Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek says the opposition could push Malcolm Turnbull to breaking point over action on same-sex marriage, even if it costs him the prime ministership.
With the government's planned legislation for a plebiscite on the issue set to be killed off in the Senate, Ms Plibersek said gay and lesbian families and advocates had told Labor they were prepared to wait in order to avoid a divisive public debate on the issue.
Even as the Labor Party appears to have blunted the chances of the proposed plebiscite into gay marriage this week, the most vociferous opponents of gay marriage have been hitting the airwaves casting doubt and weaving mischief.
Fronting the push from within Parliament is Tasmanian arch-conservative Eric Abetz, whose opposition to gay law reform has deep roots in conservative Christian fringe allegiances in Tasmania and beyond.
Now that the unequivocal horror show that was the national plebiscite has been put to rest, one can’t help but wonder what fresh hell Lyle Shelton and the ACL are preparing to unleash on young members of the Australian LGBTI community in their upstream battle against progress, change and inclusivity.
The same-sex marriage plebiscite is dead in the water after Labor MPs finally agreed to block the proposal in the Senate at a caucus meeting on Tuesday.
The decision casts marriage equality off into the never-never, with the Turnbull government adamant a plebiscite is the only way of achieving reform in this term of Parliament, and one Coalition MP already threatening to bring down the government if that is changed.
Labor is all but certain to kill off the Coalition's same sex marriage plebiscite, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten claiming he has "struggled to find anyone who thinks it's a good idea" during weeks of consultation.
Having so far refused to reveal his hand, Mr Shorten will outline his final position on the plebiscite to the ALP caucus on Tuesday before the party adopts a formal stance – almost certainly for a free vote in Parliament as the only way forward.
A recent blog post, http://sophiespicks.tumblr.com, asking for people to stop seeing nights out in gay bars and clubs as a “novelty night” challenges straight people to recognise their privilege and stop using it to abuse the open door policy in most gay venues.
While most people would assume that it would be okay to have a night out in a gay club if you weren’t gay, this blog post points out that gay bars are viewed as a ‘safe space’ for many LGBTQ+ people where they can celebrate who they are. By bringing yourself and a truckload of your straight friends it becomes less safe for the people it was created for, and more like an attraction for the people it was created to avoid.
Advertisements for the anti-marriage equality case in the Irish referendum caused a majority of LGBTI people to feel angry and distressed, according to a new study.
The survey of 1,657 Irish LGBTI people also found that only a minority of respondents would be prepared to face the referendum again if they did not know about the eventual successful outcome.
The results are contained in Swimming with Sharks, the first study of the negative social and psychological impacts of the no campaign in Ireland. Its authors are researchers at Australia’s University of Queensland and Victoria University along with Grainne Healy, a co-director of the Irish yes case.
Formed this year, Queensland’s first LGBTI and inclusive water polo team the Brisbane Tritons have found a fun way to introduce themselves, by making a parody video to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’.
“We were trying to think of a way to introduce ourselves to everyone and get ourselves out there so people could see who we were and what we were all about.” Sean Langeveld from the Tritons told SameSame.
These days, very few people know what it means to vada a chicken’s dolly eek.
Vada (“look at”), dolly eek (a pretty face), and chicken (a young guy) are all words from the lexicon of Polari, a secret language used by gay men in Britain at a time when homosexuality was illegal. Following a rapid decline in the 1970s, Polari has all but disappeared. But recently it’s been popping up again, even appearing in the lyrics of a song on David Bowie’s final album.
Polari is a language of, in linguistic professor Paul Baker's words, "fast put-downs, ironic self-parody and theatrical exaggeration." Its vocabulary is derived from a mishmash of Italian, Romani, Yiddish, Cockney rhyming slang, backslang—as in riah to mean “hair”—and cant, a language used by 18th-century traveling performers, criminals, and carnival workers. Many of the words are sexual, anatomical, or euphemisms for police.
The Queensland government hopes to introduce changes to scrap the state's so-called "gay panic" defence into parliament by the end of the year. Under current Queensland legislation, accused murderers can use unwanted sexual advances as a partial defence. The defence has been used twice in the sunshine state in recent years, including in the case of Richard John Meerdink and Jason Andrew Pearce. The duo was jailed for the 2008 manslaughter of Wayne Robert Ruks in after bashing him in the grounds of a Maryborough church.
The so-called "gay panic" defence should indeed be abolished but this is a non-story. It's been the policy of the Labor Government - and the LNP Opposition - to abolish the gay panic defence for over 12 months now. The Government needs to stop stalling and just do it.
The plebiscite is dead, so what now? For same-sex marriage, the answer is almost certainly a stalemate. Instead of reform, expect further rounds of politicians blaming each other for not delivering an outcome favoured by most of the community and most of our elected representatives.
But this failure has implications for other debates. The long-running saga has denied the Prime Minister the opportunity to build momentum elsewhere. It has also crowded out talk of another national vote scheduled for 2017, namely the referendum to recognise Aboriginal peoples in the constitution.
Turnbull has stuck with the plebiscite, fulfilling his pledge as a precondition for regaining the leadership and of preserving the coalition with the Nationals. He will stick with it until the bitter end, and it will be bitter. After that, anything could happen.
It used to be that climate change killed off Australian political leaders. Now it is same-sex marriage. It was the issue that finally destroyed Abbott’s prime ministership. He won the partyroom battle against a free vote, then lost the war.
There is no reason history could not repeat itself. It can erode or destroy Turnbull’s leadership if he mishandles it, say by keeping one side or the other in the dark about his intentions and they do likewise. Which is why Bill Shorten will continue to play wedge politics, keeping the issue alive and stoking the nastiness he claims to want to avoid by voting down the plebiscite and which exists, plebiscite or not.
If Shorten were seriously concerned about the mental wellbeing of the children of gay people he would stop using them as pawns, or as the human shields in the frontline of his plan to destroy Turnbull.
Over the past 14 months we have sadly been debating process, rather than the substantive reform. Let's be clear, amending the marriage act to allow for same-sex and gender diverse couples to marry is a straightforward change of a few words, which will cost nothing and benefit so many.
It's important that we acknowledge the reality that blocking the plebiscite will not achieve marriage equality, nor will it stop the campaign of the opponents of reform. One of the loudest arguments against the plebiscite has been the concern the damage that could be done to the LGBTI community by the words and tactics of the more extreme opponents, which have always been used to distract and demean. We shouldn't think they will pack up their game plan and leave us alone. To prevent a sustained and intense campaign against same-sex couples and families we must now work with our supporters across the political spectrum to achieve reform by the end of the year.
Nationals MP Andrew Broad has signalled he would withdraw support for the government if there is an attempt to legislate marriage equality without a national plebiscite.
“Let me be very clear, the government that I am a part of and will remain a part of, is conditional that the only way that there will be a change to the Marriage Act in this parliament is a plebiscite,” he told reporters on Tuesday morning.
“My position as a member of the government is very clear on that. That if there is going to be changes to the Marriage Act, it’ll be a plebiscite in February next year.”
The Turnbull government currently has a one-seat majority and would be thrown into turmoil if Broad or any other lower house MP chose to withdraw their support.
Liberal senator Eric Abetz has blamed media bias for not celebrating or honouring people who "come out" and switch from a homosexual to a heterosexual lifestyle.
And the conservative Tasmanian senator, a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage, has warned that changing the definition of marriage is a gross injustice that would "steal from children", threaten Australian society and will do "irreparable damage to the next generation".
The Victorian Government has called on the federal government to end the discriminatory ban on men who have sex with men from donating blood.
Current restrictions prevent gay and bisexual men from donating blood if they have had sex with other men in the previous 12 months.
A review of the policy was set to be held in 2018, however Minister for Health Jill Hennessy has called for it to be brought forward to next year with the aim of reducing or removing the discriminatory policy.
“This policy doesn’t align with what we now know about how HIV is transmitted, it’s discriminatory and outdated,” she said.
“This ban stops a particular group of people from doing something that could save lives – strangers or people they love alike.”
An independent review was conducted for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in 2012. Despite it finding evidence to support the reduction of the deferral period, it was not accepted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
HIV activist Paul Kidd believes the policy should be evidence based and reviewed on a regular basis.
“The blood ban has been an important part of Australia’s response to HIV and has ensured we kept our blood supply clear of HIV, so it’s a complicated balancing process the government and Red Cross need to undertake,” he told the Star Observer.
“The reality in Australia is that gay men are at increased risk of acquiring HIV and the ban has been one way of ensuring it isn’t spread.
“But I totally support a review of the policy and an overturn of the ban as long as it’s evidence based – as gay men we have to be supportive of ensuring the safety of the blood supply but also supporting our right not to be discriminated against.”
Sexual fluidity is different from homosexuality or heterosexuality, which are single orientations. “Fluidity allows people to go outside their orientation,” Diamond says. Some individuals have steady patterns of attraction their entire lives that are consistent with their orientation. But for the sexually fluid, their orientation is not the last word on their attraction.
Sexual fluidity is also not the same thing as bisexuality, which is another sexual orientation. “Bisexuality refers to an attraction to both males and females,” explains Leila Rupp, a social scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, “while sexual fluidity refers to shifting attractions and desires.” Bisexuals who are consistently attracted to males and females over their entire lives are not sexually fluid. Fluid bisexuals, on the other hand, can be attracted only to males or only to females for periods of time.
Aboriginal leaders are urging Malcolm Turnbull to abandon the promised plebiscite on same-sex marriage, convinced an ugly campaign by those advocating a "no" vote will hurt the prospects for Indigenous constitutional recognition.
Indigenous academic Marcia Langton has warned that a vitriolic campaign against marriage equality would "unleash the dogs" on Aboriginal Australia in a referendum campaign that would require a majority in a majority of states to pass.
The Queensland AIDS Council is calling for applications for the position of Transgender Health Promotion & Community Development Officer.
The announcement follows the Brisbane launch of trans male sexual health campaign Grunt last Friday.
Working 19 hours per week, the officer will be accountable for developing, implementing and evaluating health promotion projects in South East Queensland and in particular Brisbane and surrounding regions.
The primary target population is transgender gay men and other transgender men who have sex with men; however, the broader community development aspect on this role includes the whole transgender community.
WHEN the same-sex marriage plebiscite is knocked on the head by the Parliament, as it surely will be, Barnaby Joyce will need to save his Prime Minister from Right-wing Liberals who will want to use this issue to tear him down.
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