Thursday, December 17, 2009

Next week's show: StageQ's Random Harvest

Enjoy an evening of love, luck, ghosts and gays. StageQ, Madison's queer-focused theater, presents Random Harvest by Richard Willett Dec. 31 to Jan. 16. Amid newfound career success, playwright Aaron becomes obsessed with a suicide that's made the news and starts sleeptalking about the 1942 film Random Harvest. StageQ's artistic director Tara Ayres joins the Queery crew on Wednesday, Dec. 23, from 7-7:30 p.m. to talk about the play, the state of queer theater, and her company's spring performances. Listen in!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

U.S. Senate committee expected to vote on domestic parnter benefits today

According to On Top Magazine, the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee is scheduled to vote today on Tammy Baldwin's Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2000, which would extend domestic partner benefits to federal employees. The Web site reports that only seven of the 17 committee members are co-sponsors of the bill.

D.C. passes marriage equality bill

From the Campaign for All D.C. Families:

Campaign for All D.C. Families praises marriage equality vote

Washington, D.C., December 15, 2009 - The D.C. City Council today voted for the second time as a full council in favor of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009. The bill, which will formally legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples in the District of Columbia while protecting the rights of religious institutions to define marriage according to their own beliefs, will soon be signed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and finally go to Capitol Hill for Congressional review before becoming law.

Aisha Mills, president of the Campaign for All D.C. Families, released the following statement after the vote:

“This is a historic day for the District of Columbia. Equality for all DC residents has prevailed. The Council's decision today embodies the true essence of leadership. Thanks to their bold work, all DC families will have the same protections, opportunities and obligations under the law.

“Campaign for All DC Families applauds our City Council and the community leaders who have worked tirelessly for decades in the pursuit of equality for all DC families. Their unwavering commitment to fairness and equal rights for all loving, committed couples has brought us to this moment.

“But as we celebrate today, we are reminded that our work toward equality and social justice is not yet complete. We must remain vigilant to ensure that the Congress lets this law stand, and that our equality is not put to a vote in the district.”

Tonight's show: Madison LGBT sports leagues

Join us tonight for a conversation with members of some of Madison's LGBT sports teams and leagues. Find out how to join or to cheer them on - both great ways to stay warm this winter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Madison LGBT Oral History Project launches Web site

Remember that fabulous show a while back when we interviewed the folks from the Madison LGBT Oral History Project? Well, if you want to find out more about what's happening now, or you want to participate, there's an easy way to contact them: lgbt.wisc.edu/ohp. It's just a simple page right now, but the group has plans for adding a timeline and historical photographs soon. Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Research on LBTQ women's attitudes toward cancer

We received the following notice from Outreach:

Ashley Mills, a Genetic Counseling student at Mount Sinai in New York , is conducting a research study survey which aims to understand cancer beliefs and attitudes, in addition to family history communication in the LGBTQ community. The survey takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

There have been few opportunities to investigate cancer beliefs and attitudes in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) female communities. The purpose of this study is to understand and analyze views on cancer and family communication in the female LGBTQ communities. The intended goal is to use the information analyzed to give health care professionals, such as genetic counselors, greater insight of community beliefs and attitudes in order to better serve and understand their patients who identify as LGBTQ. Addressing risk assessment, cancer worry and family history are the key components of cancer genetic counseling, with the goals of both addressing patient's psychological needs and influencing risk-reducing behaviors. Therefore, such insights could be useful for improving education, cultural competency, communication and appropriate clinical care.

Your participation is much appreciated! In order to participate, you must be female, over age 18.

You can find the survey online by simply clicking on the link below:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=CRt9E4jCxOD_2fKJgpSRnqrQ_3d_3d

If you have any questions, at any time, or want to discuss any study-related concerns, please contact Ashley Mills at (212)241- 9414 or ashley.mills@mssm.edu

Update on gay UW-Parkside student who was beaten on Halloween

Kenosha News ran this article on Friday giving an update on the situation of Jordan Miller, the UW-Parkside student who was beaten by four men while attending Halloween festivities in downtown Madison. Miller believes he was targeted because of his sexual orientation, about which a friend of his had commented loudly.

As a result of miscommunication between 911 dispatchers and law enforcement,
police who responded on Halloween to a call about the beating didn't realize that Miller had been attacked and thought he had merely passed out drunk. Miller received no medical treatment that night for fractures to his vertebrae and police did not follow up with Miller to ask him about his attackers until almost three weeks after the crime took place.

Miller does not intend to intitiate any legal actions against Madison's emergency services and law enforcement units, according to his attorney, but is attempting to locate his attackers.

Saturday's Equality March at the Capitol

Between 150 and 200 people participated in the Wisconsin Equality March on Saturday. The demands of the march included equal rights for LGBTI people under the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, repeal of Wisconsin's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Char Hanson, one of the organizers of the march, sent Queery the following summary:

Everything with this march went great, the turn our was about 150-175 people. We went down State to the capitol and rallied without issue. The speakers were awesome. And the crowd although fully behind the rally and reasons, was well behaved and no problems occured. It is amazing to live here in Madison where LGBTIQ people have so much outstanding support, we need to bring that support and acceptance to the rest of the state and the rest of the country.

Coverage from other local press:

LGBT rights activists rally to show support - The Daily Cardinal

LGBT rights ralliers march to Capitol - The Badger Herald

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Competition for Obey's House seat just gets weird

Two Republicans vying for U.S. Rep. Dave Obey's seat are arguing over which one of them is less in favor of same-sex marriage.

Challenger Dan Mielke says his primary opponent Sean Duffy condones same-sex marriage because Duffy appeared in a satirical movie 11 years ago that involved a same-sex wedding. Mielke said he was bringing the issue up because marriage "is in my heart and in my soul and I cannot keep still."

Duffy, a former cast member of MTV's The Real World, responded, "Mielke knows I support traditional marriage and for him to suggest otherwise is a blatant lie."

You can read more about the argument here in a blog entry by Wisconsin Journal reporter Jason Stein.

LGBT soldiers can come out ... but only if they're testifying to Congress

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., has introduced legislation to protect active duty service members who publicly identify themselves as LGBT if they do so while testifying before Congress. The bill is intended to allow LGBT service members to participate in congressional hearings scheduled for next year about the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which permits the discharge of any service member who comes out as non-heterosexual.

However, some activists who support LGB people in the military say that the legislation could have a potential downside: harassment of individuals who come out during the congressional investigation. Alexander Nichols, executive director of Servicemembers United, said that testifying could put active duty service members in danger from other members of their units.

You can read more in this story from the Associated Press.

Kathryn has to comment on Meredith Baxter Birney

When I heard yesterday that Meredith Baxter Birney announced she was a lesbian on the Today Show, I thought, "Big whoop." The surprise came when she said she only figured out she was a lesbian seven years ago.

UW-Madison discusses LGBT issues

The Badger Herald student newspaper ran an article yesterday about a Tuesday listening session that sought to identify ways to improve the campus environment for LGBT students. The session was sparsely attended, which some attributed to students' preparing for finals. Issues discussed included the need for faculty to become more aware of the presence of LGBT students in their classes and more sensitive to the assumptions that make about their students. You can read the full article here.

NY senate rejects marriage equality

You've probably read it everywhere else already, but in case you haven't:

N.Y. gay marriage measure defeated
- Boston Globe
Paterson: No Timetable To Try Again On Gay Marriage - New York Daily News
Gay-marriage opponents welcome NY bill's defeat - Associated Press

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New LGBT newspaper for Wisconsin

We wrote last week about the Wisconsin Gazette, our state's newest LGBT paper. Like its predecessors In Step and Wisconsin Light, the Gazette appears to be focused on Milwaukee and surrounds, at least for now. You can download the most recent issue at the Wisconsin Gazette website.

D.C. City Council votes for marriage equality

From the Campaign for All D.C. Families:
The D.C. City Council voted for the first time as a full council in favor of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009. The bill, which will formally legalize same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia while protecting the rights of religious institutions to define marriage according to their own beliefs, will be voted on a final time later this month by the full council. The bill is expected to then be signed by Mayor Fenty and finally go to Capitol Hill for Congressional review before becoming law. Eleven of 13 council members voted in support of the bill.

Aisha Mills, President of the Campaign for All D.C. Families released the following statement:

"Today we celebrate the District of Columbia City Council's initial vote to extend marriage equality to all residents. When passed this important law will provide gay and lesbian couples the securities and protections of marriage and create a stronger community for all of us.

"Denying marriage protections to loving and committed couples here in the district, and elsewhere, puts them and their families in harm's way. I would to thank the Council and all of the advocates for their work on this first step toward ensuring that gay and lesbian couples are able to make a lifelong commitment to take care of and be responsible for one another."

As with any D.C. legislation, the U.S. Congress has the right to repeal the bill if enough senators and representatives get fired up against it. However, no such firing up occurred this summer when the D.C. council voted to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

Judge blocks Argentine fiances' wedding

Yesterday, an Argentine federal judge blocked the marriage of Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre, scheduled for today. Judge Marta Gomez Alsina said the wedding must be delayed until the Supreme Court has had a chance to consider the case. Judge Gabriela Seijas, a Buenos Aires city judge, had ruled on Nov. 20 that prohibiting the men's marriage was a violation of Argentina's constitution.

The men say they will appear for their marriage appointment at the registry office today.