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Archive for July, 2009

Gay Dads NSW – Gay Dads NSW – Monthly Social Dinner – 8 August 2009

gdnsw-meeting What: Gay Dads NSW – Monthly Social Dinner

When: 3 August 2009 – 7.00pm – 10.00pm

Where: The Bank Hotel’s Thai Restaurant, Downstairs 324 King Street Newtown An informal regular gathering for all gay guys who have children or plan on becoming parents.

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3AW – Derryn Hinch – “Equal, but not that equal”

Derryn Hinch discussed gay marriage on Friday...

Derryn Hinch comes out in favour of Same-Sex Marriage in a fabulous way.  Well done Derryn.   Listen to the audio where he gives that homophobe Jim Wallace a serve.  It is gold!

I want to talk about gay marriages. Should they be legal? It’s one of the most controversial issues around and it won’t go away. Even though Prime Ministers and Presidents wish it would.

I want your opinions on it but before I do I want to go back to something I wrote several years ago in a book about personal relations. A book called You Are So Beautiful – the Passion and the Pain of  Relationships.

I included a chapter on homosexual rights and the legal discrimination against gay people. And, to do that, I had to look at my own prejudices. My own ignorance.

I wrote: ‘I will admit that I have had difficulty coping with the nontraditional idea of a marriage between two men or two women. I have disappointed my wife, my ex-wife and gay friends when I have admitted that to them. And I have had no defensible argument. But I am learning and I know that the day will come soon when it is as accepted and as protected as any other union.’

Now, some countries do give full marital rights but those marriages are not recognised as legitimate in Australia. There are many heterosexual people who accept (and applaud) the rights of gays when it comes to superannuation and income-sharing for tax purposes but still balk at the idea of the word ‘marriage’ meaning anything except the union of a man and a woman.

There are also many heterosexual people who totally approve of gay marriages and gays raising children. Or simply don’t care.

One legitimate argument, apart from equality, is that a loving gay home is better than some of the drunken, physically and mentally abusive, loveless climates hurting children in some traditional marriages. But that is not to say this sad situation can’t happen with gay unions too.

Increasingly, same-sex couples are adopting children. Some are conceived through surrogate mothers or IVF or the sperm implanted in one lesbian partner through the crudely named ‘turkey baster’ method.

One thing that people have trouble coping with, especially older Australians, is the terminology. Calling a gay male parent ‘a mother’. He is not. Peter Ellwell and Peter West, a gay Victorian couple, who have surrogate twins born in India, describe themselves as ‘mother, father, the parents’. Well, they are the parents, but neither of them is the mother.

They tacitly acknowledge there is a difference because one is listed on the birth certificate as the biological father but they won’t say which one.

Gay marriage is an issue that has been avoided at the ALP conference with a group called Rainbow Labor dropping plans to force a vote on same sex marriages.

Instead they will have to accept that Labor, like the Liberals, will not let states or territories got it alone and ‘create schemes that mimic marriage or undermine existing laws that define marriage as being between a man and a woman’.

You can be equal but not that equal.

[Link: Original Article]

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Australian Marriage Equality – Same Sex Marriage Advocates Reject Civil Unions

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AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Media Statement
Friday July 31st 2009

 

– SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ADVOCATES REJECT CIVIL UNIONS
– AUSTRALIA "EMBARRASSED" BY ALBANIA

Advocates for same-sex marriage have rejected moves towards a national civil union scheme at this weekend’s ALP national Conference.

Responding to reports that Labor’s gay caucus, Rainbow Labor, may settle for the watered down national civil union scheme because of opposition to same-sex marriage from Kevin Rudd, spokesperson for Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich, said civil unions do not provide the rights or respect that come with marriage.

"There’s no room to negotiate on equality, our rights are not an enterprise bargaining agreement", Mr Greenwich said.

"Overseas studies have found civil union schemes do not fulfill their promise of providing same-sex couples with equal entitlements or recognition, and on this basis we oppose such a scheme."

"With 60% of Australians behind us, large public demonstrations expected for tomorrow, and ever more nations supporting marriage equality, we are happy to hold out for full equality."
Mr Greenwich condemned those ALP delegates who are attempting to stifle debate on same-sex marriage.

"With reports in today’s press that even Albania is moving forward on same-sex marriage, it is deeply embarrassing for many Australians that the ALP National Conference is seeking to avoid this discussion simply to appease Kevin Rudd and the minority of Australians he represents on this issue."

For a copy of a recent Galaxy poll showing 60% of Australians support marriage equality visit www.australianmarriageequality.com

For details of tomorrow’s National Day of Action on marriage equality visit www.caah.org.au/nda

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335 or Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668

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The Age – “Same-sex couples still waiting at the altar for a basic right” by Tim Wright

FRIENDS and family flocked from all over to attend Jacqui Tomlins’ and Sarah Nicholls’ wedding in Toronto six years ago. The Melbourne couple, who had been together more than a decade, tied the knot shortly after a Canadian court declared marriage equality a constitutional right.

In the brides’ assessment, it was an oddly normal affair. The caterers, the party-hire people, the jewellers who provided the rings, all treated them just as they would have a heterosexual couple. Yet this public celebration of love and commitment caused a great commotion among social conservatives in Australia.

It is, in fact, the precise genesis of our nation’s ban on same-sex marriage, whose fifth anniversary the religious right will celebrate next month. So affronted were our political leaders by what the Canadian authorities had sanctioned, and so eager were they to preserve the moral order in Australia, that they hastily enacted this hateful law. Its passage was of such high priority that even anti-terror legislation before the Parliament was shoved to the side.

Greens leader Bob Brown, himself in a gay relationship, described it as an ugly manifestation of the Howard government’s "straight Australia policy" — a policy endorsed heartily by the Labor opposition. But five years on, the ALP appears much less comfortable with its traditionalist stance on marriage (even if the Prime Minister is avowedly wedded to it).

Read more…

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The Age – “Three cats, two men — and now two babies” by Farah Farouque

Peter West with Evelyn, and Trevor Elwell with Gaia.

ABOUT 36 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, Trevor Elwell and Peter West have fulfilled many of their Australian dreams. They have a mortgage, a station wagon and a deck where they can barbecue to their hearts’ content come summer.

And then there are the 11-week-old twins, Evelyn and Gaia — who are accompanied by the waft of soiled nappies this winter afternoon.

‘‘Who’s got the crappy nappy?’’ coos Mr West (it’s Evelyn). He is solicitous — and inured to the scent — perhaps only as a newly minted parent can be. But this is a nuclear family with a strictly 21st-century edge. The family that resides in this cul de sac in Wyndham Vale consists of three cats, two babies — and two dads, who have become standard bearers for gay fatherhood.

Mr Elwell, 41, and Mr West, 40, who revealed their plans to become fathers in The Age earlier this year, are now bona fide national celebrities after the TV program Sixty Minutes followed their path to parenting via commercial surrogacy in India.

The program, which attracted 1.3 million viewers, made them instantly famous when they landed in Melbourne with their new cross-cultural bubs in May.

Watch Video here

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Equal Love: Marriage: It’s not too much to ask

Equal Marriage has released the last in their series of 5 Ads supporting Equal Marriage.  Check out Number 5 below or visit Equal Marriage on YouTube to see all 5.

As the Australian Government and Equality look on a same-sex and a heterosexual couple compare notes on their relationships. They come to realise the only real difference is the way their government treats them. The wake-up call to the Australian Government finally begins to sink in and he acknowledges that the time has come for a better law.

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The Age – “Same-sex couples demand right to marry” by Gary Roberts

Equal Love makes The Age newspaper online this evening.

Life for gay and lesbian couples in Australia is better than ever before but many still feel like second-class citizens.

The reason: same-sex Australian couples cannot get married.

The Equal Love gay rights group was holding a fundraising party in Melbourne on Sunday night ahead of a national day of action for its campaign for same-sex marriage on Saturday, August 1.

The rallies will include a world record attempt for the largest mass illegal wedding.

Thousands of same-sex couples in Australia wished to publicly celebrate their love for each other by tying the knot but the law prevented them from doing so, Equal Love spokesman Martin Baldock said.

"It’s important because we are being treated like second-class citizens," he told AAP.

"I think the politicians need to stop looking at themselves and looking at what people want – a recent Galaxy poll found 60 per cent of Australians were for same-sex marriage.

Read more…

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