The Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), championed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, passes the U.S. Senate with the support of Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Rob Portman (OH). The amended bill will return to the House, where Senator Dick Durban (D-IL) thinks the bipartisan bill will succeed.
Following a rancorous public survey, the Australian Senate made marriage equality the law five years ago this week. Our coverage of the debate featured Senators Sarah Hansen-Young, George Brandis, Dean Smith and Penny Wong (reported by Sydney correspondent Barry McKay).
Late-breaking bulletin: A mass shooting at a Colorado Springs, Colorado LGBTQ+ bar kills five before the attacker is brought down by patrons.
And in NewsWrap: an Italian lesbian couple wins the right not to be listed as “mother” and “father” on their child’s identification documents, a Texas federal judge overrules a Biden administration policy that protects LGBTQ patients from biased healthcare providers, the U.S. joins several other countries in sending diversity messages to Qatar with their World Cup teams, Melbourne United’s Isaac Humphries becomes the second male pro-basketball player to come out, gay Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy dies of cancer, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Melanie Keller and John Dyer V (produced by Brian DeShazor).
All this on the November 21, 2022 edition of This Way Out!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of November 21st, 2022
U.S. Marriage Respect & AUS Marriage Recalled
Program #1,808 distributed 11/21/22
NewsWrap (full transcript below): a Roman court rules that one member of an Italian lesbian couple will not have to be listed as the “father” on their child’s ID documents… a Texas federal judge rejects the Biden administration’s assertion that the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ patients from discrimination by healthcare providers … the U.S. joins Britain, Germany and Switzerland in sending diversity messages to Qatar with their World Cup teams … Melbourne United’s Isaac Humphries becomes the second male pro-basketball player to come out of the closet … gay Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy dies of cancer at the age of 66 (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by MELANIE KELLER and JOHN DYER V, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade laid waste to the constitutional foundation for reproductive rights, and legal advocates have cautioned that marriage equality could be next. A remedy for the situation that passed the House of Representatives earlier this year went to the Senate this week. CHRISTOPHER MARTINEZ of Pacifica Radio News prepared this report (with brief intro music by ABBA, and featuring comments by Senators Tammy Baldwin, Chuck Schumer, Susan Collins, Rob Portman and Dick Durbin) + TWO ID by former U.S. CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK + This Way Out Donor Thanks Promo.
Feature: This week marriage rights protections were approved in the U.S. Senate, but that body’s southern hemisphere sister confirmed that five years ago. Our Sydney correspondent BARRY McKAY reported in 2017 on Australia’s crooked road to equality, from the ballot box to parliament (with brief intro/outro music by THE CARPENTERS, and featuring Senators Sarah Hansen=Young, George Brandis, Dean Smith, and Penny Wong) + Promo for next week’s special JAMES GAVIN reading of TRUMAN CAPOTE’s A Christmas Memory (voiced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR)
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending November 19, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Melanie Keller and John Dyer V,
produced by Brian DeShazor
One member of an Italian lesbian couple will not have to be listed as the “father” on their child’s ID documents. The ruling by a court in Rome comes much to the chagrin of recently installed far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. As Italy’s Interior Minister, Meloni changed the way parents or legal guardians are listed on the ID cards required for all minors. Prior to 2019 there was no gender designation, but Meloni mandated that a “mother” and “father” be named.
One of the women in the lawsuit gave birth to a baby girl, who was then adopted by her spouse. The judge in the case decided that forcing one of them to be identified as the “father” on their child’s ID documents was nonsensical. The ruling only applies to the plaintiff couple.
Although the case was decided in September according to Reuters, it was publicized just this week by Famiglie Arcobaleno -- Rainbow Families -- an LGBTQ parents rights group. Rainbow Families stressed that other queer parents would have to file their own lawsuits to challenge the required gender designations until the current rules are changed.
Meloni’s government is not in a hurry to do that. It’s unable to appeal the ruling because it was issued during Italy’s previous administration, which declined. The new government is reviewing the decision “very carefully,” claiming that it puts the national identification system at risk.
Sick? Queer? Beware of Texas, where healthcare providers are perfectly within their rights to refuse to serve LGBTQ people.
Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk rejected the Biden administration’s assertion that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock decision by implication also covered healthcare. That ruling found that the employment discrimination protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extended to LGBTQ people.
Two doctors challenged that interpretation. Kacsmaryk decided that anti-bias protections in the Affordable Care Act only apply to discrimination based on sex at birth -- not on gender identity or sexual orientation. He said that Congress had the option to specifically include those characteristics, but had not.
The doctors were represented by America First Legal. It describes its mission to “oppose the radical left’s anti-jobs, anti-freedom, anti-faith, anti-borders, anti-police, and anti-American crusade.” It was founded by notoriously anti-everybody Trump administration official Stephen Miller.
The Biden administration has not yet issued a public response to the ruling.
Several countries are flying with Pride to the World Cup in Qatar, as concerns mount for the wellbeing of LGBTQ people in attendance.
Virgin Atlantic Airlines flew the British team to the Gulf Coast nation on its Airbus A350 “Pride Plane.” It has the name “Rain Bow” on its nose cone, and the airline’s queer icon, “Oscar,” in a pair of rainbow-striped sneakers pulling a Union Jack behind him.
The German team flew to Qatar aboard a Lufthansa Airlines Airbus A330 nicknamed “Fanhansa.” It has a colorful mural of different people with their arms around each other and “Diversity Wins” emblazoned on its fuselage, according to The Independent.
A video announcement naming the members of the Swiss squad reportedly included a same-gender couple holding hands.
Islam is Qatar’s predominant religion, and Muslim men found guilty of private consensual adult gay sex can be executed. Queer couples have specifically been cautioned against public demonstrations of affection during the tournament. The government has warned that rainbow flags will be confiscated to keep World Cup visitors “safe.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team is protesting Qatar’s homophobia with rainbow colors on the badge that’s displayed at their World Cup hotel, in media areas, and at social gatherings. It’s not on the players’ uniforms, however.
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter explained during a media conference this week that the team’s “Be the Change” campaign was launched soon after the murder of George Floyd while in police custody. Its goal includes LGBTQ people:
[SOUND – Berhalter:]
It’s not just stateside that we want to bring attention to social issues, it’s also abroad. And you know we recognize that Qatar has made strides and there has been a ton of progress, but there’s still some work to do, and it’s just about “Be the Change” basically represents everyone’s individual opportunity to make change and to have change start with them. So I think that it’s appropriate to have it here, as well.
The World Cup kicks off this week.
Professional basketball has its second proudly gay player. Former University of Kentucky center Isaac Humphries is now a Melbourne United big man. His social media post coming out to his teammates this week makes him an even bigger man.
Humphries describes his despair in the closet. He attempted suicide before coming to terms with his identity. Now he’s shooting to help others around the world who are struggling:
[SOUND – Humphries:]
That’s my goal behind this, make sure people know that you can be whoever you want, no matter who you are or what you do. You can be big guys and be gay, and you can still be a great basketball player, and be gay. You can be whatever you want, it has nothing to do with your sexuality or who you are, or who you were meant to be, or who you’re expected to be. I just want to be myself. I’ve discovered this is my purpose in life, and I’m going to give it my best go.
His coaches and teammates responded positively, and Humphries’ coming out has been almost universally praised. Another gay center preceded Humphries. Jason Collins of the New York Nets became the first active pro basketball player to come out in 2013.
The 24-year-old Humphries is averaging 12 points and 5.5 rebounds. He leads Australia’s National Basketball League with 1.9 blocks per game.
[SOUND - Conroy]
I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!
That’s the singular voice of Kevin Conroy, who died on November 10th after a brief battle with cancer. He began portraying the caped crusader in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, and eventually appeared in more than 400 TV episodes, a dozen related films and some two-dozen video games.
Conroy wrote about his character in Finding Batman, a special Pride comic this year. He said, “I’ve often marveled at how appropriate it was that I should land this role. As a gay boy growing up in the 1950s and 60s in a devoutly Catholic family, I’d grown adept at concealing parts of myself.”
Conroy also appeared in live action roles on a range of TV shows, including Dynasty, Cheers, Murphy Brown, and Matlock.
Tributes from fans and fellow performers overflowed social media.
Kevin Conroy was 66 years old. He is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, and siblings Trisha and Tom.