Happy Sunday! It’s brunch time. Don’t be dumb. This week’s stories from around the world involve an ice skating Olympian who’s calling it quits, a rugby team fighting for a gay teammate, gay marriage wins and losses and a message for the red bucket. And of course we have our Whackjob of the Week. See who it is below.
Here are the week’s 5 news stories that’ll keep you looking well-informed at brunch:
1. Adam Rippon Retires
After captivating the world this past February with his wit and charm — not to mention his incredible ice skating skills — openly gay U.S. Olympian Adam Rippon, 29, has announced he is retiring. Since the Olympics, the bronze medal-winner has been keeping busy with public appearances and LGBTQ advocacy work, even filming an episode of Will and Grace. Check out Rippon’s incredibly powerful video message he did for CBS’ “Note to Self” series. This is our favorite quote from the video: “You will look in the mirror and finally see a winner looking back at you. Now go out and conquer the world.” It’s a world that could use more role models like Adam Rippon.
2. The Meaning of Teamwork
Being on a sports team means many things. In most pro sports, being gay and out is unheard of. But being a teammate takes on a whole new meaning when you support one another beyond the field. Bristol rugby players are supporting Kenneth Macharia, whose claim for asylum in the UK was denied. He was detained with the threat of being deported back to Kenya, Africa, where he would most likely be persecuted for being gay. The teammates rallied to intervene with the government on his behalf. He’s been released from the detention center, but his future is still uncertain. Would you go to bat for a teammate like Kenneth?
3. In Need of Salvation
It’s no secret that the Salvation Army has an atrocious record when it comes to LGBTQ support and rights. As a service-oriented organization that has come under fire for its lack of diversity and inclusion, it would rather sweep things under the rug than come out and try to make amends or apologize. Well, now there is a voucher you can drop into those little red buckets you see outside of popular shopping stores. The voucher simply states that donations will be made to other organizations that do support ALL people in need, including those that happen to be LGBTQ. Download it. Print it. Drop it in. We are.
4. In the World of Gay Marriage …
You may remember that we previously covered Bermuda’s government actually taking away same-sex marriage last year after the courts ruled it was legal. Well, same-sex marriage campaigners were victorious in court this week after the government lost a legal battle. The Court of Appeal dismissed the government’s claim that former Chief Justice Ian Kawaley erred in a ruling that reopened the door for same-sex marriage. So, for the time being (there can be more appeals), love wins again in Bermuda.
However, in Taiwan, a public referendum that considered several issues related to marriage equality and gender identity has dealt a blow to LGBTQ advocates. This follows a 2017 high court decision ordering the government to legalize same-sex marriage by 2019. This should not affect that ruling but could influence how the government moves forward by deciding whether it amends the civil code or proposes a new law. Voters also said ‘no’ to an item that asked if schools should teach all students about “gender equality, emotional education, sex education and same-sex education.”
5. Whackjob of the Week: Linda Harvey
Could it be that a lesbian kiss can ruin the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? If you ask right-wing whackos, it does. Characters from the musical Prom did a number for the parade an,d yes, it was televised to millions of people, and, yes, there was a lesbian kiss as part of the scene. And the right-wingers trolled the internet to say they had to change the channel because their kids were asking why two girls were kissing.
“Possibly millions of American children are watching, and the producers of the parade and the program know this,” according to Linda Harvey, President of Mission: America and one of the most wacky of the holier-than-thou anti-LGBTQ crowd. “This offense, this corruption is deliberate as the procession toward normalizing decadence marches on.” So, instead of simply saying that in life you encounter all different kinds of people and it’s best not to judge but to lead with love and understanding, you simply switch the channel and run to Twitter. Great parenting. Way to be a homophobe. I guess don’t ever watch TV or movies, because a gay character might be part of the story? What do you think of the kiss?
Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were one of two plaintiff couples in California’s 2013 challenge of Proposition 8, which brought marriage equality back to the state after being ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. These activists also host the weekly podcast The Husbands. Catch them there or follow them on Hornet @PaulAndJeff.