MARRIAGE, NOT PARTNERSHIPS

The formation of the national lobby group Equal Rights Network by Rodney Croome and others is very good news.

Croome’s article in SSO 707 clearly demonstrated why pushing for equal marriage rights is so critically important.

There is not a single reason to avoid this fight and I am delighted the Equal Rights Network will not exhibit the same inactivity and timidity as the local NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW GLRL) has on this and other issues.

If the quote by Somali Cerise from the NSW GLRL in last week’s SSO that they intend merely pushing for partnership recognition instead of equal marriage rights is accurate, then they will only deliver more of the same.

As NSW GLRL co-convenor, however, she should be kicking ass, not kissing it.

Watch as federal ALP MPs like Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese defend their party’s opposition to equality by referring to the NSW GLRL’s position.
At last there is a pressure group that actually intends applying pressure.

-” Daniel Hookes, Surry Hills

NO SERMONS, PLEASE

I’m so over reading letters from people like Barry Thinn and David Polson (SSO 707) regarding barebacking. If I or anyone else out there wants to bareback, what business is it to any of you? Safe Sex Police -“ what is this, gay Nazi Germany? Respect from straights -“ who cares? Newsflash to David: the majority of breeders hate and fear us and if you use a condom it’s not going to change their perception of us. After all, most of them bareback anyway.

Another newsflash: there are a lot of people who have been doing it for years. This not some new fad. I am well aware of the risks I take when I have sex without a condom. Everyone does. We don’t need a sermon from the likes of you pair and we certainly don’t need some Safe Sex Police with little flashlights ruining our sex clubs.

If you guys are having safe sex, good on ya! Don’t come down on people who aren’t. Every one person is responsible for their own actions.

Barry gets abused when he confronts barebackers on the internet. I wonder why. If you get in people’s faces, you’re going to get abused. Stop wasting your time and their time by sending stupid messages and trying to save the barebackers. Who do you think you are, Mother Theresa? You may look like her, but it doesn’t mean you have to act like her.

-” Shawanda Carey, Erskineville

WHAT LABOR WILL DO

The upcoming federal election is front page Star news, yet the article never refers to Latham or Labor.

Last December the Star reported Latham was solid on gay issues. On 4 February 2004 Latham stated: Labor’s policy was to clear away areas of discrimination against same-sex couples including taxation, superannuation and migration laws.

Surely Star readers are entitled to know what Labor will do if elected.

-” Ben Oz, via email

COALITION ELECTION ISSUES

Just to set the record straight I don’t believe that the Coalition will definitely move against the ACT’s new gay adoption laws.

All we can say at the moment, based on comments by the prime minister, is that attacks on this reform are more likely than Coalition moves against gay marriage.

Senator Brian Greig is right to point out that the Coalition doesn’t want to appear obsessive on gay and lesbian issues.

But we can assume there are also other factors at play in the Coalition including a desire to split the ALP, a need to corral conservative voters, pressure from churches, the example set in other countries and plain old electoral desperation.

As long as there is a possibility that LGBT rights will be made an election wedge, the LGBT community must be alert to the dangers and opportunities this would offer.

-” Rodney Croome, Equal Rights Network spokesperson

HOME-BASED SEX WORK

Can I take the opportunity please to respond to the letter from Sam, Jack, Tom, Adrian and Max (SSO 708)?

Far from ACON’s efforts to prevent the prohibition of sex workers in the former City of Sydney coming to nothing, the result has in fact been a referral of the draft Local Environment Plan to the state government’s Sex Services Premises Planning Advisory Panel. This was exactly what was wanted by us all (except Lucy Turnbull and council’s planners). We know that the panel believes that planning laws should not be used to ban home-based sex work.

This result was achieved by the combined efforts of sex workers and ACON’s Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP). Congratulations are due to all involved.

ACON has written already to newly-elected mayor, Clover Moore, drawing her attention to the issues. We hope to work closely with the new council to ensure that it adopts appropriate policies in relation to the sex industry generally.

-” David Buchanan, acting president, ACON

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