top of page

This Way Out Radio Episode #1836: The Pride of Harvey Milk

June Pride season started early with the late-May recognition of what would have been Harvey Milk’s 90th birthday. As right-wing forces try to rip LGBTQ history out of the textbooks, we fill the gap with a conversation with the San Francisco County Supervisor shortly after he took office (with This Way Out’s Greg Gordon), and coverage of the White Night Riots in the aftermath of his assassination.

And in NewsWrap: Uganda’s President Yoweri Musevini signature on the latest version of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act terrifies LGBTQ people, the re-election of Turkey’s homophobic Islamic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan causes deep concerns among human rights activists, Latvia’s out Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs makes history as the first queer head of state of a Baltic nation or in the European Union, Japan’s Nagoya District Court becomes the second to rule that the ban on same-gender civil marriage is unconstitutional, Jerusalem Pride draws the largest crowd in years despite the antipathy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, the U.S. Pentagon defends an Air Force base from a Pride month drag show, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Joe Boehnlein and Ava Davis (produced by Brian DeShazor).

All this on the June 5, 2023 edition of This Way Out!

Join our family of listener-donors today at

Complete Program Summary
for the week of June 5, 2023

The Pride of Harvey Milk

Program #1,836 distributed 06/05/23
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signs the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 into law, which includes execution for "aggravated homosexuality" (with comments from Democracy Now! by Ugandan activist DeLovie Kwagala) … Turkish queers and their allies express fears of escalating oppression by newly re-elected far right anti-queer President Recep Tayyip Erdogan … long-serving Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs makes history with his election by lawmakers to be the first Baltic and E.U. nation with an openly-gay president … a second district court has ruled that Japan's ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, but two others have ruled to the contrary, and a final ruling in a fifth district court is due June 8th … an estimated 30,000 people celebrate Pride in Jerusalem, ironically guarded by outspokenly anti-queer Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir … and the U.S. Defense Department bows to far-right Republican hysteria and cancels a popular annual Pride Month drag show at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by JOE BOEHNLEIN and AVA DAVIS, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).

Feature: This June brings a new season of Pride events to the Northern Hemisphere that kicked off with the late-May recognition of what would have been Harvey Milk’s 90th birthday. The month got off to a different start at one California school board meeting. A debate over banning a queer-positive social studies book included one member’s slanderous reference to Milk as a pedophile. So we’ll fill the education gap with this look back at the man who urged every queer person to come out. Not long after the first openly gay elected official in the U.S. became a San Francisco County Supervisor in January of 1978, he had a conversation with This Way Out’s GREG GORDON. The November 27, 1978 assassination of Milk and Mayor George Moscone tore San Francisco apart. Former Supervisor Dan White was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter based on a “diminished capacity” defense. His sentence only amounted to five years in prison. When the verdict was announced on May 21, 1979, the queer community marched from the Castro District to City Hall to peacefully protest … which, thanks to “over-zealous” cops, erupted into the White Night Riots and lesser-known Castro Invasion (produced by GREG GORDON, LUCIA CHAPPELLE and BRIAN DeSHAZOR, featuring the voices of Harvey Milk, Diane Feinstein, Sally Gearhart, Cleve Jones, Harry Britt, Meg Christian and Holly Near, and with additional music by PEPPER MaSHAY, BUENA VISTA, THE BYRDS, THE TOM ROBINSON BAND, and THE SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN'S CHORUS WITH ANDREW LIPPA, NOAH MARLOWE, and LAURA BENANTI).


A summary of some of the news in or affecting
global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending June 3rd, 2023
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Joe Boehnlein and Ava Davis,
produced by Brian DeShazor

Uganda’s dreaded Anti-Homosexuality Act became law on May 29th. President Yoweri Musevini signed the latest version of the notorious measure he had sent back to lawmakers for “further consideration” in April.

MP’s accepted his suggestions to axe the provisions that made just coming out a crime, and requiring citizens to “report acts of homosexuality.” However, they kept penalties of up to life in prison for engaging in private consensual adult same-gender sex. Repeat offenses and sex with certain protected groups or sex while HIV+ are considered “aggravated homosexuality” – and punishable by death.

The Constitutional Court overturned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill enacted in the East African nation in 2014 on a legal technicality. It also included the death penalty.

For Ugandan LGBTQ and intersex activist Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesara, it’s a “dark day for human rights of LGBTQIA+ and allies.” Activist DeLovie Kwagala became emotional speaking with Democracy Now! about Museveni’s decision to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

[SOUND: Kwagala]

There’s nowhere … but where are we supposed to go? You don’t want us in your country, you’re not giving us jobs, you’re not giving us education, you’re not giving us medication. You are criminalizing people r---- to us. Where do you want us to go? You are arresting us for literally doing nothing, for simply existing … you know. But where are we supposed to go? How did we become refugees in our own countries?

More “out” queer activists and allies in Uganda warn that the law is already encouraging assaults by violent vigilantes against them and people just perceived to be queer. LGBTQ activist groups from elsewhere on the African continent have harshly criticized the new law. Leaders in several Western nations are hinting at cuts in aid and travel restrictions. That list includes Australia’s lesbian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, British government officials, the U.N. Human Rights Office, and U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Some defiant Ugandan lawmakers have said that they expected to lose some foreign aid when they passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. They insist on not bowing to “Western pressures.”

Equality advocates in Uganda are already filing suit to challenge the latest version of the country’s new “Kill the Gays” law.

LGBTQ people in Turkey have a lot to worry about with the re-election of Islamic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Dehumanizing queer people was one of the pillars of his run-off election campaign that ended on May 28th. Once again he fell back on calling them “perverts” and a threat to “traditional family values.” During his victory speech, Erdoğan asked euphoric supporters if his party was LGBTQ-friendly -- “No!” was the enthusiastic response.

It was Erdoğan’s most serious re-election challenge since he was first elected president in 2014. He had served as Prime Minister since 2003. His increasingly autocratic reign will now remain in power until at least 2828.

Thirty-nine-year old documentary filmmaker Tugba Baykal told Agence France Presse that being openly queer has made it virtually impossible to find work. She predicts that many will flee to more welcoming countries -- she’s headed to the United States. University student Ilker Erdoğan is fortunately not related to his nemesis. The 20-year-old queer activist told the French news agency, "From the moment I was born, I felt that discrimination, homophobia and hatred in my bones. … I feel deeply afraid.” But Ilker is firm, saying, "I am also part of this nation, my identity card says Turkish citizen. You cannot erase my existence, no matter how hard you try."

Latvia’s out Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs made history this week when Parliament elected him President. He’s the first queer head of state of a Baltic nation or in the European Union. The 12-year Foreign Minister enjoys considerable popular support – even though Latvia’s population is socially conservative.

The President’s role is largely ceremonial – Europe’s openly queer prime ministers have wielded considerably more power. Rinkēvičs can dissolve Parliament, and he’ll represent Latvia abroad, serve as the Supreme Commander of the country’s armed forces, nominate the prime minister and sign bills into law. His election thrilled queer activists as it coincidentally came during Pride Week in the nation’s capital, Riga. The advocacy group Mozaika and Riga Pride issued a joint press release celebrating the “absolute inspiration to many young people and the LGTBQ community at large.” Rinkēvičs will be inaugurated on July 8th.

The Nagoya District Court has decided that Japan’s ban on same-gender civil marriage is unconstitutional. It’s the second regional jurisdiction to come to that conclusion, following the Sapporo District Court. Contrary rulings in Osaka and Tokyo District Courts have supported the ban. Thirteen same-gender couples filed Valentine’s Day marriage equality lawsuits across the country on February 14th, 2019. Another ruling is due at the Fukuoka District Court on June 8th.

Steadfast opposition to equality in the courts and in the legislature has come from the conservative federal government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. He and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party are under increasing pressure to open the civil institution to lesbian and gay couples. Japan is the only Group of 7 economic powerhouse nation without it. Kishida’s government offered a bill in parliament to promote “understanding” of LGBTQ people before hosting the recent G7 summit in Hiroshima. Resistance from the administration caused an almost fatal delayed, according to Reuters. A watered-down version of the largely meaningless bill was submitted to Parliament the day before the summit.

Thousands of Israelis and visiting tourists celebrated LGBTQ Pride in Jerusalem on June 1st. Recollections of the anti-queer violence at past festivities make for high tensions during the event –– but there were no serious incidents this year. A spokesperson said that about 2,000 police officers were brought in to ensure the safety of marchers and observers. They also prevented any confrontations between celebrants and the small anti-queer counterdemonstration nearby.

This was the first Pride parade since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government took power. Several of his cabinet ministers have expressed their antipathy for LGBTQ people. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is one of the most vocal opponents of equality. Ironically it was his job to protect the celebration. Jerusalem Open House organizes the annual event. They estimate that 30,000 people marched or lined the parade route -- the largest crowd in recent years.

Finally, the U.S. Pentagon has made a stand to defend Nellis Air Force Base from its planned Pride month drag show. With President Joe Biden’s recently issued Pride Month Proclamation dangling in the background, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley cancelled the event, trumping the approval of Air Force officials. A Defense Department spokesperson told reporters that the Pentagon does not fund drag shows on military bases. Organizers were instructed to either call the event off or move it away from the base, located northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Critics charge the brass with bowing to anti-drag pressure from ultra-conservative Republican politicians. For example, Florida’s Congressman Matt Gaetz and Senator Marco Rubio have made outrageously stupid claims about drag queens – calling them “groomers” and “strippers,” and accusing them of engaging in sex acts in front of children. That kind of pressure also sank the Navy’s traditional posts celebrating Pride Month on its Twitter and Instagram accounts, according to The Hill.

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Coco Montrese participated in the Nellis Air Force Base’s Pride Month drag show in 2021, but missed the event last year. The performer known in real life as Martin Cooper told The Washington Post that he was looking forward to this year’s show, and worried that the cancellation sends the wrong message to LGBTQ service members. Cooper said, “Basically, they’re saying to them, you can be who you are, but you just can’t be that here.”

©1989-2023 Overnight Productions (Inc.)
“Satisfying your weekly minimum requirement
of queer news and culture for more than three decades!”


bottom of page