There are few people in the sports world I respect more than Cyd Zeigler, the founder of the website Outsports, which deals with the sporting lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes. I tweeted Zeigler's excellent article titled “Don’t Boycott Olympics Ban Russia From Competing Instead” precisely because it was incisive and made me think. I do, however, feel that on principle I need to state that I strongly disagree with his central premise.
Liberal leader Tony Abbott's statement that marriage equality was a passing “fashion of the moment,” has galvanised anger in the lead up to nation-wide marriage equality rallies. It follows Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s promise to introduce a bill for marriage equality within 100 days of being re-elected. During the August 11 debate between Rudd and Abbott, instead of committing Labor to passing the bill, Rudd said his party would have a conscience vote, and called on the Liberal Party to do the same.
This statement was released by the Socialist Alliance on August 16. *** Kevin Rudd says he is now in favour of equal marriage rights, but Labor’s policy allows its politicians a "conscience vote". This is simply unacceptable, and lets homophobic MPs off the hook. Why does Labor have a "conscience vote" on equal marriage? It doesn't have a conscience vote on other issues, such as sending asylum seekers to PNG or cutting sole-parent pensions — even though Labor's policies on these issues violate the conscience of any decent human being.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr said recently that the rising number of Iranian asylum seekers coming to Australia are “economic migrants”. The overall rate of asylum seekers has increased this year and Iranians have become the largest group of people arriving by boat, making up about one third of the total.
A recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court represents a big step forward, while another represents a leap backward. Both passed by a five-to-four vote. First the good news. The Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as a right of only heterosexual couples. DOMA was passed by Congress and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1996.
More than 100 people encircled by chalk rainbows greeted the weekly meeting of Newcastle city council on June 25. Chaired by Save Our Figs veteran Debbi Long, the rally heard from Greens councillors Michael Osborne and Therese Doyle; federal Labor candidate Sharon Claydon; Michelle Lancey from support service Parents, Friends and Family of Gays and Lesbians; and Miss La Bang, a flamboyantly dressed bridal drag queen representing the radical rainbow army.
The United States Supreme Court, the nation’s highest judicial body, made two very significant rulings that affect the rights of oppressed peoples across the US on June 26. The Supreme Court voted to strike down the Defence of Marriage Act, which allowed individual states to outlaw equal marriage without any repercussions from the federal government. The court ruled that such a law was unconstitutional, as it repressed the civil rights of a certain section of the population, in this case LGBTI people.
Julia Gillard was greeted by a vibrant protest by students, unionists and Aboriginal activists when she spoke in Fremantle on June 12.
Members of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees union (SDA) rallied outside its Brisbane offices on May 30. The rally was in response to SDA Brisbane branch secretary Chris Ketter sacking organiser Allan Swetman, the day before Swetman was set to challenge for the secretary position. Swetman had questioned the fact Brisbane SDA organisers had attended lectures held by religious organisations against same-sex marriage and abortion rights, and alleged the union is supporting these lectures.
This is a speech by Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney, at a rally for equal marriage rights in Sydney on May 25. *** Let me begin by acknowledging that we are gathering here today on stolen Aboriginal land, the land of the Gadigal people that was never ceded but taken by force from its Indigenous owners. We pay our respects to elders and warriors — past and present — who have battled for survival and justice for against tremendous odds.
McDonald's workers and supporters held a picket on May 10 outside the Britomart McDonald's store in Auckland, said activist Socialist Aotearoa activist Nico on a May 12 post at Unite news. Nico said a group of about 30 people created a physical picket line across the two entrances of the store, holding banners and placards reading “25c won't pay the rent” (in reference to the company's pay rise offer), and “McStrike”.
The fight against homophobia is arguably the civil rights issue of our times. It is increasingly unacceptable that, in 2013, society continues to discriminate against people based on their sexuality. This is most obviously demonstrated by the continued refusal to grant equal marriage rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) people.