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CAAH rocked by schism, claims of branch stacking

CAAH rocked by schism, claims of branch stacking

LAST UPDATED // Thursday, 22 March 2012 15:51

A schism has developed in one of the country’s most vocal LGBTI community groups with Organisation Intersex International Australia (OII) quitting Sydney-based Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) amidst claims of branch stacking and a lack of communication by members of the new leadership team.

OII president Gina Wilson said the leading intersex activist group had for a number of years welcomed participating in meetings and actions against homophobia and to raise intersex-related issues.

Wilson said the situation changed, when in 2011, OII was refused dialogue with another organisation claiming to represent intersex people before CAAH endorsed their activities.

“That dialogue was refused and the Campaign subscribed to a platform that, in part, damaged the interests of intersex people,” Wilson said.

“We had hoped that, once the issues around the 2011 event had resolved themselves, people would get back to the main task of CAAH, the fight against homophobia.

“However, our experience of CAAH meetings has become one characterised by open hostility from a faction within the campaign.”

Wilson further alleged that changes in the last six months had seen a breakdown in communication with members.

“More recent developments have seen one of the conveners leave, and his replacement refusing to communicate with us,” Wilson said.

Numerous attempts by SX to contact CAAH conveners over the past week have gone unanswered.

OII will remain committed to the campaign for marriage equality and continue to stand against homophobia and work with the wider LGBTI community, Wilson said, particularly with gender and sex diverse allies.

“While we leave CAAH, we would like to acknowledge the significant support and help that some members of the organisation have given us. We would especially like to thank Cat Rose and her colleagues for their encouragement and help,” Wilson added.


Comments (7)

  • GIF

    11 July 2012 at 09:30 |
    Just a heads up. Gina Wilson does NOT represent all Intersex people and is activly refusing to represent any Intersex person who's opinions are different than hers. Discussion on Bodies Like Ours clearly shows that the majority of Intersex people in Australia do not like what Gina is doing, and do not feel she is representing us.


  • Stuart Baanstra

    25 March 2012 at 16:41 |
    CAAH also charged participants a fee when they had "Category One" status. That status allowed their entry to be subsidized by Mardi Gras and the group was not to make a profit from invitees. When the whistle was blown, CAAH became abusive.


  • Derrick

    24 March 2012 at 18:35 |
    Regardless of the internal difficulties that CAAH has faced with finding consensus, and working smoothly as an organisation with a range of people from diverse backgrounds, I believe that CAAH has maintained a level of awareness on issues that are often missed by the mainstream gay movement. Apart from the equal marriage campaign, which CAAH has been working on tirelessly for some time now, they have also raised awareness on refugee issues, black deaths in custody, and trans concerns. All these concerns are often left out of the general discourse.
    It is problematic to me that one member has decided to use the press to vent their dissatisfaction, rather then move deal with the end of their journey in a more professional manner.
    This type of 'media payback' response does nothing to shore up the reputation of the individual, or the organisation that they represent.
    I for one, am aware of the difficulties that CAAH faces, that they will make mistakes, counter opposition, but that they are interested in 'fighting the good fight', while bringing often overlooked issues into the discourse.
    One persons grievance does not put a whole organisation in question. This response looks like a childish tantrum.


  • Stuart Baanstra

    23 March 2012 at 20:46 |
    I was a member of CAAH until they tried, unsucessfully, to force a group of gay male nudists into shorts, rather than wear flimsier costumes. After inviting the nudists to join their Mardi Gras float and approving their minimalist atire, CAAH, at the eleventh hour, attempted to revoke its own motion that allowed them to appear near-naked. Only one vote saved the nudists from either looking ridiculous, or pulling out.


  • norrie mAy-welby

    23 March 2012 at 17:30 |
    CAAH is also not a peak organisation, and its members are individuals, not other organisations. This is a story about one person who chose to announce their resignation, hardly a schism or faction fight. Gina does not spell out which other organisation was seeking CAAH's endorsement, but she expressed unhappiness with the first sex and gender diversity human rights rally in Canberra last year, so good luck to her, and i look forward to attending any significant actions that she organises. The last convenor did not leave CAAH when they left that position, by the way, and they are still an active member.


  • Serkan Ozturk - The Journalist

    22 March 2012 at 15:51 |
    Thanks Gina.

    Term altered to "leading" now.



  • Gina

    22 March 2012 at 15:14 |
    Just to be clear OII is not a peak body we are a constituent membership based organisation. Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG) is also very active in Intersex advocacy .


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