blue ATTITUDE
When are NSW Police going to change or are we destined to be ignored by a bunch of bigots in blue uniforms for eternity?
The lack of police action in the vicious assault of Aaron Warnecke (and of Craig Gee in 2007) is appalling and those officers involved should be ashamed.
When one of their own is attacked the big guns come out and the perpetrator is swiftly brought to justice. A special task force was established to investigate the bashing of police officer Samantha Barlow in Kings Cross in May this year and it took just two days for the attacker to be charged. Why should we be treated any different?
Does someone have to die before necessary changes are made? If only Aaron was married to an Inspector from the public order and riot squad then perhaps he would have received the respect, care and treatment he deserved.
— Nathan

HATE CRIMES
Perhaps Oscar Wilde was right. “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.”
As a former academic criminologist, I could highlight many studies showing conclusively that a lot of ‘hate crime’, such as the brutal bashing of Aaron Warnecke (SSO 985), is driven by irrational and not rational events, with alcohol often an exacerbating factor. The perpetrators have often been the subject of early sexual abuse, either real or imagined, which, left unresolved, finds a catharsis later in life — through hate.
This helps explain these crimes but can never excuse them, of course.
Society’s mores are a mix of media management and muddling entertainment programs can also fuel expectations of a tacit acceptance that such crimes are OK. For many, poofter-bashing is elevated to a sport, which is why ‘Fatty’ Vautin’s TV Footy Show comments need to be exposed and prosecuted for what they are claimed to be, an incitement to hatred or crime.
Gay rights are human rights, so police, for their part, need to ensure the law is upheld and seen to be upheld, otherwise vigilantism will only create street anarchy.
Serious charges, beyond grevious bodily harm, should be laid on behalf of the victims and the evidence tested in a court of law, not by a desk-bound constable in Blacktown looking forward to his next day off and seeing complainants out the door and ridding the file from his desk ASAP.
— Brian
ATTEMPTED MURDER
NSW Police are right: horrific assaults against anyone are bad enough, regardless of gender (SSO 985). However, their own inaction over blatant homophobic crime is worse because it’s discrimination-driven.
Public anaesthesia and acceptance of gay hate crimes is partly driven by media-sanctioned comments like ‘Fatty’ Vautin’s, recently made on Channel Nine’s Footy Show. Gary Burns’ right to pursue his legal claim to stop these hate-comments, despite the Convicts Rugby Club appearance on TV laundering Mr Vautin’s reputation, is therefore even more valid.
The NSW Police Force, however, should be charging the accused with attempted murder, not just seeking an Apprehended Violence Order. Their non-actions are a matrix of arrogance, ignorance and negligence and are, regrettably, nothing new. They are a protected species: protected by their union to which this state Government is beholden, self-protected because they think they are above the law, and protected by their media unit which has perfected the art of the lie, as exposed in mainstream print media this week.
Perhaps the Convicts, whose Rugger Bugger fundraiser is being held this coming Saturday, September 5 at the Midnight Shift, can consider making a substantial donation to Gary Burns’ legal fund for freedom: freedom from hate crimes, freedom from discrimination and freedom to express a love that is equal to any other.
— Andrew
LIKE THE JONES’
I’ve read repeated articles now about welfare payments being slashed since our loving relationships have been legitimised by the government. Bless.
What did we think would happen to welfare payments by declaring our ‘now-equal’ gay relationships to Centrelink?  That they would increase?
Let’s not pretend we didn’t know what the consequences would be by parking the fight for acceptance in favour of the fight for equality.
Gay marriage will one day become legal in this country. Let’s not be surprised by the gay divorce it will inevitably lead to. Or the gay child support payments for children that may not necessarily be your own.
Consider the maintenance you will need to pay your long-term albeit on-the-side fuck buddy when a dependence can be proven there as well. And there should be no surprise when the courts award a gay couple’s life fortune to the widowed partner’s live-in houseboy/girl once both partners are dead.
The grass isn’t necessarily greener, but at least it’s just like the Jones’. And we know the Jones’ always know what they’re getting themselves into.
— Paolo
GET WELL
Aaron and Greg, the gay and lesbian community and many people are with you in our hearts.
Let’s have some human feelings from certain people at the Blacktown Police Station. I plead to you, the police, to hurry up the system and press charges. I appeal to you to help these people.
To the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer, I appeal to you to help these people and to perform your duty.
To the Blacktown courts, I appeal to you to give these cowards the full penalties for what they have done so they never forget what damage to fellow human beings they have caused.
— Brian
DISGUSTED
I am one of the staff at Westmead Hospital who assisted with Aaron’s recovery and I am disgusted by Blacktown Police’s conduct. An investigation into the Blacktown Police and their stance on homophobia is warranted.
I worked at Westmead for just over four years and have seen at least 20 of these assaults and Aaron and Greg’s is one of the worst cases.
— Benjamin
NSW LABOR
Quite simply I’m not going to vote for Labor at the next state election if they don’t give us adoption rights and relationship registration in NSW.
Why are we behind other states when we have the largest gay and lesbian population in Australia?
— Bradley
TERMINOLOGY
When we use terminology like ‘same sex’ to describe ourselves we provide the religious right with an opportunity to demonise ‘same gender and gender specific people’.
Not convinced? Please check out how the religious right demonised us in the mainstream media during the recent Prop 8 debates in the USA.
We must also demand that mainstream media use this politically correct terminology.
All religious right communications can be neutralised — by being smarter.
— Shannon
HERE’S TO KELLIE
We would like to extend our congratulations to Kellie McDonald on being appointed co-convenor of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. We have known Kellie throughout her time with the Lobby, and are excited by the new dynamic she will bring to the organisation.
Kellie is a passionate supporter of gay and lesbian rights, and as such, we were thrilled to learn of her new role and the potential changes she could help introduce to our legal system.
Spending time with the Lobby, and the amount of progress they have made over the last few months in terms of law reform, reassures us we are one step closer to having our relationship recognised under Federal law.
If it weren’t for people like Kellie, giving up their time to fight for a cause they hold close to their hearts, we hate to think where we might stand in the recognition of our relationships.
So here’s to Kellie and the Lobby — may you have the courage to say what others fear to announce, and to challenge the legal system that is meant to be ‘inclusive of all’.
— Jono & Jonathan

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