Lauren Price and Amy Laker from Sydney will be the first same-sex couple to marry in Australia after receiving special permission to tie the knot this Saturday, three weeks before marriage equality takes effect in the rest of the country.
The pair have been waiting for more than two years to marry.
They were given an exemption from the notice period because Ms Price’s family, who live in the UK, would only be able to attend if the wedding took place this week.
The exemption was granted on financial grounds, citing the travel of close relatives.
We went in there and made our case, the officials left the room to make their decision. It was the longest ten minutes of our lives – our hands were so sweaty. When she came back in and said she had good news I just started crying.”
Before Australia’s equal marriage law was passed, the couple had already made plans to get married at the British Consulate under UK law.
After the postal vote, they decided to marry under Australian law instead.
We have been engaged for two years and we have been planning this for a long time, it wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment wedding. It is a small wedding, we have 65 guests coming – a lot of people are coming from interstate.”
The pair got engaged two years ago on top of the Eiffel Tower.
The historic vote follows in the footsteps of Ireland by endorsing same-sex marriage in a national vote.
However, the public vote is not legally binding, so both houses still need to pass legislation for it to become legal.
Monday is the first day that a same-sex marriage bill can be tabled in the House of Representatives, which is not sitting this week.
A bill must pass in both houses before it can be signed into law by the Governor-General.
Hardline anti-LGBT MPs within the governing Liberal-National Coalition say they will not be conceding – even if the public gives a strong backing for equality.
Two bills will be proposed to parliament – one by a coalition of same-sex marriage supporters proposing simply to introduce the other measure, and another by a right-wing Senator proposing same-sex marriage, but with various “religious freedoms”.
A recent poll by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation found that 72% of the lower House of Representatives would support changes to marriage laws and in the Senate, 69% would approve the changes.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has blasted Australia’s inadequate protection of human rights, calling for immediate action on the nation’s same-sex marriage and asylum seeker policies.
In a damning report released this week, the 18-member committee recommended urgent legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia, regardless of next week’s voluntary postal survey results.
It also widely criticised Australia’s hard-line stance on refugees as a breach of human rights.
The Committee is concerned about the explicit ban on same-sex marriage in the Marriage Act 1961 that results in discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples, including in matters related to divorce of couples who married overseas.”
While noting that the State party is currently taking a voluntary, non-binding postal survey on the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the Committee is of the view that resort to public opinion polls to facilitate upholding rights under the Covenant in general, and equality and non-discrimination of minority groups in particular, is not an acceptable decision-making method.
Such an approach risks further marginalising and stigmatising members of minority groups.”
The UNCHR states Australia should revise its laws “irrespective of the results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey” to ensure “all its laws and policies afford equal protection to LGBTI persons, couples and families”.
Human Rights Law Centre director of legal advocacy Anna Brown echoed the findings, saying
“Australia is drawing international attention for all the wrong reasons. The UN has tonight confirmed what Australian politicians should already know – human rights should not be put to a majority vote. Australia needs to do its job and vote on a bill to deliver equality and dignity for LGBTI couples across the country.”
Last week, the Australian government voted on a bill that will ban vilification and intimidation against LGBTI people during the government’s same-sex marriage survey.
Labor Senate leader Penny Wong, gave a strong speech and pointed out that although “sometimes prejudice comes in very polite forms” it still causes hurt.
I’m often reminded of that in this debate. Sometimes prejudice comes in very polite forms. Sometimes a lack of acceptance and disrespect comes with a great deal of courtesy. But it lands nevertheless.”
Over the course of the equal marriage marriage debate, misleading TV advertisements, homophobic letter campaigns, and vile posters found around the country.
Wong insisted a flawed process cannot be fixed and directly addressed the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, saying he is not absolved from responsibility for hate speech during the survey period.
Voting is now underway on equal marriage in Australia, with the first ballots mailed out last week.
Turnbull opted to put the issue of same-sex marriage to the people in a contentious and controversial public vote.
The public vote, which is non-binding and advisory in nature, has no legal power – but the result will likely be taken into consideration by the country’s lawmakers.
Ballots will continue to be sent out to registered voters in the coming days and weeks.
The ballot paper will read: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
Polling shows that the Yes campaign has a healthy lead in the vote.
The deadline for the return of ballots is November 7, giving a voting period of nearly two months.
The result of the ballot will be announced at the end of November.
The Australian Family Association demands that lesbians reject a proposed equal marriage law as it goes to a public vote.
Well, anti-LGBT lobby is trying to brand the same-sex marriage proposals a ‘transgender marriage’, in a bid to adopt US-style ‘wedge issue’ tactics.
On their newly-launched ‘Transgender Marriage’ website, the group asks: “What does transgender marriage mean for women and lesbians?”
Two men identifying as women and in a relationship can be legally married and be recognised as being in a lesbian marriage for the purposes of accessing lesbian only organisations, events and lesbian exclusive spaces.
Is this the sort of ‘equality’ Australians want to impose on women and lesbians?”
Aside from the fact that they seem to think women and lesbians are two different categories of people, the group’s claims are also pure nonsense.
The proposal being voted on includes no issues affecting transgender rights whatsoever. Trans issues are regulated separately to marriage.
The ballot paper will read: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
But the AFA insisted it would mean that “men socially identifying as women can access women’s shelters and gyms… play in women’s sports, like the AFL women’s competition and the Olympic women’s competition”.
LGBT campaigners have dismissed the claims as “blatant mistruths”.
Though the upcoming vote has nothing to do with transgender issues, the Coalition for Marriage recently launched a TV advert urging people to vote ‘No’ because “[a] school told my son he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it”.
The pro-LGBT Equality Campaign has put out its own ad calling out the scaremongering campaign.
Equality Campaign Executive Director Tiernan Brady said:
The next few weeks must be a campaign of respectful conversations, not angry debates, because this is about real people’s lives and their dignity.
Lesbian and gay people are our family members, friends, neighbours and workmates and we would ask all who take part in our national conversation to remember that.”
The supporters club even handed out 18-month bans to 14 supporters, and chief executive John Tsatsimas said the club was committed to monitoring homophobic behaviour at matches and on social media.
But despite this, months later images of the banner are still being displayed on social media by group.
Talking at inaugural Pride in Sport awards, out footballer, Michelle Heyman – who has played 53 times for the national side – said the group’s bigoted defiance “breaks my heart”.
For this to still be online after three months, it’s just a joke and something like this should never happen. It’s very disappointing that not enough has been done.”
Alex Blackwell, the vice-captain of the Australian women’s cricket team, also called on sponsors and football’s governing body to be tougher on homophobia.
The fact that it is a club-sanctioned supporters group means that the Wanderers have put their trust in those people to uphold the values of their brand and their club, and that hasn’t happened. I would expect the Wanderers would be disappointed.
Their action has to be swift and I don’t believe that to have been the case. To have a pinned tweet remaining there for far too long, there needed to be action coming directly from the top, to take a strong leadership position that we are a sport for everyone and will not tolerate prejudice.”
Joseph Roppolo, the president of Sydney Rangers FC, Australia’s first gay-inclusive men’s football club, said the banner’s continued prominence was disappointing, given how the Wanderers had handled the initial controversy.
We feel Western Sydney did take appropriate action for banning their fans, to me that was an appropriate response.
They also did some really great, proactive work around the rainbow laces campaign. The upsetting thing is that three months since that homophobic banner, the Red and Black Bloc haven’t taken those images down off their social media.
I’m hoping the Red and Black Bloc will realise that these images are deeply offensive and very dangerous. I think it’s a damning indictment that the club still haven’t been able to pull their official supporters group in line, and if they can’t, maybe the sponsors will.”
Heyman said that while the FFA had always supported her, they could learn from the AFL.
We’ve only just started the Pride in Sport campaign. It’s only been a few months, so we definitely need to follow in bigger footsteps, like how the AFL have done amazing things. Maybe FFA can learn from other codes.”
Responding to the FFA’s decision to censure WSW and RBB members for the homophobic banner, the RBB Facebook group wrote that “football in this country is in the wrong hands.
Football belongs to the people. not a dictatorial body or the likes of so called expert commentators. F*** off with your pandering to mainstream media. But, since this banner has been so popular, we are considering a new line of relevant merchandise, and as everyone has an opinion, let us know yours regarding the merch.”
In a Facebook comment on Thursday, the NRMA said it wanted “to reiterate we are saddened by the incident involving the offensive banner at the WSW game in February, and want to make it clear that we do not support this kind of disgraceful behaviour”.
We have once again spoken with the club to express our disappointment and to remind them of our high expectations for the game and fan behaviour.”
The indigenous queer community is loud, powerful and strong.
Rather, communities. Just as there is more than one way to be queer, there are many ways to be indigenous.
For example, in North America, queer indigenous people are rapping and making art. But their experiences are different from queer people in South America and queer people in the Pacific.
Twenty-two queer indigenous people from Australia have released a new book called Colouring the Rainbow – Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives: Life Stories and Essays by First Nations People of Australia. But this book isn’t just for queer indigenous people or even for Australians – everyone can learn about queer identities, queer histories and the legacy of colonialism from their stories.
The editor, Dino Hodge, created the book in order to combat the painfully homogenous, painfully white queer narratives being told in Australia.
It’s hard to deny that in the United States and abroad, certain queer voices have more value than others. Gay, cisgender white males are the face of the LGBT movement. That’s why Will and Grace featured an upper-class white male and not, say, a queer disabled indigenous woman or a two-spirit person of low socioeconomic status. Those members of the LGBT community are pushed to the back.
In Australia, the story is similar. Indigenous people are struggling to gain acceptance in the country despite the fact that they’ve lived there for centuries, and they have had their queer histories erased. They are not allowed to be the face of the gay rights movement despite the fact that their cultures practiced homosexuality centuries before the Western world decided it was acceptable.
For centuries, many First Nation Australian communities saw homosexuality as natural. When western colonists arrived to Christianize the continent, they wiped out all traces of these practices and told the First Nations people that homosexuality was a sin. Ironically, today the descendants of these colonists call the First Nations people backward for having conservative views on homosexuality.
This book works to decolonize readers’ minds and reveal the richness of Australia’s queer indigenous community. Finally, they have a voice. The book’s writers discuss homophobia and transphobia that they have faced, racism that they have struggled against and decolonization that they have to practice daily.
Women who love women are bracing themselves for the newly opened sex club exclusive to woman-identified patrons in Sydney, Australia.
Skirt Club is an internationally recognized name in the business of sex parties around the world ranging from Miami, Florida to London, England.
The club focuses on the sexual desires of lesbian, bisexual, and questioning women in search of adventure and a bedroom fantasy brought to life. Each event caters to a different theme or fetish and encourages participation in costumed dances, games, and exploration of sexuality.
Though sex parties suggest the excitement of sensuality and physicality, all guests are required to demonstrate respect as well as adhere to rules regarding consent.
All women, gay or straight, are invited to join in on the beauty of sexual exploration and deep innate bodily desires at Sydney’s newly established and prized Skirt Club– a place where men are left at the front door.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition is still refusing a free vote on same-sex marriage, despite lobbying groups say there is currently a majority of MPs and Senators in favour of equal marriage.
Mr Turnbull instead tabled plans for a plebiscite – a public voting procedure, which could potentially stall the issue until 2017 or beyond.
Key supporter of equal marriage, Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm, attempted a political manoeuvre last week to force a vote on the issue. Asking for cooperation from the opposition Labor Party and the Greens to bring about a vote – but after the Greens sided with the government to keep the vote off the table, the two parties have resorted to trading jibes.
A one-hour opposition debate on the issue will now be held on Thursday – but given the complexity of equal marriage, it is unlikely to come to a vote within the time frame.
According to the Guardian, Labor’s Penny Wong, said:
… [The Greens] had an opportunity [to bring it to a vote] this morning, and they squibbed it, and they now want to make Australians believe that somehow an hour-long debate is somehow the same.
This is cynical politics at its best. Senator Di Natale led them over to the other side to sit with people like Senator Abetz and Senator Bernardi who are vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage.
It is a sort of combination of spinelessness and incompetence if I may say so.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale replied:
These are crocodile tears. This is cynical wedge politics. We think that there’s a great opportunity here that, if the numbers are there, that we can bring this on for a vote.”
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said:
A majority of Senators have already publicly declared their support for marriage equality so the legislation could pass if a free vote was allowed.”
If marriage equality passes the Senate it will increase pressure on the Government to allow Parliament to do its job and pass the reform as soon as possible.”
It will also send an affirmative message to the Australian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, and a message to the world that we are moving toward an overdue reform.”
All About E is one film that has garnered a lot of positive critical reception. Not only did the film land a spot on our list of the best films from the Cinema Diverse event but it also won the Chicago Great Gay Screenplay competition as well.
Also worth noting is the fact that All About E‘s writer/director Louise Wadley took part in the Outfest Scriptwriting Lab. So, now that you know the level of talent behind the film, I suppose you want to know ‘what’s it all about?’.
The best way to describe this one is ‘a gay Thelma & Louise‘. Indeed, although that iconic movie thrived on (and made its way into our hearts because of) subtext, All About E has got more than enough maintext to keep you warm at night. Its lead is the titular E, an Arabic Australian woman who hosts Spanish themed nights at a local gay club.
But when she wants to ditch her matador get up and host a night that celebrates her Lebanese background instead, racist boss Johnny gives her a giant, resounding ‘no’.
The morning after Johnny puts his foot down, E and her gay BFF Matt find that E accidentally brought home a whole bunch of cash with her and the two have plans to open up their own club.
Unfortunately, trouble soon comes when they discover that the money belongs to Johnny leading E to her ex-girlfriend Trish’s farm to hide out, vowing to make it right with her former partner.
With a synopsis like that, there’s clearly a lot to love about All About E. It’s a little bit funny, it’s got a little bit of romance and while we wouldn’t call it ‘gripping’ in the traditional sense, the drama surrounding the criminal antics are a huge draw as well.
What’s also positive is to hear Louise Wadley’s thinking behind the film, as she told Lesbian.com her inspiration:
The inspiration was born out of a deep frustration of not seeing my Australia represented on screen. Where is the multicultural world that is the reality of most Australian Cities ? You just don’t see it. We need to catch up with our story telling and our casting. Why not have a woman of color be the lead?
So her cultural background doesn’t have to be the whole story just as why not have lesbians in other roles in drama as just a fact and a part of their character not the reason for the whole story. So it isn’t a coming out story. It isn’t a story that is just about being Arabic Australian – it’s a beautiful story about finding yourself that’s also a road movie, a thriller and a love story.”
And on All About E‘s love scenes, the writer/director explains that
I wanted to show a beautiful love scene between two women that was both passionate and real but also one that was complex and told a story like all of our other scenes.”
MPs have shown an overwhelming support (64 to 22) to reinstate civil unions in Queensland, which means same-sex relationships will soon be recognised in the eyes of the law.
This will hopefully lay the foundations for marriage equality across the Australian state.
Now, any unmarried couples in Queensland may now enter into a civil union, with the law applying to LGBT and heterosexual partners alike.
3 years ago Queensland removed gay couples’ ability to have children through surrogacy and downgraded civil partnerships to the class of ‘registered relationships’, following a debate in Parliament.
The state first legalised civil unions in 2008 under the Labor government but they were scrapped by Liberal National Premier Campbell Newman.
Talking before the vote, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said;
It’s time to inject some maturity and some dignity into the marriage debate. It’s time to again allow heterosexual couples who might want to affirm their relationship but not take the step of actually getting married the right to do so.”
LGBT acitivists have welcomed the move – but say it is only the first step to same-sex marriage in Australia.
Rodney Croome of Australian Marriage Equality, added
I welcome the Queensland government’s Civil Partnership law because it will provide same-sex couples with greater legal certainty. But civil partnerships are not a substitute for equality in marriage for same-sex couples.
Marriage is a universally recognized institution that guarantees equal respect and equal rights in a way civil partnerships cannot.”
Same-sex marriage is banned Australia, and PM Malcolm Turnbull stalling to vote on subject until 2017 – meaning marriages might take even longer to begin.
However, the Australian Senate recently passed a motion calling on the PM to scrap plans for a distant ‘public vote’ on same-sex marriage and to act on the issue now.
Fingers crossed this is step in the right direction
Right now, roughly 11% of gay adult men and 33% of gay adult women in Australia are raising children. And yet, while poll after poll showing the majority of Australians approve of same-sex marriage, Australia remains the only English-speaking country in the world not to have legalised it, with conservatives citing the same concern: the welfare of kids raised by two mums or two dads.
In all of this, filmmakers Maya Newell (herself raised by two mothers) and Charlotte Mars noticed one voice was crucially missing: the kids.
So over several years, they followed the lives of four children and their same-sex parents, and made the feature documentary Gayby Baby.
After seeing the documentary before its release, artist Casey Legler and photographer Jez Smith – in collaboration with the Gayby Baby team — spearheaded the photo series GAYBIES: We Are Not a Hypothetical, which showcases kids raised by same-sex parents — including several from the film.
Upon its Australian cinema release last week, however, Gayby Baby made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Conservative tabloid The Daily Telegraph published a front-page news story reporting that parents had objected to a scheduled school screening of the film. Soon after, The Guardian proved those reports were false. It didn’t matter: the New South Wales education minister banned the film from being screened during school hours.
The timing of Legler and Smith’s photo essay couldn’t be better. Now, after being told their families are “not normal” in the national press, three of the kids featured in Gayby Baby — Ebony, Gus and Matt — have spoken up, and the present-day photos have given them the opportunity to have their voices heard one more time.
I’m in the film Gayby Baby, which started when I was 12, and I’m now 16. My brother Ashaan is now 5, Seth is 12 – oh gosh, he’s old! – and Makaya has just turned eight weeks. Ang is 40 this year and my mum is 36. I hear the words “gay agenda” all the time, and every time it makes me laugh. The only agenda my parents have is getting Makaya to sleep, or making sure we have done our homework, then getting our reports … and seeing we haven’t done our homework. I doubt this film has a gay agenda. It’s just us, and [filmmaker] Maya following us around for a few years. If my life has an agenda, then I’d like someone to explain that to me.
People can make assumptions about you and throw statistics at you and they can say all these things about you but in the end no knows your family but you.”
I have two mums. There’s also my sister Ebony, my little brother Ash, and my littlest brother Makaya. I found out my family was different in Year One. At my school you do Christian Scripture, and the only way not to go is you have to send an email to the principal. My parents didn’t know about that, so I went. We were a couple of weeks into it when they started to say, “If you have same-sex parents, or if you are gay, it’s a sin.” It was a shock and I was kind of confused. So I went home, Mum had a good long chat to the principal and Ang got me a bowl of ice cream. But yeah, that’s how I knew my family was different. But I’ve never really cared, ’cause my family is great. I’d rather my family is different and happy, than “normal” and not happy.
No matter what people say, don’t let it get you down. Just own it. If someone says your family is weird, just move on.”
I am Ashaan and I have two mums. On my birthday I get two things!
My family consists of my two mothers – Louise and Margaret – my brother Raj, and my father Paul. What’s great about my family is that it is different, but at its core, it’s the same as everyone else’s. If Gayby Baby had been shown when I was at school, I wouldn’t have had to lie and make up stories about what my family was, and who that other woman living with us was. I could have been open and honest about myself and with my friends from the start. No one can ever discriminate against you if you are proud of yourself.
No one can ever discriminate against you if you are proud of yourself. You shouldn’t have to hide. Be yourself.”
My parents are Jen and Jamie, and I have a little sister, Rory. What’s great about my family is that they love me very much. They’re a pretty average family, but they are pretty daggy. When I woke up on Wednesday, my parents were pretty upset [by the Daily Telegraph front page], because the screening was suppose to be a step forward for the gay movement. But I was like, “Cool, I made the front page.”
Just try not to listen to the rich white politicians and love your family. Don’t blame them for anything, cause despite what everyone thinks — it’s not a choice.”
I have three mums – Fiona, Jam and Gina – a brother called Bruno who is very annoying, a cat called Jasper, and another a cat called Flash who lives with six Spiny Leaf Stick insects. What I like about my mums is that they are completely different.
One is tough and is a blacksmith, my other mum works for Women NSW and my other mum is a writer. At school, sometimes people say “that’s gay’ or they call people gay. I try and stop them but they just keep doing it. The other day, even one of my best friends said, “That’s so gay,” and I was like, “That is extremely rude.”
Stand up for what you believe in and don’t let them bring you down.”
My family is like every family. There are some bad things and some good things. I felt half happy because Gus was on the front page of the newspaper, but half sad because they were being mean to people with gay and lesbian families. The people who disagree with it have not watched the film. If they watch Gayby Baby, they will know that everyone is the same, because all families have their differences.
Everyone is the same because all families have their differences.”
When I was eight, me and my parents went on an episode of [Australian children’s TV show] Play School . Parents complained, so controversy is something I am very used to. Even though it’s been really yuck to see homophobia given airtime, it has shown that there is a lot of support for gay and lesbian families too. Watching Gayby Baby, I realised I had never seen my family on screen in all those complex ways. I felt an enormous sense of pride.
I want kids who are growing up with same-sex parents to know that you understand diversity, acceptance and love more than most fully grown adults.”
Dylan, 13 and Matt, 16
Dylan: I have two mums who are married, a dad, a soon-to-be step mum, a brother and a stepsister. My mums got married in New Zealand, then came to Australia for the reception. It was really fun. My brother and I made speeches, danced down the aisle and did the first dance. To other kids in families like mine, I’d say, just remember that you are just like every other family, but you’re better, ’cause you have two of them. Be proud of it.
Matt: My mums wanted to get married in Australia but it’s illegal. They were going to wait until they legalised it, but that was going to take too long, so they went to New Zealand. It wasn’t the best, ’cause they had to go overseas and none of their friends could be with them. But then they came back and had a wedding reception and that was really fun. People are saying Gayby Baby is political and shouldn’t be shown in schools, but it’s just showing kids like me who have gay parents that it’s alright.
I have two mums, a donor dad, and another mum that lives in Melbourne. I’ve been in the [Sydney Gay and Lesbian] Mardi Gras since I was zero. When I was four, the theme for the rainbow kids was The Wizard of Oz.Mum, Lil and I all dressed up as the Tin Man and we painted our bodies silver. It was one of the best Mardi Gras I’ve ever been in. My advice to younger kids? Acknowledge that you are different. Because who wants to be normal? Normal is so boring.
Who wants to be normal? Normal is so boring. Being different is so special; you are brought up with so much love and acceptance.”
Ruby Rose has urged fans to boycott the latest issue of The Untitled Magazine after she said it ran photos of her in which you can see her nipple.
The Orange Is The New Black star explained that while she is a supporter of the “free the nipple” movement, she did not approve for these revealing images to run in the magazine.
In the photo, Rose is wearing a see-through black top with a black leather jacket over her shoulder, and her bare breasts can be seen.
She posted on her Instagram account this message
Imagine my shock to find that @theuntitledmagazine decided to publish images of me after we explained we wouldn’t be doing the shoot if I wasn’t appropriately covered.
The difference with working with a friend and or choosing to use nudity for art/and someone taking the piss and exploiting you is two different things.”
Rose says the shoot is eight months old and she also accused Untitled of selling the photos to other publications.
The interview made no sense 8 months on. Please if you are a fan of mine boycott this issue. Or you are buying into greedy, exploitative propaganda. I have plenty of other shoots I’m proud of with professionals coming up its not needed in your collection.”
Her Instagram post appeared alongside the photo of Rose with the iPhone delete option “Confirm Deletion?” positioned to cover her breasts.
Untitled released their girl power edition on September 16 during New York Fashion Week and on the magazine’s website, Rose’s name is listed under “additional exclusive interviews” that appear in the edition.
Mike Baird, the Premier in New South Wales in Australia has apologised, and said he was “distressed” after he backed ban on showing of a same-sex parenting film.
Burwood Girls High in Sydney planned on screening the film Gayby Baby to students last Friday morning as part of “Wear it Purple” day – a equality campaign aimed at encouraging LGBT inclusion and support in schools.
However, the film was banned from being shown during school hours, by New South Wales’ education minister Adrian Piccoli.
State Premier Mike Baird backed the move:
I understand the intent of that is to provide an example of tolerance and that’s something I absolutely support. Should it be in class time? No, I don’t think so. Should it be optional? Yes, I do think so.”
Upper house Labor MP Penny Sharpe brought up the controversy at a budget estimate on Thursday.
She said she had heard from a gay parent who said she felt the government’s action on the film had sent a message to her kids that they were not normal.
The letter read
I want to cry because although I know our child is ever so loved and balanced and sensible, and fully supported as an emerging young person in their own right, I can’t really know what this does to them. I am outraged at the media, but more at the damage made so much greater with a government affirmation and intervention that ensured that the message of `unacceptable’, `not normal’, and `tacitly deviant, therefore worth less’ was slammed full force, without consideration, consultation or care, into the minds of children and families throughout the state.”
Mr Baird responded to say that he had been “very distressed by the way this played out.”
I have to say to her that I’m incredibly sorry. Everyone – every single person – has value. Everyone is normal. The last thing I want is for any family to not feel loved and accepted across NSW.”
Gayby Baby is a documentary, which tells the stories of children of same-sex parented families. Sydney filmmakers Maya Newell and Charlotte McLellan raised $100k to make the film through crowdfunding in 2012.
As the daughter of two mothers, Newell hoped to change the minds of those who believe same-sex parenting is detrimental to children and ultimately her goal is to bring gay marriage to reality. The documentary is told from the perspectives of the three such ‘gaybies’ to see what it’s really like to grow up in such a family.
A new five-year study of family life satisfaction in Australia has concluded same-sex parents are some of the happiest and most supported family set-ups in the country.
Dr Bronwyn Harman, a researcher from Edith Cowan University, Perth, studied hundreds of parents, aiming to discover how resilience, social support and self-esteem contribute to a family’s overall happiness levels.
Despite a positive shift in attitudes to equal marriage and LGBTI parenting in Australia, the study found same-sex parents were less concerned about public perceptions after battling stigma and discrimination in the past.
As a result, same-sex parents were found to be the most resilient of family set ups, which also included straight couples, older first-time parents, single parents, step-parents, parents of children with a disability, parents living in rural areas, parents of large families and teenage parents.
They have to go to a lot of effort to get these children, so these children are very, very much desired. Often when same-sex parents do have a child they feel like they’ve hit the jackpot because they didn’t think it was going to be possible because of their sexuality.”
Big families, she found, are the happiest, with parents of four or more children coming out on top for their overall satisfaction levels.
Despite dealing with comments including ‘do they all have the same father’, and ‘are they all yours’, the larger families benefitted from increased levels of support, with the older children taking on some of the responsibility for the younger children.
Single fathers were found to be the least satisfied with their lot, due to negative societal perceptions.
The study revealed they believed themselves to be the ‘lesser parent’, with many being mistakenly blamed for the break up of the two-parent family unit, and others struggling to take time off work to look after their children.
Dr Harman said government services need to account for the fact that not all families are the same.
We need to remember that different groups of parents have different needs to contribute to their life satisfaction. It would be much better if we were able to separate the needs of different families and tailor services towards those individual cohorts.”
Penny Wong – who is seen as Australia’s most high profile LGBT politician, after coming out post-election in 2001 – received a 30-second standing ovation before delivering an emotional speech on same-sex marriage at the Labor Party national conference.
Ms Wong who is also the current Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, was visibly moved by the strong show of support, wiping away tears before thanking her colleagues.
In a touching speech, the Senator shared some of her proudest moments during her time in the Labor party.
Many of us were here in 2011 when this party voted to put a commitment in our platform for marriage equality. I don’t think I’ve had a prouder day as a member of the Labor Party and I will be prouder still when we deliver marriage equality in law.”
There is nothing to fear from equality… Progress is never easily won. Reform is never easily won. LGBTI Australians deserve equal treatment before the law. The aspiration for equality is remarkably persistent. We will continue until we win.”
Her impassioned address was delivered on the same day Labor leader Bill Shorten promised to legalise same-sex marriage within 100 days if he is elected prime minister in 2016.
The Labor Party leader has also confirmed its MPs will be given a free vote on upcoming same-sex marriage legislation – and will not be forced to vote in favour.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a staunch opponent of equal marriage, but is facing pressure to allow his MPs a free vote on a cross-party marriage bill, following progress in Ireland and the United States.
However, while the interview carried a positive message overall, it contained the line:
Her parents seem to think girls are just a phase for Cara, and they may be correct.”
In response, an online petition was set up, calling for the magazine to apologise. The petition received than 20,000 signatures.
Cara as now also weighed in on the comments.
Speaking to the New York Times, Cara– who is currently dating musician St Vincent – said:
My sexuality is not a phase. I am who I am.”
However, she also added that while she was flattered by the show of support online, she was sure the article was “nothing malicious”.
On learning to block out her life’s distractions, she said:
Being in love helps, you know? If you’re in love with someone, you can be with them like no one else is in the room. Acting is like that. It’s like taking that feeling and turning it on so nothing else matters when you’re looking in another actor’s face.”
Delevingne recently called out Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for opposing same-sex marriage – at the Australian première of Paper Towns.
Tony Abbott, you better listen to the rest of the world and carry on. Go with it.”
Cara Delevingne has been talking in Australia about how happy she is that it’s becoming more accepted across the world to speak about sexuality.
The bisexual model-turned-actress – who is in a relationship with singer St Vincent – told Daily Mail Australia that she was pleased to see that strides that were being made in terms of equality.
Speaking at the Sydney premiere for her new film Paper Towns, she said:
I think everyone has a right to be whoever they want to be, so I’m just very happy. I think it’s wonderful that you know, it’s being accepted more and more… I’ve been pretty open about myself from the beginning.”
Ireland recently voted yes in a same-sex marriage referendum and the US introduced same-sex marriage too, but Cara encouraged Australia’s prime minister to follow suit.
Talking to the Mail at the Australian première of her latest film Paper Towns, Cara Delevingne, has called out the politician.
Tony Abbott, you better listen to the rest of the world and carry on. Go with it. I’ve been pretty open about myself from the beginning. I think it’s wonderful that you know, it’s being accepted more and more. And I think everyone has a right to be whoever they want to be. So I’m just very happy.”
Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott is a staunch opponent of equal marriage, but is facing pressure to allow his MPs a free vote on a cross-party marriage bill, following progress in Ireland and the United States.
Delevingne, who is in a same-sex relationship with musician St Vincent, spoke about her new relationship and sexual preference in a recent interview with Vogue.
It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it. I think that being in love with my girlfriend is a big part of why I’m feeling so happy with who I am these days. And for those words to come out of my mouth is actually a miracle.”
AUSSIE hottest tattooed model Ruby Rose, has stripped down to her undies for a sexy Bonds shoot for Australia’s Sunday Style magazine, to celebrate 100 years of the famous brand and talk everything from babies to bodies.
Rewind to 2009, and Bonds had never done T-shirts before – and definitely never shot anyone like out-and-inked Ruby Rose.
It was a turning point. I did get the gravity of representing that you can dress different, have spiked hair and tattoos, and be whatever sexuality you want. Together, we [showed] the ‘Aussie image’ is for everybody.”
Her tatt tally these days? “Now I’ve got, like, 60 – the most recent is the face of Jean-Michel Basquiat on my left arm.”
So what would Rose scrawl on her Bonds Chesty singlet now she’s 29, engaged to British fashion designer Phoebe Dahl and starring in season three of TV prison drama Orange is the new Black as “bad-ass, super-charismatic” inmate Stella Carlin?
Be happy. Be free. That’s where I’m at. I’m in love with every day I wake up.”
Faustina “Fuzzy” Agolley is one of Aussie TV’s most loved television presenters, and as part of her 31st birthday celebrations, the former model has publicly come out as gay.
Fuzzy made it big in Australia, hosting most watched music program Video Hits on Network Ten. It was a job that took her all over the world to interview music’s biggest entertainers including the Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Adele, Green Day, Rihanna, and Sinead O’Connor.
And tonight, to coincide with my birthday, I’m celebrating with friends over Rainbow Cake. It’s the Elton John of cakes, complete with rainbow flares.
As a child I always knew I was gay, but somewhere the feeling got lost. A long and, not always scenic, route ensued to bring me back to who I truly am.
What I needed was to find my tribe. I wasn’t actively seeking it, though sometime last year I met a group of women that I could truly connect to. I could see myself in them in many ways. And they are women of character who I aspire to. Most importantly, they are women that are generous and kind. For the first time in my life I came to the full realisation of who I am and I felt safe in their company. They bolstered my confidence and gave me my voice again. And I love them eternally for it.
Thankfully my tribe has now extended to my family and friends that I’ve had the confidence to come out to. We’ve created noise, a celebratory noise. We’ve drowned out the negativity that sadly weaves through many homes, communities, governments and countries throughout the world.
In life, philosophy and literature imparts one of the greatest lessons we continuously come back to, and that is to know thyself. For those reading this who are LGBT and haven’t come out – even when society may not deem you equal because of your sexuality – know that you are. And just like in my situation, know that there are people in the world that have your back.
Some may be asking “Why does she feel the need to write this?”. The answer is that there is nothing I’m leveraging off or deliberately seeking. This simply feels like the right and natural way to let it be known, sincerely.
As black as my skin, as Chinese as my blood, and as Australian and British are my nationalities, I’m also a proud Gay Woman.
For those of your who may not know the brand, well, all you really need to know they has been covering up the private parts of Aussies for years now.
So, what better way to celebrate than getting a bunch of toned and tanned models to remind us average human of how we’re supposed to look in underwear…
Among the models was DJ Ruby Rose, Transformers star Rachael Taylor, and everyone’s favourite beauty product promoter Miranda Kerr.
After her starring role in the Bonds campaign, you’ll see Rose in the upcoming season of Orange Is The New Black. She’ll play Stella Carlin, who is set to stir things up between Alex and Piper. That’s our gal.
So why the difference? Professor Mark Wooden of the University of Melbourne’s – who co-authored the report – said it was due LGB women working more hours. In fact an average 20% more than straight women.
The research concluded that straight women were more likely to take time off work or be employed part-time because of parenting duties.
However, the same study found that gay men were found to earn about 20 per cent less than heterosexual men due to a lower rate of earnings’ growth – and this was worse if they lived with a partner and were more open about their sexuality.
We found that the wages of gay men are growing at a much slower rate than the wages of heterosexual males. Gay males who are most likely to be observably gay by employers – those who live with a same-sex partner – face larger earnings penalties than those who are discreet about their sexuality.”
Professor Mark Wooden
The report – Sexual Identity, Earnings, and Labour Market Dynamics: New Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Australia – concluded:
Gay men are 16 per cent less likely to be employed and are substantially more likely to have several periods of joblessness than heterosexual men.”
Although I cannot comment directly on pay disparity between gay and lesbian people in Australia – despite being a reasonably tolerant society, my observations are that it is still difficult for gay, lesbian or transgender led businesses to reach a representative number in the start-up community.
Given the traditional investment community is mostly male, this may mean that being a gay man pitching for capital may be more difficult. That being said, it’s very difficult period for women, straight or lesbian, and minority groups to raise capital in Australia. This is something we want to work on.”
In December, a similar study commissioned by the World Bank and IZA World of Labor, found that gay women get 15% more in Canada, 11% in Germany and 8% more in the UK. Gay men can expect 12%, 9% and 5% less in those respective countries.
Lesbians may be willing to make a series of career-oriented decisions, such as staying in school longer, choosing a degree that is likely to lead to a higher paying job, and working longer hours,’ and they ‘tend to self-select into male-dominated occupations that may offer higher salaries.
[On the other hand, gay men in the workplace] may upset conventional assumptions about gender, and so their contributions to the firm and their leadership abilities may not be properly evaluated and they can be overlooked for promotions.’
A brand new Australian documentary film is coming soon – Gayby Baby – which tells the stories of children of same-sex parented families.
In Gayby Baby we meet four kids – Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham – whose parents all happen to be gay. As they each wrestle with the onset of puberty, the outside world wrestles with the issue of marriage equality, and whether or not kids of same-sex families are at risk.
Sydney filmmakers Maya Newell and Charlotte McLellan raised $100k to make the film through crowdfunding in 2012.
As the daughter of two mothers, Newell hopes to change the minds of those who believe same-sex parenting is detrimental to children and ultimately her goal is to bring gay marriage to reality. We’re in the midst of what Newell likes to call a ‘Gayby-Boom’ with fifteen percent of homosexual couples raising a child – amounting to millions of children across the globe. The documentary will be told from the perspectives of the three such ‘gaybies’ to see what it’s really like to grow up in such a family.
“I am a ‘gayby’ – a person with gay parents. I want to tell the story of children growing up in families like mine. When I was a kid, there were not many other children with gay parents. I would have loved to be able to watch a film and feel that my experiences were shared. So I decided to make that film.”
The release of Gayby Baby follows Newell’s Growing Up Gayby, a 2013 documentary on the same subject which screened on the ABC in 2013.
The documentary will be having its World Premiere at Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, Canada next month, and we’ll let you know when screenings are happening here.
The official website for Gayby Baby will soon be updated with lots more information. See it here.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed the streets of Sydney’s gay village this weekend to watch the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The now famous parade has been going for 37 years.
The theme for this year’s event was tackling homophobia in sport – with gay and lesbian sports teams in the parade and one float carrying prominent sports men and women.
“Mardi Gras is a time of year where everyone has a chance to express themselves without fear of persecution. It’s also a chance to be super creative and make amazing costumes. And it’s the only time of the year that you can walk through the city half naked and covered head to toe in paint and glitter.”
Nearly 150 marching groups and floats participated in this year’s parade, including members of Australia’s armed forces, who for the first time ever they were lead by the most senior enlisted military figures. Military personnel have only been able to participate openly in the parade since 2008, and it was only this year that they have been allowed to march in uniform.
The parade always begins with the traditional roar of the Dykes on Bikes, and this year was no different – well one little inclusion – the cast of hit web series Starting From Now rod shotgun.
They were followed by 42 Boys on Bikes and by a visiting contingent from Victorian LGBTI biker group the Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers.
Highlights included, a large contingent of LGBTI sporting groups, followed by a float from the ANZ bank – this year’s Principle Partner with the festival.
The ‘78ers – veterans of the first ever Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978 (which descended into a police riot after officers attacked the marchers). A large group of indigenous Australians, with a bus carrying respected members of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
People With Disability Australia (a crowd favorite) travelled on a float featuring a pair of giant lips – sending the message that people should be free to love without discrimination regardless of their ability.
Another highlight of the parade were marchers from Australian Marriage Equality, with 100 marchers wearing Passion t-shirts dancing to the tune of Bruno Mar’s song ‘Marry You.’
One of the largest corporate entries in the parade was the Google entry – with over a thousand people, including Australia’s first ever Eurovision entry Guy Sebastian, Megan Washington and band The Jezabels, marching to raise awareness for LGBTI youth charity Twenty10.
Australian’s are on verge of seeing a new groundbreaking television drama on the TV screens.
The planned TV series ‘Subject to Change’, focuses on the lives of high-school students. However, what sets this project apart from others, is that its central characters identify as either gay, lesbian or bisexual.
The pilot episode of of the show was filmed in Sydney last month and is currently in post production. The producers are planning worldwide film festival release next year. Creator/director Daniel Mercieca said ‘Subject to Change’ comes at an important time for Australia’s TV landscape, which is at a “turning point”.
“The arrival of streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Presto means Australians will be able to watch the quality TV they want to watch – when and where they want to watch – not just the ‘safe’ programs
Subject to Change has strongest appeal with a young adult demographic (15-35) yet still can find an emotional connection with all viewers, in a similar way to Puberty Blues. It is relatable, realistic and gritty.”
Star of the show, Maryann Wright said the series had international potential and said off the back of the trailer alone she had been contacted by overseas teens coming to terms with their own sexuality.
“It’s a coming-of-age show, no matter what sexuality you are. At 16 you’re figuring out who you are, what type of person you want to become
With this project there is a mix of characters but the focus is on LGBT characters which exist in every school. The show is bringing a normalcy that already exists in society to the TV screen. It doesn’t try to legitimate, it illuminates and it’s a long time coming.”
James Ritchie added that traditionally gay characters had occupied a niche onscreen presence, such as “funny sidekick”, but rarely as central figures.
“In the past, it has been difficult to see these kinds of characters portrayed without stereotype. To have this project where they are not seen as novelties but instead as true and deep and meaningful characters makes our job a lot easier.”
Glow Worm Films, the production house responsible for the pilot, remain in negotiation to bring a fully-fledged series to
Kitsch Mix, is a rapidly growing social platform developed to promote the diverse creative ventures of women in the LGBT community. It aims to chronicle and celebrate the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community.
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