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    2019 Year in Review News Quiz

    By Ann Rostow–

    If I were writing my usual column this week, I’d tell you about Hallmark Channel’s controversial decision to remove lesbian imagery from their movie promotions. And this just after I spent many paragraphs writing about the Hallmark Channel last week! I might also mention the more conservative version of the Equality Act, the GOP-sponsored “Fairness for All Act,” which aims to expand gay rights in federal law with a heaping helping of religious exemptions.

    And there’s more, of course, but I’m not writing a column. It’s time instead for our year end news quiz, designed to test how closely you’ve been paying attention to the rambling news threads that we weave together each issue into the colorful quilt of our GLBT life and times. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need any additional “news” in my limited head space that has been jammed with relentless contributions from MSNBC and The New York Times. I chose quiz time.

    Here goes!

    Question One: Australian queer artist Paul Yore caused controversy with his display of:

    a) a sprawling sexually explicit installation that included a cut-out of Justin Bieber.
    b) a full-sized painting of Bill Clinton wearing a blue evening gown.
    c) an actual banana, duct-taped to a wall. 
    d) a toilet door with a glory hole from the old Gosnells train station in Perth.

    Question Two: Super Happy Fun America was the organizer for:

    a) a series of children’s reading programs in public libraries led by drag queens.
    b) a roaming collection of Trump baby blimps featured at the president’s rallies and speeches.
    c) a straight pride festival in Boston.
    d) a crowdfunding drive for a nude gay men’s Highland Games next summer on a beach near Provincetown.

    Question Three: Match these women with their 2019 news headlines:

    a) Pamela Ogletree, b) Monica Cale, c) Annmarie Calgaro, d) Sanna Marin, e) Elizabeth McCarthy

    a) She sued her transgender daughter for transitioning without permission.
    b) She threatened to boycott a gay men’s bar in Minneapolis.
    c) She campaigned for a Florida state representative by describing her traumatic night as a doctor in the ER after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, except the entire story was made up and she was never a doctor.
    d) She was elected president of Finland.
    e) She complained about a scene with two moms in Toy Story 4.

    Question Four: At oral arguments in the two gay and trans Title VII cases before the Supreme Court:

    a) all the justices agreed with our lawyers. We’re sure to win!
    b) Justice Kavanaugh worried about setting in motion a “massive social upheaval” that would be inconsistent with judicial modesty.
    c) Justice Ginsberg was not present.
    d) Justice Kennedy hinted he was inclined to rule for our side.
    e) Justice Gorsuch suggested that the text of Title VII weighed in favor of a pro-GLBT ruling.

    Question Five: Which two of the following are not penguins, and what are they?

    a) Mostik
    b) Cosmo
    c) Sphen
    d) Skipper
    e) Silo
    f) Ronnie
    g) Ping
    h) Lincoln

    Question Six: Who is Blaine Stewart?

    a) A family values Michigan state representative who faked a gay sex scandal in order to inoculate himself against the (accurate) rumor that he was sleeping with a married, female colleague.
    b) A gay Norfolk, Virginia, weatherman, known for colorful language such as: “UPDATE: Get ready for a pounding. Some of us could see 8 inches or more. That’s too much—even for me.”
    c) The owner of a business called the Candy Planet Pet Cafe, where you can have your dog dyed to look like a panda.
    d) The British father of a twin who was denied U.S. citizenship, even though his other father is American.

    Question Seven: Scientists this year concluded that:

    a) homosexuality is driven by genetics.
    b) same-sex behavior in animals has always been there, promoting survival by increasing the opportunity for sexual congress in animals that are not obviously male or female. It is not that homosexuality has trumped Darwin, rather it’s heterosexuality that has evolved to dominate.
    c) the adverse consequences to consuming red meat, drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, or being sedentary have been exaggerated.
    d) “gaydar” in women is more accurate during ovulation.
    e) liberals are more likely than conservatives to feel disgust.

    Question Eight: Which of the following “we hate gay marriage clients” cases went in our favor in 2019?

    a) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Christian videographers.
    b) The petition to the High Court by Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
    c) The Washington Supreme Court rehearing of florist Barronell Stutzman.
    d) The Arizona Supreme Court ruling on the Brush and Nib stationery store.
    e) The Kentucky Supreme Court decision on T-shirt maker Hands on Originals.

    Question Nine: Which one of the following 2019 news bits is not true?

    a) Parts of yellow plastic Garfield telephones have been washing up on the Brittany coast for decades.
    b) Julian Castro told reporters his favorite “comfort food” was iced tea. Kirsten Gillibrand said whiskey.
    c) Schoolgirls in North Pole, Alaska, were disciplined for “excessive force” after some boys barged into the girls’ room to make an anti-transgender point and got kicked.
    d) Someone in Vegas is taping little cowboy hats onto pigeons.
    e) During a meeting, Donald Trump called Apple CEO Tim Cook “T’Apple” in order to “save words and time.”
    f) The state of Alabama has stopped issuing marriage licenses.
    g) Pornhub is selling men’s bathing suits that use a technology to hide an embarrassing erection.

    Question Ten: In 2020, would you rather:

    a) Joe Biden run against Trump with a ten-point lead in September or Elizabeth Warren run against Trump with a four-point lead in September?
    b) Two 5–4 GLBT victories on our Supreme Court Title VII cases or a Democratic Senate?
    c) Another major Trump scandal or something that forces Pence out of office?
    d) A 49er Super Bowl victory or the Giants in the World Series?
    e) A completely new Democratic vice-presidential nominee or someone from the current field of presidential candidates?
    f) Lose ten pounds or win a $200 scratch off prize?
    g) Trump goes down to defeat and you break your arm or Trump wins?

    Happy New Year!

    arostow@aol.com

    Answer One: a) But that was back in 2014. Yore caused more furrowed brows with a 2019 exhibit in Wales that critics said “spewed homophobic hatred” by including antigay phrases and images. The Clinton painting was hanging on a wall at Jeffrey Epstein’s New York town house. The glory hole went to a local museum, and the banana, priced at $120,000, was recently eaten by a rival artist at a Miami exhibit.

    Answer Two: c). For the record, there are no nude gay men’s Highland Games, but there should be.
    Answer Three: a) b) Pamela triggered the internet meme: “It’s a gay bar, Pamela.” b) d) The moms appeared for a nanosecond, but it was too much for Monica. c) a) The Supreme Court recently declined to extend her failed lawsuit. d) d) She’s not gay but she is the youngest president of Finland ever, at 34. Plus, she has a cool name and she was raised by two mothers. Take that, Monica! e) c) She apologized and dropped out of the race.

    Answer Four: e) Yes, he mused about it. But it was also Gorsuch, not Kavanaugh, who made the disparaging remarks in answer b). Ginsberg was there, but obviously Kennedy has left the Court so he was not there. And no, a) is not even close to correct.

    Answer Five: a) b) and h) are not penguins, which just illustrates what a banner year for penguins we have had the good fortune to experience. Mostik is a cat that hangs around the construction site of a bridge in Crimea. Cosmo is a cougar mascot for Brigham Young University represented by a gay guy in a costume at games. Lincoln, a goat, is Mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont.

    Answer Six: b) The weatherman. The Michigan rep is Todd Courser who was forced to resign along with his paramour, state representative Cindy Gamrat. The Candy Planet Pet Cafe is owned by Lu Yunning, of Chengdu, China. The banished twin’s father is Israeli Elad Dvash-Bands, who is married to American Andrew Dvash-Bands. Forced to perform genetic tests, the other twin was allowed citizenship.

    Answer Seven: b) The animal study from Yale is true. Another huge study determined that genetics are only one part of a constellation of factors that contribute to sexual orientation. Heavy drinking and lying on the couch are still unhealthy. The gaydar study was back in 2017. And oddly, it was the conservatives who were more likely to register disgust.
    Answer Eight: c) Thank you, Washington. In general, we are backsliding on the issue of whether or not religious actors can ignore state and local gay rights laws. Both the Eighth Circuit and the Arizona high court ruled against us. The Supreme Court sent Klein’s case back to lower court for review, while the Kentucky court ruled against us on a technicality, upholding the state appellate court’s antigay decision. Not good.

    Answer Nine: e) This is false, but only barely. Trump called Cook “Tim Apple.” Everything else is true. An old container of Garfield phones was found in an underwater cave after many years of mystery. As for Alabama, they don’t issue “licenses” anymore, but they issue something similar, called something else. I didn’t cover the pigeon story because it’s a new one, but I thought you should know about it.

    Answer Ten: The answers are a matter of opinion, of course. Mine are a) Biden, b) The
    High Court rulings, c) Another scandal, d) The Giants, e) Someone new, f) I can’t decide. Each time I pick one, I change it back, g) I would break my arm for my country.

    Published on December 19, 2019