LGBTI Equality

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25 per cent seats to be reserved for transgender kids in Delhi schools
PTI Oct 15, 2014, 04.33PM IST

NEW DELHI: Transgender kids can now take admission in schools across the national capital and pursue their studies along with other students free of cost.

Delhi’s Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has notified their inclusion within the meaning of children belonging to ‘disadvantaged category’ under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, following which they would now be eligible for 25 per cent reservation under the economically weaker section (EWS) and disadvantaged students for admission.

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Megachurch Pastor says ‘gays must be put to death’
September 3, 2014 by Michael Stone

Claiming that being gay is a choice like drug abuse, the senior pastor for a megachurch in Tennessee says that “gays must be put to death” because God commands it.

Last Sunday, Brainerd Baptist Church Senior Pastor Robby Gallaty told his large congregation that Christians should never stop discriminating against homosexuals, claiming that gays could choose to be straight if they only accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

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Speaking with Scott McKinnon on LGBTI issues during natural disasters
10 September 2014 | Dallas Rogers

When natural disasters strike, the impact varies significantly across different social groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities are poorly accounted for in disaster management policy and practice.

Dallas Rogers speaks with Scott McKinnon on the different needs of the LGBTI community during a natural disaster event, and how emergency services, policy-makers and aid agencies can better respond to LGBTI populations.

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Please Help the Senate Inquiry into Marriage Equality
Posted 5 September 2014 | Australian Christians for Marriage Equality

The Australian Senate is conducting an inquiry into the impact of marriage equality overseas and the failure of the Australian Government to recognise overseas same-sex marriages. We urge all Christians who support marriage equality to make a submission through our webform below. Please include your own personal story where relevant.

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The church would gain from state-sanctioned marriages, gay or straight
4 September 2014 | Peter Sherlock | Vice-Chancellor at University of Divinity

The SBS program Living with the Enemy broadcast on Wednesday 3 September has hit on recipe for success with its new series. Put a gay male couple in a house (well, a caravan) with a conservative male Anglican priest and watch the sparks fly. The formula works because it is generally assumed a representative of the church will be opposed to gay marriage and any kind of homosexual activity, and that a gay couple won’t have anything to do with religion.

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Christian Parents’ Violent Reaction to Son Coming Out Caught on Camera
by Matt Wilstein | 4:59 pm, August 30th, 2014

When 19-year-old Kennesaw, Georgia native Daniel Pierce came out to his father, step-mother and grandparents this week, they did not take the news well, to say the least. The young man decided to start filming the interaction with his family, which quickly turned verbally abusive and physically violent. The five minute video he shot on his phone and later posted to YouTube has spread wide and far over the last few days, reaching nearly 4 million views.

During the confrontation, Pierce’s family cities “the word of God” to explain why they believe his sexual orientation is wrong. His father calls him “queer” and a “disgrace” before his step-mother begins physically beating him. The teen was since kicked out of his house and is staying with a sympathetic aunt.

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Same-sex couples head over the ditch for vows
August 25, 2014 | Anna Whitelaw

Hundreds of Australian same-sex-couples have married in New Zealand since marriage equality laws came into effect a year ago.

In the first 12 months, 926 same-sex couples have tied the knot in New Zealand, according to the New Zealand registry of marriages. Of those, 237 weddings – nearly one in four – involved Australian residents.

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Victoria Police apologise for Tasty raid
August 5, 2014

Victoria Police has apologised for the “extreme” and “disturbing” 1994 Tasty raid in which more than 450 patrons at a Melbourne gay club were strip-searched.

Acting Chief Commissioner Lucinda Nolan apologised on behalf of the force on Monday night to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the raid this week.

“The events that took place that night caused distress to people and had a significant impact on the relationship between Victoria Police and the wider LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex] community,” Acting Commissioner Nolan said.

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Challenges to the rights of sexual minorities in Africa
posted by Peter Tatchell on Tue, 05/08/2014 – 14:30

Pro-gay Ugandan Catholic priest analyses the rise of homophobia
London, UK – 5 August 2014

Father Anthony Musaala writes:

Among the many challenges facing Africa is the integration of diverse racial and ethnic groups (3,000) into functioning nation-states: the challenge of nationalism.

Sexual minorities within Africa (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex–LGBTIs) who have a stake in this project of nationhood, increasingly self-identify as a distinct group struggling for the right to live, love and be free within developing African states.

Thwarted by civil or religious laws which are formally discriminatory, or the informal discrimination of family, clan and tribe, sexual minorities all over the continent are becoming more visible and eager to declare their position with regard to their own basic rights to be who they are.

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Deakin University dumps disgraced Liberal Aaron Lane
August 2, 2014 | Deborah Gough

Former Liberal candidate Aaron Lane, disowned by his party after homophobic comments on Twitter, has now lost his work at Deakin University.

University spokeswoman Sarah Dolan said Mr Lane had been a casual sessional tutor in law at the university teaching sessions in the first semester of this year.

”The situation is that he has previously worked in a casual role but he won’t be employed at Deakin any longer,” she said.

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Coalition likely to decide on conscience vote over same sex marriage
August 2, 2014 | Heath Aston

Parliament is heading for a historic vote on same-sex marriage in which all MPs will be free to vote according to their conscience.

The Coalition party rooms are likely to decide on a conscience vote during the coming spring session of Parliament, with one Liberal MP saying it is now ”almost certain” the party will dump its binding opposition to gay marriage.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose sister Christine Forster is in a same-sex relationship, promised before the election the Liberal Party room would be free to decide on a conscience vote.

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Homophobia is a health hazard, not just for Ian Thorpe
14 July 2014 | Anne Mitchell | Professor Emeritus, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University

Ian Thorpe coming out as gay during an interview with Michael Parkinson last night was both the most ordinary of stories and the most extraordinary. It also showed how deeply homophobia is ingrained in Australian society.

It was ordinary because, over the last 20 years, my colleagues and I have documented stories just like it. And it was extraordinary because Thorpe felt he was unable to come out earlier despite his high profile.

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Ian Thorpe came out, but not in Australia – a wise decision
14 July 2014 | Paula Gerber | Associate Professor, Human Rights Law at Monash University

Few who watched Ian Thorpe’s “coming out” interview with British interviewer Michael Parkinson on Sunday night could haved failed to be moved by his story. The anxiety and turmoil he felt in telling the world he is gay was apparent for all to see.

Thorpe told Parky:

I’m ashamed I didn’t come out earlier because I didn’t have the courage to do it … I wanted to make my nation proud of me. I didn’t know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay. I am telling the world I am.

So is it really that hard for people to come out in Australia?

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Leyonhjelm to use leverage to get gay marriage conscience vote
14 July 2014 | Michelle Grattan | Professorial Fellow at University of Canberra

Liberal Democrats’ senator David Leyonhjelm has threatened to trade his vote on temporary protection visas or other legislation to force the Liberals to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

In the latest headache for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Leyonhjelm said he was “not going to be fobbed off” on the matter.

His bill would seek to “deregulate marriage”. He said “the time is right” to bring forward the change, arguing that as a conservative, straight, middle-aged senator whose vote was important to the government he was in a good position to do so.

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100 Faith Leaders To Obama: Religious Liberty Shouldn’t Be Used To Discriminate Against LGBT People

A group of more than 100 religious clergy, theologians, and faith leaders sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday urging him not to include religious exemptions in a forthcoming executive order prohibiting federal contractors from using hiring polices that discriminate against LGBT people.

Soon after President Obama announced in June his intention to issue an executive order protecting the rights of LGBT Americans who work for federal contractors, some religious organizations began pressuring the administration to include an exemption for faith groups with government contracts. They argued that because some faith traditions have yet to fully embrace LGBT equality, they should be able to opt out of the executive order while still using federal funds. But the 100 religious signers of Tuesday’s letter rebuked this position, insisting that the government is called to a higher standard of inclusiveness — especially when taxpayer money is involved.

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UN Human Rights Council keeps up its bad form on LGBT rights
4 July 2014 | Rosa Freedman | Lecturer in Law at University of Birmingham | Camilla R Barker | Candidate for the DPhil in Law at University of Oxford

The United Nations Human Rights Council is tasked with the universal protection and promotion of human rights, and is the UN’s principal human rights body. Yet it is being used by known rights abusers to produce “soft law” that allows them to erode fundamental rights.

Rather than protecting individuals, countries like Russia, Egypt and Venezuela (to name but a few) are using the Council to advance their own objective of making rights dependent on behaviour, rather than being afforded to all people by virtue of their being human.

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Kids from same-sex families fare as well as peers – or better
4 July 2014 | Simon Crouch | Researcher, Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program at University of Melbourne

It’s often suggested that children with same-sex parents have poorer outcomes because they’re missing a parent of a particular sex. But research my colleagues and I published in the journal BMC Public Health shows this isn’t the case.

In fact, we found children in same-sex families scored better on a number of key measures of physical health and social well-being than kids from the general population.

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Napthine open to allowing gay adoption
May 25, 2014 | Henrietta Cook and Farrah Tomazin

Premier Denis Napthine says he is not opposed to same-sex couples adopting children in Victoria, but is waiting for some ”proper science” before the government decides whether to change the law.

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Growing up Queer report: Young say bullying over sexual orientation is rife
February 7, 2014 | Daniella Miletic

A disturbing two-thirds of non-heterosexual young Australians have been bullied about their sexual orientation, according to a new report that reveals widespread homophobic harassment and violence in schools, at home, work and at sporting events.
The Growing Up Queer report, to be released on Friday, also found 16 per cent of respondents had attempted suicide and 33 per cent had harmed themselves largely due to homophobic harassment – mostly verbal among students and, in some instances, teachers.

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Uproar over school curriculum expert’s sex comments
February 3, 2014 | Gareth Hutchens

One of the men picked by Education Minister Christopher Pyne to review the national school curriculum says many parents believe the sexual practices of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals are ”decidedly unnatural”, and has questioned whether students ought to learn about such relationships at school.
In a book he wrote in 2004, Kevin Donnelly also seems to suggest only heterosexual teachers have a right to teach students about sex.

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Australia’s convoluted visa laws force committed gay couples apart
Senthorun Raj,, Friday 3 January 2014

A gay man who has been in a serious relationship with an Australian will be deported to Pakistan – where he faces a possible jail term. Australia’s convoluted visa laws fail gays

Sexuality and migration is a troubling topic in Australia. From lodging asylum claims to securing partnership visas, the process can be daunting and humiliating. This is especially the case when our legal system demands that you prove your “gayness” or your relationship status.

Ali Choudhry and Matthew Hynd’s experience with our migration laws is a troubling example of this. They are a binational same-sex couple and have been together for four years in Australia. Yet, as a national from Pakistan, Choudhry now faces deportation, having been denied a partnership visa to remain here.

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Just married and High Court calls it off
13th December 2013, Sydney Morning Herald, Dan Harrison, Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

The marriage of Canberra couple Narell Majic and Ash Watson was so fresh they had not even received their wedding rings – which were not ready in time for the ceremony on Tuesday. But after less than 48 hours of marriage, their legal union was annulled on Thursday, when the High Court struck down the ACT’s same-sex marriage laws.

The pair will still collect their rings and wear them with their diamond engagement rings, as well as the gold wedding bands they exchanged during their civil union ceremony two years ago to the day.

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New bill is about marriage, just not equality
November 1, 2013, by Waleed Aly, Sydney Morning Herald

Amid all the pyrotechnics surrounding same-sex marriage this week, it’s important to remember that this is overwhelmingly a symbolic debate. That doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Symbolism matters to us in a visceral way, sometimes even more than substance. That is why flag-burning is such a provocative act. But it’s important to know when something is symbolic so we can assess what has or hasn’t been achieved.

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott flags challenge to ACT same-sex marriage bill
September 19, 2013, by Jonathan Swan, Peter Jean and Lisa Cox, The Canberra Times

The federal government is considering whether it should block the ACT’s proposed same-sex marriage legislation.

The ACT government introduced a bill to permit same-sex marriages into the Legislative Assembly on Thursday morning. It is expected to pass the 17-member Assembly with the support of all eight Labor and the only Greens member.

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Stuart Edser Opinion: Christianity Does Not Forbid Equal Marriage
July 26, 2013

At the recent forum of election candidates, Newcastle Herald journalist Jason Gordon raised the question of marriage equality in a future conscience vote.

Both ALP candidates, Sharon Claydon (Newcastle) and Jill Hall (Shortland) proffered support, while the Liberal candidate for Newcastle, Jaime Abbott, obfuscated.

The Liberal candidate for Shortland, John Church, stated that he had “pondered and struggled” but that ultimately, his decision to uphold the present arrangement limiting marriage to a man and a woman was “informed by my Christian faith”.

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Discrimination against elderly gays to be outlawed
June 25, 2013, Dan Harrison, Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent

Legislation to outlaw discrimination against gays and lesbians by faith-based aged care providers passed parliament on Tuesday evening, despite Coalition opposition on the grounds that the change infringes religious freedom.

Religious organisations enjoy an exemption from many areas of discrimination law, but Labor wanted to remove this exemption in relation to aged care services. The proposal was an amendment to a bill to more broadly outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

The bill was returned to the House from the Senate on Tuesday evening, where it was passed without further debate. The bill had passed the Senate with the support of the Greens on Monday.

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‘Gay cure’ groups to persist
June 23, 2013, Rachel Browne, Social Affairs Reporter, The Age

Australian religious organisations will continue using controversial homosexual reorientation therapy, despite the closure of a leading US proponent, Exodus International, which has apologised for the ”pain and hurt” caused.

Reverend Ron Brookman, the Australian director of Living Waters Ministries and a member of Exodus Global, said the organisation had acknowledged damage caused by treating homosexuality as something that could be ”cured”.

He said people who struggle with their sexual orientation need to be supported rather than shamed.

”We don’t like to call it healing, we call it transformation,” he said.

Exodus International, which has claimed people can be ”cured” of homosexuality, abruptly dissolved last week with its president, Alan Chambers, issuing an apology for the ”pain and hurt” caused.

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Debunking same-sex myths
7th June 2013, The Sydney Morning Herald

One of the last pillars of objection cited by opponents of same-sex marriage is being eroded by research that indicates children of same-sex couples fare better, not worse, than the wider population when it comes to their overall health and family cohesion. On other aspects of personal wellbeing and development – self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents – Melbourne University researchers found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and others.

These are interim results only (the final data is due in September), but they are significant because many of the most vocal opponents of same-sex marriage, in particular the Australian Christian Lobby, have argued that ”married, biological parents demonstrably provide the ideal environment in which to raise children” and that same-sex marriage would have ”significant effects on the wellbeing of children and on the family unit”. The Melbourne University research debunks such notions.

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Private schools foster prejudice: ex-judge
May 26, 2013, Tom McIlroy, Reporter at The Canberra Times

Some non-government schools foster outdated prejudices about homosexuality, while Australia’s public education system provides greater equality for gay and lesbian students, according to former High Court Justice Michael Kirby.

In an address to Canberra’s National Press Club, Mr Kirby said the increasingly disproportionate number of senior politicians and judges who were privately educated had skewed policymaking away from public education, while federal funding for school chaplaincy programs threatened secularism in schools.

”If you grow up as a gay kid, you don’t like discrimination because you suffer it,” he said on Friday.

”I was never conscious of discrimination in my public schools. I have been told by others that is not a universal truth but I never felt it because there was no religion telling me I was intrinsically evil.”

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Wong lashes out at Christian lobby
May 22, 2013, Mark Kenny, Chief political correspondent, The Sydney Morning Helrald

A virtual war over gay marriage has broken out between key Labor government figures and a powerful Christian lobby group.

Finance Minister Penny Wong has accused the ultra-conservative Australian Christian Lobby of ”peddling prejudice” and engaging in ”bigotry that has no place in a modern Australia”.

The sharp rebuke of an organisation courted by Prime Minister Julia Gillard followed its claim that Kevin Rudd risked creating another stolen generation by changing his mind to back same-sex marriage.

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On a dangerous mission to end discrimination
May 19, 2013, Jill Stark, The Age

The world’s first openly gay bishop has laid bigotry at the door of religion.

Gene Robinson is used to threats. A fortnight after delivering the prayer invocation at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, he received a phone call from police.

”They’d arrested a man who had come through their town in such a rage that he’d shot the windows out of a parked empty police cruiser. Beside him in the passenger seat he had maps to our house, he had pictures of me and [my partner] Mark he’d gotten off the internet and he’d scrawled across it, ‘Save the Church, Kill the Bishop’. He had a sawn-off shotgun and tons of ammunition. The police were pretty certain he was on his way to blow our heads off.”

This is the ugly price of change. It is what happens when a man of the cloth refuses to segregate his sexuality from his faith.

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Muslims support gay marriage poll
May 1, 2013, Heath Aston, Political reporter, The Sydney Morning Herald

Muslims have joined Christian groups in calling for a referendum on same-sex marriage. The main Islamic organisation, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, has backed an election day poll on gay marriage, but also questioned the right of non-believers to cast a vote on the ”religious institution” of marriage.

Keysar Trad, the assistant secretary of the Federation of Islamic Councils, said: ”Let’s have a referendum, but a referendum of this nature is a little strange if people who don’t believe in God are allowed to tell people who do believe in God about a religious matter.

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Push for referendum on same-sex marriages
April 29, 2013, Heath Aston, Political reporter, The Age

Australians could vote in a referendum on gay marriage in September under a radical proposal being pushed by independent MP Tony Windsor and supported by the Greens and other crossbenchers.

Mr Windsor will call on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to take the issue of same-sex marriage “out of the hands of politicians” and let the public decide on election day – September 14.
Fairfax Media has learnt that the government is set to announce that a referendum on recognising local government in the constitution will be held with the election, at a cost of $80 million.

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Mental health groups point finger at churches over gay aversion therapy
April 21, 2013, Jill Stark, Senior writer for The Sunday Age

Beyondblue and other mental health groups say Australia’s Christian leaders should be doing more to reduce high rates of suicide and self-harm among gay and lesbian parishioners, and criticised attempts to ”cure” homosexuals.

The national depression agency’s chief executive, Kate Carnell, wants churches to take responsibility for the damage caused when gay members are rejected or encouraged to undergo ”conversion” programs.

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Q&A – Faith & Love
Monday 1 April, 2013


MOHAMMED EL-LEISSY: As a youth worker in the Islamic community, I am in constant contact with young Muslims struggling with same-sex attraction. Many of them are also dealing with chronic depression as they struggle with a sexual orientation that they have no choice over and the prospect of losing their family and community if outed. I have spoken to many imams, rabbis and priests on this issue and the answer that always comes back is these people should either remain celibate or, if appropriate, get married to somebody of the opposite sex. Both of those solutions I feel are unrealistic and unsustainable in the long term. So my question is this and especially to the honourable Archbishop and the respected Imam: Do you feel this issue has become the Achilles’ heel of our faiths as we struggle to provide sensible and realistic solutions especially in this post-modern world?

Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane MARK COLERIDGE on homosexuality:

MARK COLERIDGE: Yeah, well, I don’t think for a moment it has become our Achilles’ heel but I think we are faced with a conundrum and if I could put it as briefly as possible: gay people have as much right to justice as anyone else in the community. I state the obvious there. At the same time – and therefore these people, whether they be Muslim or whatever, young people particularly who are, as the questioner said, struggling with same-sex attraction, they need every kind of support, help. accompaniment …

TONY JONES: Do you mean so they can get over it?

MARK COLERIDGE: No, I don’t necessarily mean that at all. They might have to live with it. I mean the phenomenon of same-sex attraction can mean all kinds of different things. It is not a single rubric it seems to me. That sometimes it is a developmental thing, it is a phase. Other times it seems to be something that’s permanent and more deeply-rooted, who knows. It is a mysterious thing. Human sexuality always is so certainly young people need all the support that Mohammad and those like him can provide. But what the church has to do is to remain faithful to our understanding of homosexuality and yet, at the same time, to work in every way we can to ensure justice for homosexual people. Now, clearly this doesn’t mean to say, for instance, that we support gay marriage. The church’s position on that is very well known and controversial. But in every other way, to work to defend the dignity of homosexual people, just as we work to defend the dignity of other people. How to do that and to maintain fidelity to our understanding of homosexuality, which is grounded upon a particular vision of the what the human person is and what human sexuality is within that context. How to hold those two things together is the conundrum that we are dealing with. I don’t think it is an Achilles’ heel but I think it is a real conundrum with which the church has to continue to grapple at this time and in this culture.

Imam MOHAMAD ABDALLA on homosexuality:

TONY JONES: Okay. Well, got right across to the other side of the panel because that question really started with talking about young Muslim gay people who are struggling because of how they are being treated within their religion. Can you tell us how they should be treated?

MOHAMAD ABDALLA: Well, thank you for that question. I think when we discuss these issues we have to be very genuine about the perspective of a particular faith. In the Islamic faith the question of homosexuality is very explicit and very clear. So there is two dimensions to this issue. One is one does the faith say about homosexuality?

TONY JONES: And briefly, what does it say?

MOHAMAD ABDALLA: Very briefly, it prohibits it. It doesn’t allow it. The second thing is what attitude should we have towards people who choose that lifestyle. Should we become – should we lose our compassion? Not at all. We have to have compassion towards people. It is prohibited by the unanimous agreement of Muslim scholars but it is prohibited for those who have accepted Islam as a faith. Those who are not Muslims, Islam says nothing about them. You want to choose homosexuality that is your choice but for those who…

TONY JONES: But the people who are in pain that he is talking about in that question are Muslims.

MOHAMAD ABDALLA: Yes, that’s correct.

TONY JONES: So is there a better way to deal with this than excluding them from the religion?

MOHAMAD ABDALLA: Precisely. What we have to understand is that homosexuality is seen as a sin. It does not take a person out of the fold. So it doesn’t become out of the fold of Islam. It is like in Islamic tradition it is very much like alcoholism, if you like. And so people like this should not be seen as outside of the fold. Compassion should be showed toward them. But the culture we have – many Muslims have grown up in cultures that does not tolerate that behaviour. And so we have to have a compassionate approach. We have to approach them…

TONY JONES: So do you have to change their view now they are living here in Australia?

MOHAMAD ABDALLA: Well, you can’t change anyone’s view in this country. You know, people choose their own views but you can try to interact with them. You can try to be compassionate towards them. And if the truth of the matter, it will remain very difficult for their families to accept that lifestyle.

View show / read transcript

Liberal MP backs same-sex marriage
March 19, 2013, Dan Harrison, The Age

Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer has declared her support for same-sex marriage and predicted the Coalition’s position on the issue will ”evolve in step with society’s views”.
Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Ms O’Dwyer revealed members of her family were unable to marry.

”Personally, I am comfortable with the idea of same-sex marriage,” she said.
”I believe that changing the Marriage Act by extending the definition to include same-sex couples will not lessen the status of families. On the contrary, I think that it will strengthen it by building stronger bonds of commitment between two people regardless of gender and sexual orientation.

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Gay Rights, Human Struggle: Examining How Homophobia Strengthens HIV/AIDS
Posted on March 17, 2014 by Jallicia Jolly ’14

Abstract: The public disavowal of lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and their allies has created the belief that homosexuality is un-African. Social, political, and legal sanctions that criminalize homosexuality create a culture of fear and silence that not only sustains rigid sexual norms, but that also undermines the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS interventions. Forms of social othering that are inscribed in non-normative sexual practices hinders people who embrace queer sexual practices from using proper preventatives and management procedures, which hampers the containment of HIV/AIDS. After explaining how the policing of male homosexual behavior during the colonial era strengthened the promotion of hegemonic masculinity, I discuss how the conflation of sexuality, race, and nationalism and political homophobia allowed Africa leaders to frame homosexuality as the domain of white masculinity and an attack on black liberation. I extend my argument by making two primary claims: a) strong cultural resistance to homosexuality increases the spread of HIV/AIDS and b) HIV/AIDS need to be positioned as a struggle for both gay rights and human rights in order to create effective prevention strategies that are culturally and contextually relevant. (For the purposes of this paper, I focus primarily on men who embrace queer sexual practices and who are in homosexual relationships.)

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Melbourne doesn’t stand for harsh anti-gay laws — let’s suspend our “Sister City” status with St. Petersburg immediately
Petition by Carl Katter, Fitzroy, Australia, January 2013

It’s one of the most homophobic cities in the world, with laws that ban any kind of public support for LGBT equality — yet Melbourne is still an official “Sister City” with St. Petersburg in Russia despite their harsh new anti-gay laws.

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Anti-gay rights to stay
The Sydney Morning Herald, Jonathan Swan, January 16, 2013

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has assured religious groups they will have the ”freedom” under a new rights bill to discriminate against homosexuals and others they deem sinners, according to the head of the Australian Christian Lobby.

Under current law, faith-based organisations, including schools and hospitals, can refuse to hire those they view as sinners if they consider it ”is necessary to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion”.

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A new national cross-denominational Christian advocacy group has been formed by a senior Queensland Anglican leader to ensure progressive Christian voices are heard during debates of social, cultural and religious importance.

The new group, A Progressive Christian Voice Australia (APCV), was launched earlier this month by the Very Reverend Peter Catt, who is the Dean of St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane.

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