LEGALISE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
My best mate is a gay man and I fully support him all the way and I’m a typical heterosexual bloke. We have a lot in common and love doing the same exact things.
The only difference is I like women -” he likes men. I refuse to get married -” until my best mate has that right.
I recently did some research and found reasons same-sex marriage should be legal include:
* Universal recognition of their relationships;
* Good for the economy;
* Increases life expectancy and provides happiness and fufilment;
* Provides jobs to hotel staff, honeymoon vacations, cleaners, celebrants, people buy more gifts, more cake-makers and decorators, etc;
* Good for tourism and increases travel;
* Promotes longer-term monogamous relationships;
* Slows down the HIV/STD rate;
* Shows that Australia is not a bigoted country;
* Gay men, lesbians and their partners are human beings and are just as excellent as their heterosexual peers;
* Gays and lesbians pay their fair share in heavy taxes and deserve full equality and recognition under the laws and statutes;
* Love is love in the end. The sky will not fall. It harms no one.
What are the disadvantages?  There are none.
Same-sex marriages are legal in Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Nepal, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and certain states in the US (six of them) including Iowa, Connecticut, Massacussetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Kevin Rudd, stop being stuck in 1959 values and move to 2009 values, dude.
-” Steve

LOVE IS LOVE
A public vote on the basic civil rights of a minority group is wrong. California let its people down.
Australia is smarter than that. Discrimination is discrimination and in no circumstance should it be acceptable yet alone legalised.
Fact: Same-sex marriage will be legalised in Australia. When? That is uncertain. What is certain is that it will occur when the majority let go of any ignorance and consequent fear they hold in their hearts and just accept that love is love. Simple.
Government will reflect the majority. I have faith that the majority already recognise that love is love. Time will tell.
-” Alysia

AIDS DEFINITION
Is AIDS curable?
I think one of the most insidious definitions retained from the early days of the HIV epidemic is the rule in the definition of AIDS that says once you have had AIDS you will always be said to have AIDS even if you are cured of the infection or cancer that ticked the box for diagnosis.
For some people this definition can be a badge of pride in that they have survived a certain number of years with AIDS but ultimately they continue to be labelled as victims.
In my own experience, I almost died of viral meningitis but as a AIDS-defining virus was not detected in my spinal fluid, I have never had AIDS.
However, if I was in the US, I would be labelled with AIDS as they have added having had less than 200 CD4 T cells to the definition -” I had only 70 CD4 cells at diagnosis. This definition of AIDS in the US allows access to treatment and AIDS is used similarly in much of the developing world for access to healthcare and for monitoring the epidemic.
I am privileged to feel that AIDS isn’t very relevant to my experience with living with HIV but we must remember those for whom AIDS is relevant.
-” Eric
Israel #1
It’s gratifying to read the letter [SSO 975] from the Jewish Board of Deputies extolling Israel’s record on gay rights.
If only that country could extend similar human rights to its Palestinian neighbours.
-” John
Israel #2
Vic Ahladeff, on behalf of the Jewish Board of Deputies, contributed a letter to SSO 975 on gay freedom and human rights, part of an organised pro-Israel PR campaign.
But this discourse omits the lack of rights of the five million Palestinians in Israel or under occupation, and the lack of rights of those Israelis who oppose the occupation.
I hope Australians will support an international Jewish Voice for Peace campaign for freedom for courageous Israeli gay and peace activist, Ezra Nawi, featured in a doco at last year’s Queer Screen, who was arrested peacefully resisting demolition of Palestinian homes near Hebron and now faces a gaol term. See supportezra.net and FreeEzra.org
-” Ken
Burns vs Footy Show
I say [forget] appeals to philanthropists and businesses to help Gary Burns. I say we go the full hog, because I want to see those boofheads (and Channel 9) squirm in court.
Forget the $20,000 odd assistance that Gary is looking for. I want to see the gay community take this matter all the way to court with a $100,000+ war chest.
Yes we can do it, if each and every one of us simply paid $10 into an account for Gary.
-” Phill
RIDICULOUS
I have recently come under the interest of Social Security.
They have asked for detailed information pertaining to the nature of my relationship with the person I live with, once by phone and then in writing.
I guess in their eyes a man sharing a house with a woman must be having an intimate relationship.
I am very private when it comes to my sexuality. I am sure this is part of the problem but is my sexuality any of their concern?
I am very tempted to get legal representation to tell them where to go but I shouldn’t have to.
The whole situation is ridiculous.
-” Matt
FRIGHTENING
I was on Sydney Uni campus recently about a course enrolment.
Being caught short I popped into the lav. On the wall of the cubicle was a complete scenario about gay bashing: We need baseball bats, plastic gloves, a change of clothes, an alibi. Etc.
Frightening to think some sick person out there has worried himself diddly over our presence in his reality. Sad really.
-” Anton
NO NUDITY
I agree with John (-˜Community Cost’, SSO 975) that NMG risks becoming irrelevant. It discriminates against its own community, refusing the sale of gay erotica and disallowing stalls run by sex-based groups.
Nor does it allow nudity, which was once permitted.
Mardi Gras is reflecting a trend by some queers towards conservatism by basing its values on an outside view of homosexuality, thereby reducing our opportunites for free expression.
-” Stuart

QUESTIONS
All these questions about the New Mardi Gras changes-¦
Perhaps the only question we need to ask respectfully and without attitude of our leaders, whether they be from within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community or the wider community, is Where are you taking us and how is that better than where we have been?
OK, it’s really two questions.
To be fair to our leaders, they should also be free to ask the same two questions of us -” respectfully and without attitude.
Surely the buck stops and starts with us anyway? Our leaders are only as good as the people they have around them and behind them.
-” Neville

BYO SPERM
IVF for gays is a great opportunity to make an unworkable system better for both lesbians and straights.  Where is the great Aussie tradition of keeping costs low by the BYO?
There should be a tiered system of high tech and commensurate high cost for imported frozen sperm and low cost low-tech fresh BYO donor with his Aussie sperm.
As a successful sperm donor to the lesbian community I see a significant need for some women to access specialist AI sperm insertion and ovulation/fertility counselling. Also within the low tech medical approach is the use of catheters and fertility drugs like Clomid and Gonodetrophin.
-” John

DISABLED PARKING
Last Saturday I drove to the city and after doing a few laps could find no vacant space. It being after 10pm, I made the mistake of parking in a disabled space at the top of Forbes St.
My ticket was timed for 11.26pm when other parking restrictions had expired so the inspector must have been there solely to collect his $400 from anyone in the disabled bay.
If anyone with a disabled sticker was out at that time of night and unable to park please accept my apologies. I hope others are not repeating my mistake. Council is out to find you if you are.
-” Tim

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