This New Year my friend and I attended Homesexual St Tropez at Chasers Nightclub. Advertisements in the gay press and on Homesexual’s website said we could expect a real extravaganza and great value for money. The reality differed enormously from what they promised.
Organisers promised a “world class party” with “1500 of Melbourne’s hottest gays and gals”, which would offer “the highest production with stunning visual effects, a great vibe and party gifts…” (MCV, Nov 26, 2009).
They promised “four rooms of music”, “pyrotechnics and fire effects”, “water curtains”, and even an “over the dancefloor swimming pool”. They also promised an “after-party”. None of these things was delivered.
In reality, this turned out to be a fairly small party in one room with cheap decorations. We were surprised by the small crowd (maybe about 200), since an updated advertisement had still indicated a crowd of 1500 and “final tickets remaining” (MCV, Dec 17 , 2009).
Probably because of the lack of ticket sales, they dropped most of what they had promised. The consequence is those who bought tickets were deceived. Their misleading advertising is also likely to be a breach of the Trade Practices Act.
Had we known what this party would really be like, we would have made other plans. The organisers of Homesexual have treated their Melbourne patrons with contempt. They are left with zero credibility.
— Graeme and Tim
The GLBTI community is right to be wary of Leonie Young, beyondblue CEO, after being public pilloried during last year’s sex discrimination court case (‘Beyondblue promises gay focus’, Southern Star Dec 23, 2009).
The community should ask “What is beyondblue committing itself to do now, how will it achieve these aims in the next 12 months, and how will success be measured?”
Ms Young and beyondblue cannot claim any credibility for assisting gays with depression until its chair, Jeff Kennett, does the honourable thing and resigns over his risible comments equating homosexuality with pedophilia. The ensuing court case launched by Gary Burns over this public imbroglio may have been a fizzer but while Kennett remains beyondblue is forever tainted.
The decision by the NSW Government to not adopt the recommendations of a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into adoption by same-sex couples ignores the best interests of children.
The NSW Upper House inquiry concluded that the Adoption Act needs to be changed so that children can benefit from the best possible care that can be made available to them yet the Government will not undertake to follow the recommendations of the inquiry.
The Greens NSW made a submission to the inquiry and the response received from Minister Burney detailing the Government’s reaction is inadequate. Rather than provide for the needs of children first, the NSW Government is being intimidated by pressure groups and saying they represent ‘community attitudes’ by refusing to implement the recommended changes. It is the children who lose out.
Ironically the Minister’s explanation of the Government’s decision notes the success of adoption by same-sex couples in other states, notes a single gay person is legally able to adopt, and also that same-sex couples can foster children.
Indeed, in most cases it is foster parents who seek to adopt the children they have been caring for. The Department of Community Services advised the parliamentary committee that same-sex couples are helping meet the need for foster carers and are providing care very effectively.
If children form a bond with these carers and the opportunity arises where adoption by the foster carers is possible, then there should be no impediment to that in the law if the child’s best interests are met, irrespective of the sexuality of the carers.
If the children are being raised in a caring and stable home, then that is what is most important. All applicants for adoption should continue to be subject to the full range of assessment criteria, including the need to be approved as fit and proper people to adopt a child.
There are already many children living in families headed by same-sex couples and research, including that presented to the inquiry and to the Victorian Law Reform Commission, showed that a parent’s sexuality is not a predictor of harm to children.
The Greens NSW call on the Government to acknowledge the positive inputs into its inquiry, ignore the negatives of the pressure groups, and introduce legislation allowing for adoption by same-sex couples.
— Ray Goodlass, Greens sexuality and gender identity spokesperson