Freshly Doug Wednesday

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lundyk/6068382912/

Julia’s all for multicultural inclusion – except ours. pic by Sen Kate Lundy

No one knows quite what it means, but the Russian State Parliament has indefinitely postponed hearings on a nationwide bill to outlaw ‘homosexual propaganda’, saying the proposal requirers further discussion before it can progress. The bill is reminiscent of Margaret Thatchers attempts to outlaw the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality under the infamous Section 28.

Some people may think Nepal a rather quaint little backwater but they are progressing LGBT rights at speed. They have now begun issuing gender-neutral identity documents. The Himalayan Times reports:

Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) today issued a directive to all 75 District Administration Offices asking them to provide citizenship certificates to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs).

Chief of Management Division at the MoHA Bhola Prasad Siwakoti said all DAOs were asked to issue citizenship certificates to LGBTs under the ‘Others’ category, upon the identification of gender of the prospective applicant.

The process of issuing citizenship certificates to LGBTs was delayed as it required the government to make an amendment to Schedule-1 of the Nepal Citizenship Rules, 2006, which categorised sex as only male and female.

As the general election approaches (I have had two lots of Liberal bumph in my letterbox in the last month), Labor appears to be trying a new line. Unlike our American brothers and sisters, gays don’t need marriage, I am told, because our lovely government have already given us all the rights of marriage, just not the name.

It’s an odd argument to use, since it has horrible echoes of the one used by the National Organisation for [straight-only] Marriage, or the infamous Tony Perkins of the deceptively-named Family Research Council, and other ‘Christian’ homophobe outfits.Gays already have equal rights, they bleat, what they’re asking for is special rights.

Anyway, dear Labor, the caravan has moved on. If you want our votes then at least keep up with the agenda. Right now, marriage isn’t front-of-mind in LGBT politics – it’s the government’s attempt to enshrine special rights for ‘religious’ people. The ones who claim their faith requires them to shun doing business with us lest they soil their lily-white hands. A grand and glorious chorus is pointing out that this would actually increase discrimination. Don’t do it.

And while we’re on the subject of political mis-steps: Julia Gillard. Nova Peris. Trish Crossin.

I’m all for additional indigenous representation in parliament, perhaps by means of reserved seats, in the Maori fashion. But not by brutally hacking off a long-serving Senator chosen by the local party, who just happens to be one of the more outspoken supporters of marriage equality in the Labor Party.

Senator Crossin, along with Louise Pratt from WA, Gavin Marshall from Victoria and Carol Brown from Tasmania, sponsored a Marriage Amendment Bill. Remember? We do.

But leaving that aside for the moment, Julia, a word in your ear. If you’re in the business of handing out free golden parachutes to ensure proper minority representation in the Senate, no questions asked, I’m available. You know my number.

And finally, back to my hobby horse. Or two of them, in fact. Sport, and schools.

The Gay Lesbian & Straight Education network has embarked on a project called Changing the Game.

GLSEN

Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project’s mission is to assist schools in creating and maintaining an athletic and physical education climate that is based on the core principles of respect, safety and equal access for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Olympic Soccer Player Megan Rapinoe has made a video in support. If the AFL wants to do something to tackle homophobia in it’s code at all levels, and in schools, I reckon this is something they could easily emulate. Get the cameras into the AFL change rooms and start getting ready for your close-ups, boys.

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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)