News Round-Up: June 30, 2021

The House of Representatives voted to create a select committee to investigate the January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol building

The House of Representatives voted to create a select committee to investigate the January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol building

Some news items you might have missed:

CNN: Only 2 GOP members of the House – Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois – voted in favor of a select committee to investigate the January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol building where 5 Americans died and over 100 police officers were injured. Republicans said the investigation would just be a means to attack Donald Trump. But before the 2016 election, Republicans held 6 investigations into the 2012 Benghazi attack which left 4 Americans died.

Instinct Magazine: Lil Nas X released a teaser video for his upcoming album “Montero” that parodies the trailers of Marvel super hero films complete with symphonic music and “universe” of characters.

Bloomberg: The European Union plans to announce legal actions against Hungary and Poland over discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ laws passed in the two conservative countries.

Out Music: Let’s dance our way out on the last day of Pride Month with the latest from Vincint, “Kill My Heart,” from his new album There Will Be Tears. The dance floor-filler is a defiant clap back to that ex that think they won something.

OUT: Professional rugby player Jack Dunne came out as bisexual over the weekend. The 22-year-old, who’s been out to friends and family, said he was coming out publicly to be a role model for other questioning young athletes.

Queerty: After sharing photos from a recent shoot for CAP 74024 magazine with his husband, Jwan, Ricky Martin was surprised to see he’d lost a significant number of social media followers. He had something to say about it: “Fear no longer paralyzes me.”

Poland: Mayor Laments Anti-LGBTQ Resolution Has Become Costly Embarrassment

Poland lawmakers continue to work on a bill that would ban Pride events in the European country
A sticker promoting ‘LGBT free’ zones in Poland

In 2019, the town council of Krasnik, Poland, voted to declare itself an “LGBT free zone” in a bid to appease conservative voters. Now, Mayor Wojciech Wilk says the decision has become a costly embarrassment and turned “our town into a synonym for homophobia.”

From the New York Times:

A French town last year severed a partnership with Krasnik in protest. And Norway, from which the mayor had hoped to get nearly $10 million starting this year to finance development projects, said in September that it would not give grants to any Polish town that declares itself “free of L.G.B.T.”

“We have become Europe’s laughingstock, and it’s the citizens not the local politicians who’ve suffered most,” lamented Mr. Wilk, who is now lobbying councilors to repeal the resolution that put the town’s 32,000 residents in the middle of a raucous debate over traditional and modern values.

The mayor goes on to say that unless he can get the “free of LGBT ideology” resolution revoked, his ability to access foreign funds to help pay for electric buses and youth programs is greatly reduced. The youth programs in particular weigh heavily in the town where young people are leaving.

Read the full article.

I’ve been reporting on the anti-LGBTQ attitudes in Poland for some time now.

Last July, the European Union, of which Poland is a member, announced funding to any Polish town that violates Europe’s commitment to tolerance and equality would be cut.

European Parliament Approves Resolution Declaring EU An LGBT ‘Freedom Zone’

European Parliament
European Parliament
European Parliament in Brussels (screen capture via France 24)

In a lop-sided vote, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Wednesday announcing the 27-member European Union is a “freedom zone” for LGBTQ people.

The  declaration came about after two years of rising homophobic animus in Poland and other member countries.

From AP News:

The parliament announced Thursday that there were 492 ballots in favor of the resolution and 141 against in a vote that came after a debate in a session of parliament in Brussels on Wednesday.

The resolution came largely in reaction to developments over the past two years in Poland, where many local communities have adopted largely symbolic resolutions declaring themselves free of what conservative authorities have been calling “LGBT ideology.”

These towns say they are seeking to protect traditional families based on unions of men and women, but LGBT rights activists say the designations are discriminatory and make gays and lesbians feel unwelcome. The areas have come to be colloquially known as “LGBT-free zones.”

The government of Poland clapped back saying they have a right to protect their ‘traditional family values.’

The Polish government also claimed to have lower hate crime statistics than other Western European countries. But, since there’s no mention of LGBTQ people in that country’s penal code, the authorities don’t keep track of homophobic attacks. So, there’s no telling how many anti-LGBTQ crimes are committed.

The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, won reelection last year embracing anti-LGBTQ policies. During the campaign, he remarked that LGBTQ “ideology” is more dangerous than communism.

Read the full article.

Podcast: A Cowboy Christmas Movie + News From UK, Norway, Poland & Hungary

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• HIV diagnoses in the UK drop to their lowest levels in 20 years

Norway expands hate speech laws to protect all LGBTQ citizens

• Lawmakers in Hungary have drafted a constitutional change that effectively prohibits same-sex couples from adopting

• A citizens’ petition in Poland proposes banning Pride parades

Sarah McBride is set to become the highest-ranking transgender legislator in the country

• Out political journalist Steve Kornacki shines on Election Night on social media as ‘Korsnacki’ and ‘Map Daddy’

• Don’t miss the upcoming gay holiday romance movie Dashing in December on Paramount TV

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

News Round-Up: November 13, 2020

‘Map daddy’ Steve Kornacki (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

LA Times: MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki – dubbed ‘map daddy’ or ‘chart-throb’ due to his 2020 election count performance – has so inspired millions his regular go-to khakis have surged 90 percent in sales at the GAP.

Pink News: Poland’s ugly war against LGBTQ people continues with a horrifying new bill that would ban Pride parades throughout the country. The proposed law, entitled “Stop LGBT”, would ban Pride parades as well as any other public gatherings that “promote” queer identities. #StopTheHate

New York Daily News: Donald Trump’s favorite rapper, Lil’ Pump, shared a campaign rally stage with the Donald just before the election to show his support. But it turns out the 20-year-old (who posted a video on Instagram to his 17-million followers declaring “All I gotta say is Trump 2020, b-tch!”) didn’t bother to even register to vote. The video is no longer online.

Christmas Music: Australian pop star Delta Goodrem surprised fans with a new Christmas album titled Santa Only Knows complete with a gorgeous guitar-driven duet with international superstar Olivia Newton-John, “Merry Christmas to You.”

Axios: Donald Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News and undermine the conservative-friendly network, sources tell me. Some Trump advisers say Fox News enraged Trump by making an early call (seconded by AP) of a Joe Biden win in Arizona. “He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it” said a source..

The Hill: Prosecutors in the case over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year presented the court on Thursday with racist text messages and social media posts from one of the two white men who fatally shot him while he was jogging in Brunswick, Ga.

KDKA: A federal appeals court in Philadelphia on Friday rejected an effort to block about 9,300 ballots that arrived after Election Day. The three-judge panel, led by Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Brooks Smith, ruled “that the lawfully cast vote of every citizen must count.” The ruling involves the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to accept mail-in ballots that arrived by Friday, Nov. 6, three days after the close of polling places.

News Round-Up: October 13, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

• Reuters: The 2023 European Games, a regional Olympic event, will be held in Krakow, Poland. The announcement was met with disapproval since Krakow has embraced so-called ‘LGBT-free zone’ ideology.

Gallup Polling: Donald Trump’s attempts to push-push-push the approval of a coronavirus vaccine before Election Day appears to have backfired as Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated quickly has dropped 11 percentage points, falling to 50% in late September.

The Hill: Former president Barack Obama (above) released multiple state-specific tutorials on how to vote on Tuesday, 21 days before the Nov. 3 election. The state-specific videos included battleground states like Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. #VOTE

Washington Post: The federal prosecutor appointed by AG Bill Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly “unmasked” individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing. Conservatives have tried to paint the “unmasking” of names — a common practice in government to help understand classified documents — as a political conspiracy.

Politico: For the fourth time in 3 months, an ad promoting President Donald Trump’s reelection has used footage from Russia.

The Upshot: If you’re curious about the latest polls – both national and in battleground states – hit the link. The bottom line? Today’s newly-released results show “Biden is ahead, and his lead is either holding steady or widening.”

Election 2020: Bruce Springsteen himself gave his blessing to the use of his song “Streets of Philadelphia” for a new campaign ad titled, “America Needs Pennsylvania.” This might be one of the most powerful campaign spots of the 2020 cycle. #VOTE