LGBTIQ

Britain’s House of Commons voted in favour of equal marriage rights on February 5. France’s lower house approved a bill for equal marriage rights on February 12. If these bills make it the rest of the way through their respective parliaments, Britain and France will join the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Massachusetts, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark in having equal marriage rights.
The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition (SAWC) is inviting people to join their float in this year’s Mardi Gras parade on March 2. Spokesperson Linda Pearson said: “SAWC is entering a float in this year’s Mardi Gras to raise awareness about Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, and to demonstrate our solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. We also wanted to offer our supporters this opportunity to take part in what will be a unique and enjoyable event.
Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) has responded to the homophobic bullying of queer youth at Parramatta’s Rediscover the River festival on January 17. During the festival, Twenty10, an organisation that provides counseling for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) youth, were asked to remove an “offensive” banner. The banner read: “Support service for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people, their families and community. ‘A place to be me, with the support I need.’”

The final Green Left Report for 2012 features Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange, on why the Australian government fears WikiLeaks, the problems of the corporate press, and the WikiLeaks releases that impacted the most on her.

Green Left Weekly spoke to Evan McHugh, the co-organiser of the first Equal Love rally in the Albury-Wodonga area that took place on November 17. Why did you organise this protest?

Between three and four hundred people marched through the streets of Perth on November 24 in the latest rally for marriage equality. Speakers noted that recent votes in federal parliament had not resulted in equal marriage rights in Australia yet, however, internationally and locally the momentum is building.

When a sufficient number of people adopt a particular idea, it becomes self-sustaining and self-promoting. Social theorists call this “critical mass.
The Adelaide Pride march snaked its way through the Adelaide CBD on November 10, bringing traffic to a standstill with blasting music, dancing and some wild outfits. The annual march celebrates the opening night of the Feast festival but, according to some attendees, it is also an opportunity for self-expression. “It allows us to be us. [We] don’t have to hide who we are,” marcher Sasha Delight told Green Left Weekly. First-time marcher Chloe Bleakley said: “Seeing everyone in the same place reminds us we're not alone.”
Tasmania's upper house voted against equal marriage on September 26. The bill, co-sponsored by Labor Premier Lara Giddings and Greens deputy Nick McKim, passed the lower house on August 30. But after a two-day debate, eight of the upper house's 15 MLCs voted against the bill, mostly fearing a High Court challenge and claiming that it was a federal and not a state issue. Serious homophobia was also in play. Former Supreme Court chief justice William Cox said allowing same-sex couples to marry could also lead to same-sex surrogacy and adoption.
Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi resigned from his position as Tony Abbott's shadow parliamentary secretary after widespread outrage about his reactionary and bizarre speech on the equal marriage bill which was debated (and defeated 42 votes to 98) in parliament on September 18.
Community Action Against Homophobia released the statement below on September 19. * * * Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) express disgust at today's rejection of equal marriage rights by Australian parliament. Only 42 MPs supported the private members bill put forward by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, while 98 MPs voted against.

Special guests Bashana Abeywardane from Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, Karl Hand from Community Action Against Homophobia, plus Carlo Sands takes on Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer!