HISTORY: 30 YEARS ON: STAR OBSERVER’S FRONT COVER WHEN BEING GAY IN NSW WAS DECRIMINALISED

ALMOST exactly 30 years ago this week, the Star Observer’s front page publicised the news of NSW Parliament decriminalising homosexuality in the state.

The private member’s bill to decriminalise homosexuality, which was introduced by then-Labor Premier Neville Wran, passed with a conscience vote on both sides of parliament on May 22 and the Star Observer — then known as fortnightly newspaper The Star — reported on the historic moment in its May 31 edition | Read more

 

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VICTORIA: RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS FACES OVERHAUL AFTER HOMOPHOBIC BIBLEZINE CONTROVERSY

A REPORT into an incident involving the distribution of sexist and homophobic material by religious educators to students at a Victorian public school has found the provider was in breach of a number of Education Department policies.

The incident and subsequent departmental investigation has contributed to an overhaul of the state’s policies regarding special religious instruction (SRI) in schools.

In December last year SRI volunteers from Access Ministries, the state’s only Christian-based SRI provider, distributed almost 20 “Biblezines” to students after a Christmas play | Read more

 

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QUEENSLAND: RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS FACES OVERHAUL AFTER HOMOPHOBIC BIBLEZINE CONTROVERSY

KEY community and government HIV and AIDS organisations have criticised mainstream media reporting of a Brisbane school student finding and injuring himself with a needlestick as generating “fear”.

The groups were responding to an article that appeared in the Courier Mail today that reported on a 12-year-old student suffering a needlestick injury while playing within school grounds last Monday.

The incident raised the concerns of parents over possible HIV contraction and other infections, with some expressing their fears to the media that drug users in the area were discarding used needles in the school grounds | Read more

 

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NEW SOUTH WALES: MAN JAILED FOR KILLING HIV-POSITIVE LOVER AFTER “LOVERS LANE” ENCOUNTER

THE killer of a gay man, bashed to death following a casual sexual encounter in Sydney, has today been sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The verdict, in the NSW Supreme Court, comes more than 20 years after Ecuadorian born Felipe Flores’ body was found in a park adjacent to a then infamous “lovers lane” in the Sydney inner-city suburb of Woolloomooloo.

The two had sex in Lincoln Lane, on the night of September 2, 1991, following a meeting in Darlinghurst’s Exchange Hotel | Read more

 

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VICTORIA: CALLS FOR PREMIER NAPTHINE TO CONDEMN MP OVER SAME-SEX ADOPTION REMARKS

THE Victorian Labor opposition has called on Premier Denis Napthine to condemn state upper house Liberal MP Bernie Finn over public comments criticising same-sex adoption.

The call comes after the Premier signalled last week he would be open to legalising same-sex adoption in Victoria, following a change to Victorian Labor’s policy platform that thrust the issue into the media. Napthine said he is “philosophically not against it”, and indicated the government was investigating the issue.

“My reaction is we should always act in the best interests of the child and what we need to do is make sure that we provide for children who need an alternate home, we provide the best opportunity to have a loving home and that loving home can be a loving family of various descriptions,” Napthine said | Read more

 

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VICTORIA: BALLARAT SCHOOL REVERSES BAN ON SAME-SEX COUPLE ATTENDING DEB BALL

A BALLARAT high school has reversed its decision to ban a student from bringing a same-sex partner to the school’s debutante ball.

Mount Clear College in Ballarat made headlines around the country this week for its decision to prevent 17-year-old Kiana Prewett from taking her best friend Imogene to the ball.

This came despite the school’s membership of Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, which promotes inclusiveness for same-sex attracted and sex and gender-diverse young people in schools | Read more

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WORLD: SOUTH AFRICA PRESIDENT APPOINTS FIRST OPENLY-GAY CABINET MINISTER

SOUTH African president Jacob Zuma has appointed Lynne Brown as the nation’s first openly-gay cabinet minister.

The news comes less than a month after South Africa announced changes to blood donations restrictions that included removing the blanket ban on gay men, and when Zakhele Mbhele became the first openly-gay black MP elected on the African continent last week | Read more

 

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WORLD: TRANS* ACTRESS LAVERNE COX APPEARS ON TIME MAGAZINE COVER

PROMINENT actress and trans* identity Laverne Cox has appeared on the latest issue of Time magazine this week, prompting a viral social media response.

Cox, who has received accolades for her work that includes being the first African-American trans woman to have a leading role in a mainstream US television show, is featured under the headline “The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s next civil rights frontier”. | Read more

 

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OPINION: BUDGET 2014: AN ATTACK ON HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FOR HIV-POSITIVE AND LGBTI YOUTH

TONY Abbott’s first budget is the biggest attack on Australia’s universal healthcare system since it was established 30 years ago.

The budget is an attack that will hurt the most vulnerable in the community, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people living with HIV or a mental illness, the elderly and Australians with complex health needs.

Young men under 26 already face high levels of unemployment and underemployment and are over represented in sharing the burden of mental illness, especially when they identify as LGBTI. It’s hard to get young men to visit their GP in the first place, especially to discuss anything sensitive. This is a problem that is raised every time I discuss men’s health with professionals in the sector and it’s a problem this budget will make worse. It is the reason why the proposed tax on doctor visits will be so harmful to young men in this situation. | Read more

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