Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This week's show

KP Whaley interviewed writer Bill Povletich about Liberace, the famously flamboyant musician born and raised in West Allis and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Povletich wrote about Liberace for the Winter 2008-2009 issue of Wisconsin: Magazine of History, a publication of the Wisconsin Historial Society.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This week's show

KP picked up for us holiday slackers and hosted the show all by himself. He interviewed Frank Mastronuzzi, the founder of, which is being called "the gay and lesbian E-Harmony." They talked about finding long-term love and getting along with family at the holidays.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Take WORT with you

Public Radio Tuner™ — iPhone™ App

Listen to WORT-FM on your iPhone and iPod Touch with the Public Radio
Tuner iPhone application. WORT-FM and many other public radio stations
are all available to stream on your iPhone or iPod Touch when you
install the free Public Radio Tuner application from the iTunes App Store.

Where it works:

The Public Radio Tuner application works on all iPhones and iPod
Touches. However, some station streams with a high bitrate (128k or
higher) will perform best when using a wifi or 3G connection. Streams
that are 64k or lower will play with a wifi, 3G, or EDGE network connection.

How to get it:

From your iPhone or iPod Touch:

1. From your iPhone or iPod Touch, click the App Store icon.
2. From the App Store, click the Search feature.
3. Type "public radio" and click Search. Public Radio Tuner will
appear in the search results.
4. Click Public Radio Tuner. A description of the Public Radio Tuner
application displays.
5. Click the Free button. It changes to an Install button.
6. Click the Install button.
7. Wait for the Public Radio Tuner application to be installed.
8. Click the Public Radio Tuner icon from the iPhone or iPod Touch
Home screen and listen!

From the iTunes Store:

1. Go to the App Store section of the iTunes Store.
2. Search for "public radio" and the Public Radio Tuner will appear
in the search results.
3. Click the Get App button on the Public Radio Tuner application page.
4. After the application is finished downloading to your computer,
sync your iPhone or iPod touch with your iTunes account to add the
Public Radio Tuner application to your iPhone.
5. Click the Public Radio Tuner icon from the iPhone or iPod Touch
Home screen and listen!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rightwing bloggers blame the gays

From this show's weekly news roundup by K.P. Whaley:

In Alaska, last weekend - a suspicious fire virtually destroyed the Wasilla Bible Church, house of worship to former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Parishioners were in the church at the time the fire was noticed but no one was injured. Firefighters battled for about eight hours in minus-20 degree temperatures to completely extinguish the blaze that began at the front door.

The anchorage daily news is reporting that Palin went to the church Saturday to apologize to pastors in case the estimated $1 million fire damages, suspected as arson, were connected to the negative attention the church has received since the governor's involvement with John McCain's presidential campaign.

With an investigation in progress, the authorities will not comment or theorize. But rightwing bloggers are already theorizing that it’s possible that this arson is the work of the—(drum roll, please)—“anti-Prop 8 Mafia.” More, I’m sure, to follow.

Hong Kong holds first pride parade

From this show's weekly news roundup by K.P. Whaley:

Hong Kong held its first official gay-pride parade last weekend—quite revolutionary for a country that rarely acknowledges homosexuality, let alone celebrates it. Approximately 1,000 parade-goers stopped traffic, filled the streets and spread their message to "celebrate love." A rainbow-colored dragon bobbed over the heads of men donning dresses and dancing to "celebrate pride," which warbled through a loudspeaker in the center of the city. Also, men with red-feathered tiaras chanted, "Pride parade! Pride parade! Pride parade!" in Cantonese and English while marching through Hong Kong’s congested Hennessey road waving multicolored pride flags.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1991, after more than a decade of discussion. But a stigma remains, as do discriminatory statutes with double standards, such as older age-of-consent laws and cases of discrimination against homosexuals in the workforce and housing.

LGBT supporter nominated for education secretary

From this show's weekly news roundup by K.P. Whaley:

Senior transition officials say Obama will nominate Arne Duncan to be Education Secretary tomorrow at his 11:45 a.m. (ET) news conference in Chicago.
Duncan has worked in the Chicago Public Schools for ten years and was named CEO of the system by Mayor Richard Daley in 2001. He supports merit pay for administrators and teachers; money for teacher retraining, recruitment and classroom infrastructure; and was the lead proponent for the proposed Chicago-based high school for LGBT youth, Social Justice Pride Campus.

LGBT groups endorse Mary Beth Maxwell for labor secretary

From this show's weekly news roundup by K.P. Whaley:

Several gay rights organizations are urging the president elect to select labor activist Mary Beth Maxwell, founder of American Rights at Work, for labor secretary.

Maxwell has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, the Change to Win Federation, and the Human Rights Campaign.

According to the Associated Press, other possible contenders for the post are Ed McElroy, former president of the American Federation of Teachers; Linda Chavez-Thompson, a former AFL-CIO vice president; Maria Echaveste, former Clinton White House adviser; and Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan.

Obama makes first LGBT appointment

From this show's weekly news roundup by K.P. Whaley:

Nancy Sutley will become the first LGBT appointment of the Obama administration.
The president-elect announced Monday that Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley will be a senior member of his environmental team, as the head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Sutley has previously served in various roles on the federal and state level for environmental agencies, including as adviser to former California Governor Gray Davis, a member of the California Water Resources Control Board, and the state environmental agency's deputy secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations. She also worked for Hillary Clinton during her primary bid for the presidency and was the campaign chair for the LGBT Steering Committee in California.
Gay rights groups are praising the nomination as another step toward full equality for gay Americans.

Not to be overlooked, the other appointments—although not gay—are worth noting. The environmental team is being touted as the “green” dream team and also includes physicist Steven Chu, who was named Secretary of Energy, and Lisa Jackson, selected to head the Environmental Protection Agency. And just today Carol Browner was announced as Obama’s pick for energy czar. In making the announcements, Obama said, "This time has to be different. This time we cannot fail."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Local talking heads discuss civil unions for all

UW-Madison law professor recently discussed same-sex marriage with Jack Balkin of Yale on The big question was whether the government should get out of the marriage business altogether and replace marriage with civil unions for consenting adult couples. You can watch part of the discussion here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kentucky jailers convicted of arranging the rape of a teen inmate

Two Kentucky jailers and their former supervisor have been sentenced for conspiring to violate the civil rights of a teenager who had been brought to the jail in February 2003.

The teenager was at the suburban Cincinnati jail on Valentine's Day 2003 on a traffic-related charge. The jailers made comments to the boy that he looked effeminate and would make a good "girlfriend" for the other inmates. They then put him in a group cell, where he was repeatedly raped.

One of the jailers got a 15-year sentence, while the other received 14 years. Their supervisor received seven years.

Hudson assault case a hate crime, says district attorney

The St. Croix County district attorney is bringing hate-crimes charges in a sexual assault case. Dustan Charles Warren is charged with second-degree sexual assault, aggravated battery, second-degree reckless endangerment and false imprisonment of a Hudson woman on Thanksgiving Day. According to the woman, Warren assaulted her after she explained to him that she's a lesbian.

Madison's groundbreaking gay alder

Several months before Harvey Milk was elected to San Francisco's city council, Madison broke ground by electing its first openly gay elected official, Jim Yeadon. The Wisconsin State Journal ran a story today about his history-making candidacy and time in office. Read it before you go see Milk.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Seattle Shame

University of Washington Student Paper Publishes Juvenile Anti-Gay Defamation

A November 25 op-ed in the University of Washington's student newspaper The Daily likened marriage for same-sex couples to bestiality, among other defamatory comparisons. The column was illustrated with a highly offensive graphic of a man standing next to a sheep. In the column, writer John Fay repeatedly makes a series of offensive statements about the gay community throughout the op-ed, titled "Gay marriage? Let's stop and think about this." After making a host of illogical arguments, he suggests that "homosexuality is more of an emotional condition," claiming that if same-sex couples are given the right to marry, "why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union? If the only criteria is that people love each other, then who says it's wrong for a 70-year-old man to marry 10 underage girls?" Such ignorant remarks serve to distract and sensationalize rather than focus on the real issue of extending protections for same-sex couples in marriage.


GLAAD urges you to contact John Fay and The Daily and let them know that publishing such grossly offensive commentary and defamatory imagery is unacceptable.

John Fay

Sarah Jeglum
The Daily

Dane County executive race

Candidates are beginning to line up for the role of Dane County executive. It looks like the top issue will be reforming the 911 call center, but candidates are certain to take positions on the new domestic partner registry and other LGBT issues. The Badger Herald ran articles about former Madison school board member Nancy Mistele and the current county executive, Kathleen Falk.

"Day Without a Gay" in Eau Claire

The Spectator, UW-Eau Claire's student paper, ran an article today about local participation in yesterday's A Day Without a Gay. The national event called for LGBT people and their allies to boycott work, school and the economy for the day, focusing their energy instead on volunteerism that supports the LGBT community. The idea was to show how important gays are to society and the economy. But it appears that the event had few active participants in Eau Claire, San Franciso or elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tonight's show

On tonight's show, we talked to Cindi Creager, director of national news at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), about GLAAD's recent nationwide survey of attitudes about LGBT people and civil rights. The survey found that two in 10 people reported having a more favorable opinion of LGBT people than they did five years ago, and 75 percent of people favor legal status for same-sex partnerships in the form of civil unions, domestic partnership or marriage. Almost as many oppose laws that prohibit gays and lesbians from adopting children. You can read more about the survey here.

To lead in our interview with Cindi, our engineer Patrick played "A Change is Gonna Come" by The Gits.

Some items Brian covered in our News in Brief:

Wisconsinite and influential judge dies

Wisconsinite, gay rights activist and retired California Superior Court Judge Herbert Donaldson died on Friday. Today's San Francisco Chronicle ran an obituary on him today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dane County domestic partner registry opens today

Late this summer, Queery did a feature on a proposal to create a domestic partner registry in Dane County. The proposal, which also requires certain county contractors to provide domestic partner benefits, passed in September. Today is the first day that couples can sign up for the registry, and an article in the Wisconsin State Journal gives some details on how it works. You can read it here.

Recommended reading

Karen Ocamb, a journalist and sometime guest on Queery, has a piece in IN Los Angeles magazine that gives a history of the politicking leading up to the vote on Proposition 8.

Reading on race and homosexuality

Listeners interested the discussion we had recently about race and Prop 8 may want to read a well-thought-out op-ed piece by Charles M. Blow that ran in The New York Times on Saturday. You can read it here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More on Prop 8

The topic of today's A Public Affair on WORT 89.9 FM is Proposition 8, with guest Judge LaDoris Cordell, former California Superior Court judge. If you had any questions you wanted to ask her when we spoke to her on Queery last week, now's your chance. The show runs noon-1 pm, or you can later download the show from our archives.

Friday, November 21, 2008

OutReach looking for volunteers this weekend

From OutReach:

The Library Committee at OutReach has finished the weeding process and
is now looking for volunteers to help re-arrange the shelves this
Sunday, November 23th. Folks will get together at 11am both days work
until about 4pm with pizza provided for the hard working souls :) Please
let Wayne know at rollergath(at)yahoo. com if you can help.

OutReach is at 600 Williamson St., Suite P-1, Madison, WI 53703.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

OutReach web site address has changed

Excerpts from the press release we received today:

OutReach announces a change! Beginning immediately, you can find us on the web at Our new website is just the beginning.

As the website is developed, you will be able to learn about the new programs, the new opportunites and the services available to all. OutReach's Board of Directors has taken a major step into the future with strategic goals that will continue the momentum. ... Our new electronic contact information is as follows:

Steve Starkey, Executive Director

Harry Straetz, Program Director

General information

Of course, we can still be reached at 608-255-8582, or
600 Williamson Ave., Ste P-1, Madison, Wisconsin 53703

Cris Derrick
Development Assistant

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Civil rights, sex and race

Tomorrow our guest will be LaDoris H. Cordell, a retired California Superior Court judge who believes that Proposition 8 will be overturned by the courts. Click here to read her San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece, in which she also spoke about her experience as a lesbian in the black church and her disappointment that many people are unable to connect their belief in civil rights for ethnic and racial minorities to a broader belief in civil rights for all. We'll be talking to Cordell about prospects for marriage equality in California and the role that race did and didn't play in Proposition 8.

There's been a lot of hoopla around exit polls that showed 70% of black voters in California voted in favor of Prop 8, but as Cordell points out in her article, these votes were not enough to determine Prop 8's fate. Even if the percentages had matched those of the rest of the population, Prop 8 still would have passed. But a lot of people are acting like the fate of gay Americans is hanging in church-going black voters' hands. We'll talk to Cordell about why she thinks this issue has become such a big deal in the post-Prop 8 landscape.

Last Friday, several civil rights groups -- including the California NAACP,the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund -- filed a petition in California court last stop the enactment of Proposition 8* because it mandates discrimination against a minority group. You can see the the press release here and the petition here. "We cannot become a society that picks and chooses who is entitled to equal rights," said Alice A. Huffman, president of the California State NAACP.

In our own backyard, The Daily Cardinal ran an opinion piece about civil rights and Prop 8.

On a gossipy note (nod to Drew), you all probably know by now that comedienne Wanda Sykes came out and she is pissed. (Thank goodness for blogging; I'd never be allowed to say the p-word on the radio.) has an article that talks about Wanda Sykes and the reticence of black celebrities to come out. You can read it here.
Of course, before Sykes came out, I'd never even heard of her or her TV show. But be confident that your other Queery hosts watch television and know what's going on in the world.

*The wording is a little confusing, because clerks throughout California have enacted Prop 8 by refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In effect, a successful petition would require government officials to cease enforcing Prop 8.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nationwide protests against discrimination

Look forward to our coverage this Wednesday of the weekend protest in Madison (and nationwide) against California's Prop 8 and other anti-gay measures that passed this past election. You can read other media accounts here:

There's still lots of progress to be made in our state, and the constitutional ban against marriage equality doesn't help. In Fond du Lac, same-sex marriage announcements are not permitted in the paper -- even in the case of state-sanctioned weddings.