Australian Government to announce Gay Equality Legislation
Matching rights for gay couples
Phillip Coorey Chief Political ReporterApril 30, 2008
THE long battle by gay and lesbian partners for the same legal and financial rights as de facto heterosexual couples is about to end, with the Rudd Government planning to remove inequalities in 100 areas of the law.
The federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, will announce today that the necessary legislation will be introduced when Parliament resumes next month for the winter sittings.
The measures do not amount to gay marriage; they afford gay couples the same treatment as heterosexual de facto couples in areas such as tax, superannuation sharing and social security.
The issue came to a head last year when the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission found discrimination existed in 58 areas of financial and work-related laws.
The High Court judge Michael Kirby highlighted the inequity by publicly complaining that his partner of 38 years, Johan van Vloten, would have no access to Justice Kirby's pension if the judge died before him.
Under current law, if a retired judge in a heterosexual relationship dies before his or her partner, the partner is entitled to 62.5per cent of the judge's pension. But Mr van Vloten would not receive anything because he is not female.
Upon Labor winning government, Mr McClelland instituted his own review of Commonwealth laws which found inequities in 100 areas, many more than uncovered by the commission's report.
Mr McClelland said all would be redressed.
As well as tax, superannuation and social security, other areas to be reformed include health, aged care, veterans' entitlements, workers' compensation, employment and entitlements.
"In keeping with the election commitment, the changes do not alter the marriage laws," Mr McClelland said.
"They will make a practical difference to the everyday lives of a group of our fellow Australians who have suffered discriminations under Commonwealth laws for far too long."
All the changes would be operational by the middle of next year; most will begin as soon as legislation is passed. The Australian Democrats have long supported the reforms and there will be no problem with the laws passing the Senate before July 1.
Mr McClelland said children of gay couples would not be disadvantaged by the changes.
Discretion or lack thereof in the gay scene
I was heartened today by a friend who deleted something scurrilous and indiscreet about someone else today.
Too often the gay community turns on its own and is the source of rumours and innuendo about people.
On the weekend a gay celebrity has been embroiled in an incident that's been reported all over the media or the alleged incident is anyway.
Let's wait and see what happens when it ends up in court and not speculate what was or was not going on. The only person / people that know the truth are the people who were there.
I am however disgusted with the bitchy Sydney Queens who have been reporting all sorts of things from the dance floor of DTPM about this person.
To these people I say Those In Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones!
Come on people is discretion dead in the world?
I am pretty much Missing in Action from the blog right now.
What with the new Junior starting in the office last week and some huge deadlines looming this week and next week I have been keeping my little head down and tail up.
Oh and let's not forget the Thursday night to Friday night partying that was had :)
But it's a new week and for the last few days the weather has been warm, even hot and sunny instead of the previous two weeks which were cold and wet.
I don't get this bloody weather I really don't!
As normal I have a head full of allergies again from my going out and am alternating between sneezing, blowing my nose and have a head feel like it's going to explode with congestion.
I am not sure if it gets really dried out clubbing and then gets super sensitive or if I am actually allergic to the dust around at the moment.
I am going to try one of those allergy over the counter medications today (let's hope they don't make me weird or vague like cold and flu tablets do, I just don't have the time or the inclination to deal with that this week!)
The picture is by Rod Spark (Rod Sydney on Facebook) of the Stonewall Underwear Competition, showing Jamie (who has a very cute beagle named Diesel) and Brodie who is almost the standard blonde twink on the gay Sydney scene!
End of the week
It's a long weekend and a public holiday in Australia tomorrow for Anzac Day.
Looking back on this week it's been a pretty full on week for me with a huge workload and lots of stress.
So tonight it's party time, and probably tomorrow too!
Busy as all hell!
I am indeed alive just busy as all hell with work and training my new junior. I will however be writing more when I have time!
Offensive waste of money
I have not hidden the fact that I am not a fan of the upcoming World Youth Day (sic) or rather the Catholic Church's Day.
I think it is misguided and dangerous in these political climates to promote fear, hatred and discrimination against minorities.
However what really gets my blood boiling is the 86Million dollars the NSW State Government will contribute to this event when they do not contribute a cent to the largest Gay & lesbian Event int he Southern Hemisphere (Mardi Gras).
It's offensive, it's discriminatory and it's pathetic.
The event is only open to Catholics number one and the Catholic Church let's net forget is one of the World's largest and richest organisations, oh and they pay no tax either.
So why the Fuck should I as a tax payer being further giving my taxes to such a restrictive, discriminatory organisation such as the Catholic Church.
Remember these are the people that believe the ban on same sex marriage is moral, that homosexuality is evil etc.
So the NSW Government will quite happily receive about 45 Million dollars in tourism influx for Mardi Gras 2008 without lifting a finger to sign a cheque to help out, but the Catholics call with all their money and they write a cheque for 86 Million dollars.
Personally I think the Pope is a terrorist (As terrorism ultimately involves the use or threat of violence with the aim of creating fear not only to the victims but among a wide audience, it is fear which distinguishes terrorism from both conventional and guerrilla warfare. Source)
Every time the Pope makes an anti gay statement he is doctrinally approve violence against gays and lesbians. It may not be traditional terrorism but the Catholic Church still incites violence against minorities.
Whilst we in this country still have anti discrimination laws that EXCLUDE religious organisations we have no hope of getting equality. At least in the UK the laws passed INCLUDED religious organisations which means that even they cannot hide discrimination behind behind religious dogma.
Anyway It just pisses me off!
Labels: politics, religion
The Wrong Combo
Last night I ended up throwing and up and having diarrhea all at the same time.
It was pure hell for several hours.
It wasn't a bug, it wasn't food poisoning, (and thanks Dangermouse) it wasn't me trying to be thing.
No it was the combination of:
4000 mg of Vitamin C
Two Ibuprofen with Codeine
1 Long lasting Sudafed and
It sounded like a good idea at the time I swear!
Oh and I had eaten a huge bag of nuts when I know nuts give me stomach cramps!
I have had some sinus congestion for a week and a half, and was using one of those nasal sprays for more than a week and I decided I needed to stop before I became addicted to them again.
So in the space of about 30 minutes I had all of that.
Apparently too much Vitamin C will give you the runs and well the rest just exacerbated my already upset stomach.
Touch Wood I feel much better today, although I am exhausted from a restless night of almost sleep.
I also think the week's stressful events at work made my body say enough is enough and I do keep my stress in two places, my neck and my stomach.
Anyway I am taking it relatively easy today and only doing some small bits and pieces and them heading to friends for dinner.
Let's keep my pinkies crossed that my stomach behaves!
KD Lang in concert
Last night we went to meet and see KD Lang perform in Concert at the Sydney State Theatre.
KD is one of those performers who you know a couple of her songs and know her style, but I have never paid much attention to her till now.
Sitting in the front row you get such an amazing intimate experience with a singer like KD, who is a true singer and sings without the need for much backing apart from a tiny ensemble
Her voice is just stunning, and the control and tone she has is pure heaven.
For me the highlight of the show was her rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah which was just magical and so inspiring. I love the song and her interpretation of this was pure bliss.
Afterwards during the meet and greet it was fascinating meet some of the other people there to greet her, like the famed Australian Director George Miller his wife and children, Deborah Lee and others whose faces I recognised but would have no idea who they are apart from them being in the 'business'.
I always feel at a bit of a loss at these meet and greats, after all we are not in 'the business' and it's funny when people introduce themselves to you and look at you wondering who you are and if they should know you.
It's a really intimate entree to a world where very few people get allowed in to, sure people get meet and greats to people but we have always been blessed with a very special intro by the people we know.
I was tempted to tell Deborah Lee that I went to school with her hubby Hugh, and had a huge crush on him when I was younger but thought better of it really!
On a topical note though being left in a room to introduce yourself to KD I said hi and introduced Lee as my partner, and KD introduced us to Jamie her partner.
I noticed that we both used the word's partner to describe the other half. It's topical because of the Daily Telegraph's beat up of a plan by the NSW Education department to introduce the words 'partner' into the common language used to describe the spouse or well 'partner' for a want of a better word for relationships.
Great night and just stunning voice!
Labels: celebrities, concerts, music
Former Teen Idol Ricky Schroder
I came across a blog post to the biggest teen crush I ever had, on the child star Ricky Schroder that celebrated his 38th Birthday on 13th of April.
I cannot even begin to describe just how much I was in lust with him.
I used to make sure that I watched Silver Spoons every chance I got and on the odd occasion he would have his shirt off it would send me into space.
I remember an episode where he and his best mate go to a pre-college weekend and Ricky comes 'out" of the shower wearing a towel.
OMG I died and went to heaven.
These days he has gone over to the dark side and appeared on a number of occasions to publicly support George W Bush's last election campaign.
Even if his politics do run slightly righter than mine I was always remember why I have a blond blue eyed guy fetish!
Just look at the face and body yum!
Oh dear I think I need to go and find some old episodes on youtube or somewhere!
Labels: eye candy
Coming Up for Air
This week has been just plain hideous.
A small tiny update to server software by CPANEL has caused a huge nightmare. My major high value clients have been unable to process credit cards since 4AM yesterday morning.
It took me the better part of 8 hours to even work out what the problem was. But even then at this moment there is no actual solution.
I am at my total wits end with one of my primary technology partners for their total inability to respond in a timely manner to the problem.
I am suffering from my regular nasal congestion too which I always seem to get after a big weekend and of course the rather huge stress attack right now too.
I was going to head to the gym tonight for the first time since Sunday but I feel exhausted and I reckon going to the gym would just exhaust me more and turn what is really just hay fever and allergies into a full on cold which I certainly don't want!
Anyway I need to start trying to catch up with the work I have not been getting down while working on this other issue.
Labels: stress, work
Cohen from Fratpad
Labels: eye candy porn, fratpad
Should the Olympics be used for political protests?
The protests against China and the Olympic flame have fascinated me on many levels.
On the one level I am in awe of the passion people have in protesting (my protesting days are well in the past). On another level I am horrified by some of the comments against the protesters that members of the IOC have been saying.
Kevin Gosper an Australian on the IOC has been scathing of the protesters, saying they are full of hate and they are diminishing the validity of the meaning of the Olympics.
How dare Kevin Gosper get all high and mighty, after all it was he who pulled strings so his daughter could carry the Olympic flame on its way to the Sydney 2000 Olympics!
It's not just a theoretical ethical discussion, we are talking about people being murdered, forced into labour camps and being denied natural (or any) Justice for that matter by the Chinese Government.
I am always told when you are protesting or arguing you must have a realistic outcome, in this case there are realistic outcomes. The outcomes we want involve China accepting basic human rights in places like Tibet.
Yes the Olympics is supposed to be a non political sporting arena (in theory anyway). In practice the Olympics is a highly politicised world event where one country competes against another and one ideology competes against the other.
I don't agree that China should not have been awarded the Olympics, I believe that by letting China host the Olympics the world is focusing on their terrible Human Rights record. And I strongly believe that the protests and the world's attention may have a positive impact on Chinese policy.
The world is not a vacuum and by simply have the world's attention placed on the Human Rights abuses things will change.
For things to change sometimes people must protest (I am not an advocate of violence) but sometimes blood must be split for a revolution to happen.
Just think of the gay Rights movement, blood has been split in the name of change.
Another update on the ban on same sex partners at teh School Formal
I was interested to read more about the blog I wrote
about last week where a Brisbane Private school banned same sex partners from attending the school formal.
An article in today's newspaper
outlines the issue from the student who raised the issue's point of view.
What was fascinating is that he says there are 'dozens' of openly gay students at the school.
This just floored me!
I know people are coming out much much younger, but dozens of openly gay students at a private boys school is fantastic!
Labels: politics, religion
Monday Morning Candy
Labels: eye candy
I just love the rednecks
A Brisbane Private School has banned it's final year students from taking their same sex partners to the formal.
Because in their words the formal is "... about protocols and decorums".
What a load of bullshit.
However what gets me really pissed are the comments from rednecks.
Thank goodness though I know that most of these stupid idiots are also the stupid idiots that are also racist and xenophobic.
The Catholic bigots annoy me the most because the doctrines are just so hate filled in the guise of the interpretation of the Bible.
We all know that Catholicism is declining in the Western world, but it's growing at a huge rate in the developing third world.
This along with the schism in the Anglican Church where there will probably be a split between the Western moderate branches and the far more conservative Third World branches.
How will these bigots cope when a Hispanic or God forbid a black man is elected Pope? How will this affect their ridiculous racist sensibilities.
I am laughing myself stupid at the ridiculousness of people's fear of minorities and I find it exceedingly amusing that in the end their own hatred and bigotry will come round and bite them on the ass.
There is a place for religion and faith in the world, but not when hatred and bigotry is espoused in it's name.
Neil from Blake Mason
I love hot straight boys, and I love it when they take their clothes off too! Neil is the newest model over at one of my favorite porn sites Blake Mason!
Labels: Blake Mason, eye candy porn
Cool or Tacky?
I am thinking of a Zebra skin rug for the floor but can't decide whether it's tacky or cool. And of course the bigger issue of whtehr the dog will chew at it?
So is it tacky or cool?
Review of the BlueAnt X5 Bluetooth Headset
I finally received the package containing my new Bluetooth headset after the mix up with the products on Friday just before we left for our long weekend away.
To Planet Wireless's credit they did send me the correct product in an overnight bag, even if they did send it the day after I asked for the correct product.
I didn't have any time on Friday to play with it so I waited until yesterday afternoon to charge it up and try pairing it with all the devices.
Firstly I decided to try pairing it with my Sony Ericsson K800i, I love this phone and have been successful in connecting it via bluetooth to my Sony Notebook computer all the time.
The process was relatively easy to do after reading the instructions on the X5 and I could pair the device with no problems. I wanted to use my phone for music and calls instead of my iPod, which is fine for when I don't need to answer calls but useless when I am working.
The quality of the sound is a bit variable, but I think some of the quality is distorted by the quality of the recordings themselves.
I could listen to all my music easily which is stored on a Micro SD 2gb card and when my phone rang I could transfer between phone and music easily by clicking the play button on the headset.
My only complaint is that when the headset get's out of range of the phone I end having to reset the phone to reconnect to the headset.
Next I decided to play with the audio streamer.
To be honest I am a little disappointed by this feature, but I will get used to it. The Audio Streamer is the same size as one of the headphones and uses a standard audio plug to plug in to your audio out of your computer.
Also unlike I expected, to actually use the headset with your computer you need to use the special audio streamer and plug in the microphone and audio into the streamer.
I has hoped that I could just use my inbuilt Bluetooth for this to connect to my computer but the trouble I had was a nightmare!
When I tried to connect the headset to my computer via my bluetooth, it seems to pair OK but never connects. I use the Widcomm bluetooth stack and I tried updating that but the whole bluetooth stack dies and I ended up having to roll back my computer to a system restore point which I do not like doing.
As far as I can tell the Widcomm bluetooth driver I have dfoes not suport the AD2P standard the headset uses. I will call Blueant Support and see if they can't help me out.
Whilst the audio streamer is fine for my iPod and for connecting to my normal phone in my office (I need to get an adaptor for this) I would much prefer to have the headset connect via bluetooth to my computer.
Overall I am happy with the headset, the sound is as good as I expected and the range is outstanding, I can have the phone at the other end of the apartment and still get excellent reception and sound.
The bluetooth issue with my computer need to be fixed, but it's more an issue with my computer than the headset.
Using the headset and pairing it with everything is not nearly as intuitive as I would like, and I am still learning all the quirks of using the damn thing.
But all in all it's a great move forward and I am very happy!
I will get myself a powered USB hub and use this as my 'recharger' station for all my different USB charging devices like my phone, iPod, headset etc. I hate having all the different chargers lying around and I hate having USB cords connected to my notebook computer.
So that will be my next gadget and I will use some mini USB cables to connect them all! Does anyone have a recommendation for a cheap Powered USB Hub that will only be used to charge devices?
And yes I am a geek and I love it!
Labels: gadgets, reviews
Fun busy weekend
We had a really fun busy weekend going away to the Central Coast for a friend's 30th Birthday.
It was a really fun small group of people (maximum of 12) in a rented holiday house on the edge of the lagoon just opposite the beach.
Great fun was had by all and I reiststed any temptation and did not take my computer with me for the entire weekend! So no work stuff in between good times.
Funny coincidence of the day is having one of our friends up there for a day and night who has reguarly been featured on All Aussie Beef
Labels: party, weekend
Another reason to be a swimming fan - Andrew Lauterstein
Andrew Lauterstein is one of Australia'a up and coming Olympic Medal hopefulls in swimming - Just look at that yummy body!
Labels: eye candy
How Hard is it?
I excitedly opened the package this morning from Planet Wireless thinking it was my nice new Bluetooth Stereo headset.
But no it was another bloody product!
How stupid can you get?
There entire website and ordering system is screwed up and does not work properly.
They have however promised me the correct product will arrive tomorrow which means I have to make a trip into the office tomorrow even though I had not intended to as I have meetings off site!
And to top it off, I had a huge client workshop this morning which the client had got the time wrong and we have had to schedule for this afternoon!
I admit it I am obsessed
I was wondering last night just how much it would cost to get my hands on a Warhol, an original painting, signed screenprint or a fabulous Brillo Box
I did some research and found a couple of reputable galleries
who sell limited edition screenprints numbered and signed and also found some guidelines for sales of Andy's work.
It would seem that the most a Warhol has sold for is just under 12 Million USD for an original campbells soup can painting and about $4.5 Million for an original Liz Taylor painting.
A Brillo Box could set you back anywhere between $50k - 250K depending on who you believe, but be beware there is a 20 million dollar lawsuit with claims 250 of them were created 3 years after Andy died!
A limited edition screenprint of say one of my favorites - Campbells Chicken Soup will set you back somewhere between $5 - 10K or maybe a bit more.
But beware it's estimated that up to 20% of the works on the market are fakes (sounds like most artwork really). So now I just have to decide how I get what I want!
When Straight Boys Play - Englishlads
Two str8 lads together and there is not always enough “deviousness” but that is not an issue with these horny young men! Right at the beginning they pull out each others cock and then undress the other and rub on some oil.
Even straight boys make each other hard and they are soon wanking stiff meat, when Rick drops to his knees and practices his oral technique! There is loads of messing around, from sword fights to mutual sucking and feet high in the air so they can show their asses!
No shy boys here. The lads did some great wanking and sucking on each other, so its wasn’t long before they blew their spunk.
Labels: english lads, eye candy porn
New Business Toy - BlueAnt X5 Stereo Bluetooth Headset
I purchased a new business toy today that I have been meaning to get for a while. A bluetooth Headset for Skype and my mobile phone.
I spend a huge amount of time on the telephone and in my new office I can't use the speakerphone as it is A) not loud enough and B) would drive my poor officemates mad. I have also wanted to get a good quality Stereo Bluetooth headset for a while that I could use for multiple devices (inluding my iPod).
After doing huge amounts of research and almost buying one of the Nokia Bluetooth Headsets I read as many reviews as I could online and decided to get the BlueAnt X5
In addition to gettingthe best reviews of any of the equivalant headsets it also comes with an adaptor for your ipod, and can be paired up with 10 devices!
At less than $100 dollars it was also cheaper than a lot of the other devices too! So now I am waiting with baited breath for my new business toy!