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.
Latest 2 of 213 commentsView all comments
Some of the comments on Lucy Kippist’s recent blog about US TV news personality Anderson Cooper going public about his sexuality included questions about why anyone needs to be “out”.
Well, for starters, constantly having to police yourself and edit your conversations at work out of fear that being the real you could derail your career is exhausting.
In Cooper’s case, his employers and those important to him knew. As Lucy wrote, he came out as an act of “solidarity with the millions of gay and lesbian people who are still marginalised and living their lives in fear of violence and bullying.”
Latest 2 of 149 commentsView all comments
Anderson Cooper did not shock many people when he came out yesterday on American website The Daily Beast, and that’s the way he wanted it.
The neatly coiffed Sixty Minutes reporter said his intention was to be a symbol of solidarity with the millions of gay and lesbian people who are still marginalised and living their lives in fear of violence and bullying.
“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud,” he wrote.
Latest 2 of 166 commentsView all comments
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.
Latest 2 of 222 commentsView all comments
People think I’m gay all the time. It could be the soccer or the lack of feminine wiles. A colleague once assumed I was a lesbian because I always wear purple. It’s a Teletubbies thing, apparently.
Anyway, I’m not, and what happened at uni stays at uni.
But if I was, I’d be out. I’m lucky in that I don’t think anyone I care about would have any sort of problem if I was gay. Well, except Bloke. He’d probably be upset.
Latest 2 of 104 commentsView all comments
The recent resurfacing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, or the “Kill the Gays” Bill as it is notoriously referred to, has been a timely reminder of how homophobia remains a threat to human dignity. So how do sexuality, national politics and human rights align?
In numerous places around the world, homosexuality remains a site of intense political and social anxiety. Despite sexual orientation becoming a valid focus of international human rights law, over 80 countries around the world continue to criminalise homosexuality.
Uganda is now reconsidering legislation that would enhance the criminal penalties that already exist for people who engage consensual same-sex relationships. This may also include the death penalty for offences that are deemed to be of an “aggravated” nature.
Latest 2 of 64 commentsView all comments
The Queensland Government absolutely abhors any attack on a person based on their sexual preference and, to be absolutely clear, does not believe that anyone should be able to plead a non-violent homosexual advance as a partial defence for murder.
On this, we agree with Father Paul Kelly, who wrote the piece on The Punch on Wednesday, “An archaic defence that belongs in the dark ages”. However, it is important that we take expert advice. The legal reality is that the Criminal Code has to be drafted carefully.
It must be drafted on what will work to the letter of the law or else other people will seek to exploit it in unforseen circumstances where society would not support it.
Latest 2 of 103 commentsView all comments
John Howard said it helped MPs “reflect upon their experiences, values”. Kim Beazley said it was “a wonderful thing” to do. The late John Button said, “Let the winds of principle blow through the House.”
They were talking about exercising a parliamentary conscience vote and were so enthusiastic for it you would imagine conscience votes happen all the time.
But they don’t, for reasons shared by leaders of all major parties. In fact they are rare. By my calculation there were 30 conscience votes in Federal Parliament between 1955 and now. (The always-splendid Parliamentary Library has this research paper.) Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants to make that tally 31 by tomorrow, asking the ALP national conference in Sydney for a conscience vote on gay marriage.
Latest 2 of 94 commentsView all comments
The Age reported this morning that former Tasmanian premier David Bartlett has called on the Labor Party to overturn marriage laws that prevent gay marriage, even by Australians in countries where same-sex marriages are legal. The call came after Bartlett’s half-sister, Angela Borella, was prevented from marrying her partner in Portugal. Here, Angela tells her story.
I met her earlier this year in Indonesia. She is Portuguese. I am Australian. We knew after ten days that we never wanted to be apart, so when my medical volunteer contract ended in Indonesia six weeks later, I flew to Portugal to be with her and we now live in Lisbon.
She is the most kind, caring and beautiful person I have ever met. It is like we’ve always known each other. She knows me better than I know myself.
I’ve never felt so loved in my entire years. I would give everything I have for her happiness. She makes me feel complete and whole.
Latest 2 of 220 commentsView all comments
If we ever needed proof that politicians should respectfully butt out of moral issues like gay marriage, we got it this week in South Australia.
On Monday – the same day we learnt that the number of Australian households with mum, dad and kids is set to plummet to just 22 per cent within 15 years – outgoing Premier Mike Rann said the time for same-sex marriage had arrived.
So, after effectively putting the issue in the too-hard basket for almost a decade as premier and also during a stint as Labor’s national president, Mr Rann has a rainbow epiphany on the eve of his departure.
Latest 2 of 172 commentsView all comments
Re: Welcome to the ‘Homosexual Lobby’ and today’s vote on same-sex marriage in Tasmania.
UPDATE: The historic motion backing same-sex marriage has been passed by the Tasmanian House of Assembly, the Mercury reports.
Over the past few months you have either said, tweeted or endorsed the following: “Anzacs didn’t die for gay marriage”, “the global gay Gestapo…is brainwashing people”, “gay marriage will disrupt the natural order”, “gay marriage will lead to paedophiles marrying children”, and of course you came to Miranda Devine’s defence when she linked the London riots to Senator Penny Wong and her partner expecting a child.
Latest 2 of 334 commentsView all comments
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…
Latest 2 of 129 commentsView all comments
“I am a concerned Ugandan citizen because I…am worried that my children will be recruited to be homosexuals …I am worried that the future of Ugandan children is at stake.”
WARNING: THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC. The Punch, not the author, chose it to illustrate the disgraceful stance of some Ugandans on this issue.
In October 2009, an Anti-Homosexuality Bill, or what has been internationally dubbed as the “Kill the gays” Bill, was introduced by David Bahati MP in Ugandan Parliament. The Bill strengthened the existing criminal penalties while increasing the sentences for certain kinds of consensual sexual “offences” between people of the same-sex.
Much of the social and political obsession with the idea of “homosexuality” in Uganda disparately emerged as a product of British colonialism. “Sodomy” offences or “acts against the order of nature”, as they are commonly referred to, were introduced through colonialism as a way of policing all non-heterosexual or non-reproductive relationships.
Latest 2 of 112 commentsView all comments
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!”
Latest 2 of 282 commentsView all comments
Christian Democrat MLC Fred Nile addressed NSW Parliament yesterday, condemning the Adoption Amendment (Same-Sex Couples) Bill on the grounds it would threaten the fundamental rights of children.
“Is this really an ideological issue or homosexuals demanding yet another human right?” For Mr. Nile, the debate is easily reduced to either ideological issues or gay rights. But where do children fit into the equation?
We can talk about ‘the best interests of children’ and many in this debate claim to, but why are these claims often made in polemical rather than empirical terms. That is, maybe we should look to actual families rather than our ‘common sense’ fantasy of the ideal family.
Latest 2 of 95 commentsView all comments
Legitimating gay marriage is like legalising child abuse’. Family First Senate candidate Wendy Francis’ comments on Twitter reiterate the homophobic anxieties towards same-sex parenting and marriage that continue to plague the political imagination in Australia.
Ms Francis’ archaic commentaries reflect a traumatic history in which same-sex couples were not simply discriminated or alienated, but were produced as criminal deviants. Much of the rhetoric that connected pedophilia and homosexuality emerged in the early 20th century where psychological, legal and religious institutions claimed that being ‘gay’ was a perversion or a disorder. Francis’ comments recuperate this history in an extremely unpalatable way.
While the comments may not have the same currency today, the homophobic rhetoric of ‘difference’ continues to be recycled today in different ways. Today, homosexuality is not a crime. However, the law uses sexuality to limit involvement in other social relationships.
Latest 2 of 101 commentsView all comments
Reverend Canon Gene Robinson of New Hampshire became the first gay bishop to be consecrated into the American Anglican Church today in 2003.
It was a decision that angered religious leaders around the world but Robinson was elated: “I think I can do more for gay and lesbian folk in the Church by being a good bishop than by being the gay bishop,” he told reporters. Got something to say about this event or anything else? Share it here.
Latest 2 of 34 commentsView all comments
I have a challenge for Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott – when my Marriage Equality Bill comes before Parliament today, I dare you to resist the urge to control … sorry, kill debate by insisting Senators toe the party line.
Show some leadership instead, and let the members of your parties have the courage of their convictions by giving them a conscience vote.
Until the Australian people can see their representatives talk freely and vote honestly on the issue, they have no idea how far away they are from living in a nation where equality is truly valued.
Latest 2 of 290 commentsView all comments
Fifty-eight years ago, as a conscript in the Australian Navy, I was on parade with ship’s company on the wharf at Williamstown, I believe it was.
A police identity check was taking place. Two rather hefty men, wearing dark fedoras, so favoured by celebrated criminals and successful detectives of the day, and bearing police standard issue suspicious scowls, moved between our ranks.
A third, slighter and very nervous, man was in tow. The offence being investigated was the bashing and robbery by sailors of a homosexual man in a park, the third person with the two detectives.
Latest 2 of 65 commentsView all comments
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, although drafted by Lord Macaulay, speaks with the coyness of Queen Victoria.
It states: “Unnatural Offences – Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life …”
A law directed against homosexual acts dared not use words like “buggery” or “sodomy”.
The euphemism of “carnal intercourse against the law of nature” was necessary and the Courts were required to fill in the missing spaces.
Over the years, the Courts of India confirmed that any form of sexual penetration other than vaginal intercourse between a man and a woman was “against the order of nature”.
On the second of this month, two judges of the High Court of Delhi declared that s.377 was unconstitutional.
The Chief Justice, Ajit Prakesh Shah, and Justice Muralidhar held that the law would now only apply to non-consensual acts and acts where a party to the act was younger than 18 years of age.
Latest 2 of 2 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…