Campaign for Age Of Consent awareness & removal of The Sodomy Law in Queensland

*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of Queensland, Australia - A campaign to remove our Sodomy Law (which was enacted in 1990).

what the law means...an easy to read pamphlet...a brief story of the campaign so far...the need for community action...homosexual law reform history in Qld...Government legislation referencesCorrespondence Summary List...   RETURN to opening page

21st February 2005 Los Angeles based international lesbian and gay radio magazine This Way Out www.thiswayout.org included coverage of the February 14th “Love In For Love Equality” as well as a six minute edit of voxpops recorded at the event by John Frame (featuring Paul Martin from the Queensland AIDS Council, Shelley Argent from Brisbane Parents Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and 16 year old student Gede from Toowoomba. The following text includes full details of this particular This Way Out program – sections relevant to the call for Qld Sodomy Law Reform are highlighted in red.


   THIS WAY OUT
              the international gay & lesbian radio magazine
               RUNDOWN for Program #882, distributed 2/21/05
    (hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle)
        Courageous queers confront homophobic violence in Jamaica;
               Aussie activists target Queensland inequality;
  Russia's top court ducks a marriage proposal while Canada's Parliament
    debates it, Auckland's Big Gay Out overpowers preaching protesters,
 lesbigay equality events mark Valentine's Day in Australia and the U.S.,
 a conservative pundit casts out his lesbian daughter, and more GLBT news

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Opening teases/theme music/intro continuity . . . . . . . . . . . .  1:15

SEGMENT #1 -  NewsWrap
for the week ending February 19, 2005
(As broadcast on This Way Out program #882, distributed 2-21-05)
[Written by Cindy Friedman, with thanks to Graham Underhill,
Rex Wockner, and Greg Gordon]

Reported this week by Cindy Friedman and Jon Beaupré

  Russia's Supreme Court this week found that it lacks the authority to open
marriage to same-gender couples.  For that reason it dismissed the appeal of
two gay men who were asking the court to amend two clauses of Russia's Family
Code.  Plaintiffs Edward Murzin, a member of the Bashkortostan State Assembly,
and Eduard Mishin, editor of "Kveer" magazine, had applied for a marriage
license in Moscow last month but were rejected.  They believe it violates both
Russia's constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights to restrict
marriage to heterosexual couples.  They're not actually a couple themselves but
they plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in their quest to
open marriage to Russian gays and lesbians.

  Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin:
"... we must always remember that 'separate but equal' is not equal."
Canada's Liberal Party Prime Minister Paul Martin this week led off the
second reading of his Government's bill to open marriage to same-gender couples
with a ringing endorsement of equality's importance to the nation.  He said:
"To those who would oppose this bill, I urge you to consider that the core of
the issue before us today is whether the rights of all Canadians are to be
respected.  I believe they must be.  Justice demands it.  Fairness demands it. 
The Canada we love demands it."
Emphasizing that the courts of seven provinces and one territory have already
changed the definition of marriage, he attempted to reframe the debate,
saying,
"... there is only one issue before this House in this debate.  For most
Canadians, in most parts of our country, same-sex marriage is already the law of
the land.  Thus the issue is not whether rights are to be granted.  The issue
is whether rights that have been granted are to be taken away."
To override the courts would require invoking the so-called "notwithstanding"
clause, something no Prime Minister has ever done -- and something Martin
claimed would threaten the rights of all Canadians.  Marriage equality opponents
who have said it would not be necessary to use the notwithstanding clause to
return to a heterosexual definition of marriage Martin called "insincere,"
"disingenuous" and "wrong," citing the opinion of 134 constitutional law scholars.

  Leader of the Opposition Conservative Party Stephen Harper called Martin's
approach a "blindly ideological interpretation of the charter".  He proposed
an amendment in which the Commons would deny the bill a second reading because
"the principle of the bill fails to define marriage as the union of one man
and one woman to the exclusion of all others."  Calling compromise "the real
Canadian way," he said his party would be proposing further amendments to define
marriage exclusively as between one man and one woman while allowing the provi
nces to offer same-gender couples equal legal standing through other forms of
civil union.  He said his party would also be offering amendments to protect
everyone who wanted to stand apart from same-gender marriages, not just
religious leaders asked to perform weddings.
Harper stated flatly that, "Same-sex marriage is not a human right."  He
cited a United Nations commission's 2002 response to New Zealanders seeking
marriage equality.

  Marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is a current legislative
issue in New Zealand, one that's fueled some massive religious protests.  At this
week's Big Gay Out pride festival in Auckland, some confrontations with
religious protesters got physical, at least to the point of pushing and shoving,
although no arrests or injuries resulted.  Justin Pearce of the Independent
Baptist Church
came with a sign reading, "God Hates Homosexuality" and tried to
preach to the several thousand lesbigays his belief the Bible calls their sex
sinful.  His intended audience also tried to drown him out with chants of "shame"
and an accordion, while the renowned openly lesbian entertainers the Topp
Twins offered him hugs instead.  After a while the crowd simply ignored him and
his fellow demonstrators.

  In other recent pride news from Down Under, the 10th annual Pride March in
Melbourne, Australia was widely praised for the quality of its organizing and
set some new records.  An estimated 60,000 lesbigay and trans people marched
in 99 contingents before a crowd of about 50,000.  The state of Victoria's
Police Show Band participated for the first time, and the Princes Hill Secondary
College
became the first school ever to officially support and join the march. 
There were numerous events and exhibits in the Midsumma festival surrounding
the end-of-January Melbourne Pride March, including non-legal wedding
ceremonies.  But the talk of the city were the four-meter tall banners on Melbourne
Town Hall
.  Their photos by Angela Bailey showed men and women cross-dressed in
the outfits of comic book superheroes.

  Earlier this month the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival held its
launch rally and concert with a crowd of 10 to 12,000 revellers.  New South
Wales Governor Marie Bashir gave a welcoming address.  The festival features
more than 100 events and exhibits before the culminating Mardi Gras parade.

  This week Valentine's Day was marked by several events around AustraliaA
Love-In for Love Equality in Brisbane organized a campaign for equal
treatment of gay youth under Queensland state law, which although gender-neutral
currently applies a higher age of consent to anal sex than to other acts.
  The
year-old national group Australian Marriage Equality held its official launch
event, a speaker's forum in Sydney.

  There were also Valentine's Day actions around the U.S., where groups have
made February Freedom to Marry Month.  In California's 7th Freedom to Marry
campaign, gay and lesbian couples attempted to apply for marriage licenses in 58
counties and even nine high school couples in Victorville held a mock wedding
as a demonstration of support.  But by far the most widely reported event was
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's City Hall celebration of the anniversaries
of the more than 4,000 gay and lesbian couples who were married there last
year.  Legal action stopped the city from licensing those marriages after about
four weeks, and later the California Supreme Court voided them all.  Newsom
urged a crowd of about 1,500 to continue the struggle.
Other places where same-gender couples were applying for marriage licenses
and being rejected included Allentown, Pennsylvania and Pontiac, Michigan.

  At least a half-dozen demonstrations were staged around the U.S.  In
Houston, Texas there was a mass wedding for 42 same-gender couples at the local
gay-supportive Metropolitan Community Church.  A rally of about 700 people outside
the State House in Olympia, Washington emphasized religious support for
marriage equality.

  There were dueling demonstrations at the state capitol in Santa Fe, New
Mexico
as Republicans held a rally celebrating so-called traditional marriage and
family.  But supporters of gay and lesbian marriage were demonstrating by the
hundreds there as well, including at least one couple celebrating the
anniversary of their marriage a year ago in Sandoval CountyNew Mexico's
Attorney-General intervened to stop the licensing of same-gender couples there with an
opinion that those marriages were illegal.

  African-American anti-gay conservative pundit and never-elected political
hopeful Alan Keyes has cut ties with his 19-year-old lesbian daughter Maya
Marcel-Keyes after it was announced she'd be a featured speaker at a rally in
Maryland.  The rally launched a lobby day this week by the lesbigay group Equality
Maryland.  Marcel-Keyes devoted most of her speech to the plight of a gay
male friend who had been thrown out by his conservative family and died a victim
of abuse and life on the street.  But she revealed that her own family has
stopped communicating with her, ejected her from their home and cut off her
college tuition.  Unlike her friend, she's received hundreds of offers of support
and even a scholarship from the Point Foundation, a group that helps keep
throw-away gays and lesbians in college.  Her father famously remarked in an inter
view last year that the Vice President's lesbian daughter Mary Cheney is "a
selfish hedonist" and went on to say, "If my daughter were a lesbian, I'd look at
her and say, 'That is a relationship that is based on selfish hedonism.'  I
would also tell my daughter that it's a sin, and she needs to pray to the Lord
God to help her deal with that sin."  Marcel-Keyes describes her father as
having "a lot of integrity".

  Britain this week saw the first announcement of a gay male couple's
engagement ever to be printed in the 220-year-old "Times of London".  John O'Connor
and Mark Jones announced they will be blessed at an Anglican Church in London
once they contract a legal Civil Partnership.  The British Parliament hasn't
actually created those civil partnerships yet, but the bill is in progress and
is expected to be enacted later this year.

  And finally... openly lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge has won Grammy
Awards in the past, but although she was a failed nominee at this week's Grammy
festivities, she won something bigger than a statuette.  She performed in a
heartfelt tribute to Janis Joplin in her first public appearance since announcing
she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was successfully treated for that
disease, but she thrilled thousands of cancer survivors by daring to show a
side-effect of her chemotherapy to the Grammy crowd and a huge TV audience.  In
a move that brought much media attention to cancer, Etheridge appeared on
stage and on the arm of her partner Tammy Lynn Michaels looking healthy and
beautiful with a gleaming bald head.

 

(written by CINDY FRIEDMAN, with thanks to Graham Underhill, Rex Wockner, and Greg Gordon, and
reported this week by CINDY FRIEDMAN & JON BEAUPRE) [10:55]  +  J-FLAG feature
billboard [:15] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11:10

SEGMENT #2 - The Australian state of Queensland currently criminalizes gay
youth by making anal sex by people under 18 years old punishable by up to 14
years in prison... yet other forms of consensual sexual expression -- including
having babies -- are legal there at age 16.  On the eve of Valentine's Day in
Brisbane, a "LOVE-IN FOR LOVE EQUALITY" drew several groups and individuals to
the first ever public rally to demand a truly equal age of consent under
Queensland law.  This on-scene report by This Way Out correspondent JOHN FRAME
["QueerRadio"/4ZZZ-FM], who helped organize the event, includes comments by PAUL
MARTIN (new general Manager of the Queensland AIDS Council), SHELLEY ARGENT
(Coordinator for Brisbane PFLAG) and GEDE (a 16 year old rural high school
student) [5:35]  +  "TWO" I.D. by Academy Award winning screenwriter BILL CONDON
[:15] . . .   5:50


SEGMENT #3 -  JAMAICA's lesbian, gay, bi, and trans communities live in a
by-gone age compared to their North American, European and Aussie/Kiwi
counterparts.  Undaunted by the homophobic violence that surrounds them, activists in
the Caribbean island nation are determined to build a future of inclusivity and
justice.  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch recently sponsored two
representatives from the JAMAICA FORUM FOR LESBIANS, ALL SEXUALS, AND GAYS on
a 7-city networking tour around the U.S. to help them in their quest.  During
their stop in Los Angeles, This Way Out's LUCIA CHAPPELLE spoke with GARETH
and KARLENE -- who cannot use their full names -- about J-FLAG's courageous and
unprecedented work [intro music from "Get Up, Stand Up" by PETER TOSH] . . . .
.    9:05
                              [www.jflag.org]

Closing Credits/continuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1:30

TOTAL PROGRAM TIME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  28:50
===================================== * ===============================
                               STATION PROMO COPY:

ANNCR:  NEXT TIME ON "THIS WAY OUT," COURAGEOUS QUEERS CONFRONT HOMOPHOBIC

VIOLENCE IN JAMAICA, WHILE AUSSIE ACTIVISTS TARGET QUEENSLAND SEXUAL

INEQUALITY... IN THE NEWS, RUSSIA'S TOP COURT DUCKS A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL

WHILE CANADA'S PARLIAMENT DEBATES IT, AUCKLAND'S "BIG GAY OUT" OVERPOWERS

PREACHING PROTESTERS, LESBIGAY EQUALITY EVENTS MARK VALENTINE'S DAY IN

AUSTRALIA AND THE U.S., AND A CONSERVATIVE PUNDIT CASTS OUT HIS TEENAGE

LESBIAN DAUGHTER.

THOSE STORIES -- AND MORE THIS WEEK -- WHEN YOU TUNE IN TO "THIS WAY OUT:

THE INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY RADIO MAGAZINE",

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