My first relationship, which lasted from the time I was 16 to 21, was abusive. My boyfriend isolated me from my friends and family, ridiculed me, controlled my money, shouted and threw things at me and hit me.
Back then there were no options for professional help. That is why I was happy to see a story about the Inner City Legal Centre’s Court Assistance scheme for victims of same-sex domestic violence.
It’s inspiring how far our community has come on this topic. ACON provides counselling and assistance, there are professional education programs for service providers, (some) police get trained in dealing with it.
There’s still a long way to go but I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has worked on this issue.
And finally, I’d like to encourage anyone experiencing abuse or violence from their partner to seek help. It does exist, reach out (when it’s safe to do so). You are worth it.
-” Name witheld

I hate Sacha Baron Cohen. Let me count the ways on my fingers.
1. He stereotypes gays;
2. He’s not an actor, he’s an exploiter;
3. He relies on outrage and publicity hype to promote his film;
4. His jokes are a yawn: they are thin, second-rate, coffee-table smut;
5. He has no dress sense, only costumes;
6. He relies on schlock value for attention;
7. He lacks the social critique capabilities of other sharp-witted cross/fancy-dressers such as Dame Edna Everage;
8. He promotyes -˜gay’ as no more than public, priapic promiscuity;
9. He devalues gays’ contributions to society.
Sacha [Baron] Cohen is a kitsch, camp, Viennese verbosity, like a Sacha torte: a sponge with whipped cream and jam in the middle.
-” Andrew

What a difference six months and 20-odd days makes for the estimated 11,000 lesbian and gay Centrelink dependants affected by the equal treatment in Commonwealth laws.
July 1 2009 will be remembered in Australian history as the day the most vulnerable in our community suffered unjust discrimination. Ironically, almost to the day, it coincides with the 40th anniversary (28 June 1969) of the New York Stonewall riots.
The unfair implementation strategy of the Same-Sex Relationships Bill 2008 has completely overshadowed the equality the modern Australian homosexual movement started working towards 40 years ago with the establishment of CAMP Inc in Sydney. We were foundation members.
The reform bill was tabled 4 September 2008 and signed into law 9 December 2008. We were given to prepare for drastic (in our case 15 percent) income reduction only from December 2008 to 1 July 2009.
In August 2008, when we started lobbying the Rudd Government for a longer implementation period, we didn’t believe we could point to discrimination. But when the May 2009 budget’s announcement of the gradual age increase from 65 to 67 for the age pension came we believed the mean, six months adjustment period to be discriminatory.
It was not surprising to read that fewer than 1400 people registered their same-sex relationship with Centrelink towards.
Anecdotal evidence shows some same-sex couples have separated to avoid extreme poverty instead of mere poverty.
Centrelink-dependent same-sex couples’ income was, before the so called -˜equality legislation’, already only half of Australian weekly earnings.
-” Peter and Peter

Now Utegate is over, it’s time to think about what this affair might mean for all of us. Unfortunately, Malcolm Turnbull seems not to understand what he did.
On The 7.30 Report on 22 June, he issued the ringing statement that the email at the centre of the affair was concocted in Treasury, therefore Treasury was to blame for it.
Neither he nor the Liberal Party bore any responsibility for this forged document or the use made of it. There is certainly no need for anyone in the Liberal Party to resign over use of a forged document, he said. Nor any need even to apologise.
The last Liberal who made such use of a forged document was Senator Bill Heffernan. These new standards of responsibility must be a great comfort to him.
Gays can only wonder how the Liberal Party now feels about people like, well, gays. If somebody forges a document which implicates a gay judge, a gay serviceman, a gay public servant, or a gay anything, in some behaviour scandalous enough to ruin a career, and somebody then feeds the document to the Liberal Party, what will happen after that?
It was Michael Kirby’s good luck the Heffernan’s document was shown to be a forgery early. Imagine what would have happened if had not been proved until much later?
Gays know the use of forged documents would be one easy way to bring back the bad old days before decriminalisation, without having to change back the law. Many non-gays with knowledge of Nazism and/or Communism also know how forged documents can be used.
Malcolm Turnbull’s attitude to forged documents is therefore a major problem.
-” Grant

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