WORLD: Australia’s Marriage Date, A Raid In Uganda, Stoning Gays In Bulgaria, And More

In Australia, the ruling Labor Party has pushed up its vote on same-sex marriage from the end of the year to as early as August, in hopes of putting the issue to bed sooner rather than later, as its not expected to pass. Meanwhile, MP Adam Bandt of the Green Party is introducing his own marriage-equality  bill, but delaying a vote until late 2012 or early 2013. “I’m optimistic of achieving reform within the life of this Parliament, with some more discussion and more persuasion,” said Bandt. [Sydney Morning Herald]

In Kampala, Uganda, police in riot gear broke up a meeting on Monday because organizers were training gay-rights activists how to report human-rights abuses. “It was very clear that we were targeted because of that,” said Sari Naskinen, deputy director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. “The police just came—they did not identify themselves as police. They were in civilian clothes, and they basically just dragged them out to the reception area.” [Voice of America]

Charges of pinkwashing leveled at Cuba’s Castro regime: “[Mariela] Castro’s talk of gay rights is just a pretext for her broader defense of the Castro family’s dictatorship.” [New York Daily News]

Northern Ireland‘s health minister, Edwin Poots (right), defended his country’s lifetime ban on blood donation by gay men, saying it should be extended to those who have have slept with prostitutes or people from Africa. “I think that people who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood. And so someone who has sex with somebody in Africa or sex with prostitutes, I am very reluctant about those people being able to give blood.” Poots also rejects evolution and thinks the Earth is only 4,000 years old. [BBC News]

As gays and lesbians prepare for Pride in Sofia, Bulgaria, they’re expressing outrage over comments by Father Evgeniy Yanakiev that people should throw stones at participants during the June 30 parade. Activists have asked leaders of the 6.5-million-member Bulgarian Orthodox Church to condemn Yanakiev’s remarks. Instead, the Holy Synod issued a statement saying, “homosexuality is an unnatural passion that undoubtedly harms the personality, the family and the society.” [Pink News]



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  • jason

    Australia is so backward these days. It’s a combination of nanny state and Catholic seminary.

  • Stew

    @jason: Where are you from? I’ve lived here my whole life and neverseen anything that fits your description. Here you have supression of freedom of association in Uganda, Castro’s denialism and pontifications by a country that is actually religiously sectarian (Northern Ireland isn’t Catholic though), and you believe that the most serious problem is Australia’s where two Bills are before Parliament with debate brought forward for one of them because it is expected to fail because only one party is willing to grant a “conscience vote” (not beholden to party discipline).

    Lets look at the politics of the situation; if this heated debate is continued then Labour voters may leak into the Liberal/National Coalition or into the Greens, this would therefore make it easier for the conservatives to win office. Now this is the conservative Coalition that amended the Marriage Act 1961 as a symbollic insult to the LGBT community to gain the favour of evangellical groups in marginal electorates, who are funded from… the US. Now while there is a lot of Labour/union bashing back home, the ALP has done a lot here for our community and have extended a lot of benefits which in America you can’t get because they are attatched to federal recognition of marriage. Same-sex couples in Australia have the same rights and obligations in all states of Australia as de facto married opposite-sex couples.

    I apoligise to other Queerty readers for my habit of lengthily responding to Jason’s stupidity

  • jason

    Oh puh-lease, spin us another one, Louise. The ALP is not your friend. The ALP is beholden to the Catholic Right. Don’t deny it. Worshipping at the ALP’s altar is what has caused you so much grief as a community.

    Same-sex couples in Australia are second-class citizens. These couples most certainly do not have the same rights. They don’t have the right to call theirs a marriage. Most gay partnerships are termed domestic arrangements on the model of a daughter caring for her sick mother.

    Face it – Australia is a hole. It’s one of the most backward Westernized countries on earth. Come back when you’ve made progress.

  • Triple S

    @jason: Um, you really do not have a clue of how Australia works. AT ALL. None of what you say if true. We are not second class citizens at all; we are far better accepted than gay Americans are.

    Oh, and we actually get all the rights married couples get as a de facto relationship, and you don’t.

    So who’s the more backward one here?

  • jason

    Triple S,

    Oh, puh-lease, don’t come here with your “Australia is a wonderful place” jive. It ain’t working.

    No Australian state allows gay marriage. You have the ALP to thank for that. It’s a very homophobic Party with links to Right-Wing Catholicism.

    In the United States, there are 6 states that allow gay marriage. Other states are following soon. There are other states with gay civil unions. You Aussies don’t even allow gay civil unions. Your legally recognized relationships, where they exist, are termed domestic partnerships, and include a daughter caring for her sick mother in the definition.

    How does it feel to have your relationships equated to a daughter caring for her sick mother?

  • Stew

    @jason: “Labor will amend the Marriage Act to ensure equal access to marriage under statute for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life” Chapter 9; Article 126 of the 2011 ALP National Platform

    “Labor will ensure that Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage are issued regardless of sex or gender of either member of the couple” Chapter 11; Article 69 of the 2011 ALP National Platform.

    The platform also addresses of LGBTI health, mental health legal recognition and the contributions to Australian society.

    Further let me point out that no state has sodomy laws on the books in Australia, and none of them had to be struck down by the courts. As triple S mentioned and you ignored,the word “marriage” in the US gives you a raft of benefits, which are denied if your state or federal government don’t recognise it, which is not the case here. 42 (84%) states ban same-sex marriage in the US and as you say 6 (12%) allow it. That is quite a discrepancy. Australian states don’t ban or enforce same-sex marriage because it is not their business to do so. It is the responsibility of the federal government.

    As for all this Catholic nonsense,look up the Democratic Labor Party and the 1955 Labor split. And I would further point out that it is not the Catholic Church that makes the most noise in relation to this issue. Its small evangelical protestant churches associated with American mega-churches

    P.S. Queensland has Civil Unions and you can’t enter a Domestic Partnership with your carer. And I still don’t understand why you believe Australia is more of a backwater than any other nation in a comperable situation, though I will admit that your antagonism has made a bit of a patriot of me. Thank you

  • jason


    None of this has happened. You appear to be citing political spin rather than real progress. Try again.

  • Diana

    I have to agree with Jason. Australia really is a backwards continent. With the exception of Sydeny and maybe Melbourne, the country overall is very homophobic.

Comments are closed.