Carl Katter, meet Barbra Streisand

Aug 16, 2015

On February 1 2013 Same Same published a story on Carl Katter’s political aspirations.  On August 10 2015 Crikey also published comments on Carl Katter’s political aspirations.  Crikey referred to the Same Same article:

Carl Katter has long flagged that he’s interested in a political career, saying he wanted to run before the 2013 election after joining the party in late 2012. We hope that preselection won’t tame Katter’s honest Twitter presence, including this exchange with Freedom Commissioner Tim Wilson in 2013 that was later deleted (and caught by SameSame):

The following snapshot of a Twitter exchange appeared in both articles:

Carl Katter Tim Wilson Twitter exchange

I run a public Facebook group called “Proud to be a Second-Class Australian“.  The aim of the group is to stimulate awareness of discrimination and to motivate people to campaign for LGBTIQ rights.  I post a significant amount of content as part of my activism.  Members can also post relevant content freely.  I like to ensure what I post is “warts and all”, in an effort to eliminate bias.

On August 10 I posted the aforementioned graphic to the Facebook group, including a link to the Crikey article.  I captioned the image “I said love, I said pet, I said princess.”  Shortly after posting the image I received a message from Carl Katter and then he blocked me.  Fair enough.  He’s entitled to do this.  He did this a couple of years ago too.  Some time in the middle he unblocked me.  I guess at that point he felt he wanted me back as a Facebook friend.

Here is what he sent me on both occasions:

Carl Katter Facebook messages

A little after receiving this message I got a warning on Facebook that I had breached their “community standards” and notification of a 7 day ban on posting to Facebook.  This means that someone had reported content I had posted on Facebook and Facebook had decided it was somehow inappropriate.  This is the message Facebook sent me:

Facebook message on Katter Twitter issue

I’m about 6 days through the 7 day ban:

Facebook 7 day posting ban

It’s been a frustrating week for me as this ban has severely limited my capacity to do my activism.  It’s been the busiest news week in 11 years on marriage equality.  It’s been the week in which I was the key player in breaking a story on a controversial reparative (“gay cure”) therapist coming to talk to a Melbourne Jewish child sexual abuse group.  It’s been the week one the biggest marriage equality rallies ever happened in Melbourne.  It’s been the week Carl Katter probably needed some good publicity in his election campaign.  It’s also been another week I’ve not needed more unnecessary distractions in my personal life.

So I ask the question why Carl Katter would not want me to post a picture that is already in the public domain, about comments he posted on Twitter two years ago.  Why would he block me on Facebook for doing this?  Why would someone concerned about Carl Katter’s reputation report a photo of a public Twitter conversation including him to Facebook that resulted in me copping a harsh 7-day posting ban?  I get no say in this outcome on Facebook.  I just have to cop it sweet.  I’ve mostly managed to work around it but it’s wasted my time and significantly diminished my capacity to fight for LGBTIQ equality during a particularly important week.

If Carl Katter is concerned about his image and if he wants to maximise his chances of winning the seat of Higgins, it certainly doesn’t bode well for him to piss off gay rights activists.

Why am I so harsh on him?  He’s abused me.  He’s abused my husband Gregory.  He’s abused other people in the LGBTIQ community.  If he is going to stand for public office he needs to stop abusing people.  Actually, he needs to stop abusing people irrespective of whether he is standing for public office.  But he is not going to get away with abusing people when he stands for public office.  Carl Katter needs to be accountable for his words.

Carl Katter, meet Barbra Streisand.


Michael Danby MP silently shows support for Marriage Equality

Jan 18, 2012

Australian Marriage Equality have today issued a revised list of Australian politicians who are publicly supporting the call for Marriage Equality.  Of particular interest (and pleasure) to me is the presence of the name of the ALP’s Federal member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby.

Michael Danby MP - Melbourne Ports - supporting Marriage Equality

Michael Danby MP - Melbourne Ports - supporting Marriage Equality

Prior to the 2010 Federal Election Michael Danby refused to speak specifically in favour of Marriage Equality.  However he did allude to increased support for Marriage Equality from his party should it be successful in winning the election, as outlined in this media release from the then Secular Party candidate for Melbourne Ports Gregory Storer.

The next step Michael Danby needs to take is to make a public statement of his support for Marriage Equality, something that is noticeably missing from his web site.


Two reasons why the ECAJ must vocalise its support for marriage equality

Dec 15, 2011

On December 3 2011 the Australian Labor Party voted in favour of supporting marriage equality.  This was promptly followed by a statement of support from the Union for Progressive Judaism and simultaneously a statement of opposition from the Orthodox-based Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia.  J-Wire then reported a message from Jewish Community supporting Marriage Equality (J4ME) along with a statement from the ECAJ:

Peter Wertheim, the executive Director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told J-Wire that his organisation had no policy in place relating to same sex marriage.

The ECAJ recently passed a motion that calls for “mutual respect for the human dignity of all members of the [Jewish] community” and also acknowledges “that there is still much work to be done to remove intolerance of and unlawful discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in the Jewish community and the wider Australian community”.  This motion appears on the ECAJ Platform.

Peter Wertheim has recently been promoting via email the fact that Israel is the most GLBT-friendly place in the Middle East and that it is the only safe place for GLBT people to live openly and out in the Middle East.  Indeed, the Israeli situation for GLBT people is mostly good.  In some cases Israel is actually more advanced than Australia in affording GLBT people human rights.  One such case is that Israel recognises foreign marriages of same-sex couples whereas Australia has chosen to legislate against such recognition.

I wish to make two points regarding the recent support from the ECAJ for GLBT people and the promotion of Israel as a relatively safe GLBT space.

Firstly, the human rights and equality that GLBT people in Israel have been afforded have come about through changes to civil law and have for the most part been independent of (Orthodox) Jewish law or “halacha”.  If halacha was the law of the land in Israel, GLBT people would have no equality or recognition in any form.  This is evidenced by the aforementioned ORA statement and the general attitude of Jewish Orthodoxy to homosexuality.  This religious intolerance of homosexuality is not dissimilar to that which exists in the Islamic states that surround Israel.

It is the secular and progressive attitudes toward equality and human rights that has made Israel the beacon of tolerance and acceptance of GLBT people in the Middle East that it is.  With ongoing work in this area, such as that around surrogacy and parenting (here and here), Israel will become an increasingly proud oasis of acceptance for GLBT people and will no doubt be further promoted as such by Zionist advocates.

Secondly, with the ECAJ calling for respect of GLBT people in the community and the acknowledgement that there is “unlawful discrimination” against GLBT people, such as in the case of the Australian Federal Marriage Act, I find it hard to understand that the ECAJ chooses to remain silent on marriage equality.

In fact, this silence betrays the ECAJ’s platform on Social Inclusion, where it states:

1. Social Inclusion
This Council:
1.1 NOTES that it is the vision of the ECAJ to create and support a community in which all Australians, including all Jewish Australians:
(a) feel valued and their cultural differences are respected;
(b) have a fair opportunity to meet their material and other needs; and
(c) are equally empowered as citizens to participate in and contribute to all facets of life in the wider community;
1.2 NOTES that as Australians we take great pride in what we see as the uniquely Australian values of social egalitarianism, “mateship” and a “fair go”;
1.3 REAFFIRMS our profound commitment on behalf of the Australian Jewish community to the dignity of difference, gender equality, and a belief in the equality of humankind;

Here the ECAJ is calling for “equal empowerment”, “social egalitarianism” and “a belief in the equality of humankind”.  To my understanding, marriage equality fits all of these three concepts.  To clarify, egalitarianism is defined as “affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people.”

I believe the ECAJ does want marriage equality to be legislated, but has not yet taken the time to think about the implications of not vocalising its support for it.  The ECAJ is an organisation that has a genuine concern for the human rights of all people in every nation on this planet.  Further, it is inherent in the Jewish psyche to understand what deprivation of human rights can lead to.

I sincerely urge the ECAJ to consider its stance on marriage equality in general and speak out in favour of removing the legislated discrimination that all GLBT Australians face when it comes to recognition of our relationships.  It is without a doubt in the ECAJ’s best interests to advocate marriage equality, as doing so will have the double reward of making Australia a better place for all its citizens, and simultaneously making the beacon of light in Israel, the country that it is so proud of, shine even brighter.


Danby Silent on Anti-Israel Anti-Gay Extremist Jewish Filth Web-site

Aug 18, 2010

In September 2009 Michael Danby and I had a brief email exchange.  He told me he was criticising the “dark and ugly recesses of the Internet”.  I wrote back to him and advised him that his concern lacked credibility because he was ignoring dark and ugly recesses of the Internet on his very doorstep.

Wind back one month prior to August 1 2009, now just over a year ago.

In Tel Aviv, Israel, there was a horrific shooting that left two young Jewish Israelis dead.  They happened to be in a gay community centre at the time.  I appealed to many people in the Melbourne Jewish community to speak out against this shooting, to speak out against hate and intolerance of homosexuality, especially from within the Jewish community, and to stand up for the vulnerable and marginalised people in our society.  Amongst these many people was Michael Danby.

I didn’t write just one letter.  I wrote many letters.  I wanted people to hear me, to sit up and to take notice.  I included Michael Danby on every one of these letters.

This is the letter Michael Danby wrote to me on September 17 2009:

From: Michael Danby MHR <michael.danby.mp@aph.gov.au>
Date: 17 September 2009 12:06
Subject: Tova from Parliament House in Canberra
To: Michael Barnett <contact@aleph.org.au>

Dear Michael,

Thankfully this year Rosh Ha’shana this year does not occur during the parliamentary week. Like you, I will be cosseted with family and attending my local shule.

I wish you and your family a safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous new year, and well over the fast.

As you might expect I have been strongly advocating issues that I believe will be of interest to you.

In order to understand where this country is going it is important to remember where we have come from. Therefore I wrote, and I hope you will be interested in, an article on the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the second world war. Click here.

You will be pleased to know that my strong criticisms – The Dark and Ugly Recesses of the Internet‘ of two online publications crikey.com and newmatilda resulted in newmatilda changing its moderation policy for comments on articles regarding the middle east, while crikey.com Eric Beecher conceded that crikey.com editing and moderation of its comments on its website during the first 3  months of 2009.

Finally, in Parliament I noted the 20 years that Genia Janover has been Bialek’s Principal extraordinaire. Click here.

Wishing you and your family a gute and gebensched yohr

Michael Danby

This was my reply:
From: Michael Barnett <michael@aleph.org.au>
Date: 17 September 2009 10:29
Subject: Re: Tova from Parliament House in Canberra
To: Michael Danby MHR <michael.danby.mp@aph.gov.au>Dear Michael,

Thank you for your well-wishes.

In response to this email I would like to say that there are ‘dark and ugly recesses of the Internet’ here in Melbourne that I have brought to your attention recently via email that are as dark and as ugly as anything you may have commented on today.

Right now the only issues that are of interest to me are 1) the implementation of hate crimes to deal with vilification based on sexual orientation and 2) the insubstantial response by the leaders of every Jewish community in Australia to the hate and intolerance of gay people in the Jewish community in Australia and Israel.

You deal with Jews.  You deal with gay people.  You deal with issues in Australia.  What are you doing to ensure a safe place for GLBT Jews in Australia?

I’ve heard less from you, Michael Danby MP, on this matter than anyone else to date, yet your seat of Melbourne Ports sits across both the Jewish and gay communities.  I call on you to speak out about the intolerance and persecution of gay Jews in Australia.  Can you rise to the challenge?

I sincerely hope you care about us because right now, very few people are standing up for the most marginalised and vulnerable people in the Jewish community in Australia.

Sincerely,
Michael Barnett.

Aleph Melbourne

My letter refers to a Melbourne blog “AJN Watch” which describes itself as:

AJN WATCH – the on-line voice of Australian Orthodox Jewry observes and comments on matters of interest to that community. We particularly monitor prejudice and monopolistic abuse of influence in the pages of the Australian Jewish News – the main source of information to and about Australian Jewry. We spotlight errors, expose misrepresentations and vigorously advocate our community’s positions.

AJN Watch specialises in filth, intolerance and hate.   On August 7 2009 it published a piece entitled “Australian Jewish News, Australian Goyish News or Australian Gayish News?”  In it they wrote:

The last thing their readers are interested in is what is happening in Tel Aviv snakepits of dreck and perversion.

and

Your comment that “Israel is one of the more gay-friendly countries in the world and you don’t have to spend too much time in the more vibrant sections of Tel Aviv to become aware of a strong and tolerant gay culture” indeed nauseates, depresses and disgusts not only Hamodia readers, but all decent, civilized and moral people – of all religious beliefs. Your pride and delight that Israel has become a world-leader in depravity and debasement says much about you and your publication.

Michael Danby ignored my letter.  He did not speak out.  He turned his back on this sinister and vile web site based in his electorate of Melbourne Ports.  Michael Danby turned his back on gay people, on Jews, on Israel, on the memory of Liz Troubishi and Nir Katz, on the people in his electorate, on Melbourne, on Victoria, on Australia and on all of humanity.

Michael Danby wants you to vote for him on Saturday August 21.  He wants you to put your faith in his ability to represent you in the government and in his ability to govern for all of you.  He wants you to trust him.  Michael Danby cannot be trusted on these matters.  He claims to care about gay people.  He claims to care for the Jewish community.  He claims to care for Israel.  The only proven issue that Michael Danby actually cares about is himself and his career.  The rest is just lip-service and pandering.

If there’s one person you should not vote for this election it’s Michael Danby.  If there’s one party you should not vote for it’s the Australian Labor Party.

Michael Danby has let everyone down and he does not deserve reelection.  Tell Michael Danby he should not be reelected to government.  Do this by voting for a party that really cares about human rights and justice.  In Melbourne Ports, this leaves three real options: the Australian Greens, the Secular Party of Australia and the Australian Sex Party.

A vote for Danby and the Australian Labor Party is a vote for intolerance, bigotry, vilification, suffering and persecution.

Think about who you are voting for and why you are voting for them on Saturday August 21, 2010.  If you vote for Michael Danby, you will have it on your conscience.

Michael Barnett.
Ashwood, Victoria.


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