Australia may be lagging behind in the whole marriage equality race, having recently been lapped by neighboring New Zealand, but it seems that same-sex couples were jumping the broom down under ages ago.
An article from The Arrow dated March 4, 1932 describes the “Wide Open Immorality Among Brisbane Perverts,” referring to the secret, illegal ceremonies between men, which the paper claims have become “common occurrences in Queensland’s capital.” Considering Australia’s lurid history [two words: penal colony] it’s kind of hard to believe that these were the “worst cases of indecency ever unearthed” but there it is in black and white:
The growth of the pervert population of Brisbane, beautiful capital of Queensland, is astounding, and in the last year hundreds of these queer semi-feminine men have made the city their headquarters.
Now they have evolved into a cult, with two main sects, one on the north and the other on the south side of the town, with the river dividing them. And occasionally they meet at queer, indecent, degrading ceremonies when perverted lusts come into full play and shocking rituals are celebrated.
In the last two weeks there have been two “weddings” — ghastly, horrifying spectacles of painted men and primping lads united in a sacrilegious blasphemy that they call the “bonds of matrimony.”
The teatotalers at The Arrow note that these “luridly immoral gatherings” are allowed to take place without police interference and that “professional people” are invited as guests. The publicly-celebrated honeymoons — “nightmares of evil” — are described with an equal sense of horror, leading to a call for swift and immediate action against the city’s gay population.
After all, this kind of thing may have been acceptable in that homosexual hotbed of Berlin, “with its open homo-sexual clubs,” but not in Brisbane. Not “in the year 1932!” According to The Arrow, the occurrence of this “horrid business” proves that Brisbane “is earning for itself the name of the most wicked city in the Commonwealth.”
A name, we hope, it wears with pride till this day.
h/t: Gay Star News