From: Michael Barnett OAM <⬛️⬛️⬛️@⬛️⬛️⬛️> Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2023 at 18:46 Subject: Addressing blood donation injustice To: Dr Carina Garland <email@example.com> Cc: Gregory Storer <⬛️⬛️⬛️@⬛️⬛️⬛️>
We refer to your call in Parliament yesterday for residents of Chisholm to donate blood.
My husband and I live in Chisholm. We dearly want to be able to donate blood but we are prohibited from doing so because donation rules require we abstain from sex with each other for a period of three months prior to donating blood. Neither Gregory nor I have HIV. We take personal responsibility for our health and safety and do not expose ourselves to risky sexual situations. We are not a risk to the blood supply.
We note the Labor National Conference resolved to support the end of blanket blood donation bans from some within the LGBTI community as well as sex workers. We also note an end to the gay blood ban and the adoption of individual risk assessment has been publicly supported by the Queensland Health minister and Victorian state Liberal member, Matt Bach.
We urge you to advocate for reform to blood donation bans so that exclusion is determined by individual risk rather than the gender of your sexual partners. Doing so will increase the supply of much needed safe blood.
Sincerely, Michael Barnett & Gregory Storer ⬛️⬛️⬛️ Address redacted ⬛️⬛️⬛️
Dr GARLAND(Chisholm) (16:18): I recently donated blood at the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Donor Centre in Mount Waverley. I thank the wonderful team at the Mount Waverley Donor Centre for inviting me to donate, and for their kindness and dedication to their very important work.
One in three Australians will need blood products in their lifetime, and that means we need a new blood donor every four minutes. One blood donation can save up to three lives. Blood or plasma donations are needed for things like cancer treatment, autoimmune condition, support after traumatic events, surgeries, and neonatal procedures. We have around 4,200 active blood donors in the Chisholm electorate, but thousands more people in our electorate are eligible to donate. People in Chisholm have saved up to 36,108 lives in the past 12 months alone by donating blood. I urge people in my community to become a regular blood donor if they are able to, and to add to this number of lives saved. If you can, please consider giving the gift of life, and donate blood.
On Wednesday June 10 2020 Liberal Party Member for Chisholm Glady Liu MP spoke in Parliament about how mental health services and suicide prevention were a priority for the government.
She also took the unashamed liberty to promote five Christian services and churches in her electorate, whilst overlooking any non-Christian or secular services.
The coalition government is doing its bit in this space, but I cannot let go by an opportunity to speak about the excellent work of some organisations in my electorate of Chisholm who are doing the hard work to assist those in need. Organisations such as St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, Crossway Baptist Church, NewHope Baptist Church and UnitingCare East Burwood Centre provide numerous services to people struggling through these times, and I’m proud to work with these great organisations to ensure that everyone in Chisholm is able to get the help they need.
Without too much effort I located one non-faith based mental health referral service operating within her electorate in Box Hill: Eastern Melbourne PHN. There may well be more such services. I’m sure her staffers are sufficiently capable of researching this.
Whilst it’s disappointing that my elected representative is exclusively promoting Christianity, it doesn’t entirely surprise me given her conservative religious values.
The devastating part of what Gladys Liu has done here is promote a range of services, some of which are complicit in extreme negative mental health outcomes for segments of the community, most specifically LGBTIQ+ people.
I have taken the opportunity to send a message to Gladys Liu advising her of Eastern Melbourne PHN and asking that she prepare a comprehensive list of mental health services in Chisholm that extend beyond Christian churches or church-based services.
Hopefully next time Gladys Liu is reporting on services in Chisholm, she remembers her responsibilities to her electorate do not include advantaging religion. With any luck her speech might even not backfire on her.
If you know of a non-Christian and/or non-faith based mental health service in Chisholm, let me know.
Liberal Party Chisholm candidate Gladys Liu does not represent the majority of people in Chisholm who voted YES for marriage equality.
The Age (October 26 2018) reported the Victorian Liberals have announced Gladys Liu as their candidate for Chisholm:
The Victorian Liberals have chosen a party activist and business consultant to contest the Chisholm electorate, presently held by Julia Banks, who controversially announced plans to quit parliament after going public with bullying allegations.
Gladys Liu was preselected late on Thursday evening for the federal seat in Melbourne’s east, which includes the suburbs of Box Hill, Chadstone and Mount Waverley.
The Guardian (July 12 2016) reported of Gladys Liu:
“A Liberal campaigner in Chisholm has been credited as masterminding an anti-Labor smear campaign focused on the anti-bulling Safe Schools Coalition and marriage equality.”
Guardian Australia has reported messages on Chinese social media site WeChat orchestrated by the Liberal Gladys Liu that included strong opposition of Safe Schools and same-sex marriage.
Liu said many Chinese people didn’t want the next generation “destroyed” by “rubbish” like transgender identity and believe same-sex marriage is “against normal practice”.
The 2017 ABS Marriage Equality Postal Survey returned a 62% YES vote in Chisholm:
Neos Kosmos (Oct 27 2017) reported of Chisholm MP Julia Banks:
Federal Member for Chisholm Julia Banks declared her unequivocal support for same-sex marriage this week, saying that the most disturbing aspect of the ‘no’ campaign was the view that “only a marriage between a man and a woman will ensure the protection of children”.
Ms Banks said the fact that two loving people are not able to have the equal rights at law that millions of Australians enjoy in loving marriages, was “about standing for equality for all, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or ethnicity.”
The Liberal MP, who holds one of Australia’s most marginal federal seats, and one with a diverse multicultural electorate, added that marriage equality was about “equality before the law” and that respectful debate on the issue was vital and a “cornerstone” of Australian values.
If Gladys Liu is the best the Liberal Party can come up with to represent the views of the voters in Chisholm, one of Australia’s most marginal federal seats, then they have failed badly in their choice of candidate.
Gregory and I met with Anna Burke. We talked about being second class citizens. She talked about appeasing the Greek Orthodox Church. She has a dyke in her office who likes that I called Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard first class c*nts.
Yesterday Gregory and I met with my federal MP Anna Burke (Chisholm). We talked about how the law makes us feel like second-class citizens and how our relationship is inferior to the others of Gregory’s 10 married siblings and my brother’s.
Anna told us her concern was that she had two vocal Greek Orthodox Churches in her electorate who were putting the pressure on her to vote against marriage equality and that there weren’t the numbers to support it.
I suggested maybe she ramp up the quality of the response facility on her web site, to help gauge the level of support more effectively. She didn’t seem too keen.
However Anna’s assistant Janet was extremely supportive and wants the law changed so she has the right to marry her girlfriend. It’s nice to know there’s a dyke in the Anna Burke office keeping Anna honest.
Oh yes, and the email I called Julia and Tony first class c*nts, that tickled Janet pink. 🙂
Last spring GetUp members sent over 10,000 emails in support of a Parliamentary motion that encouraged Members of Parliament to gauge their constituents’ views on marriage equality. Now, many MPs, including yours – Ms Anna Burke – have started consulting their electorates.
Under current laws, same-sex couples cannot get married and are denied the same rights and recognition other married couples enjoy. But now, as MPs consult their electorates, you have a unique chance to help form their opinion and inform their vote. Click here to have your say.
Thanks for making your voice heard,
The GetUp Team
I wrote this email in response:
From: Michael Barnett
Date: 3 April 2011 18:07
Subject: My views on marriage equality
To: Anna Burke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Gregory Storer
Dear Ms Burke,
My partner Gregory Storer and I have been in a committed relationship since November 2008. We love each other deeply and would like the right to be able to marry each other.
There is no justifiable reason for preventing us from getting married. We are identical in every way to any heterosexual couple, except that one of us is not female.
Some people will claim that we can’t conceive a child between us and other people will say that any children we raise will suffer from not having a parent of either gender.
My response is that there are plenty of heterosexual people who cannot or choose not to have children. There are also plenty of single mothers and fathers who ably raise their own children.
As it happens, my partner Gregory Storer has two teenage children that he raised single-handedly and so he is not looking to have any more children. I am not looking to have any children either.
We would like the right to get married though, as we currently feel we are treated as second-class citizens by our government and we believe we are entitled to the same rights and privileges as all other Australians.
We pay the same taxes as all other Australians and we contribute to society the same as all other Australians. Yet we are treated differently to all heterosexual Australians simply because one of us is not female. Do you think that is fair to discriminate against us because one of us is not female?
I encourage to you to understand that it is harmful to the mental health and self-esteem of all people who are treated less than anyone else simply because of their gender or their sexual orientation. You would understand that, being female.
If you have any doubts or questions about what I am saying, I would encourage you to listen to this presentation by Rodney Croome, delivered at the Wheeler Centre in 2010. It’s worth every minute of time it takes to watch.