Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Q Toon: Good News/Bad News Bears

I'm throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this week's cartoon. Gosh, I hope I'm able to find something else to draw about next week.

Danica Roem received a fair amount of press when she was elected to her state legislature, not only because she is the first openly transgender person elected to such a position in this country, but also because she unseated a lead sponsor of Virginia's version of a "bathroom bill."

You might also have caught coverage of Australia's non-binding referendum on marriage equality; over the month of October, over 12 million Australians sent in their ballots by mail, with nearly 62% of respondents voting Yes.  While the 80% voter participation fell somewhat short of  regular compulsory elections, that's a rate greatly above any national election in the U.S.

Other news items may have escaped your notice unless you follow LGBTQ news closely. This past Monday was Transgender Day of Remembrance, by which time 25 transgender persons had been murdered in the U.S. in 2017. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), that sets a record.

HRC is sounding the alarm over five Trump-Pence administration judicial nominees openly hostile to LGBTQ rights, Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, Leonard Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Stephen Schwartz. I drew a cartoon about Mateer in September.

I didn't include the name of Ohio State Representative Wes Goodman, a married "up and coming conservative" who pushed anti-LGBTQ legislation by day and "exchanged salacious texts and emails with gay men he met on Capitol Hill, and sent sexually suggestive messages to young men" by night; he was forced to resign over "inappropriate behavior" with a man in his state office in Columbus.

And finally, anti-LGBTQ repression is on the rise in Turkey as the country abandons its secular government in favor of a sharia-based one. This week, the governor of the capital Ankara banned "any events such as LGBT... cinema, theater, panels, interviews, exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province to provide peace and security." Gay pride events have been banned in Istanbul for the past two years, although homosexuality is not a crime per se.

I visited Turkey once, in 1996, and I would have liked to go back; that first visit only scratched the surface of the place. But there's no chance I would go there the way things are now.

Ah, well. We'll always have Australia.

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