Wednesday, April 30, 2008

HIV+ man has "no memory" of stabbing taxi driver

Dear God, what a shock to read this. Although I met Parrish only once, I have corresponded with him many many times over the years as he sought to publicise his battles with more or less everyone, from the health minster to the Alfred Hospital, the housing commission, over his health, his treatment, his partners health , his housing . . . . in fact, Parrish and I first spoke when I refused to broadcast an item about him on Joy, and he said he would picket the radio station! What a tragedy for Parrish, his partner Peter, and the poor cabbie!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Honouring Heroes and History

I love projects like this. When I first came out, I didn't know we had a history, or heroes, hell, I didn't know we even existed for a long time, thinking I was probably the only one for miles. Our past had been so buried and our present was unreported.
One of my first heroes was Dirk Bogarde, who was brave enough to play a blackmailed married gay lawyer in the film Victim, when to be gay was still illegal in the UK. Too closeted to come out himself, he was handsome, talented and courageous.
I hope his life will be remembered in the UK's Proud Heritage project - another great idea. An online museum of British gay history.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Interview with ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope

"I have an election in five months time. This was an election promise which I’m duty bound to keep.

To seek to achieve equality for gay and lesbian couples within the ACT in the creation and formation of their relationships under the law, and that remains our intention."

"Does that mean you’re gong to bring this bill on, come hell or high water, before you go to election?"


Broadcast live on the Rainbow Report, Joy 94.9, Melbourne, 24 Aril 2008

Download the mp3.

Interviewer: Doug Pollard

John, you had Tibet on your mind earlier in the week when you said “I have hopes that a Prime Minister and government capable of advocating for the basis rights of Tibetans will and must comprehend the justice of formally extending each of those rights to the folks back home.”

You were talking about your Civil Partnerships Bill and presumably the Rudd governments obstruction thereof. Are we no further forward on that?

Well let me say firstly that I think Kevin Rudds speech and the stance he took in China, in BeijingTibet, was incredibly important. It showed enormous moral strength and leadership by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and I applaud enormously……. in relation to perceived human rights abuses and most particularly around sovereignty and human rights in

……I think we can all agree with that…

I made the point and I think it’s a point that can be made, that I’m impressed and proud that we have a Prime Minister who on a visit to Beijing will stand up and articulate clearly the importance of human rights and he will do it in a circumstance that one might regard as perhaps uncomfortable or difficult.

And all I’ve said is that I would now ask the Prime Minister in relation to the human rights of his fellow Australians, most particularly or in this circumstance, gay and lesbian couples seeking to have their relationships recognized in the same way that heterosexual relationships are recognized by the community is also a fundamental issue of human rights that affects his constituents and his fellow Australians and I would hope he would adopt the same attitude and the same strength.

Yes. It almost sounds as if you’re saying he found it easier to talk about human rights in China than he does to talk about gay and lesbian rights in the ACT.

Well I think the particular perspective here is that my government has actually already tabled in Assembly, in our legislature, a Civil Partnership Bill. It seeks to accord gay and lesbian couples within the ACT equality under the law in relation to the recognition of their relationship.

We’ve undertaken to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples in relation to their relationships. A previous attempt by my government to achieve that level of equality was of course overturned by the previous Commonwealth government using its constitutional powers in relation to territories.

I intend, and I believe I not only have a mandate, but also a responsibility to keep a promise I made to my electorate before the last election, that I would introduce legislation.

We have reintroduced it, it’s sitting on the table, we’re currently negotiating with the Commonwealth government to ensure it doesn’t offend against the Marriage Act, that the Commonwealth will not feel the need to intervene again as the previous government did, and it’s in that context I made the comment.

Well it sounds almost as though you’re losing patience a bit with all this negotiation process, because it’s been going on an awful long time, and I mean we heard recently about this proposal for what someone rather laughingly called ‘flying registrars’ to get round the federal governments objection to what I think they called the more ‘marriage-like’ of the Civil Partnerships Bill.

Is it not time now to actually put the Bill forward, stop negotiating with the federal government, get on with it and dare them to knock it down?

Well, I would like an agreed position, but you know there is . . . I guess the position we’ve taken in relation to this is we want to achieve genuine equality under the law for gay and lesbian relationships, we don’t want to retreat from the undertaking that we made prior to the last election, and states and territories have the constitutional right and authority to legislate in respect of relationships other than marriage.

We’re seeking to confirm with the Commonwealth that our legislation doesn’t in their opinion infringe against the Marriage Act and I think that at the end of the day that’s the fundamental test.

I accept, as we all must, the Commonwealth has constitutional responsibility for marriage: the States and Territories have constitutional responsibility for relationships other than marriage.

Once we’ve worked our way through that, that we have an understanding with the Commonwealth that our legislation doesn’t impinge or impugn marriage or the Marriage Act, then I believe we should be left free to legislate as we deem appropriate.

I guess the position I’m now putting is that I have an election in five months time. This was an election promise which I’m duty bound to keep.

I intend to keep the promise that I made prior to the last election, to seek to achieve equality for gay and lesbian couples within the ACT in the creation and formation of their relationships under the law, and that remains our intention.

Does that mean you’re gong to bring this bill on, come hell or high water, before you go to election?

Yes. But we hope to do that in agreement with the Commonwealth. We are negotiating with the Commonwealth . . . . . . .

Yes, but this timeline can’t go on forever can it . . . . . .

No it can’t…………

There’s got to be some point where you say, negotiations gone on long enough, what sort of deadlines are you setting on this?

Well the ultimate deadline for me is that we determined we will legislate before our next election. Our next election – we have four year fixed terms – is on the 18th of October, we go into caretaker a month before that.

My intention is that we will reintroduce and debate the legislation, I hope it’s legislation that we’ve been able to agree with the Commonwealth on, but I’m hoping that will occur in the next two or three months at the latest.

"We don’t support [the relationships register] model, and we won’t compromise on the position we’ve put to this electorate."

But even if you don’t come to an agreement with them, you’ll still bring it on?

Yes. Yes we will. We will legislate, but at this stage we haven’t determined the final form.

We’re still negotiating with the Commonwealth, but we have a position, and our position is not the relationship register model which exists in Tasmania and which I understand the Victorian government supports and also further understand the Commonwealth has expressed as a model it would support.

We don’t support that model, and we won’t compromise on the position we’ve put to this electorate.

I campaigned on this, I promised before the last election that if I was elected, I would introduce legislation in the ACT that accorded equality under the law, in other words, in the creation of a gay and lesbian relationship.

Can I just ask you, are you able to talk about what the sticking points are between you and the Commonwealth. I mean we know there’s all this fuss about ceremonies but is it just about the ceremonies, is that the last hurdle you have to get over, or are there other things still to get out of the way?

I think it’s fair to say . . .I wouldn’t want to go into too much detail but I think everybody’s aware that the official sticking point with the previous government to some extent remains the issue that the current government has expressed concern about, the extent to which this notion of ceremony, or the extent to which the form of the creation of a gay and lesbian relationship in some way infringes against the Marriage Act.

This notion or expression that it replicates or mimics marriage is such a subjective test. That’s gone to the difficulties we’ve had previously with Philip Ruddock and John Howard (and I have to say it’s a difficulty which continues with the current government)

. . . . is that to say . . . has sometimes been expressed publicly by Attorney-General Robert McClelland, is that they won’t support a Civil Partnership legislation or bill that mimics marriage, but we need some more certainty around, well, what is it in the context of this notion of ‘mimicking marriage’ that offends against the Marriage Act?

We need to return to legal principles here. The Commonwealth has constitutional power in relation to marriage, the states and territories have constitutional power in relation to relationships other than marriage, we don’t believe our legislation infringes the Marriage Act.

It’s up to the Commonwealth to establish in what way it does and it’s not enough to say, well, it mimics marriage. That is such a subjective test that at the end of the day it’s a test that can never be met. And that’s the issue we’re still trying to work our way through.

As you say, it’s a test you can never pass, because they can always move the goalposts.

Exactly, and then this other notion, that to recognize gay and lesbian relationships under the law undermines marriage, is also a concept that I’ve never understood.

I’m happily married, and have been so for 36 years now, and I just can’t imagine a circumstance in which recognising, under the law, in a way that’s equal with heterosexuals, a gay or lesbian couple in any way affects or undermines or impinges on my marriage.

It’s a notion that I simply don’t grasp but it’s one of those arguments that continues to be used.

So we’re working our way through all this, but at the end of the day we will legislate, but of course I don’t want a circumstance hat would encourage the Commonwealth to intervene, I want accommodation with the Commonwealth, we’re working with the Commonwealth, we’re doing it constructively and we’re doing it genuinely, but the Commonwealth understands that we have an election in under six months, and that it’s my determination to legislate before I go to that election.

Civil Partnerships in ACT by September

Speaking on Joy 94.9's Rainbow Report last night, ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope affirmed that his government will enact it's Civil Partnerships Bill, including public ceremonies, with or without federal government approval.
Stanhope said he would continue to negotiate with the federal government, but with an election due in October, time was short.
If Commonwealth approval was not forthcoming in time, he would go ahead without it. The Rudd government would then have to decide whether to follow the precedent set by John Howard and strike the legislation down.
We have a mandate, Stanhope said, stressing that he personally had campaigned on the issue, and was determined to keep his promise

More details later

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Radio Day

Too busy to blog prepping tonights Rainbow Report Apl 24 2008 on Joy Melbourne 94.9FM, streaming live 7-8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time tonight. Join us: sms +61 (0)427 JOY 949, email or even phone +613 9699 2949.

On tonight's show:

An eventful week – ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope has had Tibet on his mind this week, and not just because of the torch relay.

Finally losing patience with the Rudd governments obstruction of Civil Partnerships in the ACT, he wondered publicly at the hypocrisy of a Prime Minster and government championing human rights in Tibet while blocking human rights for gays and lesbians on their own doorstep

Shelly Argent of PLFAG got back from the 2020 summit with steam coming out of her ears after the strong support for Civil Unions she found didn’t make it into the final communiqué – but that’s now been put right, as she will tell us.

Martine Delaney is steaming because trans issues didn’t make it onto the 2020 agenda at all. It seems trans people were invisible when the guest list was being drawn up.

Up in Queensland – they do thing differently there – the doctors union told their members that any underage sex they uncovered in the course of their work had to be reported to the local cops. Rod Goodbun has that story.

New South Wales meanwhile produced a surprise package of reforms to gay and lesbian related law – Rodney Croome has the goods on that.

To help us make sense of it all, veteran activist Ron Thiele and MCV editor Richard Watts are with me in the studio.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Worm Turns

ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope has obviously lost all patience with Cuddly Ruddly's constant stonewalling on civil unions. And about time too. How ridiculous, as Stanhope says, to be lecturing the Chinese about riding roughshod over human rights in Tibet while he's doing the same back home in Canberra.

"I have hopes that a Prime Minister and a Government capable of advocating for the basic rights of the Tibetans will - must - comprehend the justice of formally extending each of those same basic rights to folk back home," Mr Stanhope said.

Let it be said loud and clear - Labor has nothing to lose from endorsing civil unions or even gay marriage. There would be some short term pain - the self-styled "Christian" lobby would have a ball for a few weeks - but the honeymoon period is the time to get that over with.

Thereafter, as has happened everywhere else in the world, the vast majority of people would just shrug their shoulders and move on.

Quite why Kevvy can't get his head round that is beyond me, unless it's because it's too far up Shopworkers union boss-for-life and arch-ultra-Catholic Joe de Bruyn's arse. Our shiny new PM makes a big thing about keeping election promises - and both before and after the election he said he'd let the ACT pass their civil unions act if they wanted to, and slammed Howard for interfering - but when it comes to gay rights he's happy to break this one.

"We know that what the ACT is attempting to do is no more than to extend to same-sex couples equality with other Canberrans, under ACT laws," said Stanhope. "Not commonwealth laws: that would require a national bill of rights. Just ACT laws ... in the community to which they contribute, and to which they belong."

Unfortunately for the men and women in the ACT who desire recognition of and respect for their long-term "enduring primary relationships, efforts by the ACT Government to deliver these things have been thwarted", he added.

"The evidence suggests the rights of a significant number of Canberra's men and women cannot be guaranteed by my Government, because of church disapproval," he said. "This in a nation that has committed ... to a separation of church and state."

At least we've been spared the ludicrous sight of 'flying registrars' haring from civil union to civil union in their little on-the-spot registration vans, as the ACT proposed when Ruddly told them they couldn't have registrars at the ceremonies.

It's also past time for the state premiers to scrum down and push back the feds on this one: tell them firmly their nonsensical notion of a web of state based schemes ain't gonna fly. Bite the bullet and remove the tumour on the Marriage Act put there by the last government, Kevvy. It'll hurt for a while but that will pass. Spend a little of your vast political capital and goodwill where it will do some good.

And thereafter let nature - in the form of court cases for the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages and unions - take their natural course to justice.

Or is Australian social policy nowadays made in Rome rather than Camberra?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Conroy Must Go

Senator Stephen Conroy is a Minister for Communications who seems intent on stifling communication - or what a Victorian encyclopedia belonging to my grandfather once quaintly called (in the caption under a sepia photograph of hundred of telegram boys on bicycles - but we won't go there) - "Intercourse with your Neighbour".

Conroy plans to introduce a so-called 'clean feed' internet filtering system that will supposedly deliver a porn and smut free internet to our homes. We all know how efficient filtering systems are.

What's more worrying is that if you want to have an unfiltered internet, you'll have to register for it - sign here for the mucky web, sir. Why not an 'opt-in' system?

He plans to allow employers virtually unfettered rights to read employees emails in case any of them should be closet terrorists.

And he's starving community radio and television of the essential funds to make the transition to digital broadcasting.

OK, so community TV is a bit rough - not surprising when they have so little money - but it's only marginally less palatable than the rest of the local product. And while the presentation may lack gloss, the content is sometimes fascinating.

Australian commercial TV is a disaster. Virtually the only watchable programs are made overseas, or by publicly funded stations like the ABC and SBS. Much trumpeted 'Australian drama' usually turns out to be half-baked twaddle about a bunch of lipstick jillaroos emoting their amply-siliconed tits off in the outback, with the occasionally artfully placed smear of red dirt on one cheek to denote 'working'. Or cringing somety-somethings suffering through a sea change, a tree-change or a a pee-change (a.k.a the male menopause).

Community radio is frequently better than either the commercial or subsidised product. But more to the point, these sectors service parts of the community largely ignored elsewhere.

As a gay man, that bothers me. Joy 94.9, Australia's only 24/7/365 rainbow radio station (GLBTIQQ if you insist) has more members than any other gay organisation in the country. It's based in Melbourne but broadcasts to the world via the internet. But that still doesn't give it enough money to go digital.

Clearly Conroy is out to run a Chinese style command and control communications system in this country, where the government controls what we can hear, see and read. For our own good, of course!!

Rudd may be cuddly but Conroys a menace.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spare us your smug pity

I'm sure if I lived in Jamaica I'd be grateful that some people think like this - after all, it's better than being shot, stabbed and set on fire - but this kind of smug self-satisfied nonsense is almost enough to make you reach for the machete yourself.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Young + gay + rural = risk

David Graham's story is not unusual. Kids are hard on people who are a bit 'different' - not necessarily gay, just not quite the same as the majority. And any difference is all the more obvious - and therefore all the more likely to cause problems - in small rural communities.

The internet has made it easier for rural gays to find others like themselves, and help and support services. But they can still be a long way away, and demand considerable effort to access.

So a gay kid in a country schoolyard will have a tough time fitting in, a hard time finding support and understanding - and a much easier time finding ways to kill themselves.

Many kids - especially gay kids - have a hard time at school. Many think about killing themselves, especially during the upheavals of adolescence. Some succeed. But many more are deterred by the effort involved.

On the other hand, David talks casually about handling a gun while he was at school - something most city kids will never do their entire lives (unless they opt to follow Carl Williams' career path).

Like most country boys, he drove from a young age, and has spoken publicly before about the number of 'single person accidents' in country areas, when young men drive their utes into trees - many of which are disguised suicides.

It's a toxic combination - hard to get help, easy to find the means to end it all. Not to mention that almost everyone living in the country will know someone - probably even a family member - who has committed suicide. And as Joan Rivers has said, once suicide is in a family, you can't get it out. It's always there as an option.

That's why reaching out to young gays in the country, efforts to stamp out bullying and anti-gay behaviour in country schools, colleges, sports teams and workplaces, are so important.

Gay struggle taken to the edge

Businessman and gay celebrity David Graham has revealed he was a "suicide risk" for six years while he came to terms with his sexuality at school.

Mr Graham admitted to the City North News he had a gun in his hand several times with the intention of killing himself.

The revelation comes as debate rages in the wake of a decision to ban same-sex partners at Anglican Church Grammar School’s formal.

Inner-northern schools have refused to comment about their stance on the issue.

Kelvin Grove-based Queensland University of Technology psychologist Bill Tills said educational institutions had a responsibility to support students to avoid self-esteem problems, depression and "potential suicidal impulses".

"The big thing we see is anxiety, depression and a sense of shame and anticipation of being rejected," Mr Tills said.

"That’s one of the biggest things people struggle with and that is why many of them lead secret lives."

Mr Graham, who went to a regional boys' school, said students had enough to deal with at high school without being suppressed by their school community.

``(Students) are so vulnerable going through puberty and any negative connotation put in the direction of their sexuality ... puts them at a major risk of suicide,'' Mr Graham said.

``There were half a dozen times when I was home and had the gun in my hand. It was a matter of pulling the trigger. I don't know what it was that stopped me.''

Mr Graham said he revisited suicidal thoughts at agricultural school.

``When I went to agricultural school I did get in a vehicle and get ready to do it, but another student had committed suicide the day before.

``That jolted me into thinking about how everyone reacted and how the family reacted and it was probably something too selfish to do.''

Mr Graham did not take a male partner to his formal 12 years ago, as it was deemed unacceptable.

He was subject to a beating outside the Wickham Hotel in January 2006.

City North News contacted every high school in the inner north for comment.

For help, phone the Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association on 1800184527 or visit

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blue boys gay night out

Article from: Herald Sun

CARLTON players partied into the night after their big win against Collingwood on Sunday with their choice of venue - gay night at Love Machine.

The Blue boys had every good reason to celebrate their first win after 14 losses and they weren't shy in letting their hair down.

Led by captain Chris Judd and his girlfriend Rebecca Twigley, a number of the winning team headed to the Prahran nightspot. Judd arrived after the club opened and was well behaved as usual.

Several of the Blues best players against the Magpies also attracted attention from the club patrons and were given a warm reception.

Kade Simpson, Jarrad Waite, Bret Thornton, Brad Fisher and Paul Bower were happy to pose for photographs as they partied on.

But there was no sign of Brendan Fevola after his match-winning goal-kicking on Sunday.

The controversial Fev has sworn off drink after being caught urinating outside the Candy Bar in nearby Greville St and he was obviously sticking to his pledge.

Gay night on Sundays at Love Machine is becoming popular with prominent sports people. The Aussie cricketers partied at the club after a day-night match last month and Melbourne Victory players frequent the place.

Maybe they feel safe from the hassles at other nightspots with the largely gay crowd happy to leave them to party freely.

Electric Ladyland, down the road in Chapel St was also patronised by sports stars at the weekend.

Test cricket ace Shane Warne and St Kilda footballer Aaron Hamill were spied enjoying a drink there on Friday night. And a group of Melbourne footballers drowned their sorrows after a fourth consecutive loss on Saturday night.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cowboy in China - What a way to make a livin!

Please support Adam in his walk for the ONJ Cancer Centre at the Austin Hospital.

Bent TV presents: Chillout 2008. Part 3

Cowboy to Carnival Day

Bent TV presents: Chillout 2008. Part 2

Parade and cowboy.

Bent TV presents: Chillout 2008. Part 1

Must get another hat!

Anger at school gay ban

(When someone says "If you don't make a fuss, we'll fix it," ask them "When?" - Doug)

STUDENTS of a prestigious private school may boycott their senior formal after a ban on same-sex partners.


A year 12 student at Brisbane's Anglican Church Grammar School has criticised the all-boys school after he made a request on behalf of at least eight gay students wanting to take partners to the June formal.

The student, who did not wish to be named, said he felt misled following his approach to a senior teacher and said he expectedstudents would consider a boycott.

The student said he approached Head of Senior School Dr Phil Cummins, who told him the school's practice of allowing only female formal partners would be "quietly changed" if he did not make a big deal about it.

"He said to me, 'If you go quietly about this and if you don't cause us too much trouble, we will just quietly change the rules so they'reallowed and no-one gets hurt'," the student said.

"At the start of 2006, there was no one at the school who was openly gay, now there are dozens.

"Generally it's a very accepting school. It's not like anyone has ever been persecuted for being gay.

"A few students will have second thoughts about going to the formal because of all this."

Headmaster Jonathan Hensman said the formal was an opportunity for students to escort a young lady to a dance and the school would not change that practice.

"We decide what is appropriate behaviour and what is not," Mr Hensman said.

Catholic schools in Queensland have also ruled out allowing gaypartners at school formals, but state high schools set their own guidelines.

Thai Red Cross ends discrimination for gay donors

Friday Apr 11 15:12 AEST

The Red Cross of Thailand has said it would change its screening process for blood donors to address concerns from activists who said the system discriminated against gays.

The Red Cross requires donors to fill out a form to assess their risk of disease.

Gay-rights activists had complained that one question, which was meant to target people more likely to have diseases transmitted by sex and drugs, had effectively blocked all gay men from donating by only asking about same-sex relations.

We didn't mean to hurt anyone," said Soisaang Pikulsod, director of the Thai Red Cross National Blood Centre. "It was just to ensure the highest possible safety of our patients."

The Red Cross will rework the form to include more questions about all types of sexual behaviour, gay or heterosexual, that could increase the risk of diseases such as AIDS, she said.

Nathee Teerarojanapong, a gay activist who complained about the questioning, urged the Red Cross to focus on screening out anyone with risky sex and drug habits, instead of singling out gay men and women.

"Sometimes gays want to do good things too," he said.In Buddhist Thailand, donating blood is an important way of earning religious merit, which Thais believe will help them in their next life.

Soisaang said concerns about infected blood donations grew after the agency found HIV in blood from 500 donors in 2007.The Red Cross notified the donors of their infection, but only one third of them returned for further counselling, she said. Half of them said they were gay and half said they were bisexual, she added.

About 28 percent of gay men in Bangkok had HIV in 2005, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

We do marriage better

Same-sex couples tend to go along, get along

Thursday, April 10, 2008
The Oregonian Staff

Watching Silda Wall Spitzer and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan try to reconcile their idea of "room service" with their husbands', you might wonder whether same-sex couples are better off. More understanding of each other's needs and nature. Less conflicted about the whole monogamy means monogamy means monogamy concept. Happier, even.

Isn't the problem between men and women -- forgive me, dear -- men and women? Well, yes and yes. Same-sex couples are more honest about monogamy and sex, researchers say. They're also more mature, considerate and fairer to each other than heterosexual couples. They're funnier and more affectionate when they argue. Less controlling. They don't take everything so personally.

The findings come from the same famed laboratory that studies thousands of heterosexual couples -- the Gottman researchers in Seattle -- as well as large university studies. After videotaping gay and lesbian couples' discussions, arguments and daily interaction, John Gottman concluded that straight relationships might one day be so healthy -- "in 200 years."

More. . . .

Well there it is in black and white. None of your shonky James Dobson ersatz-Christian pseudo-science - real hard data from proper studies. When we finally get round to doing the couple thing, we do it better than anybody.

But I'm not so sure about 'not taking things so personally'. Maybe we don't at home, but at work I've found it really hard to have dispassionate and analytical discussions over business decisions with gay colleagues - they seem to take every disagreement, every suggestion of an alternative, every different viewpoint as a personal attack. Maybe I shouldn't work in gay businesses.

On the other hand, I don't mind them taking it personally, either - I love a rattling good robust argument, it clears the air and makes adjusting to and incorporating different viewpoints a lot easier than all that anodyne, bloodless, conflict-resolution pseudo-niceness.

I'll take a colleague who tells it like it is over one who makes soothing noises to my face and stabs me in the back any day.

Coming soon to a Parliament near you

Lords rejects gay adoption reforms

By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Plans to allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt were thrown out by theHouse of Lords last night in a severe setback for the Government.

A coalition of Tory and independent peers and bishops blocked by 196 votes to 162 proposals in the Adoption and Children Bill to lift the restriction on unmarried or homosexual couples adopting. The Government immediately vowed to reintroduce its plans in the Commons, which approved them in May.

The Labour Party and Liberal Democrats reacted angrily to the Conservatives' stand and said it showed that the party was not, as claimed by Iain Duncan Smith, caring and compassionate.

Tory peers and bishops argued that the plans would undermine the institution of marriage and lead to instability in households that adopt.

But Department of Health sources said last night that ministers would press forward with the reforms, which had the backing of the "settled will" of the Commons.

The House of Lords backed an amendment tabled by the Tory frontbench peer Earl Howe to retain the status quo, which restricts adoption to married couples and single people.

The Independent

The recent debate in the Victorian State Parliament over relationship recognition gave clear indications that this is what will happen to the proposed reforms of laws relating to adoption, fertility treatment and parental recognition in our state.

Already the Catholic wing of Federal Labor, led by Shoppies Union head honcho Joe De Bruyn - the Dutchman who doesn't like dykes - is demanding Victorian Labor MPs be given a conscience vote on this issue.

Strangely enough, the same demand is being made of British MPs in relation to these measures: sure sign of a Vatican co-ordinated anti-gay conspiracy.

Time for the Roman Men in Frocks to sashay back into their closets, swinging their burning handbags to the hollow tinkling of their bells. Get you Mary!

Time for a GayFL?

The beautiful gay-me!

Apr 12 2008
Russell Potter and Rob Woods

THE North East is a football hotbed – and it is soon to get its first gay football team.

TheNewcastle Pink Panthers are on the lookout for players and sponsors as they join sides from London, Manchester and Leeds to offer the local homosexual community a way socialise and play sport.


Newcastle, UK, is every bit as tough a town as Newcastle, Oz - so why doesn't anyone start a GAFL here in Melbourne? There must be plenty of gay blokes who play footy on the weekends, or would love to, so why not start a team of our own?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Farewell Bnews

I’m sorry to tell you all that I have decided to leave Bnews. I will of course continue to write for the gay media as a freelancer.

I have greatly enjoyed my time as Editor of Melbourne Star and then as News Editor of Bnews (following the Star’s closure), and the success and recognition that came with the job.

I won the Rainbow Award for Outstanding Media Achievement in 2005 (given for my current affairs program, the Rainbow Report, on Joy 94.9) around the time I joined the paper.

Then late last year the Victorian Aids Council honoured me for my reporting on AIDS-related issues (in print and on radio), and in particular the Michael Neal case.

Together these awards make wonderful bookends to my time at Bnews.

Since the closure of Melbourne Star, Bnews has tried to blend serious news and current affairs into what is essentially a lifestyle and entertainment magazine, so as to continue to provide quality GLBTI-focused news and current affairs reporting to the community.

I am immensely proud of what we achieved in this regard, thanks to the hard work and dedication of my colleagues, editor Cathy Anderson and entertainment editor Daren Pope, aka Kaye Sera.

However, mainstream print media now cover GLBTI issues on a regular basis. And people with an interest in news and current affairs increasingly turn to radio, television and the internet. These are now the main media through which to reach them and where I need to focus my attention for the future

Under new dynamic and forward-looking management, Joy is re-energised, its news and current affairs coverage growing and developing. The Rainbow Report is growing along with it, and will need more of my attention as podcasts, webcasts and satellite distribution come onstream.

New internet opportunities have become available, and I am actively pursuing some exciting developments in GBLTI news & current affairs online.

And another of my interests, the ChillOut Festival, continues to generate new and surprising possibilities. We have just had our first board meeting for ChillOut 2009, building on our great success this year. The festival is evolving in fresh and exciting directions. This will require an even greater level of commitment from me.

These new challenges are incompatible with what is in practice a more than full-time editorial position, which increasingly encroaches on my limited free time. So I have decided to drop Bnews from my portfolio.

Meanwhile I wish everyone at Bnews the best of luck for the future. And thanks to everyone in the community for your support over the years.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Back after TWO YEARS!!

Dusty old blog, here I am again, after an absence - I'm ashamed to say - of almost two years. But now I'm back, and I'll be posting again.

Funny to look back and read stuff from the Howard years - before the election, the Ruddslide, the commitment to HREOCs 58, the Relationship Register bill in Victoria - and the one thing that hasn't changed - the never ending stoush over the ACT Civil Partnership bill. Latest silliness is a proposal for 'flying registrars' to lurk outside every ceremony to capture your signatures as you leave.

Plus ca change, as M Sarkozy would say . . . . . . . . . .