Australia, Oceania

Technologically advanced and industrialized, Australia is a prosperous multicultural country and has high measures in many international comparisons of national performance such as health care, life expectancy, quality-of-life, human development, public education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. In 1975, the state of South Australia became the first state to legalize sexual conduct between males. Other states and territories repealed their laws between 1976 and 1990. The exception was Tasmania, which retained its laws until the Federal Government and the United Nations Human Rights Committee forced their repeal in 1997. In May 2008, following the election of a more liberal Labor government, legislation was introduced into Parliament to begin altering previous limited conservative laws regarding LGBT citizens. The new statutes will provide equality in tax, health, superannuation, aged care and other areas. The annual Sydney mardi gras is one of the world's premier gay festivals. In 2002 Australia was host to the international Gay Games. 

 

News & Reports:

 

Anti-Gay Posters Surface in Australia Ahead of Same-Sex Marriage Vote

Sydney, Australia — In the lead-up to a vote on legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia, vitriolic campaign materials, including fliers calling homosexuality “a tragedy of a family,” circulated this week in Melbourne and Sydney. The fliers, the latest salvo in a heated national debate that has involved politicians and religious leaders, were denounced by Prime… Read more »

Olympic legend Ian Thorpe condemns Australian government over same-sex marriage

Olympic legend Ian Thorpe has criticised the Australian government for its stance over same-sex marriage. The multi-gold medal winning swimmer, who came out as gay in 2014, says it’s time the measure was introduced. He has called on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to hurry up and approve the measure. Appearing on the Morning Show… Read more »

Amir, A Gay Man Detained On Manus Island, Faces An Impossible Choice

Amir can return to Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by execution, or stay in Papua New Guinea, where it carries a sentence of up to 14 years in prison. As Australia and Papua New Guinea prepare to close the offshore detention camp on Manus Island in October, many gay asylum seekers and refugees face an… Read more »

Gym hunks go weak at the knees as they get engaged at the gym

An adorable video of two hunks getting engaged at their gym has gone viral. The video shows Nico Martina (white tank top) proposing to his other half, Michael Sinclair at their local gym in Kings Cross, Sydney. The two guys say they met at the gym, and so it seemed the perfect place to tie… Read more »

Australian poll finds record unhappiness after party politics derails equal marriage

Polling in Australia has shown record levels of dissatisfaction with the political system, after the major political parties failed to agree a path to equal marriage becoming law. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who heads a right-wing coalition, had tried to avoid a split within his own government on the issue of same-sex marriage by… Read more »

Not welcome! Prime Minister Banned From Sydney Mardi Gras

Not welcome! Prime Minister Banned From Sydney Mardi Gras Australia’s prime minister has been formally banned from Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as an official guest. The move is in protest against Malcolm Turnbull’s failed plebiscite on same-sex marriage. A motion was passed to scratch him from the list at an official meeting for… Read more »

Pacific Nations ‘Dragging The Chain’ On LGBTI Rights: Former Judge

But Justice Michael Kirby said he doesn’t know what can be done about it. A former Australian high court judge says Pacific Island nations are dragging the chain on LGBTI rights, as he urged them to forget “hobgoblin” fears of LGBTI people. Michael Kirby, a former High Court Judge and prominent advocate for LGBTI rights,… Read more »

Gay marriage in Australia unlikely for years after public vote plan rejected

Australia’s parliament is almost certain to vote down a national referendum on same-sex marriage, potentially delaying marriage equality in the country for years. Though it backs same-sex marriage, the left-wing opposition Labor party formally announced Tuesday it would not support the government’s planned national vote. They say a public vote is unnecessary, too costly and… Read more »

Perth to host its first queer film festival

Perth is set to hold its first queer film festival in September. Several films will premiere at the event which will celebrate the best of LGBTQI cinema. Festival director, Mark Reid, explained that the chosen films don’t revolve around fairy tale romances that end happily ever after. The original films range drama to comedy, and… Read more »

‘The white attractive male is at the top’: Gay indigenous man screenshots racist messages he regularly gets on Grindr

Indigenous student started sharing racist messages he receives on Grindr Dustin Mangatjay McGregor is regularly abused when dating online Started public-shaming to show that racism is prevalent in the gay scene He says there’s a hierarchy in the gay community, just as in wider society An indigenous university student has begun sharing racist messages he… Read more »

Outback grass makes world’s ‘thinnest, strongest’ condoms

Ingredients found in spinifex grass are being used to create a range of “super-condoms”. A spiky grass that sprouts across the outback has been found to contain the ideal ­ingredients to make the world’s thinnest, strongest ­condoms. The bitter grass has long been used by Aboriginal ­hunters to shape their ­deadly spears. However, scientists from… Read more »

Rainbow laces: Australia sports stars join anti-homophobia campaign

Top Australian sporting stars will wear rainbow laces this weekend as part of a campaign against homophobia. The initiative is inspired by similar movements in other countries including Britain. Openly gay athletes are rare in mainstream Australian sport – particularly in the country’s four main football codes. Almost 80% of participants in an international study… Read more »

Ian Thorpe says he has a ‘responsibility’ towards younger gay men

The swimmer says he wants to help other gay people who are struggling with their sexuality. Former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe spoke out about the “responsibility” he now feels towards others struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. “There’s an opportunity and a good responsibility I feel for young people who may be struggling… Read more »

Australian state to issue apology for historic anti-gay laws

The Australian state of Victoria will become the second to issue an apology for historic gay sex convictions, it has been announced. It was confirmed last month that Tasmania’s Parliament would formally issue an apology for historic convictions related to consensual gay sex, under laws only lifted in 1997. This week, the Premier of the… Read more »

Gay Olympic diving champ Matthew Mitcham is hanging up his speedos

Australian diver Matthew Mitcham has announced his retirement from the sport. The 27-year-old diver came out before the Beijing Olympics back in 2008, revealing that his partner would be travelling to China to watch him dive at the event. It paid off – in Beijing he smashed the record for the highest single-dive score in… Read more »

Australia’s ‘rent boys’: Male sex workers are ‘everywhere’, industry advocate says

When *Christopher was growing up in a small NSW country town, strangers would stop his mother in the street and comment on his big blue eyes and curly blond hair. Fast forward 15 years and Christopher was cashing in on those same charming boyish looks, listing them as his best features in online advertisements where… Read more »

The Sistergirls of Tiwi Islands: How a remote community in northern Australia has the highest population of transgender people in the country – including children as young as six

Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory has the highest population of transgender people in Australia ‘Sistergirl’ or ‘Yimpininni’ is a term used to describe transgender, homosexual or bisexual indigenous people Locals say as many as five per cent of the population consider themselves a Sistergirl While they are largely accepted in the remote community, there… Read more »

Tasmanian church distributing anti-gay marriage booklet

Tasmania’s Catholic Archdiocese are distributing out copies of the church’s booklet that will explain to people its opposition to same-sex marriage. Archbishop Julian Porteous said 12,000 families of whose children attend Catholic schools in Tasmania will receive a copy of ‘Don’t Mess with Marriage’. By Friday the families will have all received a copy of… Read more »

Grieving partner pays tribute to cafe´ manager killed during Sydney siege

A man has paid tribute to his life partner Tori Johnson, who was killed during the 16-hour cafe´ siege in Sydney. Mr Johnson was killed alongside barrister Katrina Dawson, when the Lindt café he managed in Martin Place was held up by self-described radical cleric Man Haron Monis. The cafe´ manager was hailed a hero… Read more »

Australia gets its first openly gay Chief Minister

An Australian Labor Party politician has become the country’s first openly gay government leader. Andrew Barr was appointed Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on Thursday replacing Katy Gallagher who resigned last week. In his acceptance speech to the ACT Legislative Assembly Mr Barr paid tribute to his partner and said he looked… Read more »

Indigenous Australia’s HIV crisis never happened: five questions to James Ward

Tell us about who you are My name is James Ward. I am a Pitjantjatjara and Nurrunga man from central and south Australia, with connections to mobs in Kaltukatjara, Ntaria, Point Pearce and Adelaide. I currently live in Alice Springs but from next week will be relocating to Kuarna country in Adelaide. From next week… Read more »

World of male sex workers explored in new book

A new book shines a light on male prostitution and the findings are surprising. Sex work is an industry primarily associated with women. When male sex workers are thought about, it’s usually through the prism of health studies or debate around the legality of their behaviour; they become statistics, or shadowy carriers of disease. Media… Read more »

Australia: Norfolk Island may introduce same-sex marriage this year

Norfolk Island in Australia, could legalise same-sex marriage this year, as plans to introduce legislation have been lodged. The self-governing territory could see a major hike in tourist numbers, if same-sex marriage becomes legal. The legislation which is yet to be introduced, would establish a new law to work alongside the Federal Marriage Act, but… Read more »

Sydney hosts two-month Queer Arab Film Festival

Australia: The Australian city of Sydney is hosting a two-month Queer Arab Film Festival to better understand the problems and challenges Arab, Muslim, Middle-Eastern LGBTIQ community face in a region that has harsh anti-gay laws and prejudices. Classical Arabic and Islamicate literature from the 9th to the 16th centuries was replete with examples of characters… Read more »

Olympic kayak hopeful talks of relief after coming out as gay

An Olympic kayak hopeful has discussed coming out as gay, saying it was a relief, and that he had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. Connor Taras, 25, missed joining the 2012 Canadian Olympic team by half a second, and still travels to the US every winter for training. He said being gay but not out meant… Read more »

Support For Ian Thorpe From Ricky Martin, Gareth Thomas, Matthew Mitcham

Ricky Martin, Gareth Thomas and Matthew Mitcham are among the celebrities applauding Olympian Ian Thorpe’s decision to come out gay. “Congrats @IanThorpe!” out singer Ricky Martin tweeted. “Brave man! Happy for you! Millions appreciate what you’ve done! Proud of you! #SelfLove.” After years of denials, Thorpe, Australia’s most decorated Olympian, acknowledged he’s gay, saying he… Read more »

2 out of 3 LGBTI Australian young people still experience bullying in 2014

A new report by University of Western Sydney researchers has found that bullying is still all too common for LGBTI Australian young people with nearly one-in-ten saying the problem was so bad they had to change schools Almost one-in-ten LGBTI Australian young people has had to change schools because of homophobic bullying and more than… Read more »

Australia high court overturns ACT gay marriage law

Australia’s High Court has overturned legislation allowing gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The ACT parliament passed a bill in October making the territory the first part of Australia to legalise same-sex weddings. But the national government challenged the decision, saying it was inconsistent with federal laws. Some 27 couples who married since… Read more »

Gay Couples Begin Marrying In Australian Capital

Gay couples began marrying shortly past midnight in the Australian capital of Canberra as the nation’s first gay marriage law took effect. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the marriages of Alan Wright and Joel Player, who exchanged vows beneath the 55 bronze bells of the National Carillon at Lake Burley Griffin, and Stephen Dawson… Read more »

To stop AIDS, Australia must stand up for human rights

Indonesian activists from World Vision light 2880 candles during a World AIDS Day event in JakartaThis World AIDS Day, the people of Asia and the Pacific, who are living with, and working to prevent HIV, ask that the Australian Government make clear its intention for HIV funding, and stress the importance of Australia’s role as… Read more »

Australian Capital Territory first to legalise same-sex marriage

The Australian Capital Territory has become the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise same-sex marriage. The bill passed after a short debate today by nine votes to eight, just over a year after federal parliament rejected a same-sex marriage bill 98-42. The move was passed in the 17-member ACT Legislative Assembly, backed by Labor and… Read more »

Gay Marriage Hopes Dashed As Conservatives Return To Power In Australia

Australia’s conservative opposition swept to power on Saturday, ending six years of Labor Party rule and the hopes of gay marriage supporters. “The coalition has won 13 seats clearly and with 10 seats still in play,” Australia’s newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott told supporters gathered at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel. “And I can inform you… Read more »

Tasmanian Upper House defeats provision to ban offensive anti-gay materials

Tasmania’s Upper House of state parliament has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited offensive homophobic materials just a day after the Australian postal service confiscated 38,000 extreme anti-gay election flyers in the state LGBT rights activists in the Australian state of Tasmania have been floored by a decision by the state’s Upper House to… Read more »

Gay Ambassador to Australia Marries in D.C.

John Berry, U.S. ambassador to Australia, married his partner of 17 years, Curtis Yee, on Saturday. John Berry, the newly confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Australia, married his longtime partner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, reports the Washington Blade. Berry and his partner, Curtis Yee, have been together for 17 years, and married in a ceremony at… Read more »

Tasmania votes to allow same-sex couples to adopt

The last Australian state to legalize homosexuality, and the first to introduce civil unions, has voted to allow same-sex couples to adopt non-biological children for the first time LGBT rights advocates in the Australian state of Tasmania have welcomed the passage of a law allowing same-sex couples to adopt. Since 2003 gays and lesbians in… Read more »

Marriage equality advocates condemn vandalism of Tasmanian anti-gay marriage billboard

Australian marriage equality advocates have condemned the vandalizing of an anti-gay marriage billboard in the town of Wynyard, Tasmania, just days after it was erected Australian marriage equality advocates have condemned the vandalism of an anti-marriage equality billboard in Wynyard, Tasmania, as well as the business signs of the man behind the billboard, sign maker… Read more »

Same-sex marriages revealed in 1930’s Australia

A newspaper from 1932 shows that Australian gay men were holding illegal same-sex marriages behind closed doors eight decades ago A newspaper article from 1932 has been uncovered that shows that gay men were seeking to marry each other in Australia as long ago as 80 years ago. In an article in the tabloid The… Read more »

State schools better for minority students, says Michael Kirby

Gay Australian former high court judge Michael Kirby says state schools are less discriminatory to minority pupils than private or religious schools Gay Australian former high court judge Michael Kirby said that secular public schools are better for gay pupils and other minorities that private or religious schools. Kirby, who describes himself as a Protestant… Read more »

Anti-gay marriage candidates win Tasmania election

Despite a campaign to make local election all about marriage equality, anti-gay-marriage candidates win all three contested seats in Australian state of Tasmania Two candidates who voted against gay marriage in last year’s Upper House vote in Tasmania won their seats in a local election yesterday. The third victor has also said she would vote… Read more »

A secret history of sexuality on the front

Archived files shed light on relationships in the army, writes Andrew Stephens. It was a hot night in Borneo and eight Australian soldiers were sitting around discussing film stars they fancied. The war had just ended – Hiroshima and Nagasaki were ashes – but most soldiers in Asia remained on active duty in the all-male… Read more »