Jul 11


Julia Gillard in a 2010 pink makeover

Julia Gillard in a 2010 pink makeover

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is mind-boggling.  The very week she tackles a long-sighted politically difficult subject: pricing carbon in order to reduce climate change, she engages in base pettiness against gays: again.

This time, it is re-stating that the Australian government will not only stop gay marriage on its territory, it will continue to try to stop its citizens getting married elsewhere. The reaction was prompted by Australians, including one of her own party’s Members of Parliament, considering travelling to New York to marry.

This issue has arisen before. But it’s astonishing that they continue to enforce this arbitrary view when every single section of the governing party has the opposite approach: they have all endorsed equality.  And on the specific issue of Certificates of No Impediment to marriage, a broad Parliamentary Committee clearly said in 2009 there is no justification for continuing the policy.

Jun 11


Andrew Cuomo with his daughters at New York Pride this weekend

Andrew Cuomo with his daughters at New York Pride this weekend

It’s been a long while since I listed a “hero” on these pages, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo definitely deserves the title. Like Tony Blair, he’s realised the magic feeling and feedback that comes with granting civil rights. A cynic who found his heart, a straight guy who went to the wall for us, someone who never gave up on bringing two sides of politics together. And a Catholic who stood up to his Church hierarchy … it’s the sort of thing they make movies and Presidential bids out of.

So here it is, my favourite columnist’s (Maureen Dowd) profile of the guy who steps up to join Gavin Newsom as the United State’s leading political advocate for equality…. Now we just need one other guy with an inspiration story to find his guts again.

May 11


Michael Bloomberg at New York pride

Photo credit: Janet Mayer

The Mayor of New York City did not hold back yesterday is his effort to get New York lawmakers to vote for equality.  He gave personal testimony, used family examples and suggested that people voting no to equality would be remembered alongside those who supported slavery!

“The question for every New York state lawmaker is: Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or an obstructionist? On matters of freedom and equality, history has not remembered obstructionists kindly,”
Read more here.

Bloomberg cited New York as the birthplace of the gay rights movement. That’s not quite right – Denmark for one had an active gay rights group at least 10 years earlier, but he makes a good point. New York is the biggest, the best, the first, the most open … but not for gay marriage.

So buck up New Yorkers. Time to get equal

May 11


Victoria Labor leader Daniel Andrews with family

The Labor Party’s Victorian leader (the second largest state), Daniel Andrews, has given his backing to equality in Australia.

“Like a growing number of Australians I recognise that denying same sex couples the option of marriage is unfair,” Mr Andrews told The Australian. “My view on this issue was influenced when one of my staff and her partner had to travel to America to get married. That brought home to me the unfairness of the current situation.”


May 11



Pride parade held at Paulista Avenue, in Sao Paulo

Pride parade held at Paulista Avenue, in Sao Paulo

OK, so it is only civil unions and not full marriage equality – but this is pretty big. Brazil’s Supreme Court voted 10 to 0 on Friday to recognize the rights of gay couples here to share in each other’s inheritances, pensions, and health plans, and a legal route to divide belongings after a separation.

Those who opt for a homosexual union cannot be treated less than equally as citizens,” Justice Camen Lucia said. The change is backed by Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff

With 200 million people, this economic power is also the world’s largest largely Catholic nation – continuing the tradition of centres of Catholicism being among the most enthusiastic gay rights supporters (think Spain, think Argentina, think Portugal).

Here is how Brazil compares globally

May 11


Mar 11


Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister

Australia is giving the USA a run for its money on gay marriage politics. I’ve never seen such contortions and nonsense, here’s a small insight.  In essence, this week gay marriage is being used as a prop by at least three different political groups - two of whom (the majority of the ruling Labor party and the Greens party) notionally support marriage equality.

As with the endless court cases and parliamentary readings in the USA, where there is a blog or cable station at every turn to record drama, drama, drama, we are starting to see the same in Australia. A debate about territory rights has turned into a proxy debate about gay marriage (basically Canberra and the Outback have the same status as the Distrtict of Columbia in the US). Because in the nation’s capital the local Labor government and the Greens have long waited to introduce marriage equality, and have been foiled – DOMA style – by more conservative federal administrations who could veto them.

Opportunistic media outlets are having a field day because they smell political blood. And if they can’t smell it, they have decided they will try and manufacture it. So now, instead of just getting on with the job as the UK did in 2005 with civil unions, or properly separating the issues of territory rights and gay marriage, the ruling Labor party is tearing itself apart in a frightening unproductive way.

Remember, this is a country where 60% support equalilty; it is about a territory where around 70% and the local government support equalilty; and its happening in a party where most party members want equality.  Basically, the ONLY thing holding the process up is a dozen or so scared or conservative people at Ministerial level.

This is a debate about nothing. This is politics as soap opeara. And I am really starting to get sick of it.

Feb 11


Will Lady Liberty shine on the gays and their marriages?

I often find a big reaction to a string of gay marriage new events in the US – a reaction that often generates more heat than light. And while the US is by far the most organised gay marriage movement, it also the most self-obsessed. So, I try not to report everything in up to the minute dramatic style. To be useful to my global audience, it helps to rest up for a couple of days and then reflect on what has really changed!

This week quite a lot did happen, as this Village Voice summary by Steven Thrasher explains. You need to get up to date with progress in
in Washington DC, Maryland, Hawaii, New York, California and more.  The predictions about what it all means for the 2012 Presidential election are also coming in thick and fast and full of contradiction.

Tomorrow, I will give my thoughts on what difference the Obama Administration intervention will really make and why/

Feb 11


Could Slovenia be next is legislating for marriage equality?

The Slovenian Parliament should adopt the new Family Code proposed by the Slovenian Government, says Human Rights Watch in a letter to parliament members.

The law would extend civil marriage to lesbian and gay couples and put heterosexual and homosexual partnerships on equal legal footing, including the right of same-sex partners to adopt. Boris Dittrich of Human Rights Watch says “The proposed Family Code is Slovenia’s chance to join others in Europe in enabling same-sex couples to participate fully in family life.”

I couldn’t agree more – in fact, you read it first here on The Gay Marriage Blog in Sept 2010. And I am sure Australia’s newest marriage equality politician Tanya Plibersek – of Slovenian descent herself – would join me in that sentiment.

But life isn’t easy on the road to equality – read this piece here to understand how much of Slovenia is still homophobic, and the current civil union system can be frustrating and degrading: for example, guests aren’t allowed to witness the ceremony!

Feb 11


Italian Prime Minister Slivio Berlusconi - at a Christian conference of all places - felt he should denounce gay marriage

I doubt whether gay marriage could have been the biggest dilemma facing a Christian conference hosting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. But apparently the man caught up in court cases about under-age prostitution and a string of other delicate issues felt able to announce:
“As long as we rule the country, gay marriages will never be on a par with traditional families.”

He continued with news that:
“as long as we are in charge, there will never be a possibility for gay singles nor gay couples to adopt.
With thanks to the AGI newswire for this alert.