Bakers still in court
Custom bakers in California and Colorado are still fighting in court over whether a company can refuse to “commit art” based on the artist’s personal beliefs. In California, a lesbian couple sued Tasties Bakery for refusing to create a cake for their wedding. The state Department of Fair Employment and Housing ruled that the bakery discriminated against the couple in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. The baker said she can’t be forced to create “art” for an idea she doesn’t agree with. The Kern County Superior Court ruled that Miller acted lawfully, defending the protection of his beliefs in Biblical teachings, although it did not specify which of the contradictory Biblical passages passed the test. Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips has won a US Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a gay couple’s wedding cake a decade ago. He is now being sued for refusing to bake a cake to celebrate a “gender transition.” There’s not much about transgender people, other than angels, in the Bible, but he’s still “angry.”
‘Don’t say it,’ Florida court says
Two different federal judges allowed Florida’s law restricting classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, dubbed the “don’t say gay” law by opponents, to take effect. Both US district judges ruled that the plaintiffs did not have the legal standing to challenge the law. The judges encouraged the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint. Former Equality Utah Director and former Utah State Senator Scott McCoy, who is now Acting Assistant Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is part of the lawsuit. He opined: “The callous dismissal of the rise in bullying based on gender identity and the removal of the anti-bullying guide shows exactly why we must keep fighting.”
Qatar interrupts the protest
Activist Peter Tatchell, from the Peter Tatchell Foundation of the same name, went to Doha to protest the mistreatment of gay men, lesbians, transgender people and other allied sexual minorities in Qatar. The Persian Gulf country will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Tatchell protested at the National Museum of Qatar, stating: “Qatar arrests, imprisons and subjects LGBT people to ‘conversion’.” For good measure, he wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the hashtag “#QatarAntiGay.” The foundation’s YouTube page shows Tatchell was standing in a pedestrian zone when a security officer approached him and folded the sign. The video ends as the guard walks away. Tatchell claimed that he was captured and detained for 49 minutes. After he was “released”, he went to the airport and flew out. Qatari authorities said he had not been arrested but was asked to leave. Former Qatari national team player Khalid Salman and World Cup ambassador told a German reporter that being gay is “haram” or prohibited in Islam, and that he has a problem with children seeing gay people. Other British “football” fans have raised concerns about alcohol restrictions in Qatar. This will significantly impact an important aspect of the fan experience. “Getting mad and fighting makes the game watchable,” said one fan.
Oregon Camp Busts Out
Camp Tamarack in Oregon is an annual three-day outdoor experience for 5th and 6th grade students. This year’s camp was disrupted by complaints about a school district’s objections to non-binary and transgender camp counselors. The district superintendent took district students home early. The district said it would “err on the side of caution” and remove students home soon after their arrival because “some students expressed discomfort with the arrangements.” Camp officials said they would have liked to have given objecting parents the option of separate housing unsupervised by objectionable counselors, but Oregon’s nondiscrimination policy, according to the camp, says that “a person’s gender identity is protected by state and federal guidelines and is not information we share with others.”
Murphy wanted the gay Dahmer label
Ryan Murphy produces digital entertainment such as “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” which include gay, lesbian, and transgender themes. He produced “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” for Netflix. Originally, the streaming service gave it a “LGBTQ” search tag. The hashtag was protested by LGBTQIA lobby groups claiming that the story was inappropriate for the hashtag. Netflix removed the label over Murphy’s protest. he told the New York Times he wanted the label because racism and homophobia kept authorities from bringing the killer to justice for so long. “It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen that really examines how easy it is to get away with aspects of white privilege,” he explained. Murphy says he discussed the removal with the company to be told, “People were upset because it was a disturbing story.” Murphy’s response was: “Well, yes. But it was the story of a gay man and, more importantly, his gay victims.”
Kinship certificates in Tokyo0
Gays and lesbians in Japan see the Tokyo city government’s initiative to start issuing “partnership certificates for same-sex couples” as a step toward marriage equality. The certificates allow couples to be recognized for services such as housing and health care, but do not confer any rights when it comes to inheritance, adoption or spousal visas. Japan is the only country in the Group of 7 of the association of economically “developed” countries that does not have marriage equality. Polls indicate that the majority of Japanese citizens support marriage equality, but politicians are hesitant. The courts are mixed. In Osaka, the nationwide ban on same-sex marriage was upheld, while a Sapporo court ruled the ban unconstitutional. Tokyo, with a population of 37 million citizens, has received nearly 200 certificate applications so far.
SNL hosted by Chappelle
Try something new, Saturday night live the producers decided to cast someone who is funny. Unfortunately for some, that someone is controversial comedian Dave Chappelle. He has been the center of controversy for the jokes he made about gays, lesbians and transgender people in two Netflix shows. In a riff, Chappelle defended JK Rowling over her comments about transgender women being in “safe spaces for women”. Chappell’s comments describing himself as a TERF drew criticism and Netflix employees organized a walkout. The Twitter mob has called on SNL staff to boycott the show and flooded social media with photos of other SNL hosts wearing T-shirts bearing transgender support slogans. SNL has had stars and guest hosts in cross-dressing sketches, most famously John Belushi as Elizabeth Taylor choking on chicken and Dan Ackroyd as cooking show host Julia Child. These performances were in the early years of the show before comedy got so serious.
“Nope!” youor gender affirming therapy
Florida state medical boards have approved language restricting “gender-affirming care” for transgender minors. Children currently receiving medical care were “grandparented” and can continue therapy. The rule regulates the prescription of puberty blockers or hormonal therapy to new underage patients and prohibits gender affirmation surgeries. The Florida Board of Medicine said during the hearing that the rule calls for “ethical and compassionate psychotherapy that respects the child’s experience.” Equality Florida said this rule will be the only restriction on gender-affirming medical therapies for minors instituted by a state medical board in the United States. Some legislatures in other states, including Utah, are considering restrictive legislation. Florida does not have a state policy on “gay conversion therapy.” Palm Beach and Broward counties have local regulations, which are currently under judicial review.