Rainbow Report Valentines

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Athlete Ally: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo. pic by Keith Allison

From now till 3 March (Mardi Gras Parade weekend) the show will be streamed through Star Observer Digital Pop Up Radio. Welcome to the new listeners from across Australia..

A valentine is usually a useless bit of cardboard printed with either some cheap cloying sentiment, or a rude joke. Our valentines aren’t like that. They are genuine expressions of love from people who are working to demonstrate that love for us in the real world. These are special Rainbow Valentines and they come from all over the globe.

Valentine of the week has to be the resignation of Pope Benedict, who has ruled over an unsympathetic, rigid and backward-looking pontificate which has not been exactly kind to us. But with all the front runners to replace him looking like even bigger enemies of all things LGBTIQ, are we jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

I’ll be talking with Michael Kelly, the founder of the worldwide Rainbow Sash gay Catholic movement, about what Benedict’s rule has done for gays in the church, and what happens next.

For a gay man there’s nothing quite like the thrill of getting a valentine from a straight man. SO touched! Especially when he’s a pro-athlete. Two pro footballers, straight allies Chris Kluwe – you might remember him from this airing on Ellen – and Brendan Ayanbadejo, talked about their support for marriage equality this week. We’ve got the interviews.

Another valentine was the standout speech in the British Parliamentary debate was from black Labor MP Daniel Lammy. Got that to. The speech in full is here, but you have to hear the passion with which he delivers it.

There’s been a lot of news on marriage equality from overseas, most of it good. Both the British and French parliaments saw Same-Sex Marriage bills pass with large majorities. Now they go on to the committee stage and final scrutiny by their respective upper houses.

What of Australia? Currently the push is on for state-based bills as a means of pressuring the federal government and keeping the issue alive: I’ll be talking with one of the new convenors of Australian Marriage Equality Victoria, Chris Cooke.

Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings has indicated she’ll pick up the challenge to reintroduce a state gay marriage bill there – but not just yet.

Meanwhile over in South Australia, Green MP Tammy Franks is soon to launch her bid for a state same-sex marriage law.

As always, the show airs 7-8pm Thursday evening on Joy 94.9 Melbourne. Click on the link to listen online anywhere in the world via the web, or to download the FREE smartphone app. Any comments, questions when we’re on air, email the studio or SMS 0427 JOY 949.

All other times, email the show. Due to technical problems, there will be no podcast of this edition of The Rainbow Report.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. And now he's been nominated for LGBTI Journalist of the Year 2017, which is great news, as he hasn't won any of these things for years! If you want to nominate him too - the more the merrier - you can do it here http://www.australianlgbtiawards.com.au/public-nominations.html"Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)