Gay News Network - Gay News Network http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news.html Fri, 01 Jul 2016 14:17:17 +1000 GNN en-gb Election 2016: Nick Xenophon Team gets behind marriage equality http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/election-2016-nick-xenophon-team-gets-behind-marriage-equality-21474.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/election-2016-nick-xenophon-team-gets-behind-marriage-equality-21474.html

The Nick Xenophon Team has confirmed their commitment to marriage equality.

Responding to the recent Rainbow Votes survey, campaign officer Anna Gordon said the Xenophon team believes marriage is a formalised commitment that should be available to all people who wish it, irrespective of their gender. 

If elected Xenophon promises to remove all discrimination from the Marriage Act to ensure that all people, regardless of their sex or gender identity, have the opportunity to marry.

However, Gordon said the party believes churches and religious bodies should “retain the right to decide for themselves whether to perform or recognise any marriage”. 

“We are not seeking to be an alternative government,” explained Gordon. “Our primary function is to facilitate good government and encourage positive legislative change. For us, policies are all about principles that guide our actions.”

Author

Cec Busby
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Fri, 01 Jul 2016 14:00:34 +1000
Election 2016: Australian Sex Party stands strong on LGBTI issues http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/australian-sex-party-stands-strong-on-lgbti-issues-21470.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/australian-sex-party-stands-strong-on-lgbti-issues-21470.html

The Australian Sex Party has continued its mandate of support for the LGBTI community by announcing a slew of policies defending the rights of the LGBTI people.

Responding to the 2016 LGBTI election survey, Rainbow Votes, the party outlined its support for the LGBTI community including backing for Safe Schools, advocating for marriage equality via a parliamentary vote and the creation of a dedicated Commonwealth commissioner for LGBTI issues who works in tandem with an LGBTI ministerial advisory group.

The Sex Party was firm in their belief of a secular state and promised to pursue an end to automatic religious exemptions and said it would pursue an end to government funding of organisations which choose to discriminate on the basis of sex, gender or sexuality.

In a move that will please rainbow families whose children were born via surrogacy, the Sex Party also promised to establish nationally consistent assisted reproduction and surrogacy laws allowing access to assisted reproduction and surrogacy for all couples and individuals, and automatic recognition of the non-genetic parent/s at birth. 

The Sex Party also reaffirmed its support for LGBTI issues to be integrated into the National School Curriculum and backed the use of the Safe Schools program.

 

feat-sex-party-1

Above: The Australian Sex Party leader Fiona Patten and, top image, the Australian Sex Party at the Mardi Gras Parade. Top image via Twitter/Australian Sex Party

 

On trans issues the Sex Party came out strongly, calling for the removal of unnecessary gender, sex and title markers from government forms and advocating for trans people to have their gender status recognized on their birth certificates without the need of medical intervention so that birth certificates match their lived gender. The Sex Party also opposed the forced gender assignment surgery of intersex young people.

The party also called for better conditions for LGBTI asylum seekers, specifically suggesting LGBTI asylum seekers should not be repatriated in regions that are unsafe for LGBTI people and that all government staff involved in the processing of asylum claims receive sensitivity training and adhere to best practice in determining asylum claims involving LGBTIQ status.

Author

Cec Busby
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Thu, 30 Jun 2016 15:43:20 +1000
Reform Institute calls for better balance in SA laws to support LGBTI http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/victoria-copy/reform-institute-calls-for-better-balance-in-sa-laws-to-support-lgbti-21467.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/victoria-copy/reform-institute-calls-for-better-balance-in-sa-laws-to-support-lgbti-21467.html Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:45:09 +1000 AME vs ACL: Marriage equality adversaries face off in live online debate http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/marriage-equality-adversaries-face-off-in-live-online-debate-21466.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/marriage-equality-adversaries-face-off-in-live-online-debate-21466.html Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:23:48 +1000 ‘People's relationships don't need opinion polls from other people’ says Bill Shorten http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/people-s-relationships-don-t-need-opinion-polls-from-other-people-says-bill-shorten-21463.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/people-s-relationships-don-t-need-opinion-polls-from-other-people-says-bill-shorten-21463.html

Bill Shorten has said the entire marriage debate simply comes down to people being ok with gay people or not and same-sex marriage doesn't need an expensive opinion poll. 

"Either you think being gay is bad, or it's OK. And it can't be OK for some things and not OK for other things," he said.

Speaking to Annabel Crabb from the ABC's Kitchen Cabinet, Shorten said that the "steep learning curve" of raising children helped him realise that "people's relationships don't need opinion polls from other people".

He also expressed concern over children of same-sex parents who often feel lesser because their parents can’t get married like straight couples.

"One of the reasons why I support marriage equality is that same-sex attracted couples, who love each other and have kids — why should their kids somehow feel invalidated, or that somehow their parents ... are any less valuable or wanted?"

 

 

"This 1950s definition of what constitutes a family, I don't think describes gay couples with kids, I don't think it describes blended families, I don't think it captures single-parent families."

"The job of government is to help create the right economic circumstances, do the right things in education and healthcare - enable people's lives.

"It's not to stand in some sort of moral judgement."

To watch the full episode on ABC iView click here

Author

Glen Morét
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Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:03:51 +1000
Election 2016: No commitments from Labor, Coalition in removing religious exemptions http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/election-2016-no-commitments-from-labor-coalition-in-removing-religious-exemptions-21456.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/election-2016-no-commitments-from-labor-coalition-in-removing-religious-exemptions-21456.html

Religious exemptions are set to remain in the foreseeable future with neither Labor nor the Coalition committing to closing the loophole that allows faith-based organisations to discriminate against LGBTI people. 

The Australian Greens, however, have made it part of their election platform to eliminate such exemptions.

Currently, the Sex Discrimination Act allows for religious-based organisations, including those that are publicly-funded, to refuse service or employment to LGBTI people.

 

RELATED ARTICLE

 

Labor has said it would review anti-discrimination laws while the Coalition maintains it has no plans to remove the exemptions.

The Greens, however, remain steadfast and are committed to seeing the laws change. 

Responding to the 2016 LGBTI election survey, Rainbow Votes, the Greens said: “Successive Coalition and Labor governments have maintained these exemptions, which mean that a religious hospital can refuse to employ a gay doctor, and a faith-based homelessness shelter can refuse to accept a transgender resident. The Greens have fought against the exemptions at every opportunity, and we believe they should be eliminated. Anti-discrimination laws should apply to everyone.”

The Australian Equality Party and the Australian Sex Party have also committed to eliminating the exemptions.

Author

Reg Domingo
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Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:30:11 +1000
WATCH: Courtney Act tells parents why a plebiscite is such a bad idea http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/watch-courtney-act-tells-parents-why-a-plebiscite-is-such-a-bad-idea-21458.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/watch-courtney-act-tells-parents-why-a-plebiscite-is-such-a-bad-idea-21458.html

Drag star Courtney Act has written a moving letter to her parents on what their vote means at this Saturday’s federal election.

“If you vote for Malcolm, you are voting to say that who I am is less than,” she told her parents.

Current prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull has said he will conduct a plebiscite on same-sex marriage if he is re-elected and has also confirmed MPs will not be bound to vote on what the result of the $160 million opinion poll is.

Act said a vote for Turnbull will allow, “the government to use the institution of marriage to let the rest of Australia know that I am not equal.”

She said concerns for herself about marriage equality were limited until American president Barack Obama declared marriage equality across the United States.

“I never really cared before, but last year when Obama declared marriage equality in the US I broke down and started crying.”

“In that instant, the tables had turned. Who I am, my community, is now recognised as equal and hearing the President of the United States say so had more impact than I could have ever imagined.”

 

The drag star said she doesn’t need to “go through more and more months of hate and discrimination, fact manipulation and downright lies”.

“I don’t need who I am to be publicly slandered and dissected by conservative Australia. I don’t need to have my morals questioned, accusations and implications of sexual perversion, paedophilia and all of the other arguments the church and those like them bring up.”

“All people are being negatively educated through this process and instead of uniting us to build a strong future it is used to divide us and keep us separate.”

“So, on July 2, when you go to the polling booth to vote for a new Prime Minister of Australia, I ask you. What is more important to you? You hip pocket? Or me?”

View the text version in full below:

"Hey Mum & Dad,

I want to make a video about Marriage Equality in Australia. And one of the points I thought of is that in this election you will probably be voting for Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party (read: Conservative party).

It’s more than just about my rights, but I thought I might try this appeal to you. If you vote for Malcolm, you are voting to say that who I am is less than.

You are voting to say that because I love someone who is the same sex as me, that I don’t deserve the right to get married like you. But you are also allowing the government to use the institution of marriage to let the rest of Australia know that I am not equal. I never really cared before, but last year when Obama declared marriage equality in the US I broke down and started crying. I didn’t expect that at all.

All of my life I have fought to be who I am in a world that did not support me. It has been hard, granted, not as hard forn me as others, but I have learnt to deal with it. It made me stronger. But Obama’s declaration came from nowhere and went straight to the core of who I am. The struggle wasn’t over, but in that instant, the tables had turned.

Who I am, my community, is now recognised as equal and hearing the President of the United States say so had more impact than I could have ever imagined. Marriage equality isn’t about marriage. It’s about equality. I always thought it would be “us” and “them”, but now I have had a shift in consciousness and really see that it can be “we”.

You have always been amazing parents who supported and loved me and it is this fostering of love that I realise is such a privilege and I thank you for it. It meant that I made it through the dark times and out the other side and in some small way I try and pay that forward with my work today. But not everyone is as lucky as me to have such supportive parents.

And I think about all the young people who, if Malcolm Turnbull gets in, even though 72% of Australians support marriage equality and the government's job is to represent the will of the people, and even though Australia is one of the last countries in the west to recognised equality, Malcolm will send the country to a $160million dollar plebiscite.

A vote, that, when complete does not hold any power whatsoever and his party will still be able to vote against love. Not only that but the plebiscite opens the flood-gates for so much hate. Already I have seen hate insighting flyers being letterbox dropped about the Safe Schools Program which moves to include LGBT sex education in schools.

This is just the beginning of the hate we will see coming from the extreme right in the coming months. I don’t need who I am to be publicly slandered and dissected by conservative Australia. I don’t need to have my morals questioned, accusations and implications of sexual perversion, paedophilia and all of the other arguments the church and those like them bring up. I don’t need to go through more and more months of hate and discrimination, fact manipulation and down right lies.

I have spent my whole life living in a world whose institutions didn’t support who I am. I can not accept that any longer. Not just for me, but for all of the young people growing up in Australia. For young kids questioning their identity, for the little girls and boys and non-conforming kids who find themselves same-sex attracted.

To have to hear on TV, in magazine, and in the conversations around them, that who they are is less-than, that who they are is to be hated. And not just the queer kids, all kids. All people are being negatively educated through this process and instead of uniting us to build a strong future it is used to divide us and keep us separate.

So, on July 2, when you go to the polling booth to vote for a new Prime Minister of Australia, I ask you. What is more important to you? You hip pocket? Or me?

Xx
Love Shane

PS Much like your unconditional love of me, it doesn’t matter who you vote for my love is also unconditional. Love is unconditional so how can a government legislate my right to love? Love is love."

Author

Glen Morét
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Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:07:02 +1000
Greens slam anti-gay political pressure group http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/greens-slam-anti-gay-political-pressure-group-21454.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/greens-slam-anti-gay-political-pressure-group-21454.html Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:21:40 +1000 Election 2016: Should there be a dedicated federal spokesperson for LGBTI affairs? http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/election-2016-should-there-be-a-dedicated-federal-spokesperson-for-lgbti-affairs-21448.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/election-2016-should-there-be-a-dedicated-federal-spokesperson-for-lgbti-affairs-21448.html

With the success of having a dedicated spokesperson for LGBTI affairs on state level such as Victoria, there is a push for better representation of LGBTI equality in the federal sphere in this coming election. 

But according to the LGBTI 2016 election survey, Rainbow Votes, the three major parties differed significantly in their approach to establishing an LGBTI portfolio.

 

RELATED ARTICLE

 

The Greens, longtime champtions of LGBTI rights and equality, already have two spokespeople representing the interests of LGBTI people: Senator Robert Simms (pictured) is the spokesperson for sexuality and marriage equality, and Senator Janet Rice is the spokesperson for gender identity and intersex issues. 

The Coalition said “issues relating to LGBTI equality generally fall within the Attorney-General’s portfolio”.

There’s no commitment from Labor to appointing a party spokesperson for LGBTI affairs. 

When canvassed about appointing a Commonwealth commissioner with specific responsibility for LGBTI rights, however, Labor says it will deliver.

“Labor will appoint a permanent, dedicated full-time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner, to ensure that the rights of LGBTI Australians have a new champion,” the party said in Rainbow Votes.

The Coalition said LGBTI issues will fall under the remit of the Australian Human Rights Commission, led by the new Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow. 

The Greens, meanwhile, said it will appoint a Commonwealth Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, which would work across government.

Image: Senator Robert Simms is the Greens Spokesperson for Sexuality and Marriage Equality

 

Author

Reg Domingo
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Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:38:54 +1000
Alan Jones and Penny Wong say we can do without a plebiscite http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/alan-jones-and-penny-wong-say-we-can-do-without-a-plebiscite-21447.html http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/national/alan-jones-and-penny-wong-say-we-can-do-without-a-plebiscite-21447.html

Broadcaster Alan Jones has said the idea of a plebiscite on same-sex marriage is worrying, while Senator Penny Wong says some Liberals want to defeat equality.

Speaking on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night Jones said a potential plebiscite is a worrying concern.

"It certainly worries me. I think that a lot of the young people are worried. I get a stack of correspondence about this. They're concerned about the direction this could take us and I think… we can do without all of that,” he said.

The long-time radio commentator said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should do what he originally wanted – a free vote on marriage equality.

“Turnbull was in favour of a vote of the Parliament and he represented that view to me when he was the Minister for whatever it was, NBN or something. Before he became PM. And I think it would be very unfortunate if we went down a track where we have spent a whole heap of money and people throwing insults at each other,” Jones said.

 “I think we should do what Malcolm Turnbull originally said we should do, let the Parliament decide.”

Labor Senator Penny Wong also voiced concerns over a potential plebiscite, saying it is something the Prime Minister knows is a bad idea.

“It amounts to a sabotage of the plebiscite,” she said.

“That is what the conservatives want. I mean, the irony is, here we have got Malcolm Turnbull telling us, ‘We want a people’s vote.’ He knows. He knows that this vote has been designed by [Senators] Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz and many others who are opposed to marriage equality. They only want a plebiscite because they think they can make it work to defeat equality.”

Jones went on to say a plebiscite is unnecessary and something MPs can do themselves.

“We select 150 in the House of Representatives to represent those 22 million people on critical issues such as this, I think we should do what Malcolm Turnbull originally said we should do, let the parliament decide,” he said.

“I'm certainly opposed to a plebiscite on this issue.”

Jones said that after the Abbott government took on the plebiscite as its official policy for marriage equality, then-minister Turnbull had called him and asked him to intervene. "This is ridiculous Alan, this plebiscite stuff," Jones quoted Turnbull as saying.

Jones also likened the Brexit to a potential same-sex marriage plebiscite.

"I think David Cameron called the [Brexit] referendum because he thought he would win it easily. That was the point. It was an error of judgement. I think here you do have to try to avoid on major issues such as that the kind of divisiveness we saw over there.”

Author

Glen Morét
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Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:58:52 +1000