Monday, August 02, 2004

A Week in Oz

Thorpedoed again

The is-he-or-isn’t-he-who-cares saga of Olympic swimmer and all round metrosexual – allegedly – danced in and out of the headlines, waving it’s glowsticks, after his photo turned up in one tiny corner of a collage at the National Gallery in Federation Square, with a scribbled GAY pointed at his head. Blink and you’d miss it, but the tabloids were out in a flash, claiming he was planning to sue. Not so, according to Joy Melbourne’s Andy Murdoch, who spoke to his agent. Thorpe was mildly amused. Next thing you know, he’s sauntering through airport security on his way to Athens, camping it up for the cameras in dark glasses and prominent thorpedo. Yaawn!

Schools Out

State-run Melbourne High School, that fancies itself as one of the country’s elite all-male educational establishments, has been caught with it’s pants down. Or rather, a bunch of male models have, after a photo-shoot the school thought would all be about fashion turned out to more about fetish. Athletic young male models pulling down each other’s shorts on the games field, young men in school uniform bent over desks ready for teacher’s spanking, twelve pages of playground fun in Australia’s premier elite gay magazine, DNA. The school promised to be “more vigilant in future” – maybe the teachers will stay and watch?

No charity for trannies

Mission Australia, a so-called Christian charity which runs women’s centres in Sydney, has obtain an exemption from the Sex Discrimination Act to allow them to ban transsexuals. The charity said there had been a number on “incidents” at their premises involving pre-op transsexuals, resulting in concerns for the safety of workers and clients. Norrie May Welby of Sex and Gender Education said that since the exemption allowed the charity to be a women-only service, transsexuals should still be welcome, as they too were a kind of women – the most vulnerable kind. She said if the behaviour of some people was a problem, you regulate the behaviour, you don’t ban all the people who look the same, or have the same sexuality, or skin colour.

More Charity from "Christian" Families

The Festival of Light, which promotes reparative therapy (gay-to-straight conversion through prayer and counseling), and the Australian Family Association, a tiny but vociferous and well-connected right wing evangelical outfit with a rabidly anti-gay agenda, managed to hijack both the University of Queensland and the Australian Governor General, as well as about 600 Australian families. They didn’t publicise the fact that they were the organizers behind a Family Expo at the University in Brisbane, to be addressed by US “pro-family” speakers, ostensibly on parenting and marriage skills.

But their cover was blown as the Governor General began his welcome address, when two gay men stood up and kissed, unfurling a banner reading “Invent Your Own Family.” Some families left when the true agenda of the conference was revealed, horrified that the government would be supporting such an event. Protester John Cheverton of Action Reform Change Queensland said the governor general was supposed to be “the Queen’s representative in Australia, but he didn’t do a very good job of representing queens today.”

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