Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Queer events this week and beyond in Madison

Tomorrow night at 6 p.m., Rainbow Families Madison has its regular meet-and-greet for all LGBT families and those interested in parenting. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend. The event is at Outreach Community Center, 600 Williamson St.

On Saturday, December 18, the Madison Area Transgender Group meets at 3pm at Outreach Community Center.

And, of course, at 8:00 p.m on Saturday, Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus opens for THE NYLONS at the Barrymore Theatre on Atwood St. For more information and tickets, go to

On Sunday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m., Perfect Harmony presents Winter Glow, a full-length holiday concert at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 5700 Pheasant Hill Road in Monona. Details and tickets are available at Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Later on Sunday, OutThere LGBTA social group for young people ages 18-24ish meets at Outreach. For more details, e-mail or visit

OutReach is partnering with Diverse and Resilient, a Milwaukee-based LGBT capacity-building organization, on an LGBT intimate-partner violence-reduction project. The first focus group is for lesbian-identified women. If you are interested in finding out more information or would like to join in the focus group, you can call the project coordinator Melissa Lemke at 414-219-5113 or email her at

A 15-week men’s coming-out support group is forming. The group will meet on a weeknight to be determined at 7pm. The purpose of the group is to offer support to men who are dealing with the realization that they are not heterosexual. The men’s coming out support group will identify and discuss the stages of coming out and explore topics such as how to deal with one’s own feelings about coming out, family members, physical and sexual safety, legal rights and discrimination, among others. Two trained volunteers will facilitate each meeting. Men who are interested in attending the meetings should leave a message for Roger with contact information at 575-1500 or e-mail by Saturday, January 15th.

And last but not least, Queery is looking for volunteers. We need your help to keep this show strong and ensure that it represents the diverse voices of our community. Volunteers can help out on or off the air by reporting, writing news or announcements, updating our blog and Facebook page, coming up with show ideas, and more. If you’re interested in helping out, please email or call Glen at 608-256-2001.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tonight's Show: Prodigal Sons director and marriage equality demonstration

We enjoyed speaking with Kimberly Reed, director of the documentary Prodigal Sons, who grew up as Paul McKarrow in small-town Montana. The film follows Kimberly's reunion with her brother Mark after a long estrangement and their differing relationships with the past: Kimberly wants to forget her conflicted years as Paul; but to Mark, who suffered a brain injury in his early 20s, those years are often more vivid and real than the present.

Prodigal Sons has won numerous awards and was named the best documentary of 2009 by Curve magazine. The Queery crew gives it top honors, too. The film was released to DVD today and can be ordered here.

We also talked with Lessa Marty and Liam Manjon from LGBTI Equality Now, which is organizing a rally and march next week to protest the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-marriage equality group that is coming to Madison on Tuesday, July 27.

Participants will gather at Library Mall (the campus end of State Street) for speakers, including State Representative Mark Pocan, whose marriage to his partner Philip Frank in Canada is not recognized by the state of Wisconsin. They'll then march to the Capitol to greet the National Organization for Marriage at noon. The counter protest will go until about 1 p.m.

For more information. please go to the March for Marriage Equality Facebook page. There will be a sign-making party at noon on Sunday, July 25, at Outreach, 600 Williamson St.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Show summary

We hope you enjoyed tonight's show!

For more information about Outreach awards and events, call 255-8582 check out their Web site at Nominations must be received by August 1, 2010.

For more information about The Game Show Show and purchasing tickets, click here.

And highlights from our announcements:
  • Please join OPEN Madison, the professional LGBT network, as it celebrates summer aboard the Betty Lou next Wednesday, July 21st. Launch is promptly at 5:30 p.m. from the dock at Machinery Row. Please note that you will need to park at public access lots nearby rather than in the Sardine parking lot. To sign up, check out OPEN Madison on Facebook.
  • Queery is looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of the show. Whether you dream of being on air or playing a behind-the-scenes role, we have a place for you. Please call 256-2001 and ask for Glen or Molly, or email

Tonight's Show: The Game Show Show and Outreach Awards

Tonight on Queery, we’re talking with Tara Ayres of Stage Q and Michael Bruno of WhoopDeDoo Productions about their upcoming play, The Game Show Show. Rumor has it there will be a ticket give-away.

We’ll also be talking with Harry Straetz from Outreach about its upcoming awards banquet this fall and how you can nominate individuals, organizations and businesses that have made outstanding contributions to Madison ’s LGBT community in the past year.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Protest National Organization for Marriage Coming to Madison

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have already seen that several folks have been talking about being present when the inaptly named National Organization for Marriage, which is against marriage equality for committed adult couples, comes to Madison on July 27. The plans are coming together. Here's an email we received today from organizers:
Protest the Anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage in Madison!
Demand Full Equality for all LGBT people in Wisconsin and the United States!


Meet on Library Mall at the UW campus on July 27th at 11:00am

March begins at 11:30am to meet them at the Capitol when they get there at 12:00pm

The right wing anti-gay marriage NOM is doing a national bus tour this summer to promote so called "Traditional Marriage". As outrageous as this sounds, they have decided to come to Madison WI to spread their hatred of LGBT people on July 27th. This is a slap in the face to everyone who supports equality in Wisconsin, especially after the recent court decision to uphold the discriminatory marriage ban.

We are having a protest organizing meeting on July 10th at 10am at Michelangelo's Coffee Shop on State St to help build the protest. Hope to see you there.

Here is the Facebook event for the protest and the organizing meeting. Invite all you equality supporting friends!

And on an unrelated note, sorry it's been so long since our last post. The show has still been going strong - it's just that our Web maven has been overwhelmed for the past few months with a job change. (Like all the programmers at WORT, our Web maven is a volunteer and has work outside of Queery, alas.) We're hoping to get back to more regular posting so you can know what's going on in our community between shows, get more information on subjects we cover on air, and learn what topics we'll be covering. For example, we're already looking forward to next week's show, which will include a preview of The Game Show Show from WhoopDeDoo Productions and queer theater group StageQ.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Off and Running: An American Coming of Age Story

Tonight, we're speaking with Nicole Opper, director of the documentary Off and Running: An American Coming of Age Story:
With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers — one mixed-race and one Korean—Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known. She begins staying away from home, starts skipping school, and risks losing her shot at the college track career she had always dreamed of. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring. OFF AND RUNNING follows Avery to the brink of adulthood, exploring the strength of family bonds and the lengths people must go to become themselves.

The film shows next Wednesday at the UW-Milwaukee Union Theater.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tonight's news roundup

The District of Columbia became the sixth jurisdiction in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage on March 3, but that could change if an attempt to rescind the law is successful. The law went into effect after being passed by D.C.'s city council and signed in December by Mayor Adrian Fenty. The Democratic-controlled Congress chose not to overturn the law during its 30-day period of review. Opponents of the law hope to take advantage of a section in the D.C. Charter that allows citizens to gather signatures to place the issue on the ballot -- something opponents have been trying for months to do, only to be thwarted by the D.C. Board of Elections and by various courts, which upheld the board's stance that such an initiative would "authorize discrimination" against homosexuals.

Speaking of marriage, Nepal plans to offer same-sex couples the possibility of getting married at a Mount Everest base camp and of honeymooning on a Himalayan trek or adventure tour. Nepal also wants to cash in on a chunk of the multibillion-dollar gay tourist market.

John Tanzella of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association says that a growing segment of the gay tourism market craves adventure travel and exotic locations, especially to places seen as hospitable to gay travelers.

Constance McMillen, a Mississippi high school student, made waves this past week when she said she wanted to bring her girlfriend to her high school prom. Instead of allowing McMillen to bring a same-sex date to the dance, school board members decided to cancel the event entirely. This past week, the American Civil Liberties Union and Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition teamed up to demand McMillen be allowed to attend. Kristy Bennett, Legal Director of the ACLU of Mississippi, says “Constance has a constitutional right to take the person she’s dating to the prom, just like any other student at any other public school.”

General David Petraeus, the Army general who is managing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, says “the time has come” for the military to rethink its current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy toward gays in the military. Petraeus told a Senate panel Tuesday that he wants to see the results of an internal study ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates before any changes are made. Petraeus said he wants to know if allowing gays to serve openly might hurt recruiting and retention, or the military’s ability to fight.

Claims that three-time US Olympic champion skater Johnny Weir was not included in the “Stars on Ice” cast because of his perceived sexual orientation are untrue, a representative for the figure skating tour said. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation started an online petition last week, saying Weir was being excluded from the tour because he was not “family friendly.” Weir has repeatedly avoided questions about his sexual orientation, saying people shouldn’t be defined by labels. “While Stars on Ice wishes it could accommodate many more talented skaters as part of our cast, the fact is we cannot sign every skater,” the Stars statement said.

Prosecutors who have charged three cousins with a hate crime said they’re considering charging the suspects in 11 similar incidents. The cousins were charged with shooting a San Francisco man with a BB gun on February 26 because they thought he was gay.

The victim called police and said he’d been shot by a passing car. Police pulled the suspects over near the scene of the crime and found a “rifle-style” BB gun and a video camera inside the car. The video recording recovered by police shows the suspects shooting at other victims. The three men have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and attempted mayhem for the initial shooting. No serious injuries have been reported from the 11 additional shootings.

This past Thursday, Judith Vazquez and Lol Kin Castaneda became the first same-sex couple to marry in Mexico under a new law that allows same-sex couples to wed and to adopt children. Several couples wed at the Municipal Palace in Mexico City, which legalized same-sex marriage in December.

Tonight's show: Milwaukee PrideFest, moving forward with equality

Tonight, Justin Wilder be speaking with David Charpantier of Milkwaukee's Pridefest about what to expect at this year's festivities June 11-13.

We'll also be talking to Wisconsin delegates to this past weekend's Unite + Fight Midwest Equality Conference in Chicago. One result of the conference was to form the Unite + Fight Midwest Equality Network to help activists in the region work together. The network will be affiliated with the national grassroots group Equality Across America, which formed around last October's National Equality March in Washington, D.C. We'll find out more about actions we can look forward to in Wisconsin and how to get involved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday show recap: LGBT youth, religion, weekend Equality Conference

Thanks for joining us on tonight's show. We're grateful for all the pledges that will help WORT 89.9 FM keep on delivering great radio 24-7. We exceeded our goal for the night's show!

Our show was packed tonight. First, we spoke with Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton about her efforts to support LGBT youth in Wisconsin.

We worked with WIDE-LP 99.1 FM, a low-power community radio station that broadcasts on Madison's southwest side, to air excerpts from a talk by Doleta Chapru called "Gay-Affirming Religious Groups: Good News for Human Rights.” She spoke this past Sunday to the Humanist Union of Madison, which meets monthly at Prairie Unitarian Church on Madison’s west side. Her full talk will air on WIDE-LP at 10 a.m. on March 22 or, if you're not in its listening area, you can listen to the speech after it broadcasts by going to the station's Web site.

We also spoke about the Equality Across America Midwest conference taking place this weekend in Chicago. It's called Unite+Fight: Strategizing for LGBTQ Civil Rights and Equality, and registration for the weekend is just $15. Presenters will include Lt. Dan Choi, prominent activist against Don't Ask Don't Tell; Staceyann Chin, Jamaican-born queer performance artist and poet; and Adam Bouska, photographer and creator of the NO H8 campaign.

To find out about carpooling from Madison, go to the "Carpool from Madison to the Equality Across America Midwest Conference!" Facebook page or call 608.446.0273.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tomorrow's show: Poet Staceyann Chin and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton

We're looking forward to tomorrow's show, when we'll be discussing Equality Across America: Midwest Conference 2010, which takes place in Chicago this weekend. The theme is Unite+Fight: Strategizing for LGBTQ Civil Rights and Equality.

Scheduled guests include poet and activist Staceyann Chin, who will be speaking at the weekend conference, and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton on the well-being LGBT youth in Wisconsin.

Our show is on the last night of "For WORT It's Worth," the station's spring pledge drive. As of this writing, we are $16,000 short of our goal. If you haven't already donated, or if you have and can afford to give more, we hope you'll consider supporting LGBT programming on WORT. We've got plenty of great thank-you gifts for people who pledge at various levels.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Marriage in D.C.

Yesterday was the first day for D.C. same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. About 150 couples signed up, according to the Associated Press. They'll be able to legally marry on Tuesday, once the licenses are processed in accordance with the city's usual waiting period.

Last night's show: Thanks for supporting WORT!

Thanks for the pledges last night. We met our goal! And Kathryn's feet got very cold because we don't waste your valuable donations on overheating the studio.

(If you didn't hear the show and wonder why Kathryn didn't just put on socks and shoes like a normal person would, you'll just have to listen to the archived episode, accessible for the next few weeks via our Web site's left-hand column.)

We're so glad to know you love WORT as much as we do!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pledge tonight!

Pledge during the show tonight - you can get leslie hall tickets and the satisfaction of knowing that you've supported local community radio. 608-256-2001 or

Plus, we're featuring Neil Patick Harris. Even the girls among us think he's hot!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

News roundup

During the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference this week, one conservative, Ryan Sorba of the California Young Americans for Freedom, denounced CPAC for allowing the gay conservative group GOProud to co-sponsor the event and host a booth. After finishing his short speech, amidst booing from the crowd, he walked off the stage.

Said Sorba; "Just to change the subject for just a second, I'd like to condemn CPAC for bringing GOPride (sic) to this event," said Sorba. As the crowd booed, he responeded; "Bring it. Bring it. I love it. I love it. I love it.”

He continued; “Civil rights are grounded in natural rights.... Natural rights are grounded in human nature. Human nature is a rational substance in relationship. The intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction. Do you understand that? Civil rights, when they conflict with natural rights, are contrary.”

He left the stage to mostly boos.


The Washington Post reports that Lutheran Church if fragmenting over the issue of gay marriage. Congregations at two Lutheran Churches in Edgar, Wisconsin debated the issue with one congregation voting to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the other barely voting to stay on. The two churches shared a common pastor with the departing one fired the pastor.

Pushing plans for the new Lutheran denomination is Lutheran CORE, an activist group that led opposition to the gay clergy policy. Critics say liberalizing policies toward homosexuality directly contradicts scripture. Lutheran CORE's website states it intends to “Uphold the Biblical norms for marriage, family and sexuality” and “sponsor conferences and seminars and will prepare theological papers related to marriage, family, and human sexuality.” The group hopes to have the new organization, the North American Lutheran Church, operating by August.

Of the 10,000 or so congregations in the ELCA, 220 have taken steps to leave with 28 congregations with 28 going through both required votes. Bishop Peter Rogness of the Saint Paul synod doesn't think it's a major upheaval. "Even if that number doubles or triples, it would still be less than 5 percent of the ELCA," said Rogness "So it's not as though a schism has happened, where we're a denomination split in half. Nothing on that magnitude is in the offing."


Continuing on the religious theme, but on a more upbeat note, the Wisconsin State Journal reports that the John Knox Presbytery, a regional governing body the Presbyterian Church, voted to ordain a gay Madison man.

Members of the presbytery, which encompasses parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, voted 81 to 25 to ordain Scott Anderson. Anderson said he's been in a committed relationship with a man for 19 years. "I could see it having national implications, for sure," the Rev. Alex Thornburg of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Madison said of the vote. "Some will proclaim this decision the best thing in the world and others will say the church is dying. It will have its drama around it."

National church policy requires married candidates for ordination to take a vow of fidelity and single candidates - gay or straight - to take a vow of chastity. However, the church allows candidates for ordination to file an objection to a rule based on conscience. The presbytery then must decide the seriousness of the candidate's departures from official teaching. In Anderson's case, a majority of the presbytery decided his relationship status did not undermine essentials of church doctrine and that his departures from official teaching "were not serious enough to overshadow his many other gifts," Meunier said.

A May 15 ordination date has been set but could be delayed as Caledonia Presbyterian Church near Portage will challenge it through appeals process, said Whitman Brisky, a Chicago attorney representing the 60-member church. They cite the church rule barring the installation of a minister "who is engaged in an extramarital, sexual relationship," Brisky said.

In a statement submitted to the presbytery, Anderson wrote that the ministerial prohibition against gays and lesbians in committed relationships "represents a grievous misapplication of biblical teachings." This misinterpretation "is unfaithful to God's loving intentions for humankind and seriously undermines the church's gospel witness to gay and lesbian partners. I cannot in Christian conscience support it."


The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler declared his opinion that the state must recognize same-sex marriages from other states. If the courts or General Assembly don't block his decision, gay marriages from other states would be legally recognized.

As stated in the Sun, under a principle known as "comity," states have historically offered reciprocity for legal, executive and judicial acts. The best example may be common-law marriages — a union created by cohabitation and agreement rather than the usual ceremony. Maryland recognizes the legality of such marriages from other states even though the law here does not actually provide for them.

The state ban on same-sex marriage still holds, but as the law never spoke to marriages created in other states, the principle of comity applies.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

LGBT college conference in Madison this weekend

The 2010 Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Ally College Conference takes place on the UW-Madison campus this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Featured speakers include Kate Bornstein, Imani Henry, Loren Cameron, Mia Mingus and WORT's very own Laura Gutknecht.

For more information, you can visit the conference Web site.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tonight's show

We spoke with Margaret Talbot of The New Yorker about the Proposition 8 trial. She has a great article on it you can read here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Recreation of Prop. 8 trial launched

Filmmakers John Ainsworth and John Ireland are using the transcript of January's federal Perry vs. Schwarzenegger trial proceedings as a script for their newest work. The video series brings life to arguments for and against California's Proposition 8, which revoked the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state.

The filmmakers launched the project after the U.S. Supreme Court forced the judge in the Prop. 8 case to withdraw plans to air video of the trial on YouTube.

Cast members include Tess Harper, Adrienne Barbeau and Jack Laufer. The initial episodes have already been posted to

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Our Bodies, Ourselves seeks women's input

From the Boston Women's Health Book Collective:

Our Bodies Ourselves is seeking up to two dozen women to participate in an online discussion on sexual relationships.

Stories and comments may be used anonymously in the next edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” which will be published in 2011 by Simon & Schuster.

We are seeking the experience and wisdom of heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual and queer women. Perspectives from single women are encouraged, and you may define relationship as it applies to you, from monogamy to multiple partners. We are committed to including women of color, women with disabilities, trans women and women of many ages and backgrounds.

For more info or to sign up, go to the Our Bodies, Ourselves blog.

Jacob Meister steps out of Illinois senate race

Jacob Meister, who was the only openly gay candidate running for the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama's old senate seat, has stepped out of the race. He is endorsing former opponent Alexi Giannoulias.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Edgerton church welcomes lesbian pastor

Edgerton Congregational United Church of Christ has called the Rev. Lora Whitten as its pastor. A lifelong Christian, Whitten came out as a lesbian in 1998 and graduated from Eden Theological Seminary in Missouri in 2008, according to the Janesville Gazette.

United Church of Christ congregations have a long history of accepting LGBT people as candidates for ministry. As early as 1973, the denomination's executive council encouraged congregations not to disqualify ministerial candidates solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

No Viking-Packers make-out sessions during the Superbowl

CBS has rejected an ad for, a men-only dating site, for airing during the Super Bowl. It features a Viking fan and Green Bay Packers fan who unexpectedly resolve their differences after brushing hands in a potato chip bowl.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Italy designates cell block for transgender prisoners

Responding to human rights concerns, Italy will move about 30 transgender prisoners to a designated prison block in Tuscany, according to the United Kingdom's Daily Telegraph. The block was created to protect transgender prisoners from harassment from non-transgender inmates, advocates say.

Bisexuals no longer have to pay double the fee on eHarmony

Good news for bisexuals who want to date via the internet and like eHarmony's faith-based matchmaking approach: The heterosexual dating service and its gay sister Web site, Compatible Partners, plan to settle a discrimination lawsuit by linking to each other and no longer requiring members to pay double fees to use both services, according to the Associated Press.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Show recap: Proposition 8 Trial Tracker

We spoke with Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, who has been liveblogging from the federal trial challenging the constitutionality of California's amendment revoking the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state. You can follow Jacobs' blog here.

We had some technical issues with the sound during our news segment at the beginning of the show-so if you heard us live or on our podcast, you missed half of the news. Here's an edited version of the entire episode that somewhat fixes the problem.

On Feb. 10, we'll have New Yorker writer contributor Margaret Talbot, who has also attended the Proposition 8 trial, about new developments and how the case would fare before the U.S. Supreme Court. You can find her daily updates on the trial and surrounding issues here.

Human Right Campaign releases state-by-state report on LGBT equality

The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Equality from State to State report on laws in the 50 states affecting LGBT civil rights. Wisconsin highlights include proposed legislation to reduce bullying in schools and the establishment of domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. But - oops - the report mistakenly states that opposite-sex couples can also register as domestic partners. (Never fear, one of our intrepid reporters has called HRC asking that they correct the report, so maybe it will be fixed by the time you read it.)

You can download the report here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Openly gay UW-Madison grad seeks Illinois senate seat

Jacob Meister, who earned his law degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the only openly gay candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for Barack Obama's old senate seat in Illinois, according to NBC. You can read more about him here on the NBC news site.

Monday, January 25, 2010

This week on Queery: Prop. 8 on trial

Do voters have the power to take civil rights away from minority groups? Is that what we mean when we talk about ‘democracy’? Those are the central questions at issue in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, a lawsuit challenging California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that took away the established right of same-sex couples to marry in that state.

Join Queery on Wednesday, January 27, 7 p.m., as we speak with Rick Jacobs of California’s Courage Campaign. Jacobs has been attending the historic trial, providing moment-by-moment internet updates to readers around the world. We’ll talk about the testimony that could change the course of history. That’s Queery on WORT 89.9 FM.

UW-Whitewater police looking for perpetrators in Dec. 15 attack

UW-Whitewater police say they welcome tips about a Dec. 15 attack on a woman whom the attackers thought was a lesbian. The attackers are described as three college-aged white males.

Lesbian co-parent wins shared custody in Kentucky

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 21 that individuals who have played a parental role in a child's life but are not biological or adoptive parents can petition for shared custody. The ruling requires Phyllis Diane Picklesimer to share custody of her biological son with her former partner, A.J. Mullins.

Hawaii senate authorizes civil unions

The Hawaii senate has passed a bill to establish civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the state. Civil union status would provide the same "rights, benefits and responsibilities" as marriage does under Hawaii law, but would have no legal status under federal law.

The bill now moves to the state's house of representatives.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tonight's show: New Harvest Foundation

Tonight on Queery, we'll talk with Tret Fure and Woody Carey, co-chairs of New Harvest Foundation, which provides grants to LGBT organizations in south central Wisconsin. We'll also have clips from a recent presentation in Madison by Dr. Adam Schesch, a local historian who’s studied global resistance movements. He thinks the same tactics can be used to forward LGBT liberation, including same-sex marriage.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Announcement:The UW-Madison Educational & Psychological Training Clinic offers low cost counseling services

From OutReach:
The UW-Madison Educational & Psychological Training Clinic offers low cost counseling services

The UW Educational & Psychological Training Clinic (Rm 316, Educational Science Bldg, 1025 W. Johnson St.) in co-operation with OutReach, is making counseling services available on a sliding scale to the LGBTQ communities. The services are provided by counseling psychology graduate students and are supervised by licensed psychologists/counselors. They provide services to individuals, couples, and families with a variety of pressing concerns such as anxiety, depression, grief, and general life adjustment problems. Bi-lingual counselors and interpreters (Spanish) are also available. Clinic hours are 5-8pm Mondays and Wednesdays. For appointments and an initial screening please call 265-6120.

D.C. judge: No referendum on same-sex marriage

From Human Rights Campaign:

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauded a D.C. Superior Court ruling that, for the second time, rejected a proposed initiative to roll back legislation passed by the D.C. Council extending marriage in the District to same-sex couples. In June, a D.C. Superior Court judge rejected a similar lawsuit with the same intent – to force a public vote on legislation that, at the time, allowed D.C. to recognize marriages by same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions.

[The Jan. 14] ruling upheld the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics’ ruling rejecting the proposed initiative as an improper subject matter for a public vote. The lawsuit was brought by several national anti-gay activists and backed by thirty-nine Republican members of Congress. The legislation extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in the District is set to become effective at the conclusion of the Congressional review period, likely in early March.

In her decision, Judge Macaluso determined that the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruled properly that the proposed initiative would violate the D.C. Human Rights Act. Under D.C. law, no ballot initiative may authorize discrimination under the Human Rights Act, which, among other things, prohibits the government from denying services or benefits based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Petitioners had argued that D.C.’s human rights protections dating back to 1979 were invalid; however, Judge Macaluso ruled that the D.C. Council acted within its legal authority when it adopted these vital anti-discrimination provisions.

“This second, back-to-back ruling by the D.C. Superior Court is an overwhelming victory for fairness, the rule of law and the protection of all D.C. residents against discrimination,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “D.C. has the right to govern itself and make its own laws without the interference of thirty-nine Republican members of Congress, more interested in scoring cheap political points than in the everyday lives of D.C. residents. As D.C. law justifiably recognizes, no initiative should be permitted to strip away any individual’s civil rights. It is heartening that two different judges upheld the anti-discrimination protections wisely enacted by the Council more than thirty years ago. ”

The Campaign for All D.C. Families – a coalition of D.C. residents and allied civil rights organizations – along with D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality and four same-sex couples who reside in the District were granted friend-of-the-court status and filed a brief in support of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and the District.

Solmonese concluded, “HRC will continue its strong support of the Campaign for All D.C. Families and D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality until marriage equality is a reality for everyone in the District.”

Tom Williamson of Covington & Burling LLP, counsel for the Campaign for All D.C. Families, stated, “Judge Macaluso applied the law impartially in this case, recognizing the D.C. Council’s right to define the initiative process consistent with the D.C. Charter. The decision upholds the Council’s right to broadly protect human rights for all District residents.”

Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley, Pastor of Covenant Baptist Church, said, “As a minister who’s been serving the Ward 8 community for over 40 years, I am pleased that the D.C. Superior Court has upheld the right of the D.C. Council to prohibit discrimination in our community. I think this decision will be a unifying moment that helps bring healing to many families in the District. Gay and lesbian families are an integral part of our community and our church.”

At this time, five states recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The D.C. marriage law is likely to become effective on March 2, 2009. Five states—California, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada—provide same-sex couples with access to the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island and Wisconsin provide same-sex couples with limited rights and benefits. New York and Washington, D.C. recognize marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into outside of the jurisdiction.

California recognized marriage by same-sex couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality. Couples married during that window remain married under California law, but all other same-sex couples can only receive a domestic partnership within the state. The state will recognize out of state same-sex marriages that occurred before November 5, 2008 as marriages and those that occurred on or after November 5, 2008 as domestic partnerships. The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in federal court; a trial is currently underway in San Francisco.

Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state. For an electronic map showing where marriage equality stands in the states, please visit:

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens.

Hawaii set to vote this week on civil unions

Hawaii's legislature is set to vote on creating civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the state. The Washington Post reports that a vote on the issue last year "easily won preliminary passage in the Legislature," but opponents - mostly from Catholic and evangelical Protestant groups - are holding protests in an effort to convince legislators to vote against civil unions this time.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti quake devastates HIV support group for MSM

The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission reports that the earthquake last Tuesday in Haiti killed 14 men at a meeting of SEROvie, a support group for HIV-positive men who have sex with men. IGLHRC is accepting donations on behalf of SEROvie so the organization can continue to offer services, as well as emergency aid.

Friday, January 15, 2010

How gay are we?

The Advocate has named Madison the "5th Gayest City in America," which would be a great honor if it weren't for the sneaking suspicion one gets that they've never been here. To wit:
"Madison is often called the Berkeley of the Midwest—the east side is hippie-crunchy, there’s a brand-new gay dance club (Plan B), and heaps of cute blond dreadlocked nuevo organic farmer dudes can be found at the Willy Street Co-op or the Farmers’ Market drinking their own beer from mason jars."
Let's deconstruct this:
  1. "Berkeley of the Midwest"- No, Berkeley is the "Madison of California."
  2. "heaps of cute blond dreadlocked nuevo organic farmer dudes" - I don't know about "heaps"; most of the dreadlocked dudes at Willy Co-op have auburn to black hair. I only spot a blond one maybe every three shopping trips. Also, I'm not quite sure what "nuevo organic" means. As for the "farmer," the moniker could apply to, at maximum, one in ten dreadlocked dudes, which should be obvious since there are only two farms within city limits and most produce farmers from Mount Horeb don't come here daily.
  3. "at the Willy Street Co-op ... drinking their own beer" - And getting thrown out. I don't know where Willy Co-op got this freewheeling reputation. It must have come from people who've never been there. The vibe at Willy is like Whole Foods, without the perniciousness.
  4. "at ... the Farmers’ Market drinking ... beer from mason jars" - Um, I'm pretty sure that Wisconsin still has an open container law, because I see it being enforced all the time downtown. If we're going to drink our own beer in public, we're not going to do it from mason jars so that everyone can see what we're doing. We're going to drink it from plastic Canada Dry bottles.
  5. "drinking their own beer from mason jars" - We homebrewers put our beer in Grolsch bottles, not mason jars. Anyone who has ever brewed knows that making beer in a mason jar invites explosions. You drink hooch from mason jars, and none of us would know anything about that, because distilling hooch at home is illegal.
By the way, the "gay" here seems to be intentional, focusing on gay men to the exclusion of LBTs - although the article confusingly alternates between using the term "gay" to mean "gay men" and using "gay" to mean "queers." For example, it apparently included Tammy Baldwin among Madison's "gay elected officials," but clearly wasn't counting her when it looked at "gay dating profiles per single male population" and probably wasn't referring to her, or women in general, when it looked at "cruising spots per capita."

Speaking of cruising spots, I've got to wonder how "cruising spots per capita" makes a city gay. Even assuming the cruising involves men only, a lot of the men involved in cruising don't view themselves as gay. That's why sexual health educators talk more often about their work with "men who have sex with men," not "gay men."

The Gayest City ranking criteria were: same-sex couple households per capita, statewide marriage equality, gay elected officials, gay dating profiles per single male population, gay bars per capita, cruising spots per capita and gay films in Netflix favorites.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Random Harvest is canceled tonight

From StageQ:

Dear friend of StageQ,

Tonight's (Thursday) production of Random Harvest is canceled due to cast illness. You still have two more chances to see the show, on Friday and Saturday, so please come on out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tonight's Show: Queers in History

Join us tonight for a conversation with Keith Stern, author of Queers in History, a new encyclopedia of 900 public and not-so-public LGBTQ people of note that Wired magazine calls "history and dish garnished lavishly with innuendo, riddled with sarcasm and schmooze."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Following the Prop. 8 trial

You can't watch it on television, at least for now, so here are the next best things:

Portugal's parliament approves marriage equality

Portugal's parliament has voted in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry, but the law includes a caveat that prevents same-sex couples from adopting children.

The law is now in committee and will come back to parliament for a final vote before going to President Anibal Cavaco Silva for ratification. Cavaco Silva has indicated in the past that she is not in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

You can read more about the vote at the BBC Web site.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New York senate rejects marriage equality

The New Jersey Senate voted 20-14 against marriage equality last night. Five senators abstained from voting and one was absent. You can read more in this The New York Times article.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wisconsin Capitol Pride seeks volunteers

Wisconsin Capitol Pride is in search of volunteers for various fundraisers and the parade, as well as for the pride celebration. If interested,e-mail

Judge decides to broadcast federal marriage trial via YouTube

A federal judge has decided to allow the trial on the constitutionality of California's Prop. 8 to be videotaped and broadcast on YouTube. You can read more about the decision here.

The trial will be a test of federal protections for minority groups. The plaintiffs will argue that Prop. 8, which removed the right of same-sex couples in California to wed, is a breach of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which requires states to provide equal protection under the law to all people within their jurisdictions.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Domestic partner registrations low in northwest Wisconsin

Only 17 couples have registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin's seven northwest counties, according to an article in the Superior Telegram. Of these, Douglas County has the highest number of registered domestic partnerships, with six female couples and one male couple.

That compares with the statewide figure of 1,285 domestic partnerships.

News Jersey to vote on marriage equality Thursday

The New Jersey senate has scheduled a vote on extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples for Thursday. Read more here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Announcements from OutReach

The week's announcements and events from OutReach, Madison & south central Wisconsin’s LGBT Community Center at 600 Williamson Street, Suite P-1, Madison. OutReach will be closed, Friday, 1/1, and Saturday, 1/2 for the Holidays except for select group activity. Otherwise, office hours are M-F: 10am to 7pm, Saturday: 12-4pm.

All events are at OutReach unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday (1/3)
  • New Year’s All-Ages Potluck Celebration, 6-9pm: Join OutThere (18-24 year old LGBT social group) and OutReach for an all ages potluck to celebrate the end of the holidays and the beginning of a new decade!
Monday (1/4):
  • Living As A Gay Man 6pm
  • Bi the Way 7:30pm
Tuesday (1/5):
  • LGBTQ Al Anon Meeting (for family & friends of alcoholics) 5:30pm
  • Gq (GenderQueer) Group Meeting 8pm
  • Effective Strategies for LGBT Rights: New Directions, 7:00 pm on the Evjue Stage at the Bartell Theater, 113 E Mifflin Street in Madison: a presentation by Adam Schesch, Ph.D. on effective strategies for LGBT liberation. Dr. Schesch is a local historian who has studied global resistance struggles, and movements for liberation. He will be speaking about how to apply that cross-cultural experience to current battles for LGBT rights in this country, including same-sex marriage. There will be an open discussion with the audience following Dr. Schesch’s talk. The event is free and open to the public.
Wednesday (1/6):
  • Cross-dresser Support Group 7pm
Thursday (1/7):
  • Business Alliance Monthly Meeting 6pm
  • SalonQ Adult Discussion Group 7pm
Friday (1/8):
  • Madison Area Transgender Association Support Group 7pm
Saturday (1/9):
  • Women4Women Social Group 3-5pm: Begin the New Year by getting all of your legal protections in place. W4W will feature guest speakers from Krueger & Hernandez SC, Attorneys at Law who will talk about Civil Unions, Domestic Partnership, and Estate Planning for the LGBT Community. For more information about OutReach's Women4Women group, call Outreach at 255-8582 and leave a message or email: Donna at
  • LGBTQ Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Group Meeting (closed meeting--open to recovering alcoholics only--not family and friends) 6pm
Sunday (1/10):
Monday (1/18)
  • In-service on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Resources for the LGBT Community, 6-7pm: Representatives from Domestic Abuse Intervention, Rape Crisis Center, and Meriter Hospital’s SANE Program will be on hand to answer your questions on resources available and LGBT access to those resources during this presentation. The general public is welcome and event is of no cost. Please RSVP if possible with Harry at OutReach (255-8582 or as space is limited.

Upcoming: New Groups Starting at OutReach in the New Year

Queer Meditation Group will meet the 2nd & 4th Thursday at 7pm starting January 28th. Everyone in the LGBT community is welcome. Format:
  • -20 minute meditation, partially guided
  • -listen to a lecture
  • -discussion
  • -occasional guest speakers

The SOFFA Support Network is a drop-in peer support group for those people who find themselves in the significant other, friends, family or ally (SOFFA) role in a transperson’s life. The group is a place to share both the losses we experience in transitioning with our transperson, as well as embrace the joys. Topics covered in this group include identity politics, the process of grieving, coming out to friends and family, navigating relationship changes, and the legal rights for trans couples. This group is open to all people, whether they identify as straight or queer, as long as they are a SOFFA. The group will run every other Tuesday at 7pm at OutReach starting January 19th. For more information, contact Tiffany at

Reading, Writing & Relating LGBTQ Narratives is a workshop open to all LGBTQ adults that aims to bring together a diverse group of individuals for meaningful and thought-provoking dialogues in a welcoming environment. We will read and respond to LGBTQ literature, produce personal narratives by sharing our stories orally and/or in written form and—most importantly—have the opportunity to make connections with each other that both honor our differences and contribute positively to our sense of community as LGBTQ people.
Meetings will be held at OutReach starting in late January or early February on Wednesday nights (bi-weekly). For more information, become a fan on Facebook or write to:

Ongoing groups with funky schedules

SalonQ Adult Discussion Group January Schedule--all at 7pm -- Dates: 1/7, 1/12, 1/21, & 1/26 Come join us—come prepared to mix it up in an inclusive fashion with cool people in the comfy surroundings of OutReach. We are a weekly group alternating between Tuesday and Thursday nights. For info or to get on the e-mail list: call 255-8582 or e-mail Harry at

Q Cinema International Film Group—January Schedule---all at 6:30pm at OutReach
  • January 13th: Madam Sata (Brazil): A story inspired by the life of one of the most remarkable figures in Brazilian popular culture, João Francisco dos Santos (1900-1976). In turn, bandit, transvestite, street fighter, brothel cook, convict and father to seven adopted children, dos Santos--better known as Madame Satã--was also a notorious gay performer who pushed social boundaries in a volatile time. The story begins in 1932, in Rio de Janeiro's bohemian Lapa district, when João Francisco is about to achieve his dream: becoming a stage star. In the sordid yet lively world of Lapa--populated by pimps, prostitutes and other denizens of Rio's underworld.
  • January 27th: Fire (India): Taboo-busting drama about forbidden passion between two Indian wives. It is said that when this movie premiered in India , posters were torn down and there was a lot of public protest. This film powerfully demonstrates the struggle of two women in love in a culture so deeply entrenched in ritual and tradition. All this against a backdrop of an India which itself is struggling for freedom from these same values. This film is both political and personal and never too preachy or idealistic on either front. A true film such as this one deserves to be seen by all people of the world.

Community meeting on Tuesday

StageQ, Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus, Our Lives Magazine, Gay-Straight Alliance for Safe Schools, Leztalkmadison, OutReach, Wisconsin Capitol Pride, the Business Alliance and AIDS Network announce a presentation by Adam Schesch, Ph.D. on effective strategies for LGBT liberation. Dr. Schesch is a local historian who has studied global resistance struggles, and movements for liberation. He will be speaking about how to apply that cross-cultural experience to current battles for LGBT rights in this country, including same-sex marriage. There will be an open discussion with the audience following Dr. Schesch’s talk. Come prepared to think, to talk and to plan!

The event will take place on Tuesday, January 5 at 7:00 pm on the Evjue stage at the Bartell Theater, 113 E Mifflin Street in Madison. The event is free and open to the public.