Freshly Doug Weekender

Another court decision in the US brings the likely end of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) closer.  Furthermore, Chief Judge Jacobs’ opinion concludes that any law which discriminates against gay men and lesbians should be treated very skeptically under the Constitution. Thinkprogress reports “the fact that this decision came from such a conservative judge makes it all the more likely that DOMA will ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court.” DOMA prevents any US state from recognising a marriage enacted in another US state or territory, or overseas.

Over in France the Chief Rabbi has made his opposition to equal marriage plain, and for good measure, spoke out against same-sex adoption, too. But it’s not all bad news: French parental leave law has been amended to cover same-sex couples.

In Northern Ireland a Belfast judge struck down a 1987 law banning unmarried and same-sex couples from adopting.  Justice Seamus Treacy ruled the law clearly violated European human rights laws on privacy and discrimination. Got to love that European Union.

A great heartfelt account of how coupling up turned one gay man from a troubled soul into a happy and productive member of society – the best argument yet for equal marriage.

Figures have emerged showing the Roman Catholic Church is the biggest financial backer of anti-equality efforts in the US. The Knights of Columbus donated $6.25 million to anti-marriage equality efforts between 2005-2012. Meanwhile Australian police in Victoria have lashed out at the Catholic Church, revealing that from 1956 to June this year there were 2110 offences recorded by members of religious organisations against 519 individual victims – 90 per cent of whom were 11 or 12 year old boys: 370 of them were in the Catholic church system.

Christians don’t get it all their own way, of course. In fact, to hear some of them bleat, you’d think the Christian church hadn’t dominated the Western world since the days of the Roman Empire. In another ‘Bed & Breakfast’ case, yet another pair of ‘Christian’ hoteliers have been fined for turning away a gay couple. The leader of the not-noticeably-Christian British National Party promptly tweeted the gay couples address and threatened to send a mob round. The BNP may have changed its middle name but its behaviour is still as Nazi as ever.

If you’re a fan of my show on Joy 94.9 in Melbourne, last nights was a cracker, with the leader of the Australian Sex Party Fiona Patten, and the doyenne of the Australian Christian Lobby and Family First Wendy Francis (some demon keeps urging me to type ‘Wendy Richards’)  talking with me about obscenity and outdoor advertising. You can grab the podcast from iTunes or from Community Broadcasting Association.

One guest I’m glad I didn’t have is former US footballer Kris Jenkins, who seems to want to be pro-gay, but then again, maybe not so much, or, what the hell, I mean, you figure it out. He got all upset about ‘hetero sapiens’ (whom he also called ‘gladiators’) having to wear pink for breast cancer day ,and generally behave like sensitive new age guys, you know, like, pretend to be interested in causes and stuff. I mean, he wants to do the right thing but WTF does this stuff have to do with football?? Change the accent to Aussie and I bet the same sentiments would echo from the pitch to the boardroom in the AFL.

And finally, yet another survey purporting to tell us how many people identify as gay – this time Gallup came up with a figure of 3.4%.  We have to take this one a bit more seriously than some because a) it’s Gallup and b) it’s based on more than 120,000 interviews. Interesting that as time goes on the percentage of people ‘coming out’ in these surveys rises. At this rate in another five years time we may hit that magic 10% everyone on our side likes to mention. Bet the Christaliban are pissed.

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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. And now he's been nominated for LGBTI Journalist of the Year 2017, which is great news, as he hasn't won any of these things for years! If you want to nominate him too - the more the merrier - you can do it here http://www.australianlgbtiawards.com.au/public-nominations.html "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)