Home' LOTL : Dec 2009 Contents 7
lotl.com • LOTL Magazine
By Cathy Anderson
Pollies urged to use their conscience
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has urged
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to allow a conscience
vote on her Marriage Equality Bill when debated
in parliament, saying public opinion is in favour of
gay marriage. The bill, introduced in June and cur-
rently before the Legal and Constitutional Affairs
Committee, has attracted around 26,000 submis-
sions, a record for a Senate inquiry.
Hanson-Young and Greens leader Bob Brown
launched a postcard campaign in Melbourne fea-
turing the PM, another man and a wedding cake,
calling for Kevin Rudd to say 'I do' to marriage
"The Federal Government is clinging to the
backward notion that marriage can only be be-
tween a man and a woman," she said. "We reject
that thinking -- it's narrow, it's outdated and it fails
to reﬂect the diversity of modern Australia.”
Nearly two thirds of submissions were opposed
to gay marriage, but queer activists are concerned
most of these are one-line formula emails submit-
ted by Christian groups.
"It's not really a vote about how many people
can click on an email," said Peter Furness, the
group's national convenor of Australian mar-
riage equality. National rallies will be held in
Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and
Canberra to coincide with the release of the
inquiry’s ﬁndings. Details: www.equallove.
Gay groups have praised the ACT Parliament
for passing the historic Civil Unions Bill which
allows gay couples to legally unite with a formal
ceremony, but are not yet certain how the Rudd
Government will react. The Federal Government
has the power to overturn Territorial legislation,
and has done so in the past twice because the
civil unions proposed were too 'marriage-like'.
The formalisation of a ceremonial component is
shaping up to be an historic legal and political test
Gay rights group Equal Love Canberra is
concerned amendments made to the bill by
Labor could be its downfall. The amendments,
reportedly an attempt to ensure that no argument
about 'legal inconsistency' could be sustained
by the Federal Government, limits the official
ceremonies to couples not currently legally eligible
for marriage, i.e. same-sex couples.
Christian groups such as Family Voice Australia
have already also urged the Government to step
in and disallow same-sex marriage in the ACT.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said
the bill was a small step forward. "The decision of
the ACT Parliament is a step forward for same-
sex couples, but it is not marriage equality for all
couples and should not be seen as a substitute
for marriage equality,'' she said.
Equal Love spokesperson John Kloprogge
said overriding the law would be poor judgement.
"If the Rudd Government overrides these laws
now, it will be entirely due to prejudice, not law.
All this would be avoided if it weren't for the
discrimination in the Marriage Act," he said.
Get naked for art at Mardi Gras
Infamous New York photographer Spencer
Tunick, renowned for his work involving
masses of naked bodies, will create a centre-
piece work called The Base as part of Sydney
Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2010. The
call is ofﬁcially out for thousands of volun-
teers to strip off and take part in Tunick's frst
large-scale installation on Monday March 1,
after the parade. Tunick has done more than
95 naked shoots across the world. Volunteers
arrive at a speciﬁc time, strip and are then di-
rected while the event is captured on ﬁlm and
"The base, the core, the heart of any truly
free society depend on its acceptance of its
diverse community as equal citizens," said
"I am extremely excited to be creating
a new work in Sydney. At the heart of The
Base will be an exploration of what it takes
to form the basis of an open and harmonious
"Spencer's work will be a jewel in the
crown of Mardi Gras 2010," said NMG CEO
To volunteer, register online at www.mar-
ACT civil union bill passes
Tassie mums win legal rights
Non-biological mothers in lesbian parenting re-
lationships are now recognised as co-mothers
after the state's Upper House passed the Rela-
tionships (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill.
Previously, a parenting order had to be sought
from the federal Family Court to legally allow
non-birth mothers to make decisions in their chil-
dren's lives, particularly concerning school and
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group
spokesman Rodney Croome said it gives rain-
bow families more stability and legal standing.
"This is in the best interests of the children of
same-sex couples because it provides them with
the greater legal, ﬁnancial and emotional secu-
rity that comes with having two legal parents
rather than one," he said. Lesbian parents who
have had children via fertility treatments in the
past six years will be retrospectively covered.
Queer news is reaching its biggest audience
ever in Australia with the launch of Q-mmu-
nity Network News (QNN) by Melbourne
based LGBT station, JOY 94.9. QNN is now
broadcasting nationally through the Commu-
nity Radio Network (CRN), which links 160
stations. The move echoes JOY's pledge to
take a leading advocacy role in making sure
the community's voice is heard in both urban
and rural areas.
"Mainstream news services do not adequate-
ly meet the needs of our community, and QNN
will provide this essential service for the di-
verse lesbian and gay communities around the
country," said JOY president Stephen Duns.
"Part of our mission is to break down bar-
riers and bring the LGBT community closer
together. QNN means a local event like the
Victorian Same-Sex Marriage Equal Love
Rally will be given a national voice."
QNN has already been shortlisted for a pres-
tigious Community Broadcasting Association
of Australia (CBAA) Award in the Best New
Program or Content Initiative category. QNN
is aired locally in Melbourne on 94.9FM Mon-
day nights 7:05pm and Saturday mornings
10:30am, while the national broadcasts are
Wednesday mornings 11:55am.
Subscribe to the podcast via joy.org.au/qnn;
email news stories to email@example.com.
JOY 94.9 expands Q-mmunity
Links Archive November Issue January 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page