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Good Gay News: Europe and America Edition

Good Gay News: Europe and America Edition

Hello, welcome back to another installment of Good Gay News, where today we discuss the good news coming from various parts of the world. In this installment, we take a look at good news coming from France, Poland, and the United States. The United States does have a lot of good news coming out of it this week, so I will begin by talking about the other countries on this list. It is weird seeing good news coming from France purely because of how crazy their government has been in recent years. Not only is this good, but it is also hilarious knowing this happened to a presidential candidate.   

In France, Éric Zemmour, a far-right presidential candidate, was fined 4000-euro ($4200) for anti-LGBTQ+ comments because they violated France’s anti-hate speech law. On October 15, 2019, he appeared on Face à l’info to discuss “Medically assisted reproduction: progress?” The episode appeared shortly after France started to allow lesbian couples and single women to access medically assisted reproduction. He commented, “This is about the whims of a tiny minority that controls the government and enslaves it for its benefit and is going to disintegrate society.” Another comment he made was about children growing up without fathers and said the French people would have to pay for this assistance. A French LGBTQ+ organization called Stop Homophobie filed a lawsuit against him and in late September a judge ruled in favor of the organization. He was not the only one who was fined, as Serge Nedjar, the director of the TV show he appeared on, was fined the same amount. They were also court-ordered to pay 3,000 euros to several LGBTQ+ organizations and 2,000 euros in attorney’s fees. I would like to imagine a law like this being in the US and the number of lawsuits and fines most of the Republican Party would have for spreading hate speech against the community, but hey, we have to abide by the First Amendment and allow them to be hateful. Moving onto Poland where homophobia and hateful rhetoric against the community is abundant, it’s one of the worst countries in Europe when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights.  

In Poland, Robert Biedroń, a Polish opposition leader symbolically married his partner Krysztof Śmiszek during a theatrical performance to protest Poland’s lack of marriage equality. Both men are politicians and part of The Left (Lewica) party and have been together for 23 years. He has performed marriage ceremonies before as a mayor and said it felt nice to be on the other side of it. In another statement, he said, “It’s a beautiful feeling that needs to be shared. That’s why we should do everything so that two adults can experience a wedding whenever they want. Because love is love.” The wedding ceremony was part of a play titled Spartacus: Love in the Time of Cholera. The play looks at the difficult situation queer people in Poland face, and each performance of the play ends with the marriage of a non-heterosexual couple. A lot of the couples have taken the performances seriously when invited to “wed” in them and invited their friends and family to watch their performance. I’m hoping all of the efforts will help get the Polish queer community their rights to marriage in the future. Everyone deserves the right to marry who they love. Now, moving on to the United States California and Delaware have some great news coming out of them.  

Before beginning this section about California, it is important to acknowledge the death of Dianne Feinstein who was an ally to the community and died at age 90. Governor Gavin Newsome chose a new senator to take her place and he will appoint California’s first openly lesbian, Black woman Senator, Laphonza Butler. Butler is the president of a pro-choice women’s political action committee EMILY’S (Early Money Is Like Yeast) List. The organization helps fund pro-choice democratic women into government positions like the US senate and congress and governors roles. It boasts that it has over 1700+ victories since their start in 1985. In 2022 alone they had 401 women elected into office positions for federal and state and local governments across the US.  Butler’s short-term will fulfill Newsome’s promise to appoint a Black woman to the seat, and her appointment will help keep the Democrats the small majority in the 2024 elections. She served as a senior strategist for Vice President Kamala Harris during the elections in 2020. Tony Hoang, executive director of Equality California said in regard to her appointment, “This historic appointment by Governor Newsom will give our LGBTQ+ community another voice in Congress at a time when our rights and freedoms are under attack across the country.” All I have to say about her appointment is “let’s go lesbians!” and I do hope she decides to run in 2024 as we need more queer voices in the Senate.  

In Delaware, they have banned the LGBTQ+ panic defense law and I am going to give some background information about what they banned. They banned a law that allowed people to “defend” themselves once they realized someone they were with or met was a member of the LGBTQ+ community. It would allow them to violently attack the person and claim it was self-defense. No state allows laws like this to be used on their own, but it is still surprising that we have laws like this in the country. Delaware joins California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington in banning laws that allow this to happen. I applaud Delaware in doing this and I hope West Virginia will eventually join them in doing so as well, but given how deeply red this state is, I doubt it will happen.   

This concludes this week’s installment of Good Gay News. I hope that hearing some positive things from these notoriously hateful states makes you smile. Please remember you are loved, cherished, and appreciated by many people. Ignore the negative things people say about you and the community; know things will improve.   

 

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Sky Cale, Staff Reporter
Sky Cale is a senior studying creative writing and minoring in Political Science. She has plans to go get an online master's degree in creative writing. She has aspirations to become an author in the future. She is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in and outside of Appalachia. She works in the Turley Center helping students navigate their way through the third floor. Outside of classes, you can find her walking her ESA Mars around the campus, playing the Sims, or writing her books. 
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