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lotl.com • LOTL Magazine
By Cathy Anderson
Midsumma open for business
The 2010 Midsumma Festival program
was officially launched in December with
a promise from political figures that fund-
ing will remain in place until at least 2011.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said
the festival was an essential date on the
city's cultural calendar and pledged his
support. "At the City of Melbourne we are
delighted to be supporters of Midsumma,"
he said. "We see it as a major event on the
city's calendar, showcasing the diversity of
our city and Victoria to the world.
"We have signed a contract of $500,000
until 2011 and my term ends in 2012. I can
guarantee you that while I am there, the
City of Melbourne's support for Midsumma
won't just be there, it will grow and grow
Midsumma hopes to encourage more inter-
state visitors next year, and sponsorship deals
with V Australia and the Art Series Hotel Group
(including newly-opened The Cullen Hotel in
Prahran) are part of the strategy.
The festival kicks off on Sunday January 17
with Carnival, with the after-hours T Dance
headlined by US diva Inaya Day and DJ Paul
Herron from the UK.
Next year 's program has plenty on offer for
lesbian and bisexual women including the 20-
year exhibition at Hares and Hyenas bookshop,
Yana Alana and Tha Paranas, Drag Kings Vic-
toria, Blonde on the Bay and Slut Trufﬂe girls
night at The Glasshouse.
For details visit midsumma.org.au
Thousands rally for gay marriage
Marriage equality rallies across the country at-
tracted thousands just days after the Senate inquiry
recommended against legalising gay marriage. Up
to 1500 people attended the rally in Sydney, 2500
in Melbourne, 200 braved the rain in Adelaide,
200 in Canberra, 100 in Lismore, 150 in Perth and
500 in Brisbane. The Senate Legal and Constitu-
tional Affairs Committee recommended reject-
ing the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009
introduced by the Greens which seeks to remove
the ban on same-sex marriage. But the Committee
did recommend the Federal Government under-
take a review into relationship recognition laws
to achieve consistency across the country and for
same-sex couples to be given paperwork to allow
them to marry overseas.
The report angered gay rights groups and rally
attendees and speakers. In Melbourne, Labor and
Greens politicians joined with community groups
to denounce the decision.
"This is not the end, this is the start," said Equal
Love convenor James Vigus to the Melbourne
crowd."I'm sick and tired of being told that this
is a fringe issue, something on the fringes of so-
Felicity Marlowe from the Rainbow Families
Council said, "This [Federal] Government's
continued refusal to allow same-sex couples
to marry tells our children, and all children,
you can actually be a little bit equal, but
some discrimination is OK."
In Sydney, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-
Young received a roar of approval when she
yelled: "Get over it, Rudd!"
The day was the ofﬁcial launch of the Na-
tional Year of Action for Marriage Equality,
a campaign for equal marital rights. Alex
Greenwich, spokesperson for Australian
Marriage Equality (AME), said the strong
rally turnout ensured the issue would remain
a hot one in the lead-up to the next federal
ACT laws stand,
but with a hitch
Civil partnership will remain legal in the
ACT without threat of veto by the Fed-
eral Government after the Greens party
reluctantly agreed to a compromise over
official ceremonies. The deal means
there is an additional step in the process:
gay couples can have a legal ceremony
but they will also have to notify the Reg-
istrar General at least five days in ad-
vance. Bowing to pressure from Federal
Attorney-General Robert McClelland,
Greens Attorney-General spokesman
Shane Rattenbury said his party decided
to support the changes.
"We weren't prepared to risk the
progress that has been made," he said. "In
the end we felt that the fairest and most
sensible approach was to protect those
gains that have already been made.''
Equal Love Canberra spokesperson
John Kloprogge said the Federal Gov-
ernment's intrusions were "undermining
democracy and equal rights in the ACT".
"This is not the end of the road for effec-
tive civil partnership ceremonies in the
ACT. We will continue to campaign at a
grass-roots level to ensure ACT Labor's
election commitments become law."
In late November the Territory had
its first legal same-sex civil union, with
Warren McGaw and Chris Rumble, a
couple who've been together 20 years.
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