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Love on the March: Reflections on the gay community’s political progress—and its future

Love on the March: Reflections on the gay community’s political progress—and its future | Gay News | Scoop.it
I am forty-four years old, and I have lived through a startling transformation in the status of gay men and women in the United States.
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Irish same sex marriage campaigner shares experiences with Australian advocates facing plebiscite

Irish same sex marriage campaigner shares experiences with Australian advocates facing plebiscite | Gay News | Scoop.it

I WISH there was another way.


That’s the message to Australian campaigners for same sex marriage from one of the architects of the referendum victory which dramatically changed Ireland’s laws last year.


Tiernan Brady is sharing the Irish experience with marriage equality advocates here who could be facing a national indicative plebiscite after the next election, probably in 2017.


It won’t be a vote to change the Constitution, as was Ireland’s, and there are doubts whether all MPs would accept a ‘Yes’ vote should changes to the Marriage Act come to Parliament.


Mr Brady believes change will come, but his preferred path would be through Parliamentary vote alone, not a national ballot.

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No Cabinet consideration on same-sex marriage plebiscite, six months on

No Cabinet consideration on same-sex marriage plebiscite, six months on | Gay News | Scoop.it

Six months after deciding the issue of same-sex marriage would be put to a plebiscite, the Federal Cabinet has not yet considered a formal proposal for the public vote.

"There will be a proposal brought forward when I take a submission to Cabinet, which I expect to do in coming months," Senator Brandis told a Senate estimates committee.

"I think I can say my disposition is to publish the proposed amendments to the Marriage Act so that people voting in the plebiscite would know what the shape of the legislation would be were they to vote yes or no."

The Federal Coalition party room decided in August last year that the plebiscite should be held sometime after the next federal election.

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Abbott’s same-sex marriage plebiscite might not happen after all

Abbott’s same-sex marriage plebiscite might not happen after all | Gay News | Scoop.it

The Senate could put a stop to the government proceeding with plans to hold an expensive $160 million plebiscite on same-sex marriage, with the government needing crossbench support in order to get legislation ready before the election.

Attorney-General George Brandis is currently drafting legislation for the plebiscite question to be put to the Australian people after the next election. If successful, it has been reported that there would be specific exemptions expected to apply to religious organisations, celebrants and other public officials from conducting same-sex weddings or other duties if they object to same-sex marriage.

It is expected to go to the Coalition joint party room later this month.

Crikey understands that at the same time as the legislation is being drafted, Brandis is strongly lobbying some crossbench senators to support the legislation backing the public vote, with the expectation that the Greens and Labor — which both call for the matter to be settled by a free vote in Parliament — will vote against any plebiscite legislation.

But coming up with the votes for the legislation could be a struggle for Brandis. Following comments from the hard-right faction of the Liberal Party, Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi, plus Nationals Senator Brigid McKenzie that they would vote against same-sex marriage regardless of the plebiscite’s outcome, the Australian Electoral Commission’s estimate that the plebiscite could cost up to $160 million is seeming an expensive ask.

More conservative crossbench senators such as Family First’s Bob Day and independent John Madigan are also unlikely to back same-sex marriage, so their vote for a plebiscite is not guaranteed.

Crikey understands that Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir has not had any recent conversations with Brandis regarding the proposed legislation, but he told Crikey in a statement he would back same-sex marriage if a vote came up now, and said the plebiscite proposal was seeming more of a waste, day by day.

“With reports of some within the major parties stating that they would not support the view of the plebiscite if the result was in support of marriage equality, I would be fearful that it could be a significant waste of taxpayers’ money,” Muir said. “Ultimately, I would prefer a vote on marriage equality to happen sooner rather than later and for this significant social issue to be resolved, instead of being used for political mileage by certain parties every election cycle.”

A spokesperson for Brandis did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

Last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted that the plebiscite was not his favoured choice:

“It is certainly not the approach that I favoured at the outset. I am a traditionalist. This was a case of democratic innovation. The innovator was out innovating, so there you go. Every Australian will have a say.”

The Senate also last week debated whether the government should recognise same-sex marriages from jurisdictions outside Australia. Liberal Senator David Fawcett strongly opposed the proposal, stating it could mean that the government might also have to recognise child marriages from other nations.

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, who spent most of this morning in estimates questioning why the Human Rights Commission supports same-sex marriage, argued that recognising same-sex marriage would make heterosexual marriage less special.

“If we do change this particular definition, it will remove some of the colour and imagination from our lives because we will no longer have a word that just describes the union between a man and a woman often coming together to make children. I think that is an incredibly miraculous and important event in many of our lives and in our culture, and we should have a particular institution and a particular word to describe the creation of the next generation.”

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Prominent LGBTI community health expert appointed to Qld council on domestic violence

Prominent LGBTI community health expert appointed to Qld council on domestic violence | Gay News | Scoop.it

A PROMINENT community rights and health advocate has been appointed to a Queensland Government committee on tackling domestic violence in an effort to promote LGBTI inclusion on the issue.

HIV specialist and founder of the Men Affected by Rape and Sexual abuse (MARS) support group, Dr Wendell Rosevear, has been appointed to the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council to help better understand and recognise domestic violence issues specific to the LGBTI community.

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Survey: One in Four People Admit to Hooking Up and Having Sex at the Gym

Survey: One in Four People Admit to Hooking Up and Having Sex at the Gym | Gay News | Scoop.it

Without fail, every January, gyms across the world see huge spikes in attendance and new membership signups. People looking to stick to their New Year’s resolutions pile into gyms looking to commit to fitness, break a sweat, and, according to a new study conducted by the Ann Summers sex shop, maybe get a little action in the locker rooms.

In an online poll of about 2,000 people, Ann Summers found that about 25% of participants admitted to having had sex at their gyms at some point during their membership.

Even the people who weren’t actually getting down in the steam room were at the very least thinking about it and/or hoping that something might happen.

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26 Dead (Or Dying) Gay Bars in NYC, L.A., S.F.

26 Dead (Or Dying) Gay Bars in NYC, L.A., S.F. | Gay News | Scoop.it

Cities around the country, and globe, have seen many of their most beloved gay and lesbian watering holes close down — often after the area's queer population diffuses or the owner simply gets priced out. While many of these bars and clubs were a bit rough around the edges, they nonetheless served as de facto community centers, offering a kind of glue that kept our disparate minority together. In this first entry of an occasional series, we'll pay honor to dearly-departed LGBT establishments that recently shut their doors in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Stay tuned for more "in memoriums" in other cities.

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It’s time: The case for marriage equality

It’s time: The case for marriage equality | Gay News | Scoop.it

Most people recognise what our marriage laws don’t: gay and lesbian Australians are just like everybody else. The challenges of parenting we experience – the sleepless nights, the struggle to find child care, the angst over schooling – are the same. Our relationships are like other relationships. Our desire to make a public and lasting commitment to the woman or man we love is the same, too.


Most people also understand that there is nothing to fear from equality. Marriage does not need to be quarantined to have value. In 2012, John Key, New Zealand’s conservative prime minister, spoke for many when he said, “if two gay people want to get married, then I can’t see why it would undermine my marriage to Bronagh”. Likewise, I have never understood how my commitment to Sophie could threaten anyone else’s marriage.


Australia once embraced the White Australia policy, authorised the deprivation of the first Australians’ kinship and culture, set women’s wages lower than men’s for the same work, and barred married women from many occupations. Times change: our statute books are no longer vehicles for discrimination on the basis of gender or race.


Gay and lesbian Australians can vote, serve in the military, represent our country on the sporting field, teach in our universities, preside as judges, staff our hospitals, and be a member of the federal cabinet. Yet we cannot marry the person we love.

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Cory Bernardi: recognising overseas same-sex marriages subverts Australian law

Cory Bernardi: recognising overseas same-sex marriages subverts Australian law | Gay News | Scoop.it

Recognising same-sex marriages that took place overseas would challenge Australia’s sovereignty by making the country “beholden” to foreign laws, Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi said.


Bernardi, a vocal opponent of marriage equality, on Thursday spoke in the Senate to oppose a private member’s bill aimed at recognising overseas marriages.

He criticised the bill, put forward by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, saying it “subverted” Australia’s domestic laws.

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A truly 'liberal' government wouldn't hold a plebiscite on legalising same-sex marriage

A truly 'liberal' government wouldn't hold a plebiscite on legalising same-sex marriage | Gay News | Scoop.it

A vote on whether same-sex couples can get married is discriminatory because it applies a standard to them that does not apply to heterosexual couples.

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Is Big Gay Day exploiting LGBT charities?

Is Big Gay Day exploiting LGBT charities? | Gay News | Scoop.it

Big Gay Day, an event that heavily promotes itself as being a charity fundraiser, has been accused of misleading patrons about the amount of money it gives to LGBT charities after only offering a small fraction of the money that it would normally donate.

Despite Big Gay Day boasting on social media that their 2015 event was the “most popular BGD to date”, only $4000 was given to its nominated LGBT community groups, well below the $25,000 – $35,000 that it normally donates.

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National Water Polo League Pride Cup to challenge homophobia in Australian sport

National Water Polo League Pride Cup to challenge homophobia in Australian sport | Gay News | Scoop.it

KNOWING that team sports could often be sites for homophobia both on and off the field, Ash McMaster decided that LGBTI water polo team Melbourne Surge was the perfect fit when he joined three years ago.

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Qld must commit to anti-HIV trials: AIDS Council

Qld must commit to anti-HIV trials: AIDS Council | Gay News | Scoop.it

Queensland needs to join trials to help stop new HIV transmissions in the next four years, the state's AIDS Council has urged, with New South Wales and Victoria both embarking on PrEP trials.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, involves the use of antiretroviral drugs by HIV-negative people to help prevent infection. Studies have found it works.

NSW committed to a trial of 3700 people late last year, while Victoria announced a similar trial last week.

Queensland AIDS Council executive director Michael Scott said he believed Queensland needed a trial with at least 3000 people to avoid the risk of "falling behind" the other eastern states in addressing HIV prevention.

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Swearing-in “was like the first day at school” — new gay MP Trent Zimmerman

Swearing-in “was like the first day at school” — new gay MP Trent Zimmerman | Gay News | Scoop.it

THE first openly gay person to have been elected as an MP in the House of Representatives was sworn in today during Federal Parliament’s first sitting of the year.

North Sydney federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman won his seat in a by-election in December, replacing outgoing Treasurer Joe Hockey.

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No Cabinet consideration on same-sex marriage plebiscite, six months on

No Cabinet consideration on same-sex marriage plebiscite, six months on | Gay News | Scoop.it

Six months after deciding the issue of same-sex marriage would be put to a plebiscite, the Federal Cabinet has not yet considered a formal proposal for the public vote.


"There will be a proposal brought forward when I take a submission to Cabinet, which I expect to do in coming months," Senator Brandis told a Senate estimates committee.

"I think I can say my disposition is to publish the proposed amendments to the Marriage Act so that people voting in the plebiscite would know what the shape of the legislation would be were they to vote yes or no."

The Federal Coalition party room decided in August last year that the plebiscite should be held sometime after the next federal election.

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Brisbane Queer Film Festival is still going strong at 17 years

Brisbane Queer Film Festival is still going strong at 17 years | Gay News | Scoop.it

Queer month in Brisbane just keeps getting better. With the two summery weeks of MELT Queer Festival coming to a close, audiences can now look forward to the 17th annual Brisbane Queer Film Festival from Thursday, February 18 to Sunday, February 28.

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Gay conversion therapy, fake doctors to be banned in Victoria

Gay conversion therapy, fake doctors to be banned in Victoria | Gay News | Scoop.it

A new bill cracking down on dodgy health practitioners, including gay conversion therapists, will be introduced to the Victorian Parliament.

Under the legislation, Victoria's Health Services Commissioner will be replaced with a new Health Complaints Commissioner who will be given greater powers to investigate unregistered doctors, dentists and other health service providers.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the new commissioner would crack down on providers currently not covered by state or federal law.

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All rise for UK's first transgender judge

All rise for UK's first transgender judge | Gay News | Scoop.it

A transgender woman has made history after becoming a leading judge in the High Court, The Mail on Sunday reveals today.

Dr Victoria McCloud is the most senior public figure known to have transitioned from male to female – and has been hailed as a pioneer by equality campaigners.

As the youngest-ever Master in the High Court, the 46-year-old has presided over high-profile civil cases involving celebrities such as Russell Brand and Katie Price.

She currently lives in London with her transgender partner, NHS psychiatrist Dr Annie McCloud, with whom she has been in a civil partnership since 2006.

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In Their Own Words: Men on PrEP Explain Why They Take It

In Their Own Words: Men on PrEP Explain Why They Take It | Gay News | Scoop.it

Despite recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and studies that indicate that PrEP can reduce HIV transmission by 96 and up to 99 percent, there are still relatively few gay and bisexual men on the drug.

It can be hard to find anyone among your friends to ask about it. And what makes a person decide they want to go on the once-daily pill varies a lot. The Advocate reached out to gay and bi men, as well as serodiscordant couples, who use the drug to hear their reasons. They offered advice for those on the fence about it. Read their stories in their own words.

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Matt Skallerud's curator insight, February 6, 8:18 AM

It can be hard to find anyone among your friends to ask about it. And what makes a person decide they want to go on the once-daily pill varies a lot. The Advocate reached out to gay and bi men, as well as serodiscordant couples, who use the drug to hear their reasons. They offered advice for those on the fence about it. Read their stories in their own words.

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The Science Behind Straight Women’s Love for Gay Men

The Science Behind Straight Women’s Love for Gay Men | Gay News | Scoop.it

For years, friendships between straight women and gay men have been a subject of pop culture fascination. Bookstelevision shows, and feature length films have all highlighted this unique relationship, noted for its closeness and depth.


But with society’s attitudes toward gays and lesbians changing, it’s become all the more important to build a holistic understanding of the relationships between gay and straight people.


As a researcher in social psychology, I’ve often wondered:


Why do straight female-gay male relationships work so well? Why are straight women so drawn to having gay men as friends? And when do these relationships typically form?


During the course of my research, I’ve discovered that the most interesting, compelling—and, arguably, most theoretically coherent—explanation is through the lens of evolution.

Specifically, I believe evolutionary psychology and human mating can help explain why relationships between straight women and gay men tend to flourish.

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New UN stamps promote LGBT rights

New UN stamps promote LGBT rights | Gay News | Scoop.it

The United Nations Postal Administration has released six new postage stamps promoting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The colourful stamps by artist and UNPA art director Sergio Baradat are also meant to celebrate the diversity of the gay community and marks the first time the global body’s post office has issued stamps with an LGBT theme.

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Matt Skallerud's curator insight, February 5, 3:08 PM

The colourful stamps by artist and UNPA art director Sergio Baradat are also meant to celebrate the diversity of the gay community and marks the first time the global body’s post office has issued stamps with an LGBT theme.

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Straight couples' lip service will not lead to equal love

Straight couples' lip service will not lead to equal love | Gay News | Scoop.it

Until we achieve this equality, weddings will continue to be places where conflicted feelings can easily slip into discomfort. At no point is this truer than during the part of the ceremony, kindly added by former Prime Minister John Howard, where the celebrant is required to say the following words:

 “Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

This is upsetting for obvious reasons, as it is explicitly and pointedly included to ensure that same-sex couples are excluded. And the effect it has, unsurprisingly, is to make us feel that way. For queer people, there is nothing quite like sitting at a wedding and hearing that line, knowing that your relationships simply aren’t valued in the same way as the one you are seeing in front of you.

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Labor MP Tim Watts slams Marriage Alliance 'rainbow noose' campaign

Labor MP Tim Watts slams Marriage Alliance 'rainbow noose' campaign | Gay News | Scoop.it

Labor MP Tim Watts has taken aim at the Australian Marriage Alliance after they posted an image to social media showing a distressed women with a rainbow noose around her neck.


Watts’ address to the Australian senate on Thursday said that the poster produced by the group “is crap” and the data they continue to supply about those against same-sex marriage lacks any sources.

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Nearly half of gay men have had an open relationship

Nearly half of gay men have had an open relationship | Gay News | Scoop.it

Nearly half of gay men have had an open or non-monogamous relationship, a survey has found.


The claim comes from a survey carried out by FS Magazine and gay men’s health charity GMFA.


The magazine surveyed 1,006 gay men in the UK – and unsurprisingly found that a lot of them have liberal views about sex.


According to the survey, 41% of men have previously experienced, or are currently in, an open relationship.

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AIDS Quilt Goes Digital: See The Full Quilt Online

AIDS Quilt Goes Digital: See The Full Quilt Online | Gay News | Scoop.it

With more than 48,000 panels and 94,000 names, the AIDS quilt is a constantly growing testament to the deadly toll the disease has taken on the world. At roughly 1.3 million square feet, it is so large that it can't be displayed in its entirety in one place. Parts of it are currently on display at the National Mall, with volunteers constantly switching sections in and out.

However, there is one place with enough room to hold the entire quilt: the Internet. Microsoft Research, working with the University of Southern California and the NAMES Project Foundation, which uses the quilt as a tool to raise AIDS awareness, have created a map of the entire quilt using Bing mapping technology.

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Drag Race Is Back—But Is That Definitely a Good Thing?

Drag Race Is Back—But Is That Definitely a Good Thing? | Gay News | Scoop.it

While responsible adults were waiting for the results of Monday’s Iowa presidential caucuses, some of us were distracted by late-breaking news of another race—RuPaul’s Drag Race. The eighth season of the wildly popular drag reality competition show isn’t set to begin on Logo until March 7, but as in years past, Ru deigned to reveal her cast of queens a few weeks before the premiere. It was an important debut: Many fans (including this one) were largely disappointed by last season, which seemed to trade the delightfully rough edges of typical bar drag for a kind of overly polished, stylized simulacrum that ultimately left viewers feeling cold. (That I had to look up the winner, Violet Chachki, shows how little of an impression the season left.) After viewing the season trailer and individual queen introduction videos, I’m cautiously optimistic—while casting is only part of the equation of a successful season, it’s a big part, and this cohort has promise.

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