LGBTIQ

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.
Hearing the news made me feel like I'd accidentally walked into a wind tunnel. For as long as I had written about this issue and as many times as I had said in recent years that this will happen in a matter of months if not weeks, it still hit me like a triple shot of espresso cut with a teaspoon of Adderall. Thanks to the courage of 34-year-old NBA veteran Jason Collins, we can no longer repeat endlessly that no active male athlete in North America has ever come out of the closet.
Jailed WikiLeaks whistleblower and US soldier, Bradley Manning, was named on April 25 as the grand marshal in this year’s LGBTI Pride Parade in San Francisco. But, amid controversy and pressure, San Francisco Pride president Lisa Williams issued a statement the next day rescinding the honour. Manning was elected by former grand marshals, who form an electoral college to choose a grand marshal each year. Other grand marshals are appointed by the SF Pride board and by a community vote. Grand marshals are chosen for making significant contributions to the LGBTI community.
As the packed galleries burst into an impassioned version of “Pokarekare Ana” (a well-known traditional Maori love song) in response to the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill by 77-44 votes on April 17, a crowd of more than 1000 celebrated outside parliament in Wellington. The vote made New Zealand the 13th nation to legalise same-sex marriage. France has since become the 14th.
With a vote of 71-21, the Uruguayan House of Representatives approved same-sex marriage on April 10. With the Senate’s approval and the president’s promise to sign it, Uruguay became the 12th country to legalise same-sex marriage. Seven days later, on April 17, New Zealand became the 13th when its parliament voted 77-44 to legalise same-sex marriage.
About 200 people attended a community forum on March 19 to discuss the future of policing at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. It was organised in response to community outrage over violent arrests at this year's parade. The forum was called by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the AIDS Council of NSW, Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, Inner City Legal Centre, NSW Police and independent MLC Alex Greenwich.
About 1500 people took part in a short-notice march to oppose police violence against two young men after the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. Video footage showing a tall policeman throwing a handcuffed youth to the ground with shocking force and putting his boot on his head. This ignited angry memories of police violence at Sydney’s first-ever Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978. Photos by Peter Boyle.
About 1500 people rallied in Sydney on March 8 in protest against the alleged police violence at this year’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Bryn Hutchinson, a former co-convener of Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), alleges that five police officers slammed him to the ground, kicked him, shackled him and beat him when he tried to cross Oxford St after the parade had finished. Hutchinson was then taken to Surry Hills police station and charged with “assaulting a police officer”. Hutchinson says he was handcuffed during the alleged attack by the officers.
Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) activists are marching in Mardi Gras on March 2 under the banner “Generations of Protest”, and are inviting interested people to join their float. Mardi Gras is going to be a lot of fun this year, and already has more floats and more people marching than ever. The event stands in the tradition of the gay liberation protest in 1978 that immediately preceded the state-by-state decriminalisation of sodomy throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s.