Freshly Doug Thursday

Tony Abbott, by Ruby Goes

Well here we go into election mode, whether the PM wants us to or not. Most people are in the dark about Tony Abbott’s plans, but none more so than the LGBTIQ community. So far there a big fat nothing in any of the policy documents. BUT . . . he has asked people to contact him with their concerns. So I suggest you do so here.

The only clues are in an interview he did with me a couple of years ago: perhaps you could mention it’s time he got back to me for a second round? If you can’t be bothered reading the transcript, download the podcast by clicking here.

In other election-ish news, the yeah-we-know-who-your-half-brother-is equal marriage poster-boy has resigned from Australian Marriage Equality, where he was Victorian convenor. His role has been taken over by co-convenors Tim Peppard and Christine Cooke (see full press release below). Apparently Carl Katter feels he can have more of an impact working in the Labor Party – he joined the Fitzroy branch a short while ago. He said,

“Melbourne boasts some of the highest levels of support for marriage equality in Australia and this needs to be reflected in an active lobbying and advocacy group based in the city.”

“I am proud of my role in establishing AME Victoria, but I feel it is important for me to channel my energy for LGBTI human rights into my work within the Labor Party.”

Katter’s resignation follows a barrage of tweets (since taken down, but copies are circulating around the net) in which, among other things, AME’s former national head Alex Greenwich was accused of using the organisation as a stepping stone to a political career. Greenwich left AME after the failure of the Equal Marriage Bill in Federal Parliament to become a NSW state MP, replacing Clover Moore.


Katter has been telling friends he plans to move to Prahran in the near future. Liberals are alert, but not alarmed, having extensively researched Carl’s background and history as far back as his schooldays. This could get messy.

No-one is better at having their cake and eating it too than the Catholic Church. Already smarting at the government’s plans to make them take LGBTIQ seniors into their care under the anti-discrimination proposals, Catholic Healthcare have a come up with a way that could protect them from any LGBITQ complaints at their treatment, at least in NSW.

Catholic Healthcare provides aged care services to around 3,000 people in NSW each year, both in nursing homes and through home care programs in people’s houses. And the NSW Abuse of Older People Helpline and Resource Unit will be run by  – ta-dah! –  Catholic Healthcare.

A ‘debate’ at the Oxford Union on gay marriage was the setting for a display of extremely outspoken anti gay prejudice by one Lynette Burrows, opposing the motion “this house would be happy to have gay parents”.

Making a speech more suited to a public bar than a university debating chamber, she claimed children would be better off with a slut for a mother and a junkie for a father than “a pretend father and a pretend father in the place of the mother”.

The, ahem, ‘lady’ has form, especially after a spell in the Green Room. In 2011 she attacked sex education teachers as potential paedophiles, saying “anyone who wants to talk dirty to little children is a danger to them”.

Many have clamoured for her to be prosecuted, but I would rather have these people come straight out (puns intended) and say precisely what they mean. Sooner that than a lot of mealy-mouthed pseudo-Christian claptrap about how much they love us, even as they plot to shut us out of mainstream society while secretly wishing they could stuff us back in prison. Unfortunately, most hatred and discrimination is clandestine.

Like this tale of the young athlete who was all set to get tryout for the college football team, even, at first, after he told them he was gay. Then it all unravelled, allegedly because he lied to his coach – a lie he retracted as soon as it was safe to do so, as you can read. As the old saying goes, “There’s no proof, but I’ve lost a dollar and you’re eating lollies.”

Boy Scouts of America are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they’re losing corporate sponsors because of their anti-gay stance. So they announced they were considering loosening up the ban on gays in the ranks. In future they would leave it up to local officials to decide whether their branches would accept gay members and leaders, or ban them. Now a bunch of churches are threatening to stop running scout troops if gays are let in.

And finally, for your consideration, a small present for all of you who were obliged to sit through Les Miserables purely out of love for your better half.  Enjoy.


Media Release
Thursday January 31st 2013
The recently-formed Victorian branch of Australian Marriage Equality has two new conveners, Tim Peppard and Christine Cooke.
Tim and Chris take over from Carl Katter who formally resigned at last night’s meeting of the group to become more active as an advocate for LGBTI equality within the Labor Party.
AME National Convener, Rodney Croome, said he is sad that Carl is departing.
“Carl is a passionate and skilled advocate for marriage equality who will continue to make an invaluable contribution to reform no matter what role he takes on”, Rodney said.
Carl said he is proud to have helped set up AME Victoria.
“Melbourne boasts some of the highest levels of support for marriage equality in Australia and this needs to be reflected in an active lobbying and advocacy group based in the city.”
“I am proud of my role in establishing AME Victoria, but I feel it is important for me to channel my energy for LGBTI human rights into my work within the Labor Party.”
New co-convener, Tim Peppard said, the 2013 federal election, announced yesterday, is the top priority for AME Victoria.
“The number one priority Chris and I have for AME Victoria in this election year is to encourage voters to make marriage equality a major factor in their voting decision.”
“It is embarrassing for Australians that our politicians are so behind Canada, the US, Spain, Argentina and so many other countries on the marriage equality issue.”
This Sunday marks the first time AME will march in the Melbourne Pride March.
Tim and Chris urged supporters of marriage equality to join AME by assembling at the corner of Fitzroy St and Lakeside Drv at 1pm.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)