IN June of 1987, two weeks before Australia would go to the polls to decide between three more years of a Labor government led by Bob Hawke or a Coalition government led by John Howard, the Sydney Star Observer — which is what Star Observer was known as back then — asked candidates running in Sydney’s inner-city and eastern suburb seats for their views on “gay issues”.
[showads ad=MREC]Labor, Liberal and Australian Democrat candidates for Sydney, Wentworth and the now-abolished seat of Phillip (which included Bondi, Coogee, Kensington and Randwick) responded to questions across four areas: taxation, AIDS, Mardi Gras and human rights.
Taxation questions focused mostly on how candidates discriminated against “single people”, while “human rights” covered decriminalisation of consensual homosexual behaviour, anti-discrimination protections and partner recognition in the workplace, and homosexuality in the Australian Defence Forces.
Notably, the Liberal candidate for Wentworth John Hewson — who would famously go on to lose to Paul Keating in the 1993 federal election — featured on the front cover that edition, after refusing to answer the Sydney Star Observer’s questions.
**This article was first published in the August edition of the Star Observer, which is available to read in digital flip-book format. To obtain a physical copy, click here to find out where you can grab one in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and select regional/coastal areas.