The Rainbow Report – Untangling

Tangle, by Graham James Campbell

Today we’re tidying up some loose ends and sorting out tangles: on discrimination in aged care, and on equal marriage in the US and Australia.

Same-sex marriage is coming back to both the Federal and Tasmanian Parliaments – and possibly to New South Wales and South Australia too. Meanwhile Tony Abbott has ruled out giving his MPs a conscience vote. National leader of Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome explains how the organisation is negotiating it’s way through the complexities.

The American Supreme Court held hearings last week on two important issues: whether to strike down Proposition 8, which is blocking same-sex marriage in California, and whether to also strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which makes it illegal for the federal government to recognise a state-based marriage. It also stops other states without same-sex marriage from recognising such marriages carried out in other states or overseas.  There are many ways the Supremes might decide. We’ve a report from US sister show This Way Out.

The Gay & Lesbian Archives’ first Open Day for 2013 on Sunday is celebrating the T in LGBTI – from the Seahorse Club through radical challenges to the male-female binary, via transvestites, transsesxuals, transgenders, trans*.  Archivist & gay historian Graham Willett has the story.

The Sex Discrimination Act is being updated to outlaw discrimination against LGBTI people – us –  but with exemptions for religious run organisations and businesses. They’ll still be able to refuse service and employment to us in their schools, hospitals, clinics, adoption, employment and housing agencies and so on.

The one ray of light was that the government was going to make it illegal to discriminate against us in aged care, but somehow that got dropped along the way.

Not every religious run aged care business wants such exemptions: the two biggest, Catholic Health and Uniting Care both say there’s no need

The government has got itself into a knot over this, but they may be about to come good and restore the ban on discrimination in aged care.  They just have to work out how to do it. We have the story.

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)