WXXI AM News

Gay rights

How does LGBTQ history relate to social justice issues for the community today? Speakers at the third annual Anthony Mascioli Rainbow Dialogues will discuss that question this Saturday during a series of community conversations. This year’s event will focus on intersectionality in LGBTQ activism, transgender rights issues, and responses to the AIDS crisis.

Our guests preview the event. In studio:

Finding housing can be a challenge for many older Americans, but older adults who identify as LGBTQ say it can be particularly daunting due to issues related to possible discrimination. An organization called Senior Action in a Gay Environment is teaming up with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to assess how long-term care facilities are treating residents who are part of the LGBTQ community. 

This hour, we discuss the state of housing options for LGBTQ adults, fair-housing practices, and what inclusive and welcoming housing looks like. In studio:

The United Methodist Church announced last Friday that it plans to split the denomination over “fundamental differences” in beliefs about same-sex marriage and LGBTQ ordination. Church leaders have debated those issues for nearly 50 years.

If passed in May, the proposal will allow a “traditionalist” denomination to separate from the United Methodist Church, clearing the way for the UMC to repeal the current church’s ban on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. A group of 16 bishops and church leaders voted for the proposed split, saying it was “the best means to resolve our differences, allowing each part of the Church to remain true to its theological understanding, while recognizing the dignity, equality, integrity, and respect of every person.”

We sit down with local Methodist leaders who have different perspectives on the issues. In studio:

LGBTQ activist Edie Windsor was in the process of writing her memoir, "A Wild and Precious Life," when she died at the age of 88. Windsor's landmark 2013 Supreme Court case -- which took on the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 -- expanded the definition of "spouse" to include some-sex partners, and made them eligible for federal benefits previously limited to heterosexuals. In her book, Windsor shares her journey from hiding her sexual identity to becoming an outspoken LGBTQ activist.

Her widow, Judith Kasen-Windsor is in Rochester to discuss Windsor's book and her impact on history. She joins us in studio, along with local activists. In studio:

  • Judith Kasen-Windsor, LGBTQ activist and Edie Windsor's surviving spouse
  • Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D), District 138
  • Evelyn Bailey, executive producer of the Shoulders to Stand On Documentary 

New research from Pew Research Center shows that American support for same sex marriage has almost perfectly flipped in the last 15 years. In 2004, 60 percent of Americans polled said they opposed same-sex marriage, while 31 percent said they supported it. In 2019, 31 percent of Americans polled say they oppose same-sex marriage, while 61 percent say they support it.

For the LGBTQ community in Gen Z, life is very different than it was for their parents and grandparents. We talk with an older lesbian couple about their lifelong journey towards accepting themselves and feeling accepted by others. In studio:

  • Barb Adams and Roz Pullara

April Franklin / WXXI News

It has been 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York City, and over the weekend, the Rochester LGBTQ community and its supporters participated in the annual ROC Pride parade held Saturday on Park Avenue, while also honoring Rochester’s own gay rights history.

The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Greenwich Village where a police raid sparked a rebellion that fueled the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

We sit down with people of color in the local LGBTQ community to discuss identity, how they find belonging, and how they recruit allies. Our guests share their personal stories, the challenges they face – including healthcare disparities – and their ideas for how to create a more inclusive society.

In studio:

A young, gay activist in the United Methodist Church made headlines earlier this year when he appealed to the church to accept him and his LGBTQ peers. J.J. Warren is a student at Sarah Lawrence College and a certified candidate for ministry. At an annual conference in February, the church voted to uphold its ban on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage.

Warren is in town to speak at Asbury First United Methodist Church, which is considering leaving the denomination. He joins us on Connections, along with Reverend Stephen Cady from Asbury First. In studio:

2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, which sparked the gay liberation movement. Next week, the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County will debut a new exhibit commemorating the anniversary of the uprising. It’s called "Stonewall: 50 Years Out," and it's part of a series of local events honoring the history of the LGBTQ+ community.

This hour, we preview the exhibit and those events, while discussing the impact of Stonewall and the current state of LGBTQ+ rights in America. Our guests:

A local church is weighing decisions similar to those faced by Spiritus Christi Church several decades ago. Asbury First United Methodist Church is considering breaking off from its denomination after delegates from the United Methodist Church voted to approve the church's so-called Traditional Plan. That plan involves a ban on same-sex marriages and LGBTQ clergy.

What does that mean for Methodist congregations that oppose the ban? We're joined by Reverend Stephen Cady from Asbury First. Cady attended the global conference earlier this week and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. He joins us to discuss the result of the conference and its possible impacts on his church. In studio:

  • Rev. Stephen Cady, senior minister at Asbury First United Methodist Church
  • Cory Tylenda, member of Asbury First United Methodist Church

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