shapeofthings: (Diva)
There are currently two bills before the Australian parliament supporting marriage equality and amendments to the Marriage Act.

The House of Representatives has set up an online survey to gauge community support and interest in the issue. The survey asks the following questions:

1. What is your position on the following statements (agree, disagree, not sure):
The law should be changed to legalise same sex marriages in Australia
Authorised celebrants, being ministers of religion, should not be obliged to perform same sex marriages
Same sex marriages performed in foreign countries should be recognised

2. Do you support the following Bills? (yes, no)
Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2012 (Mr Bandt)[1]
Marriage Amendment Bill2012 (Mr Jones)[2]

3. Can you explain your reasons to the above questions?

4. Do you have any further comments on the legal implications of these Bills?

The Christian Lobby has mobilised it's forces, with churches encouraging their congregations to complete the survey and write to their MPs. The opposition is more motivated and organised and this means they can the political fight, despite being a minority (public support for marriage equality is roughly 60%).

Please take the 5 minutes necessary to stand up for equality in Australia andcomplete the survey!

Want to do more?

Go on, make a difference!

[1] Bandt proposes to:
1. Repeal the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, substitute: "marriage means the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."
2. Continue to allow ministers of religion to choose who they marry (currently no obligation to marry anyone)

[2] Jones proposes to:
1. Repeal the definition, substituting "marriage means the union of two people, regardless of their sex, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."
2. impose an obligation on an authorised celebrant, being a minister of religion, to solemnise a marriage where the parties to the marriage are of the same sex.
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
It may be a choice between a pile of shit and a load of crap, but it's the only choice we get for the next 3 years, so get out there and vote, Australia.

shapeofthings: (Husband-fish)
I had a lovely time this weekend.

Single Gay Optomist Bright & shiny hope

On Saturday the boy and I attended the Marriage Equality rally here in Hobart, as part of a national push to draw attention to the shocking policies of both major political parties on same-sex marriage in the upcoming election. For those overseas, despite 60 % community support for same sex marriage, both mainstream political parties have stated they will not support it (despite our current PM being a declared aethiest with a lesbian misister! Poor Penny Wong, I feel for her being the kicking post for this issue). The speakers and participants at the rally made me feel proud for what we stand for and we were both glad we attended. I took the opportunity to grab a few photos of the very lovely crowd, and I'm quietly chuffed with the results.

Saturday night we had our new friend K over for dinner, which turned into a late night with K staying over. I think we can chalk that one up for a win!

Queer cuddles :) A pointed sign

On Sunday I baked cupcakes for the RSPCA cupcake day, while the boy provided a funky soundtrack, cracking out the vinyl on his decks (he mixed, I beat). I made gluten-free lime & poppyseed cupcakes with cream cheese icing, and gluten, dairy & egg free (vegan!) dark chococalte cupcakes with mocha icing. The vegan ones turned out suprisingly well given the lack of buttery goodness, no doubt due in part to the large amount of melted dark chocolate I added to the recipe! Well worth the effort for the smiles on the faces of my digestively-challenged colleagues when they found out there were tasty treats they could eat. I don't know how much our team raised, but if you fancy making a donation you can: go to (sorry, you don't get any tasty treats for your efforts, but I can provide recipes, or owe you treats in lieu).

Right shirt Rainbow family

Now it's onwards full-pelt into the week, with the federal election looming this coming Saturday. A pox on both their horrid, homophobic, racist, incompetent parties.
shapeofthings: (geek)
Hello World.

I'm pretending today is Thursday, so I'm not in work (though I will be tomorrow). I got up at 7:30 this morning and was a bit wobbly so I went back to bed. Dozed of again and next thing it was 9:30! Eeep! So I've had a lazy morning and 2 cups of coffee while I caught up on LJ and read the paper. Some interesting stuff in the pages today (to steal Alex's dad's expression).

First off the rank we have a headline story about the federal government dedicating a shite-load more funding to mental health services, making it easier for people to get mental health referals from their GPs and some assistance with costs. While on the surface this is excellent news (A friend of mine is a psychologist in a regional area. They have 1 computer between 6 staff and no internet access.), attention needs to be paid to the causes of the recent increase in mental health disorders (interesting that mental health problems are increasing along with the economy strengthening and us Aussies apparently being wealthier than ever, eh?). Treating the symptoms is all well and good, but the costs will continue to sprial unless the causes are addressed. And no, I'm not talking about tougher anti-drug enforcement.

Mental health disorder figures are a pretty good measure of social failure. Look at the corresponding changes to society: increasingly mobile work-force as jobs become temporary and contract-based, lack of financial security that comes with contract work, the increasing costs of tertiary education, increasing working hours (without commensurate pay), increasing social dislocation, yadda, yadda, yadda. So I guess it's a step in the right direction, but I don't think our current 'regime' will ever start to tackle to sources. In fact, with the ironically names "work choices" bill, I predict rates of mental illness to keep increasing.

From there I'll skip to an opinion peice by Janet Albrechtsen. Janet is someone I love to hate: a neo-conservative with the gall to try to force independent media to sing her song. Thus it pains me that recently I've found myself agreeing with her. This unlikely situation occured again today, with her interesting peice on the need for moderate muslims to speak out. What is the world coming to? Anyway, here she is.

Now, I'm throwing something up for curiosity's sake. Have any of you non-aussies heard a word about the Australian Wheat Board scandal? Didn't thing so... To sum it up, Australia's sole what exporter (Whatever happened to competition?) got busted for paying Saddam Hussein kick-backs to the tune of millions to get him to buy our wheat under the UN Oil-For-Food programme. That's right, us, an unwilling member of the Coalition of the Willing, propping up Saddam out of the pockets of our farmers. The Federal department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been implicated as complicent in these dealings, meaning the Prime Minister probably knew all about it, but interestingly, no-one actually seems to give a damn. Australia, where we expect our politicians to be lying bastards and are alarmed at the possibility of pollies telling the truth.

Which nicely brings me to the last item: Cyclone Larry. Out of revenge for being given such a ridiculous name, Larry turned out to be anything other than funny, hitting North Queensland as a category 5 storm (that's the biggest they get, by the way), old mate Larry was bigger than previous record-holder Tracy and went about causing quite a lot of damage. In fact, he pretty much wiped Innisfail off the map, and had a fair go at Cairns, Tully, Atherton, Eacham, mission Beach, Mossman and anywhere in-between too. To note, no-one died, but we're all mourning the loss of this year's banana crop.

That's Larry crossing the coast on Monday morning. Note the other swirlig mass of clour to the east: say hello to Cyclone Wati.

Perhaps Dubya should study the Larry response, as he might just learn something. Within 48 hours we had the army, the SES, the police force, the Red Cross and the press all up to the remote north. Food, water and generators have been delivered, and most of all, there's been no looting. A couple of lads thought they'd give it a try, but were defeated by an irate local standing up for his land-lord's property. It's times like these I feel blush of nationalistic pride, as well as the irony of massive flooding up north while South-East Queensland languishes in drought and is likely to max-out it's water restrictions this year.

So I'll see you later world, I'm off to defuse the natural disaster of my kitchen.


Dec. 14th, 2005 09:26 pm
shapeofthings: (grumpyfish)
For those who haven't heard, Australia has had our first race riots. Last weekend, violence broke out in a Southern Sydney suburb as resentment between Lebanese and Anglo-Saxon communities turned to violence.

Why this happened is a long and complicated story. White Australians formed an ugly mob and unprecedented violence and intolerance surfaced. The racists among us told hold of the opportunity, and I'm saddened by what happened. I'm not, however, shocked. The writing has been on the wall for some time, with ongoing problems within the Lebanese community, and the resulting main-stream anger perpetuating resentment and aggression.

This newspaper article does a good job of explaining a complex part of the situation...

Isolated and angry

A range of social, economic and cultural reasons lie behind the alienation of second-generation Lebanese Australians from the mainstream, report Cameron Stewart and Amanda Hodge

Read more... )
shapeofthings: (grumpyfish)
"it is difficult to form any conclusion other than that the culture of [the immigration department] was so motivated by imperatives associated with the removal of unlawful non-citizens that officers failed to take into account the
basic human rights obligations that characterise a democratic society".

Our sociopathic Prime Minister has gone and made bloody Phil Ruddock the attorney-general and put him in charge of Australia's anti (ha!) terrorism laws. Mr. ruddock, the man who believes mandatory detention for imigration seekers, including children, is a'ok. The man who had consistently implemented policies that break the UN's Human Right's Act. Fantastic.

If you don't know anything about this legislation, I suggest you find out about it fast. A pdf version can be downloaded here, many thanks to the Chief Minister from the ACT, Mr. Jon Stanhope. Only through his leaking of this document has news of the proposed changes got out. Hooray for a politician having a concience when the Government holds the balance of power in the senate (i.e. there's no one to block is passing).

The new "anti-terror" laws will, in my opinion, actually incite attacks, they are that awful! You can be held without charge for 2 weeks, held under house arrest for 12 months, including restricting all forms of communication, and arrested for "inciting violence against the government". Worse than that, if you're held in custody for any of these offences, even uncharged, you cannot talk about it. It cannot be brought to public attention, thus gross mis-carriages of justice are free to occur. And if you thought that was bad enough, "shoot to kill" provisions are being brought in that allow unarmed suspects to be shot if they attempt to flee. And a suspect, in this case, is anyone they think *might* be a terrorist suspect, as the requirement for evidence of intent to committ a crime has been waived.

This is insanity. If you thought the government's Industrial Relations legislation was scary (which is really is, don't get me wrong), this anti-terror stuff is downright terrifying.

Go back to sleep Australia, your government has everything under control...

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