliance on emergency food handouts has already skyrocketed, with many families already having sometimes to choose whether “to heat or eat”.
Yellowhammer makes clear that an active government decision to pursue a no-deal Brexit on October 31, just as winter sets in, would put their most basic rights – to feed their children, to warm their homes, to cook and wash, and to get medicine if they fall ill – even more at risk. A government which proceeds with such action regardless of the consequences would breach international human rights law.
Parliament would surely be debating these vital issues today if the government had not suspended it for five weeks. Instead, with Parliament now muted, the government is gambling recklessly with the human rights of society’s most vulnerable.