Happy Sunday! It’s brunch time. Don’t be dumb. This week we bring you stories about the Notorious RBG, Netflix, Hong Kong love and America’s favorite “scream queen.” Of course, we have our Whackjob of the Week. See who it is below.
From RBG to Hong Kong, here are the week’s 5 news stories that’ll make sure you look well-informed at brunch:
1. An RBG Exhale
With all the talk about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lungs these last few weeks, it’s now time to exhale. Doctors have told Ginsberg, who had cancerous growths removed from her lungs at the end of 2018, that there is NO evidence of any remaining cancer, and no further treatment is required. Ginsberg, 85, missed her first oral arguments ever this past week as she continued her recovery at home. She will also take next week off but will continue to participate from home on the basis of briefs and transcripts.
President Trump, whose team had quietly begun early groundwork for another potential confirmation battle to replace the ailing justice, will have to put the brakes on that plan as doctors confirmed what we already knew about Notorious RBG: She is, in fact, Wonder Woman! Continued best wishes to Justice Ginsberg for a full recovery.
2. Netflix Flushes North Carolina Production
It seems nowadays every hit show comes from the Netflix platform. This week Netflix pulled production of a series, OBX, that was supposed to be filmed in North Carolina because of the state’s infamous anti-LGBTQ law. The 2016 law, HB2, banned transgender people from using the appropriate restroom in government buildings and ultimately cost Republican Gov. Pat McCrory his re-election. It also prohibited city governments from passing laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. After significant backlash and the election of a new Democrat governor, North Carolina repealed parts of HB2 but kept the law’s ban on city governments passing LGBTQ-inclusive protections until the end of 2020.
According to OBX series creator and North Carolina native Josh Pate, the part about banning local governments from passing LGBTQ protections became a stumbling block for Netflix. Pate added that if North Carolina repealed that part of the law soon, Netflix would consider returning to the state. We know elections have consequences, but so does hate and discrimination.
3. Will Love Win in Hong Kong?
In what will be the first challenge to the law in the courts, two gay men have filed separate lawsuits to overturn Hong Kong’s ban on same-sex marriage. They are asking the high court, which gave permission for the cases to proceed, for the government to review and amend the law on marriage, currently defined as between a man and a woman, to the union of two persons. Homosexuality has been decriminalized since 1991, but Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriage. The high court will hear a separate case on civil unions prior to hearing these cases.
4. From Horror to Hugs
America’s favorite Halloween Scream Queen and longtime LGBTQ ally Jamie Lee Curtis is moving from Michael Myers to Sara Cunningham. Curtis has bought the rights to How We Sleep at Night: A Mother’s Memoir, which is the story of a mother from Oklahoma City (Cunningham) and her journey to acceptance after her son came out as gay at age 21. Cunningham became even more famous last year when she offered “free mom hugs” to LGBTQ people and said she was willing to be a stand-in for parents who won’t attend their children’s same-sex weddings. Curtis’s team confirmed there are plans to craft a script based on the book. As they say in Hollywood, “stay tuned.”
5. Whackjob of the Week: New Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
It’s no surprise when a Republican governor makes zero effort to protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination. But when that governor resides in a state where the worst mass murder of our community occurred just a few short years ago, it’s appalling and cruel. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 left 49 people dead and dozens injured, resulting in a call from Equality Florida to then-Gov. Rick Scott to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination via executive order. Scott pledged to do so but never followed through. With new Gov. Ron DeSantis well aware of the hateful act in his state and the lack of protections that exist for LGBTQ state employees, leaving our community out of his new executive order can be viewed no other way than as a purposeful omission.