Kevin Andrews suddenly learns that everyone else knows Catch The Fire are batshit #auspol

Minister for Putting Single Mums in Their Bloody Place Kevin Andrews, among other Team Australians, has recently learned that the people of Australia don’t particularly like that the “World Congress of Families” is run by well-known slavering extremist anti-choice homophobic bigots Catch The Fire Ministries and has decided not to open their adorable little Hatesturbate For Jesus for them after all.

Catch The Fire Ministries, whose head douche Danny Nalliah infamously linked Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires to that state’s abortion laws (and will now have to find other high-profile fundamentalist scenery-chewers to mix the green cordial [red is SINFUL!] and run the games of “pin Satan’s pitchfork on the eternally burning lesbortionist,”) have since thrown K-Drews under the bus for being a sad wuss. Because how dare any public official in a secular democracy respond to public outcry over lending explicit government support to a pack of fringe-dwelling cultists whose lunacy is only exceeded by their self-importance.

I suspect that, much like a pair of cling-wrap Y-fronts, this is a transparent arse-covering on the part of Kev and his fellow Tory wingnuts, Eric “I Am The Politican Every Sketch Show Bases Their Politicians On” Abetz and Cory “Looky, I Wrote A Book Just Like God Did” Bernardi, who would surely have gone along had the public not had something of a issue with members of our government explicitly validating the dark-ages lunacy of extremist evangelist hooligans.

Not Catch The Fire but close efuckingnough, amirite?


School Chaplains: why can’t you lot just stick to the pulpit #auspol

It appears the Abbott government still wants to exclude secular workers from the School Chaplaincy program, despite widespread opposition and two High Court challenges.

Religious people have numerous avenues available if they wish to seek spiritual guidance for themselves or their children; this constant push by some of them to have exclusive access to other peoples’ children while in school is distasteful and extremely presumptuous (and possibly even un-Constitutional – while Section 116 has historically not been applied to state funding of religious schools, implementing exclusively religious programs such as this in state schools might be a different basket of loaves and fishes. While the Abbott regime might be able to use the general term “religious” to escape being accused of favouring of one faith over another, the very term “chaplain” has an exclusively Christian origin and I doubt very strongly that we’ll see a great many imams, rabbis or whatever those used-god salesmen-for-Xenu call themselves counselling state school students).  

Apart from the blatant discrimination involved in barring secular counselors from consideration, kids with serious problems (or even mild ones) don’t need Divinity lessons, they need trained professionals. Religious exceptionalism of this sort is highly likely to expose vulnerable children to inappropriate proselytising and unhelpful advice – when compared to the likelihood of a properly trained secular counselor attempting to proselytise their philosophy, it’s practically a stone-carved certainty.

If a counselor is appropriately qualified and experienced they should be hired; their religious status, just like their age, marital status and orientation, should be irrelevant to their practice. It’s not legal for the Commonwealth to refuse employment in any other area of operation on religious grounds; how such a proscription wouldn’t apply to state school counselors escapes me. This appears to be yet another example of a government operating by ideology and working off a checklist, with pragmatism, fairness and perhaps even legality being secondary concerns.

Evangelising students in school is not only preying on an audience that’s legally compelled to be there, it’s also based on the offensive and arrogant presumption that the evangelists have the right (God-given, of course) to undermine whatever religious traditions those kids’ families may already observe in their own homes or places of worship or whatever non-religious philosophies they may subscribe to.

Not only that, but those churches that evangelise more often than not subscribe to fringe conservative and flat-out fundamentalist interpretations of Scripture which have absolutely no place in our public schools, where there frequently is a plurality of ethnicity and culture.

I’m sure we can all imagine the outcry from decent Christian folk if Islamists or JW’s or Mormons were given privileged access to state school students (even if ostensibly to use their powers for good and explicitly not for the purposes of conversion attempts); it’s much better for all concerned (chiefly the kids who’ll need professional advice and support) if preachers (or preachers-by-other-names) stay in the pulpit.

Mexico City legalises gay marriage and adoption rights

Outstanding. [link]

Would that my own country of Australia would deign to join Mexico in the 21st century.

Merry Christmas, gays in Mexico. Look forward to receiving a few visitors from El Norte in 2010.

That is all.

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In Which I Mount A Soapbox About Marriage Equality

The following was left here ( by me:

Dear Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee,

This is my submission to your inquiry into marriage equality. I fully endorse the submission made by Australian Marriage Equality in favour of the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009.

It’s time to stop deferring to the ignorance, hatred and unfounded fears that those opposed to equality are spreading and have been spreading now for decades. It’s time to embrace the reality that gay people deserve the same rights as heterosexual people – equal rights, not “special” rights as the various anti-equality lobbies would have you believe. Time to embrace the reality that allowing gay people the same rights as their heterosexual neighbours will not devalue or threaten heterosexual marriages or families. Time to embrace the reality that a family need only contain people that love and trust and rely on one another and not just the “one man, one woman plus their biological children ONLY” model! Time to realise that while tradition has its place and in various forms is important to us all it should not be a yardstick by which legislation is decided and not a commandment set in stone, immutable and inviolate.

It’s time to recognise that if a gay citizen is subject to the same laws and charged with the same responsibilities as a straight citizen, that gay citizen should also be entitled to the same benefits and privileges of being a citizen of Australia as their straight neighbours. It’s time to recognise the current ridiculous & unacceptable situation: that at birth we are all granted a set of civil and legal rights, such as the right to wed our love, raise a family and ensure that family’s protection should we be incapacitated – however these rights can be spuriously and unjustly denied once a person discovers their sexual identity. Not because our government actively legislates against equality, but because they refuse to show even the minimum of courage required to end their passive resistance to it.

It’s time that gay people were extended the same rights that straight people are born with, take for granted and have never had to fight their own fellow citizens for! It’s time that words like “tradition” and “family” and “marriage” were looked at with a critical, objective eye and in the context of a modern, 21st century democracy, not with hushed religious awe and not through rose-coloured glasses of nostalgia. It’s also past time that those words were wrested from the hands of a certain extremist minority who see them as their property, bestowed upon them from on high; a minority who despite their small numbers and scant public support are making great efforts and expending great resources to control and dictate the terms of this important debate.

It’s time Australia had the courage to stand up to fear-mongering, extremist religious pressure and flat-out bigotry. It took us until 1968 to hand the original inhabitants of this land the right to vote; will it take us another 160 years to grant gay people what should be the most basic right of all – the right to marry and have a secure family?

It’s long past time to understand – and recognise officially – that in the phrase “gay people”, the word “people” is the one we and our government should focus on.

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Vatican Watch: pretend country opposes decriminalisation of homosexuality

From [Reuters]:

VATICAN CITY, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Gay rights groups and newspaper editorials on Tuesday condemned the Vatican for its decision to oppose a proposed U.N. resolution calling on governments worldwide to de-criminalise homosexuality.

The row erupted after the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations told a French Catholic news agency the Holy See would oppose the resolution, which France is due to propose later this month on behalf of the 27-member European Union.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore said the Vatican opposed the resolution because it would “add new categories of those protected from discrimination” and could lead to reverse discrimination against traditional heterosexual marriage.

“If adopted, they would create new and implacable discriminations,” Migliore said. “For example, states which do not recognise same-sex unions as ‘matrimony’ will be pilloried and made an object of pressure,” Migliore said.

Migliore, you stupid little shit, it’s not about (ooh booga booga) gay marriage. People are being KILLED because they’re gay and being gay is against the law in some countries. Killed fucking dead. Because they’re gay. And you don’t seem to give a shit about putting a to stop that. Which doesn’t surprise me, considering that, when it comes to most of the rest of the developed world, including pretty much all of your European neighbours including the country that fucking well tolerates your presence in its capital, you are completely arse-backwards on basically every point relating to human sexual freedom. Sex before marriage? No, what if you liked it? You’d want to do it a lot but maybe not to conceive new Catholics, all fresh, branded with an Original Sin they had no fucking control over and ready to be “saved”. The simple act of contraception? Hell no, then there’d be no abortions to wring your hands over and no fresh marinated Catholic bums on pews (and what precise passage forbids contraception anway? Did the ol’ Jews know about the pill?). Homosexuality? Bah, give me strength. Sure, we don’t execute them anymore but it’s still wrong. And don’t even get us started on female priests. Well, look – considering you’re a pack of repressed virgins (except for the ones that rape children and are allowed to get away with it), I don’t think you’re any more qualified to hand out dictates about sexual behaviour than I am to hand out instructions on how to orbit the fucking Moon. If you don’t know how it works, if you haven’t had sufficient experience, don’t goddam well presume to hand out an instruction manual. I wouldn’t tell people how to “Shut The Fuck Up” unless I knew how to do it. Well … I’ve got a fair grasp on the theory, so shut the damn hell fuck up.

Does anyone take these Papist fuckers seriously anymore? If so, why? Exactly what function does the Papacy serve at the UN? Precisely what is accomplished by giving this pretend country/museum of iniquity and horror a vote equal to that of other nations who actually contain real people and not glorified statue-polishers? These Janitors for Jesus seem to do sweet fuck all except provide enough soundbites to show the world just exactly how out of step they are with evolved modern societies. There’s a reason Europe & the world shunned the Papacy and its Inquisitions & Dark Age in favour of democracy & knowledge and the Papists show this to us all at every opportunity with statements like those of Migliore. What, if anything, does the Vatican contribute to the UN except embarrassing anachronistic remarks? Who exactly does the Vatican represent? A billion Catholics? No! They’re all citizens of the other 190+whatever proper countries with seats at the UN.

Seriously, what it is going to take for the UN to realise that the Vatican should be seen and not freaking heard? It’s like the embarrassing great-uncle at Christmas time whose rude, racist, homophobic & generally offensive remarks everyone tolerates because he’s been around forever, has tons of cash & everyone knows he’s losing his mind. Everyone knows he won’t be around forever, including him, so everyone’s just holding their tongue until he pops his clogs. Noone really knows (or cares) how he fits into the family tree except for the oldest rellies, but they don’t like him either.

So, yes, SIGH, Mandy’s got another frickin Catholic hate-boner. Again, I must point out it’s not actual Catholics that inspire this rage. From any post on this blog marked “catholic” it should be pretty clear it’s the administration, the empire and its spokes-idiots that raise my bile. I know full-well that there are plenty of other religious organisations that deserve at least equal loathing & dark wizardry, but there really are none that compare to the Vatican – the 1500 year old Christian empire, constant enemy of knowledge, science and societal evolution, constant defender of gender/sexual inequality & child-rapists. No other religious organisation has been around for as long & has its own pretend country & corresponding seat at the fucking UN. For every Catholic city mission, nobly handing out blankets and feeding the homeless, there’s a statement from some senior manager, laying out the official policy that anyone who’s not a Catholic male is basically fucked. No other nation/empire has as lengthy or as reprehensible a history when it comes to human rights. Crusades, Inquisitions, Nazi appeasement, enabling child-rapists, lying about condoms & AIDS (condeming untold numbers to death), railing against masturbation, contraception AND abortion (effectively a three-pronged attack against sexual freedom of choice of any kind) and now, effectively condoning the executions of gays in tin-pot shitty little theocracies across the world.

Seriously, what the fuck is going to wake the UN up to this antiquated museum masquerading as a nation? Do they just keep them around to piss the Arabs off?

Bah, whatever, Merry fucking Christmas. Fuck the Pope and all his little wizards.

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Equality one step closer!

[doubled at Dangerous Intersection]

In the aftermath of California’s passing of the shameful Proposition 8, I bring good tidings (and hope) from Australia. I’ll post most of the article From the Canberra Times because it’s short and to the point:

Gay and lesbian couples are a step closer to equality before the law after
two Bills passed through the Senate.

The laws would extend the definition of a de facto relationship to include same-sex couples and allow homosexuals to leave superannuation entitlements to partners. The Bills also guarantee equality in tax, social security, health, aged care and employment.

Labor senator Penny Wong, who is openly gay, said the laws would deliver the sort of equality before the law that same-sex couples have never experienced.
”They [the Bills] deliver on a very important election commitment on an important day for us,” she told the Senate.

Uniting Care Australia’s national director Lin Hatfield Dodds applauded the Bills, saying it was ”about time” they were passed. ”These Bills are about citizens having equality before the law,” she said. ”They should cut across party lines, because it’s about respecting the inherent dignity of each person, and ensuring under the law there is opportunity for each person to express their sex and not be penalised for that.”

Liberal senator George Brandis said it was a historic day that signified an end to law reforms more than 40 years in the making.

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown, also openly gay and a long-time campaigner for same-sex rights, congratulated the Government for putting the legislation before Parliament within 12 months of its election.

Nice. Bi – actually, tri-partisan support for this historic decision! Makes me proud, not just of our elected officials and of the pollies I voted for but of the fact that I participated in the campaign led by indie non-partisan political campaign group, who have shown themselves in their relatively short political life thus far to be quite a major player in public participation. My voice was one of many, many thousands heard and heeded. But enough about me.

This historic event would never have happened under the Howard government (just given the arse, finally, after a dozen years of bullshit, borderline racism & almost six years of war). Former Prime Minister John Winston Menzies Howard, an old-school conservative, Bush supporter, Royalist and, well, lying bastard & refugee-hater (google: Children Overboard, mandatory detention, Nauru) naturally (as for most conservatives) held that homosexual people simply weren’t entitled to the same rights as everyone else (but, curiously, had exactly the same responsibilities – which they exercised by uniformly voting against him, bless their hearts). Howard may well have thought, like many conservatives, that being gay is some kind of choice or “kink”, and if people make the choice to play the game that way then they can jolly well watch the game from the bench and cut up the oranges for half-time. Or he may just have had a natural, ingrained, 1950’s white Australian slant against “bloody poofs”. Either way, there was no way gays were ever going to be equal while he was at The Lodge (aka the Aussie Whitehouse). This measure may well have had support from MPs from the Liberal Party (who, despite their name, are conservatives) during Howard’s reign, but they would always have felt compelled to vote along party lines. Not so this time – plus the emphatic Labour victory of last October & the gains for the Greens meant that the numbers for these votes were pretty much sorted.

Of course, this isn’t gay marriage per se, but removing the largest legal obstacles to equality is a giant step closer toward the inevitable. The fact that it has support from Liberal, Labour & Greens senators indicates that the prospect of gays being equal hasn’t seen them scurrying under their desks for a “duck & cover” drill. The three major parties have, finally, come together and exercised common sense, empathy and humanity. They’re not bollocking up & down, waving their Bibles around and shrieking about the sky falling or kids being taught Gayness at school, they’re shutting the f* up and working together for the good of all Australians, which is what they all swore an oath to do when they entered Parliament. And that makes me happy.

But then, we’ve always had flashes of political progression down this end. In 1893 our New Zealand cousins were the first to grant women the vote, with Australia beginning to follow suit two years later (in my home state of South Australia – go Crows!). Unfortunately it took until the 1960s for Aboriginals to be granted voting rights, but that’s another long & sad story.

Of course, I’m now waiting with bated breath for some button-down pontificator from some indignant branch of the God-squad to pop their talking head up on TV to have their obligatory 10-second crack at this long-overdue step in the right direction. My feeling is that it’ll be someone from either the Family First party (isn’t it curious how the word ”Family” in the name of a political party or group is pretty much always code for “God hates gays”?) or some collared clown from the Catholic church. Specky anachronistic twat Cardinal Pell is my odds-on favourite. Being something to do with sex, this is right up the Papacy’s alley (so to speak). Papists are like Pavlov’s dogs, salivating at the mere mention of gays in the public sphere. I’ll give an outside chance to someone from a fringe whack-job group like the Assemblies of God.

Anyway, three cheers and three beers for Australia! My loving, loyal, law-abiding, dog-registering, voting, tax-paying neighbours (who just happen to be gay) can now look forward to being on equal footing with everyone else on the street.

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A comment …

Over at this post on Dangerous Intersection (where I’m known to lurk, occasionally leaping from dark corners to spew acid on passing lackwits and then devouring their liquidy flesh), a battle rageth with “Karl”, a commenter intent on proving that The Gays shouldn’t be allowed to get Gay-Married. He has his reasons. Most of them are to do with the fact that he’s a copy-pasting conservative Christian spambot who thinks and does what he’s told.

Anyway, as is my wont, I’ve been heckling him from the sidelines & challenging him to produce something, anything which makes banning gay marriage a reasonable choice. Of course, he has provided nothing but a vac-sealed package of Grade A bullshit. I’d call him Erik Brewer II but to the best of my recollection he’s not mentioned The Gay Agenda yet…

Part of my latest comment:

It would’ve been interesting seeing which side of the coin these Prop 8′ers would have been on during the Abolition/Suffrage debates…

“It’s tradition! We’ve always owned blacks/kept our women subservient/picked on gays, why should we set them free/let them vote/allow them equality? If we do that, society will crumble into chaos and anarchy with free negroes/chatty women/married gays dragging us into a bottomless pit of syncopated drumbeats/gossip magazines/interior design shows!”

The saga at DI will continue. Karl will respond. Hopefully. Firstly because I love seeing the other DI guys & gals lay into these hateful trolls and secondly because I have far from exhausted my Sarcasmo-Ray and I have no respect for those who have no respect for love, human rights or equality. And even less respect for those who attempt to justify their ingrained bigotry with transparently lame and ultimately fail-ridden attempts at reason and logic. And goddam do I love ripping into them. Even if it has no effect on their beliefs (I don’t expect it to), I enjoy ridiculing the ridiculous and laughing at the laughable. Hell, you come to a humanist/secular/atheist/liberal-ish blog like DI and start throwing around homophobia and trying to disguise it as carefully considered sociological and political positions, don’t expect a warm reception. Stalwart fundy Erik Brewer caught a facefull of strident atheist militancy, stormed off in a huff and hasn’t returned. Yet.

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