Rainbow Report on Persistence

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“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
― Calvin Coolidge

PODCAST – Why you must write to Mark Dreyfus re religious exemptions, saving  Bris HIV clinic & more

Dreary and dull it may be at times, but picking yourself up and hammering on, even when you least feel like it,  is indeed the only way, and everything on this weeks show is about that very process.

We lost the vote for equal marriage in Parliament. The politicians all tried to say “that’s it for another ten years”. But there’s an election coming and a lot of people are determined that whatever the politicians say, it’s going to be an issue.

Tim Peppard, co-convenor of the recently-formed Victorian Branch of Australian Marriage Equality, joins me in the studio to explain how we’re going to target our supporters and opponents during this interminable election campaign.

So far the front runners on marriage equality have been the Greens and the Australian Sex Party, with the Labor Party huffing along behind –  hopping along on one leg with one arm tied behind it’s back, it often seems.

The Liberal Party has so far resolutely refused to join the race, with Tony Abbott digging his heels in and hauling in the opposite direction, but rumours persist – there’s that word again – that may be about to change. Kevin Ekendahl, out-gay Liberal candidate for Melbourne Ports, joins us with his news from the front.

The Queensland LNP government defunded the Queensland Association for Healthy communities – basically, the local AIDS Council – and now they are closing the only free sexual health clinic in Brisbane. It’s used by many sex-workers for health checkups, and is also the home of the AIDS Management Unit for HIV positive Quenslanders.

But the community is battling on, aided by the Queensland Nurses Union, whose members are bearing the brunt of all the cuts Qland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg is making to the health services.   Union Secretary Beth Mohle will be with us on the show.

The fightback against our latest apparent defeat is gaining traction.  Newly appointed Attorney General Mark Dreyfus quickly ditched the plans to harmonise all anti-discrimination legislation. Instead the government is amending the Sex Discrimination Act to include LGBTI – us – for the first time.

But religious bodies and religious owned or run businesses will be exempt. Employment agencies, schools, clinic, hospitals, adoption agencies, and especially, aged-care providers, will be allowed to continue to refuse to employ gay staff or service gay clients.

If you think that’s wrong, please sign this petition and spread it among your friends. The Human Rights Commission Age Discrimination Commissioner Sue Ryan thinks that’s wrong, and she’s our guest on the show this week.

If you want to make any comments, ask any questions while we’re on air, email the studio or if you’re in Australia SMS 0427 JOY 949, or call the front desk 1300 JOY 949.

As always, the show airs 7-8pm Thursday evening on Joy 94.9 Melbourne. Click on the link to listen online anywhere in the world via the web, or to download the FREE smartphone app.

If you miss the show, you can get the podcast from the Joy website or here about a day after broadcast, via Soundcloud.

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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)