Home' LOTL : December 2010 Contents 6 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
The push for gay marriage in Australia has
dramatically escalated, with two states con rming
legislation and prominent leaders of the Labor party
pledging support. In November, Tasmanian Greens
leader Nick McKim introduced a marriage equality
bill for the third time. He pledged the bills will be
debated in the new year if the federal government
does not make moves to legislate soon. In South
Australia Greens MP Tammy Franks and Labor's Ian
Hunter have joined forces to introduce a marriage
equality bill. Tasmanian Labor leader David Bartlett
has publicly declared his support for gay marriage, as
has Queensland premier Anna Bligh and NSW Labor
heavyweights Mark Arbib and Bill Shorten. Prime
Minister Julia Gillard disagrees, saying marriage
should be between a man and a woman.
In a recent Galaxy poll 62 per cent support
marriage equality, including 80 per cent of the 18-24
age group. Hunter said the rush of support among
federal Labor ministers means gay marriage is
"inevitable"."Why not bite the bullet and do it?" he
Bartlett said he personally supports the issue and
will argue for it at the national ALP conference.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young has
reintroduced the Marriage Equality Bill, defeated this
year, into federal Parliament, although a debate is not
expected until mid next year when the party takes
control of the Senate.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
spokesperson Rodney Croome told LOTL the cracks
are beginning to show in opposition to the issue.
"I have always said opposition to marriage
equality was hard, but brittle," he said.
"As soon as there is one crack, support will
increase. It's not as if the people who are supporting
it have changed their minds, they have just decided
to voice it." Croome said the Tasmanian bill had a
"reasonable chance" of being passed. "My hope is
that the major parties allow a conscience vote on the
Tasmanian lesbian couple Tracey Wing, 43, and
Sielito, 47, said they have not taken advantage of the
state's relationship register, and are waiting for the
real deal. "We've been putting it off for the sake of
marriage," said Wing. "(Marriage) is just an option we
would like to have, like every other couple," Sielito
Letters / Local & Global / Gossip
A Melbourne schoolgirl who protested against her
school's decision to bar her from attending a dance
with her girlfriend, only came out to her parents
the night before she was to meet with the school's
executive. " ey were happy and really excited and
they were so great," Hannah Williams says of her
parents' reaction. "I think they had assumed I was
gay anyway but we'd never sat down and had a proper
Williams, 16, who has since become a poster girl
for gay youth rights thanks to mass media attention,
was told by all-girls school Ivanhoe Girls Grammar
she could not attend with her girlfriend, Savannah
Supski, 16 and to bring a boy instead.
Williams' father Peter quickly lodged a complaint
with the Equal Opportunities Commission on
the basis of sexual discrimination, but decided to
not follow up because of the stress on the year 11
Williams held meetings with her teachers to try
to resolve the issue, but the school did not relent.
She said the support from her fellow students was
brilliant. " e whole school was shocked and angry,"
she said. "We made posters but the teachers ripped
them down. About 500 of the 700 students at the
school signed a petition too."
Ivanhoe Girls Grammar principal Heather
Schnagl said the issue was about age, and that year
10 students were not invited. Supski is in year
10. " e school is
against same sex
told Radio 3AW.
Williams says other
year 10 boys were
permitted to go. She
boycotted the formal
in protest. In a letter
sent to parents,
Schnagl said the year
12 formal was open to same-sex couples but the
purpose of the year 11 dinner dance was to provide a
"gender balanced social experience" which would be
"impeded by having additional girls invited".
Williams accepted an invitation to lead the Equal
Love rally in November and make a speech, but it's
not her rst time. "We actually got married at the
last rally on the steps," she told LOTL. "It was such a
good day and we just wanted to remember it."
Although that was a mass illegal wedding,
Williams said gay marriage should be allowed. "I
don't understand why gay marriage is such an issue.
e arguments against it just seem so stupid," she
And of her newfound fame? "I feel great. I hope it
can make a di erence to people and their opinions."
Hannah Williams, Left.
US President Barack Obama had a gay nanny while
his family lived in indonesia, US media reports. e
nanny, who reportedly had an a air with the local
butcher, took care of Obama for two years during
the family's time in Jakarta between 1967 and 1971.
According to locals, the nanny also joined a
"transvestite" entertainment troupe called the
Fantastic Dolls which danced and played volleyball
in the streets. e troupe still entertains in this
Grants are now available from e Victorian
Women's Benevolent Trust for projects that
tackle violence against women.
The Trust provides grants annually. For
2011, the focus is safety for women, including
projects that focus on economic, cultural
or social discrimination experienced by
Victorian women and girls. Applications close
5pm, on 28th January 2011. For details, visit
Obama and his gay nanny Safety rst in Vic
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