Gay researcher, author and historian Gert Hekma passed into history himself on April 19th. His groundbreaking 2004 book, “Homosexuality in The Netherlands from 1730 to Modern Times,” is still only available in Dutch, but soon after its publication correspondent Barry McKay sat down with Hekma for an extended English discussion of his work.
And in NewsWrap: Australian P.M. Scott Morrison’s anti-queer coalition government is defeated by Labor’s Anthony Albanese, the Church of Scotland will allow same-gender marriage ceremonies, Austria lifts its sexual orientation and gender identity-based blood donor ban, Indiana’s legislature overrides the veto of an anti-trans school “bathroom bill,” Oklahoma doubles down against trans youth and choice, Montana’s Health Department invents “emergency” rules to block birth certificate gender changes, a Dallas judge keeps a pediatric trans clinic open to new patients pending trial, Ellen DeGeneres bids farewell to her talk show, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Michael Taylor-Gray and Marcos Najera (produced by Brian DeShazor).
All this on the May 30, 2022 edition of This Way Out!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of May 30, 2022
In Memoriam: Hekma's Gay Dutch History
Program #1,783 distributed 05/30/22
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Anthony Albanese and his Labor Party send Liberal Party Australian P.M. Scott Morrison and his anti-queer coalition government packing … the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly votes to bless lesbian and gay marriages … Austria is the latest nation to lift its ban on blood donations by gay or bisexual men (and non-binary and transgender donors, too) … Indiana’s Republican-majority legislature overrides the Republican Governor’s veto of a trans sports ban … Oklahoma Republicans pass a “bathroom bill” following their horrific worst-in-the-nation anti-choice law … Montana’s Republicans defy a federal court order through their state Health Department and reject trans birth certificate gender changes without surgery and a court order … a Dallas, Texas judge extends her two-week order to a year keeping the Children’s Medical Center’s specialized pediatric trans clinic Genecis open to new patients … and ELLEN DeGeneres bids a fond farewell to her two-decades-long weekday afternoon talk show (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by MICHAEL TAYLOR-GRAY and MARCOS NAJERA, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: Gay researcher, author and historian Gert Hekma passed into history himself on April 19th. Professor Hekma taught sociology, gender studies and sexuality at the University Of Amsterdam from 1984 to 2017. He was reportedly the first scholar to teach about “The Gay” as a full university course, with a specialty in the history of homosexuality. His controversial opinions on pedophilia and sadomasochism led to conflicts with the university and death threats from the outside. In 2004 Hekma published Homosexuality In The Netherlands From 1730 to Modern Times. It’s an exhaustive cultural account of the long road Dutch gay men have travelled, and it’s only available in Dutch. This Way Out Sydney correspondent BARRY McKAY was in Amsterdam at the time, and was able to sit down with Hekma for an extended conversation in English (with an :18 TWO ID and re-intro at about 8:32 into this segment.)
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending May 28, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Michael Taylor-Gray and Marcos Najera,
produced by Brian DeShazor
[ALBANESE:] “I want to bring Australians together. I want to seek our common purpose and promote unity and optimism, not fear and division.”
Equality Australia is calling the election of Labor Party Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, “a stunning rebuke of the politics of division.” Voters across the country dethroned Liberal Party Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his conservative anti-queer coalition government on May 21st.
Evangelical Christian Morrison went down swinging, still pushing his failed “Religious Discrimination Bill,” which critics called a “license to discriminate” against LGBTIQ people. He threw in strong support for rabidly anti-trans Liberal Party candidate Katherine Deves and a national ban on trans girls and women in school sports. Deves came nowhere near unseating an independent MP. Three of four queer Liberal Party MP’s also went down with Morrison’s ship.
Albanese signaled a sea change from the beginning, saying during his victory speech:
[ALBANESE:] “I want Australia to continue to be a country that no matter where you live, who you worship, who you love or what your last name is, that places no restrictions on your journey in life.”
In one of his first actions, Albanese named lesbian Labor Party Senator Penny Wong to be the new Foreign Minister, making her one of the most powerful out government officials on the planet. Soon after her May 22nd swearing-in ceremony, Wong and Albanese flew to Tokyo for a meeting with leaders from India, Japan and the U.S.
It’s uncertain as of this report whether Labor has won enough seats in Parliament to govern, or whether Albanese will need one or more of the minority parties to form a coalition government.
At his Sydney celebration, the nation’s 31st Prime Minister underscored his commitment to leading a government that will be open to all:
[ALBANESE:] “I can promise all Australians this. No matter how you voted today, the government I lead will respect every one of you every day.”
The Church of Scotland approved in-church marriage ceremonies for lesbian and gay couples on May 23rd at its 2022 General Assembly. The 274-to-136 vote made it the largest religious denomination in the United Kingdom to do so. Church law now allows ministers and deacons to conduct same-gender weddings, but clerics who oppose marriage equality in the church can opt out.
Scotland opened civil marriage to same-gender couples in December 2014, but it’s taken another eight years for them to enjoy the Church’s blessing.
Clergy are already applying to be celebrants at queer weddings, according to the preservation charity Churches Trust. The first lesbian and gay couples are expected to walk down the sanctified aisle later this year.
Queer activists inside and outside the Church of Scotland praised its theological progress. It stands in stark contrast to the Church of England. Anglican leaders have yet to catch up with their English congregants, who mostly support church marriages for gay and lesbian couples. Gay and lesbian Church of England clergy are allowed to be in relationships, but they cannot marry in the Church … and they must allegedly remain celibate.
Austria is the latest country to lift a ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men. Green Party Health Minister Johannes Rauch made the announcement on May 20th. The new rules are based on the same principle that other countries have used when lifting their bans: potential donors will be screened based on their sexual behaviors, not their sexual orientation or gender identity. Having sex with three or more different partners in the previous three months would make a donor ineligible regardless. However Rauch said that the government is “putting an end to discrimination from another age.”
This ends the current total ban on trans and non-binary blood donors, and on gay and bisexual men who have had sex with another man in the past 12 months.
Rauch said that the changes would be evaluated two years after they take effect. The reforms have the consent of the politically conservative Austrian People’s Party, which is in coalition with the Greens.
It’s not yet clear when the new regulations will go into effect. Some reports suggest that it will happen within the next few weeks, while others say it will take a few months.
A simple majority in both chambers of Indiana’s Republican-dominated state legislature easily overrode the governor’s veto of a trans student sports ban on May 24th. Republican Governor Eric Holcomb had called the measure to stop transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports from kindergarten through the 12th grade unnecessary, and said it would open Indiana to lawsuits.
Holcomb was right. The ACLU of Indiana has already sued the state on behalf of a 10-year-old trans softball player who would have to quit her school’s girls’ team.
The ACLU has asked a federal court to issue an injunction to block the law, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1st.
Here comes another state “bathroom bill,” this one signed on May 25th by Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt. Public and charter school students from kindergarten through the 12h grade must now use sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms and such based on the gender listed on their birth certificates -- not their gender identity. Individual schools or school districts could lose five percent of their state funding if they violate the law. It also allows parents to file lawsuits against violators. Oklahoma’s bathroom occupancy was considered such an “emergency” that the legislation includes a provision for it to take effect immediately.
On the same day, Stitt also signed one of the country’s most horrific anti-choice laws. It outlaws abortions after the moment of fertilization, with few exceptions.
Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services is defying a federal court order that allowed trans people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates. In April a Billings District Court judge blocked a bill that required trans people to undergo a “surgical procedure” and get a court order before changing the document. The Department’s “emergency order” issued on May 23rd is seen as the state government’s effort to skirt the injunction. It requires birth certificates to show the “sex” as only male or female, and rejects the term “gender.” The order falsely calls “sex” “immutable,” and “gender” a “social concept.”
When the bill was enacted late last year, two trans Montanans sued the state. They charged that the law violated their constitutional rights, and noted that not all trans people choose to undergo gender-affirming surgery.
The state Health Department has the legal authority to issue an “emergency order” when there is “an existing imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare that cannot be averted or remedied by any other administrative act.”
Minority Democrats, rights groups and healthcare specialists all condemned the Republican “work-around.” An ACLU statement said, “We intend to take this up in court.”
In other trans news, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas will continue accepting new patients at their specialized clinic. Medical Center officials had bowed to political pressure late last year and barred the Genecis clinic from accepting new pediatric transgender clients. The head doctor is suing. A judge has extended her two-week order allowing Genecis to keep receiving new patients until a full trial is held. That’s set for late April of next year.
Finally, publicly perceived as being “nice” … privately charged with being “mean” … one thing cannot be denied. For more than 20 years, she’s been on the cultural frontlines of the movement for LGBTQ rights and freedoms.
She’s had a dramatic – and comedic – impact on queer advancement, from the groundbreaking coming out episode of her 1990’s sitcom, to her 21st Century rebirth as a weekday talk show host, drawing consistently large ratings and winning several awards. Saying that the next chapter of her life is yet to be determined, Ellen DeGeneres tenderly drew the curtain on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week:
[DeGENERES:] “Twenty years ago when we were trying to sell the show, no one thought that this would work. Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different. Very few stations wanted to buy the show. And here we are 20 years later celebrating this amazing journey together. .. And this show has forever changed my life. It is the greatest experience I've ever had, beyond my wildest imagination. So Twitch, one last time: dance with me…”
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