Gay And Lesbian
It’s a familiar scenario and one which has played out ad nauseam for a long time. It polarises opinion like few other topics and there just isn’t any common ground. In fact, the gulf has widened to become a chasm.
That is pretty much the only conclusion to be drawn from Pope Benedict’s recent ramblings about all things gay marriage.
In his Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy on Saturday, Pope Benedict decided not to celebrate what the Festive Season should mean to Roman Catholics – peace, love, family, togetherness, oh, and the birth of the religion’s deity – but instead chose to rail, again, against gay marriage by saying it was destroying the very “essence of the human creature.”
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Fed up with the chances of Federal Parliament passing a gay marriage bill this year, marriage equality campaigners have turned their attention to two new arenas: the States and the High Court.
The weekend before last, Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings announced her state would legalise gay marriage if the state parliament says yes. And she was joined at the weekend by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, who has thrown his support behind similar plans in his state.
Depending on how it all pans out in the Tasmanian Parliament, gay couples could be getting married as early as this year.
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Over the past several weeks I have been keeping a close eye on the new conservative Liberal National Party (LNP) Government in Queensland, in regards to legislation and funding cuts that will, and have already, had an immense impact on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Queenslanders.
$2.6 million has been cut from the budget of QHAC (Queensland Association for Healthy Communities). The Civil Unions Legislation has been watered down so there are no longer official ceremonies and unions are “registered”. Next in the firing line is surrogacy with the existing rights of same-sex couples to be taken away.
It has been a sad state of affairs to watch, and I have had so many people contact me expressing their anguish and sadness.
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There are some very odd bedfellows in the anti-gay-marriage camp. Like, for example, conservative Christians and gay libertarians. The former think that gays will wreck marriage, the latter that marriage will wreck gays.
The first argument goes like this: marriage was made by God to unite men and women. Gay marriage will debase that institution, stripping it of its sacred meaning.
The same argument, couched in more secular terms, is offered just as often by people who say they are against discrimination, except when it comes to marriage because… and then insert whatever spurious, depressingly legalistic, horribly thin argument you choose…
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Same-sex parents are no different than other parents in wanting the very best for their children.
We know that removing legislative inequality is a very significant step in lessening the discrimination and social exclusion experienced by these parents and their children. All children, irrespective of the family units into which they are born or live, deserve the full protection of the law.
That’s why I’m proud to have chaired a year-long Social Development Committee Inquiry into same sex parenting for the South Australian Parliament, and why I’m prouder still of the wide-ranging reforms aimed at providing greater legal protection for children of same-sex parents recommended to Parliament yesterday.
ANZAC Day is a day for commemoration and celebration of Australian identity, so long as we remember the gays and the Muslims were never a part of this.
Anzac Day has become much more than a day of commemorating a military campaign; it has become a national focal point through which we locate what it means to be “Australian.” While the notion of “Australian values” raises disparate and often romantic ideas of mateship, courage and loyalty, it is sometimes insidiously mobilised to express prejudices.
Jim Wallace, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, made this point painfully clear when he lamented over Twitter “that as we remember servicemen and women we remember [the] Australia they fought for - wasn’t gay marriage & Islamic!”
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One of my favourite episodes of Will & Grace involves Jack stumbling across the “Welcome Back Home” conversion program.
It’s hilarious for two reasons: One, because Jack cunningly chooses to think of the group as “Welcome Back Homo” and two, as the episode amusingly shows, washing that gay right out of your hair isn’t all that simple. Or successful.
My interest in conversion programs is two-fold. I find them stupidly hilarious as Will & Grace and But I’m a Cheerleader and Saved and Boston Legal and Big Love and plenty of other examples testify.
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“Homosexual tendencies (are) one of many conditions that beset fallen humanity.”
According to Exodus International’s policy statements, those who embrace “homosexual behaviours” have lives that are “sinful” and “destructive”.
Rather than simply condemn non-heterosexual desire, Exodus International (A Christian organisation that condemns homosexuality) adopts what they refer to as a ‘redemptive’ approach – seeking to ‘reorient’ the ‘fallen’.
Bad TV. Naughty marital upheavals. Evil, self-centred friend-tionships.
This – give or take some neologistic hyperbole – is the view of British academic Frank Furedi who is upset that popular culture doesn’t depict more “functional” families.
Of particular concern to the man cited as being the UK’s most cited sociologist is the high-end American soap opera Brothers and Sisters which screens on Monday nights on the Seven Network
Starring Rachel Griffiths, Sally Field, Calista Flockhart and (up until recently) Rob Lowe, Brothers and Sisters revolves around an extended California-based clan called the Walkers.
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