Carl Katter, ALP candidate for Higgins, wants to make a 2013 Twitter conversation of his disappear from the public record. If you play dirty about it, it comes back to bite you.
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:
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:
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:
I’m about 6 days through the 7 day 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.
Put a Marriage Equality statement in your wedding ceremony. It’s important and it’s easy to do.
My husband Gregory and I went to Canberra for the wedding of our friends Melanie and Ari on December 7 2014. That day was also the first anniversary of same-sex marriages being temporarily legalised in the Australian Capital Territory.
Ari invited me to deliver a message of Marriage Equality at the wedding, as a friend of his who is an activist for marriage equality and as a man who was recently married to a man in New Zealand. I was honoured to have been asked and without hesitation I accepted.
Ari and Mel object to the Federal government’s refusal to legislate in favour of Marriage Equality in Australia and they, along with an increasing number of opposite-sex couples, are incorporating statements of protest in their wedding ceremonies.
I read the following statement:
Speech for Mel & Ari’s wedding – December 7 2014
Today… the celebrant will declare as a requirement that marriage is the coming together of a woman and a man. Just remember that as these mandatory words are said today my husband Gregory and I stand in defiance of them.
I know Mel and Ari would rather this formality was not part of the proceedings. So rather than let it diminish the occasion, I’m going to treat the clause as a gift from the government, to mark a point in time where we all aspired for greater freedom, equality, dignity and humanity. When the discrimination in the law is erased and marriage is available to all, this will be a memento of the sweet success of that win.
I’m grateful for the friendship Gregory and I have with these two fine people, about to be married here today. We value the respect they have for our relationship and without hesitation we deeply respect theirs. As different as we may be individually, we share a love for our respective partners and in that, our relationships are truly equal.
If you’re attending a wedding between a woman and a man in Australia, ask the bride or groom if they’ve planned a Marriage Equality statement for their ceremony. If they haven’t, send them this article and suggest they do it, in the name of equality. It’s important, and it’s too easy.
My Marriage Vows – January 30, 2014; Queenstown, New Zealand.
January 30, 2014
Queenstown, New Zealand
I ask everyone here today to witness that I Michael Nathan Barnett choose you Gregory Paul Storer to be my legal husband.
Gregory. If I were asked to describe in one word what you mean to me it would simply be: “Everything”. You mean the world to me – in *so* many ways…
Setting out to climb Mt Amos in Tasmania, a 15 year goal of mine. Reaching the top, together, amazed at our efforts and the breathtaking views surrounding us.
Stopping by the roadside as we return from Mt Gambier to watch a koala bound up it’s tree.
Sitting in a forest at dusk, just us and some tiny bats getting their dinner.
Walking through a Croajingolong coastal heathland filled with the prettiest wild flowers.
Dining on Bala’s curries while enjoying a St Kilda beach sunset, then journeying to see the fairy penguins and the mischievous water rats.
Returning from our first equality rally in Albury to find a magnificent echidna, roadside, digging and snuffling for ants.
Drinks at the Laird enjoying the best of what it means to be a man.
Sharing a dinner of poached salmon and ginger while watching Q&A.
Standing on a 380 million year old mountain range in the Grampians, free from every care in the world.
Coffee and cakes at Grecos with Caitlin & Tomas.
Protesting for our rights at every Equal Love rally.
Brunches at La Cafe and walks along Carlisle Street.
Our kiss, in front of wildly fanatical protestors at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention that starts a worldwide viral sensation.
Standing by your side as you buried your sister and your parents.
Having a fight… and learning from our mistakes.
Your face nuzzled in *my* furry chest. Your arms around me. Your warm kiss on my lips.
Star gazing together into infinity at Mt Baimbridge and Bastion Point. Trying to comprehend the sheer insignificance of our presence in *this* universe. Realizing the meaninglessness of our existence. Marvelling at the scale of just *what* is out there.
He’ll have a long black, make mine a long macchiato… with Equal.
Smoked salmon on Vita Weat.
Despairing together over the plight of those who don’t have a meal, those who don’t have a home, those who don’t have a country, those who have less than us and those who don’t know what they don’t have. Crying, and trying to feel *their* pain.
You finding a tiny orchid on the forest floor, so delicate and pretty, for *me* to photograph.
Transforming our bodies from beyond obese – to amazingly healthy and fit.
Watching skillful New Holland Honeyeaters at Gypsy Point, them – plucking bugs from the air and us – sharing a freshly baked blueberry muffin.
Warming our frozen bodies with a delicious brewed coffee and hot toast and honey at the Sundial carpark.
Gado gado and Bali Coffee at Wong’s Cafe.
Becoming a truly loved son-in-law, brother-in-law and uncle to *my* most immediate family members.
A warm embrace after a long day as we fall asleep – together – in bed.
Interrupting my Cointreau chocolate mousse at Bridges last September in Ubud, to sweep me off my feet with the most unexpected and truly wonderful marriage proposal.
Gregory, YOU are the person who has brought so much into *my* life – every one of these amazing experiences – and *so* much more. Each one different from the other and all equally wondrous.
The first five years of our relationship have been a fantastic journey. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to completing this journey with you – in whatever form it takes.
Life is unpredictable – and *forever* is hard to comprehend, but I want to do it with you, by your side, for however long we can be together – as your friend… your companion… your adventurer… your activist… your lover… your man… your Mikey Bear…… and your husband.
You can read the vows Gregory said to me here.
“the composed minister calmly repeats the absurd reasoning for his prejudice.”
It really doesn’t get more heart-felt or political than this letter written by our 8 year-old niece Abbey today.
Tony, listen to the kids!
To Tony Abbott
my name is Abbey and I am 8 years old.
My unkls are gaye and we had to go to
New Zeland to have ther wedding it is going
To be on TV it’s called Living with the Enemy they
wont to get marred in Astralea but thats eligle
I will write to you once a day for a week.
P.S. I wold like the law changed.
We’re not asking. We’re demanding equal rights!
The Calendar of Love 2014 – Gregory and Michael – Protesting for Love
He proposed. I said yes. We’re going to get married.
Tonight Gregory and I went to dinner at Bridges Bali, a delightful restaurant that we had lunch at last Friday. We returned because the service, food, atmosphere and location were impeccable. Quite the combination if you get it all right. Having had the entrée of rare roast lamb and the main of Thai-inspired grilled Barramundi, we settled for espressos and Cointreau chocolate mousse. Yes, mousse.
And it was during the mousse, yes – mousse, that the conversation turned to one we’d had a number of times in the past, about marriage and our thoughts on it. Yet, this time, there was a different tone to the conversation. Gregory became a little more serious and actually asked me if I’d marry him, not if I’d ever marry him, but if I’d actually marry him. The sort of question that demanded a yes answer, here and now.
Oh, I thought, this is the real thing, not a humorous conversation, but an actual marriage proposal. I think I started to cry and was trying to maintain my composure between polite interruptions from the impeccably appointed wait-staff who clearly weren’t trained in the art of detecting a marriage proposal between two middle-aged men. Wiping away the odd tear or two I said yes and continued trying to untangle the mass of emotions that had beset me, amidst what could only be described as one of the most idyllic moments of my life.
A quick phone-call from me back to Australia to let the folks know and a quick text message or two from Gregory back to his kids and sister and the deal was sealed. I have to say, finding the courage to make that phone call, and finding the actual words to say were amazingly more fraught than I would ever have expected. But having announced our engagement felt good, and it felt right. I couldn’t think of a better man to be engaged to get married to.
Of course, the question has been asked, in which country will you guys get married. Not a question most engaged couples get asked I suspect, because the expectation is they would celebrate their nuptials at home, wherever that was for them. Yet for us two Australians, getting married at home is not so straightforward, because there is no legal option for us to do this in Australia currently. We may be able to get married in a foreign consulate in Australia, but that wouldn’t be on Australian soil, and there wouldn’t be the stunningly beautiful Australian Coat of Arms on that marriage certificate.
It was a very simple decision for us. We are going to get married to each other in Australia, under Australian law, on Australian soil. It may be in the next three years, or it may be longer, but it will happen in both our lifetimes and most likely sooner than later.
We haven’t exchanged rings. We probably won’t. Rings are not our style. We did get an ‘engagement ring’ from Facebook though, when we made that irrevocable and gay announcement to our social networks:
So, thank you Gregory, you’ve changed my life, tonight, and every day since we met on that Tuesday in November 2008. I love you.
P.S. I can’t believe my enjoyment of the perfect chocolate mousse was interrupted by a marriage proposal. Honestly. Timing!
Kelly O’Dwyer’s views on Marriage Equality have suddenly “evolved”.
Last September my partner Gregory and I met with his federal Member of Parliament Kelly O’Dwyer to discuss her position on Marriage Equality. You can read about our meeting here.
Today in The Sydney Morning Herald it is reported:
11:31am: Over in the Federation Chamber (a parallel chamber for parliamentary business) Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer has told MPs she supports changing the Marriage Act to recognise same sex marriage.
“There will be some people in my family who will be disappointed,” Ms O’Dwyer says.
“”There will be others in my family who will be able to marry [if laws are changed].”
Ms O’Dwyer has been targetted by marriage equality campaigners due to the high level of support for change in her Melbourne seat.
Tellingly, Ms O’Dwyer says the Coalition party room has not yet debated what its election policy on this issue will be.
to which Gregory asked of Kelly (via Twitter):
Almost immediately after this tweet went out I saw that Kelly O’Dwyer had stated her new position on Marriage Equality:
I believe that changing the Marriage Act by extending the definition to include same-sex couples will not lessen the status of families. On the contrary, I think that it will strengthen it by building stronger bonds of commitment between two people regardless of gender and sexual orientation.
So thank you Kelly, thank you for understanding that all people deserve equal rights. Now please help Tony Abbott understand this too.