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Aren't you too old to be on the dance floor? Answer: no

Aren't you too old to be on the dance floor? Answer: no | Gay News | Scoop.it

“Aren’t you a bit old to be here?” 

That was the question – or for him, the statement – that greeted me in the early hours of a recent Saturday morning on one of our local dance floors. I must admit, I gave this twink the look of death to show my indifference to his perception. 

I mean, since when have we, as a community, even given contemplation to this idea, that age deems us no longer a spot on the dancefloor? Surely it’s a place of joy and escape, a place to let your hair down, and to be yourself – no matter your age.

I’ve been around many years and I know the sense of celebration dance floors at big parties like Mardi Gras brings. It’s always been where our tribes, of all ages, share their place in our community, our family.

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Curbing HIV with Empathy, Not Bigotry

Curbing HIV with Empathy, Not Bigotry - The Development Set - Medium

HIV rates are skyrocketing in the Philippines. Here are five people who are working to change that.

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Could Indonesia Be Facing an Antigay Crackdown?

Could Indonesia Be Facing an Antigay Crackdown? | Gay News | Scoop.it

Indonesia might be in beginnings of an antigay crackdown, suggests a story in The New York Times. 

Maybe because of the absurdity of the request, or maybe because it’s indicative of a larger problem, the most widespread headlines came when Indonesia’s Communications Ministry recently told instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Line that they must scrap any emoticon inclusive of gays and lesbians.

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I Now Pronounce You Husband and Husband

I Now Pronounce You Husband and Husband | Gay News | Scoop.it

What’s in a name? The answer is increasingly subjective.

“I never got used to saying ‘husband,’” said Tony Valenzuela, the executive director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, who married his husband in California in 2008.

“Secretly, for years, I kept referring to him as my partner if he wasn’t in the room,” Mr. Valenzuela said. “There’s something deeply heteronormative about ‘husband’ that feels like a betrayal of my very queer identity. Like, if I say it, people will picture him wearing a cardigan reading the newspaper by the fireplace. I do say ‘husband’ more now, but a tiny part of me cringes with shame when I do.”

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This gay couple overcame a war, homophobia and visas just to be together

This gay couple overcame a war, homophobia and visas just to be together | Gay News | Scoop.it

This gay couple overcame all odds to be together after meeting by chance during the Iraq war.


Nayyef Hrebid worked as an interpreter in the US army and Betu Allami fought with the Iraqi Army.


They met during a dangerous mission to reclaim a hospital which had been overtaken by insurgents.

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Testing Porn Stars Isn't Stopping HIV

Testing Porn Stars Isn't Stopping HIV | Gay News | Scoop.it

The Centers for Disease Control has released a report into how an adult film actor in California infected two sexual partners with HIV in the weeks after he contracted the virus but before it was detected by lab tests. The report bolsters an already heated push for porn actors to wear condoms on set.

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The Problem With the Word 'Queer'

The Problem With the Word 'Queer' | Gay News | Scoop.it

There seems to be yet another controversy in our community this week. The issue du jour is The Huffington Post changing its dedicated LGBT site’s name from Gay Voices to Queer Voices. While there are strong opinions on both sides of this issue, when I heard about it, it brought a smile to my face.  

Since the beginning of my activism back in 1969, I’ve witnessed our community’s attempts to unite over a word or term to define ourselves. There was “homosexual,” “homophile,” “gay,” “gay and lesbian,” and most recently, and most accepted, “LGBT.” So what about “queer”?

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Queensland PrEP trial to expand following landmark collaboration

Queensland PrEP trial to expand following landmark collaboration | Gay News | Scoop.it

Queensland will soon have a significant increase in the size of its PrEP trial giving people access to the HIV prevention pill.

Following consultation between two state HIV organisations and the Health Minister Cameron Dick, the expansion will see Queensland move on PrEP following recent developments in NSW and Victoria.

In a landmark partnership between the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) and the HIV Foundation Queensland (HIVFQ), the state’s current trial, QPrEP, will expand from its existing size of 150 participants.

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Facebook: The popular spot to be comfortably gay

Facebook: The popular spot to be comfortably gay | Gay News | Scoop.it

FACEBOOK may have been a popular place to unload on or mock NSW Premier Mike Baird about Sydney’s infamous lockout laws this week, but doesn’t compare to its popularity as a place to identify as part of the LGBT community, according to data released on Tuesday.


In honour of the social media giant partnering with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this year, researchers gathered and tallied data on how platforms like theirs gave momentum to people connecting and sharing within and with the LGBT community.


The data revealed that more Australians than ever are changing their “interested in” field on Facebook to reveal their same sex attraction. At the end of 2015, the number of LGBT people coming out on the platform each day was almost double what it was a few months prior.

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Congenital syphilis deaths spark calls for funding

Congenital syphilis deaths spark calls for funding | Gay News | Scoop.it

Six infant deaths from congenital syphilis have spurred doctors to call for a reversal of funding cuts to sexual health programs in northern Australia.

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Qld policeman apologises for homophobic treatment of fellow officer as new LGBTI network established

Qld policeman apologises for homophobic treatment of fellow officer as new LGBTI network established | Gay News | Scoop.it

AS news of a new support network being established for LGBTI police officers in Queensland emerged today, a senior Gold Coast policeman has been forced to make a written apology over accusations of homophobia and bullying.

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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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Religious leaders urge Malcolm Turnbull to drop plebiscite on marriage equality

Religious leaders urge Malcolm Turnbull to drop plebiscite on marriage equality | Gay News | Scoop.it

Forty religious leaders have written to the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, urging him to drop the proposal to hold a plebiscite on marriage equality, saying a public campaign on the issue would be damaging to same-sex couples and religious people alike.


The group of Buddhist, Baptist, Anglican and Uniting church leaders sent the letter to the prime minister on Tuesday.


Turnbull supports changing the Marriage Act to allow same-sex unions but vowed to stick with the Coalition’s plan to hold a plebiscite on the issue after taking the prime ministership from Tony Abbott in September.


The religious leaders want him to ditch the idea, saying it would polarise communities and “provide a platform for disparaging” lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] people in a “highly politicised moral debate”.

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Call to suspend hate laws 'disgraceful': Triggs

Call to suspend hate laws 'disgraceful': Triggs | Gay News | Scoop.it

The Human Rights Commission has rubbished the Australian Christian Lobby's call for anti-discrimination laws to be suspended during the same-sex marriage plebiscite, describing it as "outrageous" and based on a misunderstanding of the law.


In a separate move, about 40 religious leaders have written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging him to ditch the plebiscite plan altogether, arguing it will damage the standing of religious communities and harm the mental health of gay people.


Responding to the ACL's push to have anti-discrimination laws "set aside" during the plebiscite campaign to ensure free speech, Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs said it was a "disgraceful way of dealing with the issue".

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Christian lobby seeks anti-discrimination 'override' for plebiscite campaign

Christian lobby seeks anti-discrimination 'override' for plebiscite campaign | Gay News | Scoop.it

The leading advocates for a "no" vote on same-sex marriage are pushing the federal government to "override" anti-discrimination laws during the upcoming plebiscite campaign. 

The Australian Christian Lobby are calling for the temporary change to ensure the "no" camp can speak freely during the debate to legalise same-sex marriage. 

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Lyle’s fear of being labelled gay

Lyle’s fear of being labelled gay | Gay News | Scoop.it

On Patricia Karvelas’ new show on Sky News last night, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton confirmed that he had been part of discussions for an official “no” campaign (as reported by Crikey last year) against same-sex marriage should the government’s plebiscite on the issue go ahead, but the whole 15-minute discussion is a useful example of the weakness of the entire argument he would mount. Shelton argued a slippery-slope fallacy that commercial surrogacy for gay couples “would be next” if same-sex marriage became law, and then, at one point, when questioned how same-sex marriage would affect his own marriage, Shelton said it would mean people would no longer assume he was straight:

“If the definition of marriage is changed, it is no longer assumed that millions of people like myself who are married — it’s assumed I’m married to a woman. It’s no longer assumed… Suddenly the terms of my marriage [have] changed.”

No doubt the millions of gay people who daily deal with people assuming they are straight will have some sympathy for him.

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Ian Thorpe announced as special guest for Mardi Gras Film Festival

Ian Thorpe announced as special guest for Mardi Gras Film Festival | Gay News | Scoop.it

IAN Thorpe will join a panel of five other sporting champions as part of a panel discussion on gay athletes during the upcoming Mardi Gras Film Festival (MGFF).

It’s the first public LGBTI community commitment from Australia’s most successful Olympian, who came out as gay in 2014 during a televised interview with Michael Parkinson.

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Scruff Gay Dating App Creators Defend Race-Based Filtering

Scruff Gay Dating App Creators Defend Race-Based Filtering | Gay News | Scoop.it

The creators of the gay dating app Scruff, aimed at the scruffier guys, defended their decision to allow users to sort potential mates by race and even express racial preferences in dating profiles in an interview with BuzzFeed.

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Indonesia wants gay-themed emojis removed

Indonesia wants gay-themed emojis removed | Gay News | Scoop.it

Indonesia wants social networking sites to remove any emojis representing same-sex couples, it's reported.


One popular messaging app, Line, has already dropped all LGBT-themed emojis, after saying it had received complaints from users. Now the Indonesian government is asking major players like Facebook and WhatsApp to follow suit and remove the icons for users within the country, the pro-government Republika newspaper reports. "No social media may show items that smack of LGBT. Because we have our own rules, like religious values and norms, which they must respect," information ministry spokesman Ismail Cawidu is quoted as saying.


Homosexuality is legal in Indonesia, but prevailing conservative attitudes in the Muslim-majority country make open discussion of sexuality controversial. Mr Cawidu did not specify what would happen if companies refused to remove the emojis.

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Bill Shorten will march at 2016 Mardi Gras Parade

Bill Shorten will march at 2016 Mardi Gras Parade | Gay News | Scoop.it

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has today confirmed he’ll be marching at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 5 March.

Shorten’s involvement is the first time the federal leader of a major political party has ever marched at Mardi Gras, and will no doubt increase pressure on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to also appear at the Parade, which takes place in his electorate of Wentworth.

“It is time to make marriage equality a reality,” the Labor leader emphasises. “If the new Malcolm Turnbull actually did what the old Malcolm Turnbull said we could have marriage equality by Mardi Gras.

Shorten and his family also marched in Melbourne at Pride March Victoria last month.

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Why Haven't Open Relationships Become Mainstream Yet?

Why Haven't Open Relationships Become Mainstream Yet? | Gay News | Scoop.it

Non-monogamy—the consensual, upfront kind—is a dizzyingly diffuse practice. The terms of these relationships vary wildly in scope and level of detail. Its practitioners come in configurations of one or three or 16, living as families together or keeping separate houses even after going steady for years. There is, to date, no overarching survey of how many people practice consensual non-monogamy in the States; academics told me the number could range from one to nine million, depending on one’s definition of “polyamorous.” But nearly everyone for whom the arrangement works secretly believes their way of being non-monogamous is superior—much like two people in the early stages of romance might believe they have made fools out of the rest of the world.

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Queensland Police introduce LGBTI support network for employees

Queensland Police introduce LGBTI support network for employees | Gay News | Scoop.it

Sexual and gender diversity within the thin blue line has received a boost with the introduction of the Queensland Police Service Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Support Network.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollshewski said the LGBTI Support Network would promote the QPS as a workplace that embraced and supported its employees' diversity.

"The LGBTI Support Network is comprised of ten members representing most facets of the LGBTI community and is designed as a resource tool and support mechanism to provide advice and guidance to QPS officers," he said.

A guide on diversity has been drafted to provide all QPS members with a greater understanding of gender-diverse people.

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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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