I woke up on Australia Day to my partner Gregory telling me that Miriam Margolyes has become an Australian Citizen and that she had been photographed with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Nice one.
It’s not everyday that an outspoken (Jewish) lesbian marriage equality advocate is photographed with Julia Gillard, both sharing a moment of pure glee.
Miriam Margolyes is not one to mince her words, and has made it evidently clear that she believes Gillard needs to change her position to support marriage equality.
(“One-woman show with great expectations“; SMH Feb 1 2012)
Miriam Margolyes wants a word with Julia Gillard – although a word is not all the forthright British actor might deliver if she encounters the Prime Minister.
”I love Julia Gillard, she’s great fun, but I believe she is not in favour of gay marriage,” Margolyes says. ”She should be smacked.”
(“A woman not afraid to say her piece“; The Age Feb 25, 2012)
FORTHRIGHT British actress Miriam Margolyes – a ”socialist, lesbian, Jew” – is on a roll about gay marriage and her crisp English diction reaches a crescendo.
”People just get their knickers in a twist about this. Everybody should just grow up. If somebody you don’t know wants to get married, what the hell does it have to do with you?” she says.
”I don’t want to ape a straight relationship,” says Margolyes, who has been with her Australian partner for more than 40 years. ”The only reason I’d get married is to get some presents. I want some Le Creuset sets. Not that I cook.’
(“Barry Humphries joins Q&A“; Q&A May 28, 2012)
MIRIAM MARGOLYES: What about President Obama, who has come out in favour of gay marriage?
TONY JONES: Dragged into the open by his vice president?
MIRIAM MARGOLYES: Is that how it was?
TONY JONES: Pretty much.
BARRY HUMPHRIES: Afraid so.
MIRIAM MARGOLYES: Well, I wonder will it cost him in the election in America and would it here, for example? No, I don’t think it would here because Australians are sensible. In England, where they’re frightfully stupid, over 70% are against gay marriage in England. I, as it happens, since nobody’s asked, I don’t want to get married to my partner of 43 years but some people do and, you know, let them. It’s another question, of course. I realise that.
So how about it, Julia? Go have a chat with Miriam and sort out her right to get married (and mine too), here in Australia, under Australian law, in case she ever decides she wants to tie the knot. It won’t cost you the election and it might even help you win it, because love always wins over hate.
Michael Danby is the Federal MP for Melbourne Ports, an electorate that has sizeable Jewish and gay populations. He has taken a swing at ABC’s Q&A for hosting a show with Israeli content on the Jewish New Year, at a time when many in the Jewish community chose not to watch television due to religious observance.
Tony Jones, the host of Q&A, explained to that segment of Australia’s population that Q&A focusing half of its program on Monday night on Israel was because he could not get his guest Mr Pappe other than that night. Irving Wallach did a brave job on the program. But I question Mr Jones; the ABC managing director, Mark Scott; and indeed the new chairman, Jim Spigelman. This was a studied insult. Having an academically undistinguished extremist on Rosh Hashana is like having someone from Hizb ut-Tahrir advocate the abolition of Christianity and Australia on Christmas Eve.
At the same time Danby is a member of a political party that is led by the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who believes gay people should not have equal rights before the law. He also has colleagues, including the leader, who actively voted against the rights of gay people this week. Conveniently, Danby was absent during the vote.
I have yet to see a single word of support from Michael Danby for marriage equality, despite him being apparently supportive of it. Further, I have yet to see a statement showing Michael Danby’s outrage at the lack of support from his political colleagues for voting against their party platform.
Michael Danby. Put up or shut up, but don’t have it both ways.
Today it came to my attention that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is appearing as keynote speaker at the 2012 Australian Christian Lobby National Conference. It also came to my attention that an aligned radical Australian Christian organisation is claiming that “gays reproduce by molesting kids”.
It’s inexcusable for the leader of the nation to remotely associate herself with any organisation that espouses such hateful views
Julia, its time to leave the house.
Today in the office two of my colleagues embarked on a conversation about the news around Margaret Court that was dominating the Australian Open. Both of these colleagues are heterosexual, married men in their late forties / early fifties, both with a reasonably firm grip on reality and both people who would speak up against intolerance and discrimination. In fact one, of South African Indian background, lived through the oppression of the Apartheid regime.
The conversation started off by my South African colleague asking the other what the deal was with Margaret Court and the rainbow flag protests that were being reported in the news. My other colleague confidently said:
They need to pull her name off that stadium. There’s no room for that sort of bigotry in a country like this.
I was sitting next to my colleague when he said this. He’s not one to mince his words, and to hear this profoundly frank statement made me exceptionally proud to know him.
I posted the comment on Facebook (directly and via Twitter) as soon as what he had said sank in. In the subsequent 10 hours well over thirty people have ‘liked’ my colleague’s comment, shared it once and reposted it once. It has also attracted a range of supportive comments.
Clearly it has struck a chord.
I have to agree with my colleague. There is absolutely no room for this sort of bigotry in Australia. Increasingly the wider population is standing up to the hatred of homosexuality that has pervaded our society since the nation was founded.
It is incumbent on the leaders of our society, our governments, to fight the hatred and bigotry that same-sex attracted people face. It has to come from the very top, from the office of the Prime Minister. Sadly Prime Minister Gillard has, to date, shown herself to be completely lacking in the necessary skills to counter this hatred. Maybe she’ll discover them in time to make a difference during her ‘leadership’ but I won’t be holding my breath.
In the meantime I sit comfortable knowing that even if the leader of the nation has sold out to the homophobic right, there is an increasing number of heterosexual citizens who are prepared to stand up to the bigotry and hatred that their same-sex attracted compatriots are having to face.
Thank you to my colleague, and to every other heterosexual supporter fighting for our equality, our rights and our dignity.
Just like a fairy-tale, once upon a time (in 1984) Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said she’d fight for homosexual rights. But with the power of the big job going to her head, she decided equality for gays was a bad, bad thing, and changed her tune. Perhaps she’d even forgotten about the old days, the idealistic, head-rushing days of her student youth. Will there be a happily ever after in this fairy tale?
Research confirms that Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, Bob Katter, Jim Wallace, Jeff Kennett, George Pell and Peter Jensen are among the leading causes of Homophobia in Australia today. These individuals supported by organisations such as the ALP, the Coalition, the Australian Christian Hate Lobby, the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church are actively working to increase homophobia in Australia today.
From: Alex Greenwich (AME)
Date: 8 July 2011 12:45
Subject: MEDIA RELEASE: GILLARD STOPS GAY AUSSIES MARRYING IN NEW YORK
To: Michael Barnett
AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Friday July 8th 2011
GILLARD STOPS GAY AUSSIES FROM MARRYING IN NEW YORK
The Gillard Government is blocking the marriages of gay Australians in New York.
When New York state’s new equal marriage law takes effect on July 27th same-sex couples from other countries will be able to marry there if they provide a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage (CNI) to show they are not already married in their home country.
But the Australian Government refuses to give such certificates to same-sex couples intending to marry overseas, a policy defended by Julia Gillard as recently as the 14th of June, 2011.
Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, called the policy petty and mean-spirited.
“The Gillard Government’s policy of not allowing same-sex marriages in Australia forces same-sex couples to go overseas if they want to marry, but when they apply to marry in another country Julia Gillard is there saying “no” as well”, Mr Greenwich said.
“This means some couples miss out on entitlements and protections they can only receive overseas if they are married in a country that would otherwise recognise their committment, and it causes endless hassles for couples who have planned their wedding only to find it can’t go ahead.”
In response to a question from Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie on June 14th Julia Gillard incorrectly stated that CNIs are issued to show if a marriage is recognised in Australia (details here), but the New York Marriage Registry clearly defines a CNI in the following way:
“A Certificate of Non-Impediment is an official Certification that the City Clerk’s Office has no information that would be an “impediment” to your getting a Marriage License in the City of New York.”
In 2009, a tri-partisan Senate inquiry condemned the policy of not issuing CNIs to same-sex couples and called for it be scrapped on the following basis:
“A decision by a sovereign nation to allow marriage between a couple of the same sex should be a matter for that nation, and not a matter against which Australia should throw up bureaucratic barriers.”
On Wednesday, openly-gay South Australian Labor State Upper House member, Ian Hunter, condemned the Gillard Government’s refusal to issue CNIs and revealed he and his partner have officially applied for a CNI to marry overseas. (Details here).
Yesterday in an interview with Sky News, Julia Gillard said she may not respect a motion at December’s National Labor Conference in favour of allowing same-sex marriages. (Details here)
For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.
Julia Gillard came under attack recently by protesters who felt it was acceptable to call her a bitch. There are some who believe it’s not appropriate to use this sort of language in politics.
Our unmarried, female atheist Prime Minister, in a relationship with a man, doesn’t believe gays and lesbians should get married.
On gay marriage, Ms Gillard said: “I do find myself on the conservative side in this question.”
That’s like making the blacks sit at the back of the bus, Julia.
As long as Julia Gillard keeps treating those of us in same-sex relationships as second-class citizens, in a government-sanctioned sexual apartheid, I don’t believe she deserves an iota of sympathy or any defence when people hurl abuse at her. I’d go as far as to say she actually deserves it, and not at all because she’s a woman, but simply because she endorses discrimination.
Another Equal Love Rally came and went today. Thousands of queer Melburnians and supporters turned up to protest the discrimination that the Gillard Government forces down the throats of all Australians when it comes to marriage rights.
Every single Australian is affected by this discrimination, not just those people wanting to enter a same-sex marriage, or a marriage not defined by gender. The federal Marriage Act limits the choice of partner of every single Australian.
It’s time for the Gillard Government to stop pandering to the Christian and other religious fundamentalist bigots and start governing for all Australians, not just the ones that make her the most moist.