Oceania

 

 

 

Reduction in HIV diagnoses in New Zealand

There has been a significant reduction in the number of people diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand over the past year. In 2017, 197 people were diagnosed – a decrease from the 243 reported in 2016, figures released today by the AIDS Epidemiology Group, University of Otago, show. It is the first time there has… Read more »

At the 11th hour, Papua New Guinea’s HIV drug crisis has been averted

The international pressure has forced the government to commit more funding to HIV treatment Stocks of anti-retroviral drugs to treat HIV have been replenished in Papua New Guinea as the country faced a critical shortage. Last month, medical experts and HIV advocates warned people ‘may die’ due to the low number of HIV drugs in… Read more »

Australian Government gives $180 million for more people to get PrEP

Australia must address the rate of new HIV cases amongst Aboriginal populations The Australian Government last night handed down its Federal Budget which included AU$180 million (US$134 million) PrEP funding. The Budget announcement comes weeks after the government added the HIV preventative medication to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). PrEP’s (pre-exposure prophylaxis) addition to the… Read more »

Papua New Guinea is running out of vital HIV drugs and people could die

HIV-positive Papua New Guineans could die if the country’s dwindling antiretroviral drugs supply is not replenished soon, advocacy groups have warned. The Oceanic nation is eating into its ‘buffer’ supply of the HIV medicine after the government slashed the budget for the treatment, reported ABC News. ? “We’re talking about quite a serious situation …… Read more »

New Zealand passes law to clear historical gay sex convictions

The New Zealand parliament on Tuesday night unanimously passed a bill that is expected to allow about 1,000 men to apply to have past convictions for homosexual activity removed from their criminal records. Homosexuality was decriminalized in New Zealand in 1986, but men who were convicted before that date still have the convictions on their… Read more »

Australian government to subsidise HIV-preventing PrEP drugs

The Australian government will be offering subsidised HIV-preventing drugs, it has announced. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada, which can drastically reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV, has seen a massive uptake by the gay community globally over the past few years. ? The drug is recommended for groups considered to be at high… Read more »

Same-sex adoption is now legal everywhere in Australia

Same-sex couples can now adopt children anywhere in Australia. The Northern Territory was the last region of the country holding out against the tide of progress – until this week. ? In a historic move, lawmakers added amendments to the NT Adoption of Children Act which mean that same-sex couples – as well as de… Read more »

Sydney’s Mardi Gras: 40 years of pride and protest – in pictures

Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives curator and archivist Nick Henderson opens the vault to take us through four decades of Sydney’s great festival Sydney’s first Mardi Gras was the last in a series of events produced as part of the Day of International Gay Solidarity, on 24 June 1978, by the Gay Solidarity Group, following… Read more »

Cyclone destroys LGBTQ youth centre in Tonga

An LGBTQ+ youth centre in Tonga has been destroyed by a cyclone that is thought to be one of the most powerful to hit the island nation. The Category Five Cyclone Gita caused thousands of dollars worth of damage across the island, including wiping out the national parliament. ? LGBTQ activists were devastated to learn… Read more »

Lesbian couple become first to get married in Pride Parade in New Zealand

A lesbian couple in New Zealand has become the first same-sex couple known to tie the knot during a Pride parade in the country. Victoria Envy, 28, and Sinead O’Connell, 25, married each other on a float that was part of the parade on Saturday evening. ? The couple first met at the same Pride… Read more »

Jacinda Ardern becomes first New Zealand PM to march in gay pride parade

Prime minister joined a crowd of 25,000 in Auckland and called for more support for LGBTI people with mental health problems Jacinda Ardern has become the first New Zealand prime minister to walk in the country’s gay pride parade. More than 25,000 people watched the parade in Auckland on Saturday night, cheering as the prime… Read more »

New Zealand to introduce PrEP for less than two dollars a month

New Zealand has announced that it will publicly fund PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) for just $1.20 a month for a prescription. The country is one of a few that have made the decision to make the HIV prevention medication available at a reduced price. ? From March 1st, the treatment will be rolled out to those… Read more »

Gay imam announces plans to open LGBTQ-friendly mosque

A gay imam has revealed plans to open an LGBTQ-friendly mosque. Nur Warsame came out in 2010 and has now revealed plans to open the welcoming mosque in Melbourne. ? Speaking to ABC, the Somalian explained that he decided to open a mosque that would be welcoming of the LGBTQ people after he faced an… Read more »

The rainbow in Asia and the turbulent fight for gay rights

Michael Kirby, Visiting Professorial Fellow at University of New South Wales, looks at the challenges facing LGBT people in Asia. On November 15, 2017, I received the welcome wake-up call at my hotel in Bangkok. It was my partner of 48 years, Johan, phoning to tell me of the outcome of the “postal survey”, just… Read more »

Maori man proposes to Aboriginal Australian partner live on TV

A Maori man has proposed to his Aboriginal Australia boyfriend during a live TV interview. Just days after the Australian Parliament moved to legalise same-sex marriage, the couple appeared on Kawekorero Reporters on Maori TV. ? Richard Haeata of Te Whanau-a-Apanui and his boyfriend Robert Stewart (Iora Nation) appeared on the show, but nobody guessed… Read more »

Australia Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal

Syndey, Australia — Australia’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday, overcoming years of conservative resistance to enact change that the public had made clear that it wanted. The final approval in the House of Representatives, with just four votes against the bill, came three weeks after a national referendum showed strong public… Read more »

Jewish And Muslim Leaders Unite To Demand Protection Under Gay Marriage Law

Jewish and Islamic leaders have demanded protections for religious officials who refuse to perform gay marriages under Australia’s new same-sex marriage law. Imams and rabbis from the the city of Perth said that any new law legalizing gay marriage should include express provisions for religious leaders who cannot perform gay marriages due to the tenets… Read more »

Australians Say ‘Yes’ to Gay Marriage, Paving Way for Law Change

Australia is set to legalize same-sex marriage before the end of the year after voters emphatically backed the move in a nationwide survey. “We must respect the voice of the people,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in Canberra on Wednesday after the country’s statistics office revealed 61.6 percent of respondents support marriage equality, with 38.4… Read more »

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 »

New Zealand’s Parliament unanimously passes apology for anti-LGBT laws

New Zealand MPs unanimously passed a motion of apology for the country’s historical anti-LGBT laws. The country’s Justice Minister Amy Adams had moved a motion to apologise to those convicted under anti-gay laws, that were scrapped in 1986. The motion was passed this morning unanimously, with all of the MPs present voting in favour. Ms Adams said:… 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 »

Report delves into men and fa’afafine sex antics

Close to 30,000 fa’afafine and men have sex with other men in Samoa. So says the Pacific Multi-country Mapping and Behavioural Study 2016, as part of the Ministry of Health’s sixth annual report to UNAIDS. Obtained by the Samoa Observer this report is evidence of Samoa’s commitment to the global response to HIV, AIDS, and… Read more »

Fijian couple attacked scared to come forward in case it happens again

A couple from Fiji are afraid to come forward after a homophobic attack over fears they will be subjected to reprisals. The men said they had not gone to police because they feared for their lives, according to a local newspaper. The attack occurred on Sunday morning when the two men were returning home. “While… Read more »

New Zealand to quash historical gay sex convictions

New Zealand has said it will move to quash historical convictions for consensual sex between men. Justice Minister Amy Adams said an application process will be introduced and cases will be judged individually. In 1986 when the Homosexual Law Reform Act was passed, sex between men above 16 years old was decriminalised. But convictions for… 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 »

The UN’s LGBT expert has advocated for a global partnership to end violence

He advocated for unity in his keynote speech at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Bangkok. Vitit Muntarbhorn said: “resolute action is required to stop the violence and discrimination affecting not only LGBT communities but also the human rights defenders working with them… “this goes hand in hand with the… 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 »

Miss Fa’afafine: A look inside Samoa’s transgender beauty pageant

Homosexual acts may be illegal in Samoa, but the annual transgender beauty pageant is a mainstay of the island nation’s social calendar. Miss Fa’afafine takes its name from the Samoan word for the society’s “third gender”, which literally translates to “in the style of” (fa’a) “woman” (fafine). Estimates of the proportion of fa’afafines in the… Read more »

Papua New Guinea police open fire on student protest

Papua New Guinea have opened fire on a student demonstration at a university campus. Further shooting was reported outside a hospital where the wounded were being treated. Papua New Guinea police opened fire on students rallying in the capital, Port Moresby, as they prepared to march to parliament on Wednesday. The protesters were calling for… Read more »

Human rights in Oceania — lots of work to do

Much remains to be done to improve the human rights records of seven Pacific Ocean countries that still have laws against same-sex intimacy. In particular, LGBTI rights in those seven countries in Oceania are the focus of the following excerpts from the 2015 edition of the U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights… 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 »

Grindr documentary to feature at Cannes

A documentary about use of gay dating app, Grindr, in New Zealand is to feature at the Cannes Film Festival. The prestigious event – that often screens work by some of the world’s greatest film makers – will show the eight minute feature created by students, Annabelle Dick and Kyan Krumdieck. “We were trying to… Read more »