This Way Out: Trans Studies at University of Victoria

the international LGBT radio magazine
for the week of 01-25-16
(hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle)
Faith groups tackle trans inclusion;
Trans studies matriculate at the University of Victoria;
Olympian Gus Kenworthy explains why he didn’t come out in Sochi;
A poisonous amendment threatens Italy’s civil unions bill, U.S. gay vets
get spousal benefits equity, a lesbian activist is Guatemala’s first out
Congressperson, a Russian city fears a “gay fish festival”, more news!
– In “NewsWrap” – Italian lawmakers discuss criminalizing overseas surrogacy for queer couples before considering a civil unions bill for them… the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department finally offers equal spousal benefits to married lesbian & gay service members in all 50 states… Britain closes a legal loophole that denied next of kin status to a legally married gay widower whose husband tragically died during their honeymoon in Adelaide, South Australia… Guatemala has its first out Congressperson (Sandra Moran) and the U.S. state of Minnesota has its first out state Supreme Court justice (Margaret Chutich)… the Russian city of Arkhangelsk bans a proposed “gay fish festival” as a violation of the nation’s 2013 law against “exposing minors to gay propaganda”… and more LGBT news from around the world (produced by STEVE PRIDE, written by GREG GORDON, and reported this week by SARAH SWEENEY and WENZEL JONES).
– The UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA in the western CANADIAN province of BRITISH COLUMBIA announced the creation this week of the world’s first Chair in Transgender Studies, and the world’s largest archives dedicated to transgender people. In a video on the university’s website accompanying the announcement, Professor of Sociology DR. AARON DEVOR, the Chair’s first “occupant”, talked about the historic advance for the trans community.
– “Transgender Welcome” is a new resource booklet for faith communities published by the Center for American Progress. It’s written by retired out EPISCOPAL BISHOP GENE ROBINSON with a colloquium of transgender and allied faith leaders. He introduced the resource booklet this week in a dialog with transgender Baptist pastor ALLYSON ROBINSON (LUCIA CHAPPELLE reports).
– Openly-gay Sochi Olympics freeskier silver medalist GUS KENWORTHY talked about coming out during an appearance on the U.S. TV cable channel TBS’s late-night talk show hosted by CONAN O’BRIEN.
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On the air since April 1988, “This Way Out” is the multi-award-winning internationally distributed weekly gay and lesbian radio news magazine. The program currently airs on more than 200 local community radio stations around the world, globally distributed at, to Pacifica Radio station affiliates in North America, and in Australia via the Community Radio Network.  Listeners can also hear “This Way Out” through our podcasts at; on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher; across Europe, Africa/the Middle East, and Asia/Pacific regions on the World Radio Networks (; and on audio CD by individual subscription. For lots of other information about “This Way Out” please visit, email, or write to PO Box 1065, Los Angeles, CA 90078, USA.
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Same-sex marriage threatens Coalition unity

Matthew Knott, Mark Kenny | The Age | January 27, 2016

Same-sex marriage reform advocates within the Turnbull government have reacted angrily to the plans of some hardline conservatives to vote “no change” in Parliament even if a future plebiscite votes “yes”.

Arrangements for the plebiscite are being worked through with a view to a final set of options within weeks.

Senator Cory Bernardi will vote against same-sex marriage no matter what the Australian public says.Senator Cory Bernardi will vote against same-sex marriage no matter what the Australian public says. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Opponents, including Abbott loyalist Eric Abetz and conservative strongman Cory Bernardi, have begun speaking out, declaring they will not back the change, regardless of public opinion. One MP said he expected others would also vote against reform, “come what may”.

Read more

LGBT activists rally as Hong Kong government delays discrimination legislation

Fridae News | January 27, 2016

Nine LGBT groups have released a strong joint statement criticising the government for a decision to delay legislation to protect sexual minorities from discrimination at a press conference last week.

A long awaited report by Hong Kong’s government into eliminating discrimination against sexual minorities has concluded that “more studies and public consultation are needed” on the issue. The report took two and a half years to compile by Hong Kong’s Advisory Group on Eliminating Discrimination against Sexual Minorities.

Last week, a press conference was organised by some of the city’s most prominent LGBT supporters. A total of nine organisations included lawmaker Ray Chan Chi-Churn and singer Denise Ho Wan-see, to denounce the report.

Significantly Chan, who was a member of the advisory group working on the report, claimed that most of the members of the group were in favour of legislation—but that this was not represented. Chan has asked for his name to removed from the report.

Read more

Two ‘married’ gay couples arrested in Saudi Arabia

Darren Wee | Gay Star News | January 26, 2016

Saudi religious police Tuesday (26 January) arrested four gay men in a raid on an apartment in the capital Riyadh, where they were living as married couples.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice acted after a video of an unofficial gay marriage started circulating on social media Monday, according to local media reports.

During interrogation, two of the men, both aged 28, admitted that they had got married two days before and were still on their honeymoon. The other two men married last week.

Read more

German party says schools should teach trans children to accept their ‘biological gender’

Stefanie Gerdes | Gay Star News | January 26, 2016

A branch of Germany’s leading right-wing party is demanding LGBTI people shouldn’t be discriminated against – while implementing discriminating policies themselves.

The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a Eurosceptic party comparable to Britain’s UK Independence Party, has turned into Germany’s third-biggest party and could clock in 13% of votes at the next election, new research suggests.

Now Polish-German activist Katharina Nocun has publicized parts of the party’s Baden-Württemberg branch’s manifesto on Twitter and her blog – and it shows the AfD’s acceptance of LGBTI people to be more than just limited.

Read more

INTERVIEW-Indian MP vows to fight bigotry after bid to decriminalise gay sex fails

Nita Bhalla | Reuters | January 26, 2016

NEW DELHI, Jan 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – An Indian politician campaigning for gay sex be legalised said on Monday he would continue his fight for the freedom and equality of sexual minorities despite attempts by members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party to thwart his efforts.

Opposition lawmaker Shashi Tharoor in December introduced a private member’s bill in India’s lower house of parliament seeking to amend a British colonial era law which punishes homosexual sex with up to 10 years imprisonment.

However the bill was quickly scuppered by members of Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Read more

Gay rights group to open centre for LGBT asylum seekers in Berlin

Magdalena Mis | Reuters | January 26, 2016

LONDON, Jan 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A centre for 125 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers is set to open in Berlin in March.

There are an estimated 3,500 LGBT asylum seekers in Berlin, many experiencing abuse in shelters where they are staying with other people seeking asylum, according to Schwulenberatung, a Berlin-based gay rights organisation which will run the centre.

“We have heard a lot of stories about discrimination and crimes against LGBT people in the last two years,” Stephan Jakel, Schwulenberatung manager in charge of refugee affairs, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.

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Indonesia minister wants LGBTI students banned from university

Darren Wee | Gay Star News | January 25, 2016

An Indonesian minister has said LGBTI students should be banned from university.

‘There are standard values and moral standards to be maintained. The campus is a moral guardian,’ Muhammad Nasir, minister of research, technology and higher education, said on Saturday (23 January).

He made the comments in response to a recent controversy over a poster advertising counseling services for LGBTI students at the University of Indonesia, which went viral last week.

Read more

New Zealand Government rules out blanket wiping of historical convictions for gay sex

Andrew Potts | Gay Star News | January 25, 2016

Despite its reputation of being one of the most LGBTI friendly countries on the planet, New Zealand is still holding out on removing past convictions for sex between men from people’s permanent records.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice says that bad record keeping is the obstacle because prior to the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1986 the law did not treat consensual and non-consensual sex acts between males differently or distinguish between sex between adults and sex crimes against children.

Electronic records only go back to 1980 and according to that data nearly 80 percent of those convictions involved sex with a male who was under 16 – something which is still a criminal offense in New Zealand.

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Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva Vetoes Gay Adoption Bill

Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | January 26, 2016

Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva has vetoed a bill recently approved by lawmakers that granted full adoption rights to gay and lesbian couples.

The legislation gave gay couples the same adoption rights as straight couples.

Silva called the change radical and in need of broader public consultation. He said that he was uncertain whether the changes were in the best interest of children.

Read more