I am loath to write this piece for fear of being ghettoised as a lesbian writer - but it occurred to me today that, for people living in the big gay-friendly cities of the world, what Mardi Gras represents to the gay boy in the bush on the verge of suicide, the trans kid wrestling with gender and sexuality or the lesbian girl in the suburbs contemplating an unsatisfying yet completely acceptable marriage might be utterly lost.
As an out teenage lesbian in the large country town of Adelaide in the early nineties, light years away from London Pride, Wigstock NY, or Sydney Mardi Gras for that matter, the possibility of living a happy, successful life as an open queer seemed slight at best and positively dangerous at worst.
So I saved my coin, quite literally, and bought a bus ticket (as I couldn’t afford the interstate flight prior to the days of domestic airline competition) to attend my first Mardi Gras in Sydney.
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Yet again organised religions are demanding special treatment which cannot be justified by rational argument.
What are their reasons for declaring same-sex-orientated people unsuitable to be foster parents?
One can only imagine it is their own disgraceful priestly and orphanage experiences that have brought them to this view, because the facts tell a different story.
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For reasons beyond their control there are children, indeed babies, who find themselves in circumstances where the state is their legal guardian. It is not the choice of the child nor is it a new phenomenon. Seeing them as particularly vulnerable, societies have taken great care to look after such children, especially if they have neither a mother nor father.
Without a biological mother or father or suitable family member or relative, the state has deemed it in the best interest of the child to be raised by a woman and a man, a mother and a father in a permanent relationship.
New South Wales has had responsible government since 1856 - over 150 years. Over that period, governments of all persuasions have acknowledged and supported the general proposition that a child’s best interest is served when that child is raised by a mother and a father. This has been seen, correctly in my view, as a valid principle that has guided our collective decision-making with respect to protecting the wellbeing of children. The principle is underpinned by that profound bond that exists between a child and a mother and a father; a bond that is intrinsically known and understood by all cultures, down the ages for as long as anybody can remember.
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‘It is in the best interests of children to have both a mother and a father’. In a society where marriage, heterosexuality and family are so closely intertwined, such a simple, albeit clichéd, statement would seem uncontroversial.
In fact, the idea of a mother and a father in a married relationship carries such political and cultural currency that it is hard to imagine having children in circumstances that do not fit neatly under the matrimonial rubric.
So how do we then manage to contemplate a family unit that is not only unmarried, but has two mums or two dads?
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The national moral microscope shifted in the United States last Sunday from an intern-loving late night host to an androgynous American Idol runner-up named Adam Lambert.
For those living under a rock – or floating outside the blogosphere and twitterverse for a day or two – here’s what went down.
The American Music Awards ceremony was moving along Sunday night as blandly as expected. Shakira shook her booty for a bit, MJ continued to rewrite the last ten years of his life with some more posthumous honours and Taylor Swift collected a slew of awards, sans interruptions. So far, so meh. Then came the finale.
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Is it playing up to stereotypes to put Bruno’s failure at the Australian box office down to the same more-than-lingering homophobia that doomed it in the US?
The numbers would suggest so, with ticket sales in both countries following the depressing downward curve set aside for movies that cop a flat ‘don’t see it’ around the watercooler.
The mockumentary opened here July 9 and is largely concerned with putting its title character, a flamboyantly gay Austrian TV presenter, in play opposite unsuspecting rednecks in order to get audiences laughing and/or squirming at flamboyantly gay behaviour.
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