News Briefs

Broadway cast members respond to anti-trans hecklers

At a recent performance, a lady and her husband took the title of the Broadway play Straight White Men at face value, or maybe they were looking for trouble, according to Instinct Magazine.

The show opens with transgender activist Kate Bornstein taking the stage and addressing the audience: “Good evening, ladies, gentlemen, and the rest of us.”

Then a female heckler shouted, “You’re not welcome here!” And then she and her husband booed loudly, obviously disrupting the performance.

Bornstein later tweeted a response: “Look, Straight White Men is a great work of art. And great art does upset people. It happens all the time. Please know that I’m not upset, or afraid. I’m more than ever proud to be part of this show.”

Co-star Armie Hammer also took to Twitter after the show, saying: “To the woman in our audience who felt it was appropriate to yell, ‘You’re not welcome here!’ at Kate Bornstein, our beloved friend, co-worker, and now family member….. feel free never to come back.”

And co-star Josh Charles was even more bold, tweeting, “Also feel free to go fuck yourself lady.”

Hammer later corresponded with audience members on social media to get the hecklers’ seat numbers, stating he’d report them to theater officials.

Michelle Bachelet, the first woman to serve as Chile’s president, chosen to become the United Nations’ next human rights chief

The leader of the United Nations said on Wednesday that he had picked Michelle Bachelet, a prominent women’s rights advocate and the first woman to serve as Chile’s president, to be the organization’s next top human rights official, reports The New York Times. Bachelet was a strong supporter of marriage equality and, during her presidency, signed a bill to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt.

Ms. Bachelet, 66, who was imprisoned and tortured during Chile’s right-wing dictatorship and years later became a pediatrician and politician, will be stepping into a particularly contentious and challenging role at the 193-member organization.

The change comes as the Trump administration has taken an increasingly dim view of human rights diplomacy at the United Nations. The administration withdrew from the Human Rights Council in June, partly over the frequent criticism of Israel and other actions that the administration described as two-faced.

Costa Rica to overturn same-sex marriage ban

Costa Rica’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional and discriminatory. The court ruling gives the country’s legislators a time limit of 18 months to change the current law. The president welcomed the ruling, saying he wants to guarantee “no person will face discrimination for their sexual orientation”. However, many lawmakers are evangelicals who strongly oppose gay marriage, BBC News reported.

A Supreme Court judge, Fernando Castillo, told a press conference on Aug. 8 that the ban will automatically cease to legally exist in 18 months, even if the legislature doesn’t take action. The legislative chamber has 57 seats — 14 of which are held by evangelical members.

Photo | Kate Bornstein

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