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A group of angry Australians have colonised a string of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean and declared them the first all-gay country. Oliver Reed witnesses the birth of a new nation.
Determined to build a better world for future generations, the founding fathers and mothers set sail on 14 June 2004 in the Gayflower until they were washed ashore on the uninhabited Coral Islands. With the strains of Gloria Gaynor filling the tropical air, they hoisted the rainbow flag above the palm trees and white, sandy beaches. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands was born.
It sounds like a big joke - but it isn’t. Located six hours by boat from Australia’s Queensland coast, The Coral Sea Islands are a cluster of deserted sandbanks which span 780,000 square killometres - that’s roughly the size of Sweden and Norway put together.
A group of gay men and women have declared the sandy dots the world’s first independent, sovereign, gay state in protest at their country’s stance towards gay marriage. The new capital, dubbed Heaven Island, is the size of the City of London.
Although gay marriage has never been legal in Australia, Prime Minister John Howard, worried about the slew of same-sex unions in the US, introduced the Marriage Amendment Bill, banning pink weddings.
It was approved by the Australian Parliament at the start of August, thwarting couples who had married in countries where same-sex unions are allowed from having their relationships recognised by the Australian courts.
Although the declaration of independence has been dismissed as a stunt by practically everyone, the kingdom’s leaders believe they have a valid claim to the islands. Essentially, they argue their new home is appropriate compensation for the inequalities they have suffered as a result of the government’s stance towards same-sex marriage. This is based on the arcane legal principle in English law of unjust enrichment, which says that if something is unjustly taken, compensation must be made.
Newly-appointed Emperor Dale Anderson, who is descendent from England’s gay King Edward II, explains: “We are deadly serious in our declaration. We have done five years of planning for this and covered everything, both legally and financially.
We are witnessing the birth of the world’s first gay nation and I and my government will do everything humanly possible to rub Australia’s nose in it
Every politician in Australia as well as the Governor General, the Queen’s representative, has been sent a copy of the declaration and the necessary paperwork to cede the territory from Australia.”
Following the government’s decision to push through the bill, the new nation’s leaders say they felt they had no alternative but to take radical action. According to Emperor Dale: “We live under a regime of apartheid.
Homophobia is nothing less than sexual racism. We are people first and foremost. We work, we have lives, we love and have relationships. We are family. Yet, despite being citizens, voters and taxpayers, lesbian and gay Australians do not have the same rights that heterosexual people take for granted.”
Hence the idea to create their own state, where gays and lesbians from around the world can settle and live their lives as they want, including getting married. The kingdom’s Prime Minister David Smith says he wants gay people everywhere to know they will always be welcome. “Their sexuality is their passport,” he said.
In common with all sovereign nations, the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands has a flag, the rainbow flag, and a national anthem, disco classic I Am What I Am by Gloria Gaynor. It is also issuing stamps and its own currency, the Pink Dollar, both of which will feature Emperor Dale’s likeness. Immigration by gays from across the world is encouraged, with permanent residence status granted to those who wish to stay.
Facts a Glance!
The Gay Government is taking Australia to the International Court of Justice to have the Kingdoms Independence recognized on the grounds that since the Coral Sea Islands are a territory of Australia rather than an area within Australia’s national boundary, international law dictates that anybody residing there is entitled to have representation. This is where they believe they have the Australian government cornered and why the Australian leadership is so uncertain as to how it should deal with these renegade gays. Under International law of which Australia is a signatory it states “an oppressed people who live in a overseas territory of a foreign colonial government shall have the right to self determination”
This situation is one relished by Emperor Dale. “At present Australia has not recognised our independence, but they have not said they don’t recognise us either.
“The information we are getting from inside the Australian government is that they are at a loss of what to do as we have them in a corner.
“They hope we will go away, but I can assure you and your readers we will not.
“We are witnessing the birth of the world’s first gay and lesbian nation and I and my government will do everything humanly possible to rub Australia’s nose in it.”
For more information about the island, visit www.gaykingdom.org