queer rights

I have no doubt that the plebiscite would have been won: it would have been a huge opening to build a mass movement for marriage equality and demolish the opposition. But I shared fears that the “No” campaign would have hurt our youth.

Just as in the 21 countries where marriage equality has been won, we will have to win this democratic right on the streets here too. This is the resounding conclusion supporters of equality must draw if we are to push back an emerging tide of conservatism unleashed by this latest round of major party politicking over the plebiscite.

Simon Hunt is a lecturer at UNSW’s Art and Design school as well as a political satirist. Hunt found success and notoriety in the 1990s as Pauline Pantsdown, releasing song “I’m A Backdoor Man” (1997) and “I Don’t Like It” (1998), which parodied far right politician Pauline Hanson. In 2004, Hunt released “I’m Sorry”, a parody of then-prime minister John Howard that was released as “Little Johnny”.

US soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, ended her hunger strike on September 13 after the Army said she will receive treatment for her gender dysphoria, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

You might expect that this year's Mardi Gras parade, which came just days after the institutional apologies to the original queer rights activists — the 78ers — would be free of the political heavy handedness that launched Mardi Gras as an annual protest march in 1978.

Four hundred people came out on June 13 for the Newtown vigil for the victims of the Orlando massacre and to stand up against homophobia, transphobia, bigotry and hatred.

Speakers condemned it as a hate crime but rejected attempts by politicians and conservative media to turn this into an excuse for escalating hate campaigns against Muslims and justifying imperial wars in the Middle East. The vigil was organised by Defend Safe Schools and was endorsed by a broad range of organisations.

When I first came out as a lesbian in high school, I was scared.

Hanging over my envisioned future were a lot of question marks, a familiar feeling for a lot of LGBTQI youth.

Heightened rates of mental illness, suicide, homelessness and assault frame the vision of adulthood with very real uncertainty.

This uncertainty is mirrored by the media. The distinct lack of representation in media robs queer youth of healthy role models.

A controversy broke out at Sydney's Mardi Gras on March 6 when organisers threatened to ban the No Pride In Detention refugee rights float if they criticised Opposition leader Bill Shorten's refugee policies.

And fair enough. The Mardi Gras was begun by people demanding basic human rights and an end to dehumanisation and unjust repression, so there's obviously no connection with the current bipartisan treatment of refugees.

LGBTI communities everywhere are reeling from the loss of the 49 people gunned down in the Orlando nightclub Pulse. In addition, 53 were injured.

Some of them no doubt are deeply missed by their families. Even worse, as is true in many LGBTI communities, some of them would have lost their family ties years ago. The other patrons at the Pulse nightclub may have been the only family they had.

Australia's peak trade union body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), has finally adopted a position of supporting marriage equality. The decision follows a recent move by one of its largest affiliates, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, to drop its militant opposition to marriage equality.


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