11/20/2011 This Way Out


Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle

NewsWrap: Poland swears in its first gay and first transgender MPs, while a Democrat's win in an Iowa Senate race virtually guarantees the safety of marriage equality in the Hawkeye state; Traverse City, Michigan voters overwhelmingly uphold a local ordinance banning sexual orientation-based bias; a plethora of out candidates win reelection and score several firsts in local off-year election victories across the U.S.; and voters rebuff extremist right-wing Republican legislation in Mississippi, Maine, Arizona, and Ohio; a U.S. appeals court formally shuts the door on the Log Cabin Republicans lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the now-repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell; the Senate Judiciary Committee advances the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, the mid-1990s law that bans federal recognition of legally married same-gender couples – though there's little chance that the bill will even be considered by the GOP-controlled House, which is using taxpayer dollars to defend DOMA in federal lawsuits challenging its constitutionality; a coalition of women's and human rights groups in Ecuador demands the closure of some 200 so-called ex-gay facilities that some escapees have called torture clinics; the man who confessed to brutally murdering Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato is sentenced to 30 years in prison; and the heart-breaking forced separation by the Toronto Zoo of Buddy and Pedro, two pair bonded male African penguins, causes an international uproar (written by GREG GORDON, with thanks to REX WOCKNER, produced by STEVE PRIDE, and reported this week by RICK WATTS and MICHAEL LEBEAU)

The year of U.S. Congressional paralysis since the Republicans gained the upper hand in the 2010 elections has been a year of appalling activity at the state level. The GOP agenda has been a litany of anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-labor, anti-rights legislation -- and now the MICHIGAN Senate seems to be following suit with a queer twist. This Way Out's LUCIA CHAPPELLE has the story (with coverage by Current TV's DAVID SHUSTER and impassioned comments by Senate Democratic Minority Leader GRETCHEN WHITMER)

Through his music and activism, transgender teen RYAN CASSATA has helped countless peers with information and support. But more importantly – as This Way Out correspondent JD DOYLE tells us – Ryan gives them someone they can see, someone they can hear, and someone they can relate to.
[www.RyanCassata.com; www.QueerMusicHeritage.com]

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November 20, 2011

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