Hosted by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
"NewsWrap": Malawi's new President Joyce Banda calls for the repeal of "indecency and unnatural acts laws" in her first state of the nation address since taking office, while human rights groups in the southern African country mark the May 17th International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, or IDAHO, with a call to Banda to "pursue a policy of inclusiveness rather than exclusion"; Cuban presidential daughter Mariela Castro leads a conga-line march in Havana to mark the 8th annual observance of IDAHO there, while Chile's main LGBT advocacy group leads an "out of the closet march" in Santiago; Puerto Rican activists demonstrate in front of the Education Department in San Juan demanding the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender issues within the country's school system, several couples hold an IDAHO kiss-in in Asuncion, Paraguay, and a photo exhibit tours Rio de Janeiro all month featuring the pictures of 22 mothers of LGBT kids and testimonials about the joys and challenges of being their parents; a first-ever Pride march is held on May 17th in the French Caribbean island of Martinique, and rainbow flags fly over some government buildings to mark IDAHO in Serbia; a few courageous activists in Tehran hide their faces behind a huge rainbow flag and release multi-colored balloons in Iranian IDAHO solidarity; fifty members of the European Parliament tell LGBT teens that "It Gets Better" with an IDAHO video message in several languages; first–ever Pride celebrations are held in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) with performances, speeches and music in a hotel ballroom in Yangon and a few other cities, but Fiji police cancel a planned first-ever Pride march at the last minute on May 17th in the Pacific nation's capital when officials realized the IDAHO event was going to call for LGBT rights; fundamentalist religious protesters attack participants at an IDAHO march in Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, while neo-Nazi skinheads assault Russian activists following an IDAHO rally in St. Petersburg; a notoriously-homophobic Lithuanian lawmaker interrupts an IDAHO press conference in the capital of Vilnius to call for gay people to be expelled from his country, while a lawmaker in the U.S. state of Virginia says he led a move to reject an openly gay judicial nominee this week because "sodomy is not a civil right", and Islamic hard-liners force the cancellation of a sold-out June 3rd concert in Jakarta, Indonesia by "youth corrupting" bisexual pop star Lady Gaga; Israel's parliament rejects legislation to create civil marriage in a country that only recognizes the religious ceremonies of heterosexual Jewish couples approved by rabbinical authorities, and political maneuvering by Republican lawmakers in the U.S. state of Colorado doom a civil unions bill in a special session called by the Democratic governor who had wanted to sign it (written by GREG GORDON with thanks to REX WOCKNER, produced by STEVE PRIDE, and reported this week by CHRISTOPHER GAAL and MISS BARBIE-Q)
Had it not been for some Twinkies, HARVEY MILK might have celebrated his 82nd birthday on May 22nd. The legendary gay and human rights activist and San Francisco Supervisor was assassinated in 1978 by a political rival whose conviction was mitigated by the defense that stress-induced junk food binges had impaired his judgment. Apart from the Oscar-winning 2008 biopic, Milk's legacy lives on in the people he inspired and mentored. One such progressive protégé has kept Harvey's philosophy alive as a legislative aide, a co-founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, creator of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, and a marriage equality and labor organizer. CLEVE JONES is correspondent STEVE PRIDE's go to guy when it comes to Milk remembrances because of his own story, as well as his vivid recollections of those times and that life.