LGBTIQ

The new Prime Minister Tony Abbott is infamous for his homophobia. Only recently he dismissed the equal marriage rights campaign as the “fashion of the moment”. The equal marriage rights campaign is about much more than marriage. It’s about a prejudice that kills people. Particularly for young people, life in the queer community keeps them constantly on their toes. All around, queer people are self-harming, and every day young people worry that somebody they care about might commit suicide. These are the consequences of homophobia and transphobia.
The first marriage equality rally in Nowra, south of Wollongong, was held on September 6. About 100 people attended the rally and chalk rainbows were drawn on the footpath. Rally organiser Tobi Harris told the Illawarra Mercury: “The seat of Gilmore has been held by the Liberals for 17 years, and we want to remind them to stand up for the gay community.” Long-time queer rights activist Paola Harvey addressed the crowd. Her speech is reprinted below. ***
Margarita Windisch is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the Victorian seat of Wills. This is an edited version of a speech she gave to a rally for equal marriage rights in Melbourne on August 17. *** Oscar Wilde once said that disobedience and rebellion are the original virtues of humanity. It is through disobedience and rebellion that we have achieved real progress. This protest today is an important demonstration of rebellion against an unjust law.
The Army private and WikiLeaks whistleblower formerly known as Bradley Manning announced, in a statement via lawyer David Coombs, the decision to transition to life as a woman and a request to be referred to as Chelsea and with female pronouns. Visit here for more information on Manning's case. * * * The Next Stage of My Life
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.