Freshly Doug on Friday

Last Freshly before I take the weekend off!

Shipwreck or Setback

Tasmanian marriage campaigners are putting a brave face on the loss of the equal marriage bill, saying they will fight on.

But if Tasmania declines to lead on state-based same sex marriage, who else will pick up the baton? Don’t we risk losing the impressive focus on federal legislation that has held together so well up to now? Isn’t it a waste of time to fritter away our energies on a series of state-based campaigns that, even if successful, will only result in bills that will be struck down by the High Court?

The recent defeats in Canberra have left at least one marriage equality measure – the Greens bill – alive, if not exactly well. Shouldn’t we be concentrating all our efforts there, and not let our Federal pollies off the hook?

Same sex marriage around the world

A Valentine for Gambaro

How did your MP vote in the marriage debate? And were you satisfied with their performance. Brisbane activist Phil Browne wasn’t, after his local MP Teresa Gambaro voted against marriage equality despite her own survey showing 73% support. Phil wants to talk to her about that, but she refused to meet him, so he made a video instead.

Browne has contacted Ms Gambaro numerous times over many months, asking if she supports the 73% of her constituents who want to see same sex marriage made legal – he has had no reply.

Party Line

UK Labor will follow the Lib Dems and make gay marriage a party line vote. The Conservatives will have a conscience vote (btw it’s not a ‘conscious’ vote – MPs would have to be awake for one of those).

Labour MPs  who have signalled their public opposition to marriage equality, risk potential disciplinary action if they vote no.

Labor Leader Ed Milliband said the government should go further and allow faith based groups to provide same-sex marriage ceremonies tif they wish: the legislation as drafted bars churches and other religious institutions from holding same-sex weddings, and excludes opposite-sex couples from Civil Partnerships.

Underbelly: Twitter

Twitter has a problem, with the use of homophobic language rampant. Nohomophobes.com wants to expose this Underbelly. The University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) site looks out for expressions like “that’s so gay,” “dyke,” “no homo,” and “faggot.”

“The idea of the website is to really serve as a social mirror that reflects the pervasive and damaging use of what we call casual homophobia in our society,” said associate director Kristopher Wells. He claims most of the homophobic language stem from thoughtlessness, not malice.

That still doesn’t make it acceptable in my book. And I wonder if merely tracking the instances of ‘that’s so gay’ will have any effect on the people who say it.

Sport

Kevin McClatchy, the former owner of Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates, opened up to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts in an interview on Thursday (27 September) about his difficult years as a closeted gay man in professional sports.

Making an already precarious situation worse, someone who knew McClatchy was gay threatened to out him.

Meningitis in HIV+ New Yorkers

A  dozen cases of bacterial meningitis in two years – four in the last month alone – among HIV positive gay men in New York City has officials worried . Bacterial meningitis is rare, but people with HIV-weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infection.

 

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)