August 15, 2010
On August 14 the Equal Love people put on another rally in Melbourne. It started on the steps of the State Library of Victoria and ended on the steps of the Marriage Registry in Spring Street.
It was a lovely afternoon for a rally to protest the unnecessary discrimination that same-sex couples face in Australia. There is absolutely no justification for this appalling situation.
I have documented the event using photos, and uploaded them to Picasa and Facebook, as I have done in the past. Please take a moment to look at the photos and understand that the people you see who are not allowed to get married by the Australian government are all second-class citizens. Australia is a better place than that. It’s citizens deserve full equality in all aspects of life.
There is a federal election less than a week away. One way you can send a message to the politicians who legislated this hateful situation and also to the politicians who have not promised to overturn it is to vote for a party that promises full equality in marriage.
I will be voting for the Secular Party of Australia. They promise 100% marriage equality and will fight to overturn every piece of legislation that denies full equality to Australia’s GLBT citizens. So committed to marriage equality are the Secular Party that they have undertaken a commitment to guarantee full marriage equality in advance of a nationwide relationship register. I understand this is an undertaking the Australian Greens refuse to commit to. The Secular Party will ensure marriage equality is a priority. Equality must be 100%.
You can help make a positive change this election by voting Secular in the Senate, and if you have a candidate in your electorate, also for the house of reps.
If you want full equality in marriage, you have the power to make a difference. Use it wisely.
August 13, 2010
Here I was thinking Yaron Gottleib was going to do an intelligent and critical analysis of the Secular Party of Australia on the “Sensible Jew” blog. Alas I was totally misguided in that thought.
His “critique” sounds more like the wailings of a petulant child who didn’t get his way. Read his tripe and feel free to comment on the blog, if you can be bothered.
August 5, 2010
A few days ago Gregory Storer, candidate for the Secular Party in Melbourne Ports, posted a blog “No to the Chaplaincy Program!“. Read it, it’s got some good facts and figures about how tax-payer money is going to support loony churches that put in inappropriately qualified (or unqualified) chaplains who invariably prey on young kids’ impressionable minds in the guise of doing good in schools, when the money should be spent on providing qualified counsellors.
Today I received an email about the High Court challenge to this insidious program. Take a minute to read it. You might also want to consider supporting it with a few dollars. I plan to.
Breaking News! The High Court Challenge against Australia’s National School Chaplaincy Program has announced its legal team. Representing Ron Williams in the court action will be high-profile barrister, Bret Walker SC (Senior Counsel). The importance of having the case represented by such a leading figure in Australian law cannot be overstated.
Walker is one of Australia’s leading barristers. He has been president of both the NSW Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia and Governor of the Law Foundation of NSW. He is Editor of the NSW Law Reports and Director of the Australian Academy of Law.
Walker will be supported by Gerald Ng, Barrister, and the Sydney law firm Horowitz and Bilinsky. The next step in the legal process is approaching, and further details will be released when it occurs.
People, this case is going to be huge and we’re expecting some jaw-dropping revelations to be made about our politicians and education systems. Chrys had lunch with one of the Australian Secular Lobby team this week and, while information about the case is highly confidential she gleaned enough to know this might be an explosive case.
Be a part of it. Please donate whatever you can afford at the High Court Challenge website. Note – money raised goes into a trust for the payment of legal fees, not to Ron Williams and his family. Ron has put the financial future of his family on the line for this and really needs our support. Besides, for a small (or large) investment, this is a chance to be a part of Australian history.
We do hope our Atheist Nexus (Australia/NZ) team will put their support behind this important court action.
The address for the High Court Challenge against Australia’s National School Chaplaincy Program is:
Donations can be made using Paypal.
Chrys Stevenson and Richard Jamieson
Visit Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists at:
August 1, 2010
With the federal election looming, there are a number of political parties offering to fight for increased rights and equality of GLBTI people and families. The key parties offering this are the Greens, the Australian Sex Party and the Secular Party of Australia. The Liberal Party offers no hope for advancing the rights of GLBTI people and families in Australia. The Australian Labor Party has previously advanced the rights for GLBTI people and removed a lot of the discrimination that we had been facing, however it is currently not prepared to turn around any significant existing discrimination facing GLBTI people, most notably in the area of marriage.
The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group (TGLRG) has set up a web site “Moving Forward“. They have surveyed a number of political parties and posted their responses online. Take some time to read these survey responses. TGLRG will post responses from other political parties as they are received.
The electorates of Melbourne Ports (VIC) and Wentworth (NSW) contain the largest Jewish populations in the country. They both also contain significant gay, lesbian and bisexual populations.
The Greens’ Sue Plowright, the Australian Sex Party’s Christian Vega and the Secular Party’s Gregory Storer are candidates in Melbourne Ports. The Greens’ Matthew Robertson and the Secular Party’s John August are candidates in Wentworth. [I have provided links here for candidate’s web sites that I am aware of. I will post others if they are brought to my attention.]
If you are in Melbourne Ports, LIVE are running a candidates forum on August 10. Click here for details and to RSVP. You can also send a question to the candidates via the web site.
If you are in Wentworth, Network (for Jewish young adults who are searching for, questioning and celebrating their Jewish identity) are running a pre-election candidate forum on August 11. Click here for details and to register.
As I become aware of further such meetings or supportive candidate details prior to the election I will post them to my blog. If you have any relevant details feel free to post a comment below. Thanks.
July 26, 2010
Gregory Storer is running as a candidate for the Secular Party of Australia in the Division of Melbourne Ports in the 2010 Federal Election.
Read Gregory’s blog and find out how you can support him. He’ll be glad to hear from you.
I’m really proud of Gregory. He’s prepared to put his money where his mouth is.