Freshly Doug Tuesday

Spending a morning having stuff dripped into your eyes, followed by a few hours of scarily distorted vision, is not a great start to the day. And my temper hasn’t improved with the reading of latest report on how Australia is doing in the battle against HIV. Answer: not well. Our response is tired and out of date and progress has stalled.

Still, at least we got a limited approval for rapid testing, and a slew of new research money. Professor David Cooper AO has received $12.6 million for research into HIV.

“Cures, vaccines and better treatments for HIV are an urgent and global health priority. In Australia, HIV is a serious disease with infections increasing by 8% in 2011,” Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said. “This research will study how HIV can lie dormant in some parts of the body, evading eradication by HIV therapy, as well as how the immune system responds to the virus.”

The usual concatenation of thugs and crones are venting their bile in an attempt to talk the government out of including us in anti-discrimination law, “calling transgender people “perverts”, comparing people with HIV to being eaten alive by piranha fish because “chosen lifestyles carry certain probable consequences” and advocating for continued discrimination against LGBTI people in aged care facilities because it “could be embarrassing and awkward for other existing residents” : PLEASE take the time to email a submission in support. Guidelines on what to say here. You’ve only got till Friday.

Everyone’s favourite gay Episcopalian Bishop, Gene Robinson, has taken a very old joke seriously.Jesus, he says, might have been gay. After all, he never married and hung around with 12 men. Power bottom, maybe?

Lot’s of stories swirling around on Uganda. The president says we shouldn’t be killed,  the Prime Minister talks down the Kill Gays Bill, while Box Turtle Bulletin reports

“American pastor David Dykes has traveled from Tyler Texas, where he pastors Green Acres Baptist Church, to Uganda to offer his apparently unqualified support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Here, he appears on NTV, Uganda’s largest independent television station to denounce the State Department’s efforts to avert a human rights catastrophe and says that American churches will come together to fully back Uganda if the U.S. withdraws aid.”


Let’s be traditional and end this bulletin with sport. US football player Chris Kluwe, who has been the most outspoken straight ally we could wish for, was told to tone it down by his coaches.  His response was to become the first pro-sports person to join Athlete Ally to “be a liaison between the organization and the NFL, help promote Athlete Ally’s mission to end homophobia in sports by speaking out to his team, league, and fan base, and encourage his colleagues to join in the effort.” 

On the other side of the tracks, the fans club of Russian soccer team Zenit are demanding the management don’t hire any black or gay players. It’s not racism, they say, just tradition.

Yup, so is discriminating against LGBTI, so don’t forget to write that email before Friday. Some traditions need to be quashed.

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)