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ISSUE

2010:01 JULY 2010

YOUR REGULAR UPDATE FROM GAY & LESBIAN EQUALITY (WA)

GALEForce Inside this issue Abetz opposes same-sex marriage 1 The future of marriage equality 2

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Events diary 3

&RQFHUQHGDERXW3HWHU$EHW]¡V views on GLBTI equality and marriage?

IDAHO celebrations in Perth 3 ÂŤDQGPRUHLQVLGH

1. Read the article The article is available on a link from the front page of the GALE website or via the following link: www.galewa.asn.au tinyurl.com/abetzmarriage

2. Write to your MPs You can express your concern to Mr Abetz by email, letter or phone: Mr Peter Abetz, MLA Unit 4, 2 Furley Road Southern River WA 6110 peter.abetz@mp.wa.gov.au www.peterabetz.com Ph: 08 9256 4900 Fax: 08 9256 4995 You can also express your concern to his boss, Premier Colin Barnett: The Hon. Colin Barnett Premier of Western Australia Level 24, 197 St Georges Tce Perth WA 6000 premier.barnett@dpc.wa.gov.au Ph: 08 9222 9888 You can also find your local MP at the WA Parliament website: www.parliament.wa.gov.au

Liberal MP speaks against gay marriage By Rod Swift, GALE media spokesperson

misrepresentations of the academic works.

Liberal Party MP for Southern River, Rev. Peter Abetz, has put his views about homosexuality and same-sex couples on the record.

Such distortions and mistruths have formed the basis of anti-gay tracts pushed by religious fundamentalist groups Âł including 21 Reasons Why Marriage Matters publication from the Fatherhood Foundation.

The MP expressed his views against gay marriage in an article in the Comment News &RPPXQLW\SDSHUSXEOLVKHGLQ3HUWK¡VVRXWKeastern suburbs. The article in The Comment promoted Mr Abetz as one of the guest speakers at a public forum at Murdoch University, held on Friday 14 May 2010, discussing same-sex marriage. 7KHIRUXPDOVRIHDWXUHG)DPLOLHV)UHHGRP¡V Shane Bowra, former Australian Democrats Senator Brian Greig, Father Joe Parkinson from the Catholic-based LJ Goody Bioethics Centre, and Sheikh Feizel Chothia, from the Murdoch 8QLYHUVLW\0XVOLP6WXGHQWV¡$VVRFLDWLRQ Mr Abetz, the brother of anti-gay Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz, was quoted in the QHZVSDSHUDUWLFOHDVVD\LQJWKDW´PDQ\ZRXOG share my view that marriage is simply between DPDQDQGDZRPDQ¾

3. Stay informed

He also believed his views reflected the majority of people in his electorate.

Keep in touch with what GALE is doing, join our email list, and get involved. More details at our website:

The forum was well attended, with about 120 people in the audience to hear the two-hour long debate, and ask questions of the audience.

www.galewa.asn.au

For example, Mr Abetz cited a Dutch study which claims that gay men have short-lived relationships and extremely high numbers of partners compared with heterosexuals. +RZHYHUWKLVVWXG\GLGQ¡WORRNDWJD\PHQDW random, but only certain gay men. The study only looked at non-monogamous, urban gay men under 30. With such a study population, QDWXUDOO\\RX¡GILQGKLJKHUUDWHVRIFDVXDOVH[ and shorter relationship spans. ,QGHHGLW¡GEHOLNHVD\LQJDOOKHWHURVH[XDOV have short-term, unstable relationships with many partners simply by studying nonmonogamous straight men aged under 30. It is clear that the religious right in Australia will do anything and say anything to push their agenda: including using dodgy statistics and pretending to dress up their views in science. If you are interested in finding out more about the junk science used to push the anti-gay agenda, visit www.boxturtlebulletin.com

0U$EHW]¡VVSHHFKDWWKHIRUXPUHOLHGKHDYLO\RQ DQXPEHURIVXSSRVHGVFLHQWLILF¡IDFWV¡WKDW have been often discredited as being either distortions of the research cited, or direct www.galewa.asn.au


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Equal Marriage: The struggle for equality continues...

EVENTS DIARY ‡-XO\ $XJXVW *$/(¡VSUH-election five weeks of action

Nearly six years after the Federal

Every week during the election campaign, GALE has something simple you can do to publicise GLBTI policy issues. Take action now!

Government banned marriage for same-sex couples, can we expect any progress in the near future?

For more information: www.galewa.asn.au

‡6DW$XJ National Day of Action for Equal Marriage Come down to Forrest Place between 1pm and 4pm and take part in Western $XVWUDOLD¡VFRQWULEXWLRQWR WKLV\HDU¡V1DWLRQDO'D\RI Action for Equal Marriage, organised by Equal Love. For more information: www.equallove.info www.families4freedom.info

‡6DW$XJ Federal Election Your vote is important in the election of the new House of Representatives and half of the Senate. Voting is from 8am to 6pm at polling places across Australia. Confused and need help understanding the policies of the parties? Check out our voter guide online. For more information: www.galewa.asn.au www.aec.gov.au

By Rod Swift, GALE media spokesperson

In Mid-August every year, a dogmatic but vocal lobby ramps up their campaign to demand their minority viewpoint of marriage be UHIOHFWHGLQ$XVWUDOLD¡VODZ ,QSUHYLRXV\HDUVWKH\¡YH descended on Parliament House in Canberra and frog-marched around the corridors of power, and held dinners celebrating their view of marriage. 7KLV\HDUWKH\¡OOEHIORRGLQJLQWR Sydney, stumping up cash to hear a bevvy of speakers talk up their issue. 7KH\¡UHPLOLWDQWXQZDYHULQJ and they want to impose their definition of marriage on you. $QGWKH\¡UHQRWœWKHJD\V¡ ,W¡VEHHQVL[\HDUVVLQFHWKH Howard Government, in August 2004, changed the Marriage Act to say that marriage in Australia LVQRWIRUœWKHJD\V¡,W¡VRQO\IRU one man and one woman, and œWRWKHH[FOXVLRQRIDOORWKHUV¡ Indeed, so ferocious was the scare campaign from religious political extremists in 2004, the Howard Government changed marriage rites in this nation to force celebrants and ministers to declare at every marriage this very fact. $QGLW¡VWKHVHVDPHH[WUHPLVWV³ a small, vocal minority of fundamentalists that purport to

UHSUHVHQW$XVWUDOLD¡V&KULVWLDQ population ³ that keeps our politicians dodging the question of equal marriage rights.

and social wellbeing benefits to the husband and wife, stability to relationships, and a litany of other positives.

The recent elevation of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an avowed atheist, to the highest office of this land brought some hope that a reasonable public debate could be had about the issue of equal marriage rights. 3UHGLFWDEO\$XVWUDOLD¡V fundamentalist lobbyists called on her very first day to rule out a change on marriage policy. And obligingly, Gillard did so. 7KDW¡VEHFDXVHDWWKH moment it is easier to appease a small minority group that is very loud, while ignoring the public sentiment in favour of equality.

They will then immediately turn and argue the exact opposite: WKDWPDUULDJHIRUœWKHJD\V¡ZLOO destroy families, diminish the benefits of marriage, and basically destroy the very fabric of society. They will distort scientific studies to show how gay ´7KH\¡UHPLOLWDQW relationships are shortunwavering, and OLYHGRUKRZœWKHJD\V¡ have sex with hundreds of partners. they want to impose their definition of

All of it nonsense to justify their bigoted viewpoint.

I have not met a married person who has felt their relationship $QGWKH\¡UHQRW diluted or diminished or destroyed just because œWKHJD\V¡¾ But as MPs continue to œWKHJD\V¡OLYLQJGRZQ avoid justifying their the road live together position, the mainstream and want a marriage too. public becomes more and more jaded with the intractable Indeed, many straight people I stranglehold fundamentalists talk to either laugh at such a have over our politicians. silly notion, or are horrified that $XVWUDOLD¡VPDUULDJHODZVDUH On 12 August, when the held hostage by religiouslyfundamentalist lobby descends inspired dogmatism. on Sydney to again celebrate their anti-gay marriage ban, they It might be why each opinion poll will hear speakers talk about the on whether marriage is given to benefits of marriage. œWKHJD\V¡LVVXSSRUWHGE\ straight Australia. They will discuss how marriage is a great social institution, how Now, if only our politicians would it provides a nurturing listen to the majority, not that environment to children, health shrill, dogmatic minority group. marriage on you.


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IDAHO celebrations in Perth... 3HUWK·V*/%7,FRPPXQLW\FHOHEUDWHGWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO'D\$JDLQVW Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on 15 May 2010 with a demonstration and march through city strets. IDAHO Day is celebrated internationally on 17 May each year, and marks the day in 1991 when the World Health Organisation recognised that being */%7,ZDVQRWD¶GLVHDVH· The colourful crowd of about 300 people assembled at Wesley Church for the rally and protest march, again with a theme of inclusion for GLBTI people and recognition of equal marriage rights. The Perth crowd was just part of the thousands of people who marched and rallied across Australia to mark IDAHO, and part of millions of people in dozens of countries celebrating the day.

MPs show support: Greens MPs Lynn MacLaren and Scott Ludlam (left) attended IDAHO Day in Perth.

GALE has been involved in IDAHO for more than five years, including our very successful series of radio community service announcements.

On Tw itter? See our tweets... ,I\RX·UHWKH technological type, then you can now follow GALE using our official Twitter feed. Just follow the user 'galewa' and you'll be kept informed of coming events, GLBTI news headlines as well as updates to our website. www.twitter.com/galewa

More information about IDAHO can be found at the website: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org

On Fa cebook? Link up with us... ,I\RX·UHLQWRWKH Facebook craze, you can also link up with other GALE supporters at our JURXS·VSDJH Facebook links are annoyingly long to type in, so we shortened it. Just surf the web to this link to join up. bit.ly/galewafacebook


Some things you can do for GLBTI equality... Â&#x2021;-RLQ*$/(RUGRQDWHVRPHWLPHRUPRQH\WRKHOSRXUZRUN A membership and donation form is available online Âł and membership is free. 6RZK\ZDLW"<RXUPHPEHUVKLSDQGDQ\GRQDWLRQKHOSVIXQG*$/(¡VZRUNDQG keeps you informed. Consider donating some time to help with keeping equality.

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Get Active:

See page 1 for details of the rise of religious fundamentalists in the Liberal Party, and the risk to GLBTI human rights. Talk with your friends and family and encourage them to write in too. You might even want to give them a copy of this newsletter.

Â&#x2021;6SHDNXSDERXWPDUULDJHDQGFLYLOXQLRQV +HUH¡VDTXLFNOLVWRI some of the things you can do right now to help win and protect GLBTI human rights in WA.

Talk to your family and friends, write letters to newspapers, and talk to talkback radio about the importance of relationship recognition in both WA and federally.

Â&#x2021;&RPHKHOSXVSURWHVWWKHPDUULDJHEDQDQGMRLQLQRXUFDPSDLJQ of events See the Events Diary page 2 for more details of the National Day of Action in August. And check out our website for actions you can take in July and August to raise awareness about GLBTI issuesl

Â&#x2021;9RWHLQWKH)HGHUDO(OHFWLRQ Get informed and know about the policies of the major parties. If you need help, check out our voter guide which will be on our website very soon.

GALEForce Issue 2010:01 July

PO Box 420 Northbridge WA 6865 www.galewa.asn.au


GALE Force - Issue 1 2010