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    Ann Rostow: 2020 Year in Review News Quiz

    By Ann Rostow–

    As usual, we end the year with a final news quiz, checking to see how attentive San Francisco Bay Times readers have been to the important ups and downs of our vibrant GLBT world in 2020. Who could forget the excitement of our victory in Bostock v Clayton County last June? Who among us are not still shaking our heads at the nerve of former Congressman Aaron Schock posing for a beach selfie with his quarantine pals at Cabo? How many of us are still having Zoom arguments about whether “pony play” people should get their own version of the rainbow flag? (I say, “Neiiiighhhhhh!”) And what of this year’s many other fond memories?

    But before we start, you should know that the Supreme Court just turned down two cases that left GLBT victories in place. First, on December 7, they declined review of a transgender rights ruling out of the Ninth Circuit that went against some anti-trans parents who were fighting a school district in Oregon.

    Then on December 14, the justices declined to hear the appeal from the state of Indiana contesting the Seventh Circuit’s ruling in favor of married gay women. That was the case about issuing birth certificates listing two mothers when a woman who gives birth is married to another woman. I’m kind of excited. It takes four justices to agree to hear a case, so this means that, whatever their predispositions, we are not completely despised by four members of the conservative majority. Hurray!

    Now let the fun begin.

    1. What was the vote count in our Title VII Supreme Court victory, and who wrote the opinion? 

    a) 5–4 John Roberts, extrapolating from precedent; 
    b) 6–3 Neil Gorsuch, arguing for adherence to the text of the law; 
    c) 5–4 Anthony Kennedy, in his final gay rights opinion; 
    d) 6–3 Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in another expansive statement on our civil rights.

    2. Which of these activists did not die in 2020? 

    a) Larry Kramer; 
    b) Monica Roberts; 
    c) Del Martin; 
    d) John Lewis.

    3. One Million Moms called a Burger King ad “extremely destructive and damaging to impressionable children viewing the commercial” because 

    a) It contained the line, “Damn that’s good!” 
    b) It showed a young gay man buying a burger for his boyfriend; 
    c) It featured a girl in a bikini; 
    d) It included a one-second background shot of what could be two mothers and their daughter.

    4. Magawa, who made headlines this year, was: 

    a) An Instagram influencer in Morocco who incited attacks on closeted gay men; 
    b) A hero rat who helped discover land mines in Cambodia; 
    c) A therapy llama who brought comfort to BLM protesters in Portland; 
    d) A Polish transgender activist who draped statutes in rainbow flags to protest the far-right regime of Andrzej Duda.

    5. Houston doctor Stella Immanuel, part of a White Coat Summit on the virus last summer, earned controversy for asserting that:

    a) The U.S. government is run by aliens and reptiles;
    b) Scientists are creating a vaccine that will destroy religious faith;
    c) Gynecological problems are caused by spirits that have sex with women in their dreams;
    d) COVID-19 can be cured by total immersion in a bath of 150 proof rum;
    e) The Magic Eight Ball is a demonic oracle; 
    f) All of the above.

    6. In Fulton v City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court reviewed whether or not Philadelphia could drop a Catholic agency from its foster care program based on antigay discrimination rules. The Court decided:

    a) Yes, because civil rights laws are generally applicable and do not target a particular faith.
    b) No, because religious freedom, mandated by the First Amendment, trumps a state or local ordinance.
    c) Who knows? Because they haven’t ruled.
    d) Yes, because the City was acting as a market participant and has control over its business dealings in that context.

    7. Yarislav Suris sued Pornhub because:

    a) He is deaf and wanted captions on their porn films based on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    b) He objected on First Amendment grounds to a video that involved Jesus and his boyfriend, “Orlando.”
    c) They infringed his patent rights on the “bonerless bathing suit,” a bathing suit developed by Pornhub that hides erections. 
    d) They abused animals in the short clip: “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep; Randy Farmer Gets Caught In Neighbor’s Flock.”

    8. Trump appointee Merritt Corrigan made news when she:

    a) Attacked a female Mount Holyoke professor with a fire poker, a rock, and some garden shears, leaving her hospitalized, because the professor rejected her advances.
    b) Helped create a vaccine for chlamydia in koala bears.
    c) Complained that the media challenged her Christian beliefs, tweeting: “Let me be clear: Gay marriage isn’t marriage. Men aren’t women. U.S.-funded Tunisian LGBT soap operas aren’t America First.”
    d) Expressed outrage over Hasbro trolls that made orgasmic noises when you pressed a button between their legs.

    9. True or False— In 2020:

    a) State Senator Sylvia Allen of Arizona proposed a bill to remove the word “homosexual” from public school curricula, ban sex ed for anyone under 12, and deem any discussion of sex between minors as harmful.
    b) Gay wolves were removed from the endangered species list.
    c) Scientists said homosexuality was linked to reduced levels of beta amyloid, the bad stuff that causes Alzheimer’s disease.
    d) In Croatia, the town fathers of Imotski burned a carnival float doll that was supposed to represent two gay men and a child.
    e) József Szájer, an archconservative Hungarian member of the European Parliament, was caught fleeing from a 25-man gay orgy.
    f) A 2–1 Trump majority panel of the Eleventh Circuit ruled in favor of conversion therapy, recommending an injunction against two Florida counties that tried to ban the practice. 
    g) Tampa area police charged four women with misdemeanors for agreeing to sexual activity with undercover officers at a public park.

    10. In 2021, would you rather:

    a) Find out the details of Trump’s weird medical emergency or learn who owns his $400 million debt?
    b) Get COVID-19 and recover quickly or get the vaccine?
    c) Pass the Equality Act or make the District of Columbia a state?
    d) Win the Senate, or win ten thousand dollars?
    e) See scientists discover evidence of intelligent alien life or learn the nature of dark matter?
    f) Get married, stay married, or get divorced?
    g) See Trump fade off the headlines, or see Trump split the GOP party into two factions through distracting rallies?
    h) See a 5% rise in annual GDP, or pass a comprehensive immigration bill?

    See you in 2021.


    1: b) Gorsuch and Roberts joined the four liberal justices. Kennedy was not on the Court. We tricked you on that last year too! Ginsburg never wrote a major gay rights opinion, but she always voted for us and she was the architect of the legal infrastructure for sex discrimination on which we rely. 

    2: c) Del Martin died in 2008. It was her wife, Phyllis Lyon, who died in 2020, along with AIDS activist and playwright Kramer, trans activist Roberts, and the famed Congressman, John Lewis.

    3: a) These people are on a hair trigger. They also objected to an Oreo commercial that featured a lesbian bringing her girlfriend home for an uncertain visit. Spoiler alert! It had a happy ending, ergo we were told to boycott the parent company’s entire product list, including Triscuits, Ritz, Wheat Thins, Cadbury, and Chips Ahoy.

    4: b) He was given a medal. For the record, the six-year-old Argentinian therapy llama was named Caesar McCool. 

    5: a) b) c) e) are true, but she never made that absurd statement about COVID-19.

    6: c) The case was argued November 4 to all nine justices including Amy Coney Barrett, who is thought to lean in favor of Catholic Social Services. Most analysts think the result could be a win for religious freedom and a loss for same-sex couples.

    7: a) He wanted punitive damages for missing the dialogue in: “Hot Step Aunt Babysits Disobedient Nephew,” “Sexy Cop Gets Witness to Talk,” and “Daddy 4K—Allison Comes to Talk About Money to Her Boys’ Naughty Father.”

    8: c) She lost her position as White House liaison to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Peter Timms developed the koala vaccine and 48-year-old art professor, Rie Hachiyanagi, was charged with the Mt. Holyoke assault.

    9: a) T, b) F (it was gray wolves, not gay wolves), c) F (consuming 13 alcoholic drinks a week was linked to the lower Alzheimer’s risk), d) T (in their defense, the float was ugly), e) T (the question is unfair because we didn’t cover this since it just happened the other day), f) T, g) F (they charged 11 men). 

    10: As for me, I’d take learning about the medical crisis, getting the vaccine, making D.C. a state, winning the Senate, learning about dark matter, staying married, seeing Trump fade, and passing immigration. That would make for quite an interesting year—particularly the discovery of the nature of the universe.

    Published on December 17, 2020