Gay Pride

Seems a fitting follow-up to my Harvey Milk post yesterday (The cross post is coming). During the film Milk jokes that a death threat was probably sent by the police. We’ve come a long way in 20 years. Victoria’s Police Commissioner, Christine Nixon, is to be congratulated for her support of and attendance at the Melbourne’s Pride March:

It was the second and final time Ms Nixon would lead a contingent of uniformed officers in the march, which is now in its 14th year and celebrates Victoria’s gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex community.

The first time she marched, in 2002, it drew controversy. This time, it was celebrated.
Nixon gets pride of place in gay parade (The Age 2 February 2009)

Another first was the naming of Johanna Sigurdardottir as the new Prime Minister of Iceland:

The 66-year-old’s appointment as interim leader – until elections in May – is seen by many as a milestone for the gay and lesbian movement, correspondents say.

Ms Sigurdardottir – who has never hidden her sexuality – is, nevetherless, very private about her personal life, never discussing it in public.

She married her companion Jonina Ledsdottir in 2002, according to AFP news agency.
First gay PM for Iceland cabinet

Kevin Rennie

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53 Responses

  1. And so it should be. People in love should be able to marry – caste, religion or gender.

  2. Indeed – this does make this gay boy proud!

  3. Nice to see some parts of the world are tolerant of those who hold different beliefs / values. After Australia Day last week though, I can’t say that I feel Australians (as a whole) are of a similar ilk… Things in our country are taking a much stronger “American” tilt than I would like.

    Examples are pretty simple, politicians in federal government are too scared to even create equivalent “civil unions” for single-sex couples, South Australian Attorney General is gaming the system to prevent discussion (let alone legislation) in allowing Australians to have R18+ video games like the rest of the world, and Australia Day has become an excuse for yobbos to attack others on the basis of race alone.

    The worst thing for me is, I believe Australia mostly condemns each of these things in turn. We know (from polls) that equal rights civil unions has majority support. The SA Attorney-General is gaming the system because he knows the majority are against him and he can’t win whilst playing in the rules.

  4. And the problem is when religious nuttos step in. The vast majority of Australians support civil unions. However then certain anti-gay nuttos step in screeching loudly that churches will be forced (guns at their heads) to marry gay couples. No doubt with pics of a couple of blokes dressed in tu-tus (with due respect to blokes who like to dress in tu-tus…am kidding).

    Anyway..you see the point. The movement needs to keep pushing. ALL marriages are civil unions since 1856, some are in a church and some are at the town hall, but no one is trying to force a priest to marry people that they don’t want to marry. And anyway, who would want to be married by a person who didn’t want to marry you?

  5. I wonder who will be the first wingnut to make a connection between Iceland’s economic woes and its degenerate morality.

  6. Hi Ken. Actually gays make a higher contribution per person than straight/married couples. They do their share.

  7. And I get no tax benefits from the government, no bonuses – all I do is pay more and more taxes.

  8. And that’s why you’re broke..and you can’t even claim the other half as a dependant. Not fair. For example, why can hubby claim me as a dependant but you can’t claim C?

  9. LOL facts and logic don’t figure strongly in WingnutWorld. The argument will be that a nation willing to appoint a gay PM has obviously lost its moral compass completely so of course it’s gone broke.

  10. Min

    Exactly! At least he doesn’t eat much. LOL

  11. Joni, I’ll send food parcels. I’ll double up, some for you and C and some for Aqua.

    I do hope that C is reading these and know that we care.

    Pity that you don’t live closer as I could always employ C as the pool boy…teehee. Nah, wouldn’t work as you would probably have to come over to supervise.

    XXXes..

  12. A different kind of gay pride…godspeed Mister Michael Kirby and three cheers from one proud Australian to another.

  13. Legion

    Hear! Hear! One of the best.

  14. Legion and Kevin

    Hear hear from me too.

  15. Sorry to rain on the Kirby parade, but in my opinion, he regularly failed in one of the primary aspects of judicial performance: impartiality.

    In the words of Murray Gleeson:

    In our post modern, deconstructionist, society, there are those who regard impartiality as an illusion. Rejecting as fraudulent the notion that anyone is capable of being truly impartial, some people promote the idea that the only decent judge is one who sets out to be actively partial, using judicial power to address the injustices of society, redistribute assets, promote the interests of some social group seen as worthy of support, and administer justice, not according to law, but according to some overriding standard existing outside the law. People who take this approach consider that impartiality is bogus, and the pretence that it exists, or is capable of being achieved, is an impediment to true justice.

    Judges, however, are supposed to be dedicated to the proposition that the administration of justice requires both the reality and the appearance of impartiality, and that both are attainable. Anyone who does not believe that should not be a judge.

    In fact, as recently as yesterday, in an interview with Fran Kelly on ABC radio, he declared that his role was to make decisions based on “my conscience, and the law”.

    His final ruling is a stark reminder of why he became known as “the great dissenter”:

    His six colleagues dismissed a challenge against the Northern Territory intervention brought by top end traditional owners – he argued it should have gone to trial.

  16. (Two paragraphs after ‘Murray Gleeson’ should be blockquote.)

  17. I’ve gotta say, I find some of this “affirmative” sort of stuff a bit tiresome. If you’re gay, your gay. From what I can gather, it is the result of a slightly smaller dose of testosterone than that received by eventual heterosexual males at some point in the early stages of pregnancy. Who knows, soon science will be able to detect when this has occured and parents will be able to make a choice as to whether they want a gay son??? To me, the best way to engender broad tolerance is for the non-bigoted to influence the bigoted through peer pressure. If a bigoted, or prejudiced view is expressed, a simple “Mate, you’re a farkin idiot” is probably the most effective form behavioural change. Certainly works with me.

    Ken, what is a “wingnut”? When I was young, it was an Asian immigrant. So often, I see you commence an argument with “No doubt the wingnuts will…….” then follow it with some ridiculous extreme right wing crap. I guess it makes it easy to position your argument as “rational” but in my view, it’s a pretty gutless way to debate. Why don’t you wait for the “wingnuts” to present their point of view, to which they’re entitled, regardless of their “wingnut” status, then debate what they have put?

  18. When I was studying constitutional law, the lecturers suggested skim reading other rulings and to concentrate on the dissenting opinions of Kirby due to the strength of his legal arguments.

    Plus of course all done with a great deal of style while enduring events such as the disgusting personal attack by Bill Heffernan. And as a thank you John Howard re-appointed Heffernan to the NSW Liberal Party executive as his personal representative.

  19. Min, that first paragraph is a bit frightening the way I read it.

  20. Not at all James. Arguments at law is the ability firstly to have an indepth knowledge of precidents and then to present these as a logical argument. Kirby did it better than the others.

  21. James,

    The problem with this approach:

    If a bigoted, or prejudiced view is expressed, a simple “Mate, you’re a farkin idiot” is probably the most effective form behavioural change. Certainly works with me.

    Is that we get bashed, and when we go to the police they just ignore the complaint.

  22. James. Sometimes I just don’t know where to start with you. A smaller dose of testosterone? If you intend studying law, then you had better start by clearing your brain.

  23. Min, that’s the scientific explanation as I understand it for why gay men wind up gay……others would know far better.

  24. I am actually a bit annoyed James, for the implication that there is something wrong with being gay (“…parents will be able to make a choice as to whether they want a gay son…”).

  25. Joni, broad change in community thinking takes time in my opinion. Prejudices, not just against gays, but against racial and religious groups, women, etc are in my opinion far more quickly removed by subtle peer pressure than they are by revolution. People broadly don’t like having things shoved in their face. Most bigots don’t choose to be bigots any more than religious people choose to be religious or sports fans choose to follow their sports team. For the most part their prejudices are drilled into them from a young age and will change bit by bit over time, with gentle persuasion rather than with a sledgehammer. Every time Germaine Greer opens her mouth, she sets back the women’s movement by years. Sucks for you, Joni, but that’s life. As to the bashing, that’s a different story. If you are a victim of assault, then the police are guilty of gross negligence, even criminal negligence, if they don’t follow up a complaint.

  26. Joni at 12.43, no offence at all intended there, I was making a slightly subtle point about abortion. The irony would be that those most feircely anti abortion would likely be those most disappointed to have a gay son, whereas I wonder whether those that are feircely pro abortion, sorry choice, particularly late term abortions, have considered the type of justifications for abortion that might arise as a result eg “I don’t want a gay son”. You know that I know that there is no shame in sexual orientation.

  27. James. Let’s start with a basic premise. People are born the way that they are born. And it has taken the gay movement one hell of a long time to get through to the general population that they are not suffering from some sort of depravity nor from hormonal inbalances.

    Evidence is that gay is hereditary.

  28. For the most part their prejudices are drilled into them from a young age and will change bit by bit over time, with gentle persuasion rather than with a sledgehammer.

    Why do the bigots (the haters) need to be treated so softly, softly – they don’t treat others with the same respect. In fact hitting them over the head with a sledgehammer is all that some of them will understand.

    I think you are pointing out choices here james – bigotry, religion and being a sports follower is a choice. I know that indoctrination and brainwashing occurs at a too young age but it can be overcome, some choose to be enlightened, others not. – Being gay is not a lifestyle choice and to discriminate against someone for something they have no choice about is unacceptable.

    For many years now there’s been research, info and education out there , how long does it take for the uninformed and bigoted to avail themselves of it and stop instilling hatred, violence, discrimination and prejudice into the next generation?

    Every time Germaine Greer opens her mouth, she sets back the women’s movement by years.

    Don’t think so, only in the eyes of hostile men and the women that support them. The women’s movement exists because of people like GG.

  29. James – no offence taken.

  30. James of North Melbourne, on February 3rd, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Yell out when you reach China. Done right, a hole digging exercise like that could count as ‘infrastructure’. 😉

  31. Min, perhaps I’m not making myself clear. It is my understanding that at a point early in the pregnancy, an embryo receives a shot of testosterone or oestrogen, which determines their sex. It is also my understanding that a larger dose of testosterone will result in an “Alpha” type male and a smaller dose may result in a gay male. An even smaller dose may result in your more effeminate gay male. And all things in between. Now I only read this in the past week and whilst it makes logical sense, I’ll happily stand corrected. Now rather than belting the slower moving people out of the dark ages, which will only cause them to dig in their heels (seems we have still learnt nothing) how about we spend more time distributing this kind of information in schools etc (assuming it’s true) and generate a greater understanding of the why’s rather than the what’s in relation to what people “must” believe.

  32. James. It’s the same as disputing why one child might have blue eyes and why another child might have brown eyes.

    James, when a mummy and a daddy love each other they hug each other tightly. Mummy has an egg which is X and Daddy has something called sperm which are either X or Y. The X sperm means that Mummy and Daddy have a girl baby, but if the Y sperm fertilizes the egg, then they have a boy baby.

    And this is the last time that I am giving this speech..3 kids was quite enough, thank you very much.

  33. Meh, if the boffins can work out the mechanisms (the why’s), just fortify breakfast cereals for pregnant women with the stuff or develop a vaccination to innoculate the population with in adolescence and both the production of ‘gays’ and the abortion issue goes away while yet further stigmatisation becomes possible. ‘Problem(s)’ solved? Ah, this brave new world stuff is fun for an anti-gay crusader of a scientific bent (for sake of argument only). Next on the social eugenics agenda: blind people living in dark ages who need a whack to the side of the head for over-generalising about other people. Onward (religious??) scientists.

    Moving on, I liked Tony’s observations citing Murray Gleeson for the circularity and apparent hypocrisy of Gleeson’s arguments re impartiality…as Murray outlines his positive partial policy preference for a species of legal formalism.

    I don’t doubt that the Gleesons of the world would have found legal realism anathema for having to reveal what partisan thoughts were operative in their rationes decidendi and for having to consider the implications of a decision beyond the instant case; it demands a higher degree of self- and other-honesty and more intellectual rigour, and opens up that reasoning to examination and challenge; not unimportant things where the Law is a common article belonging not to beaks on benches, but to the people.

    In some ways, then, Tony’s observations ARE the parade, because Gleeson is stuck back in his musty chambers hiding behind a horsehair wig and a black robe parsing the black letter to the best of his unrevealed interpretive skill while pretending to be impartial about a parade he’d never attend but would still rule on, while Kirby is out on the street among the people and acknowledging the rainbow of people and the colour of the living Law.

  34. On the impartiality of the law, US style:

    Before the US Supreme Court ruled that George W. Bush had won Florida and hence the presidency, the result was forecast including the numbers and names on each side. The only thing that wasn’t predicted accurately was the reason given by the judges for that decision. In other words the law. The proposition that judges have not always had personal, social and political agendas beggars belief.

  35. Min, I’m no scientist but I don’t think that’s quite right. I understand the sex is not determined until later, which explains why I have nipples. Again, i’ll happily stand corrected, I’m just going on an interesting book I read recently (forced upon me as a precondition to marriage).

  36. James, you became a boy the moment that the Y sperm cell penetrated the ovum.

    From: http://biology.about.com/od/basicgenetics/p/chromosgender.htm

    The sperm cell determines the sex of an individual in this case. If a sperm cell containing an X chromosome fertilizes an egg, the resulting zygote will be XX or female. If the sperm cell contains a Y chromosome, then the resulting zygote will be XY or male.

    Imagine, here is the ovum and swimming merrily towards the lady’s ovum are the sperm, some are X some are Y. Xes (which would create a girl) are slower moving but longer living however the Y (the boys) are faster moving. Therefore if you want to create a boy baby you need to do the deed close to ovulation (mostly mid cycle), but for a girl earlier, prior to ovulation.

    You have nipples, because you are a mammal, the same as the great apes. If the sperm had been an X, then these would have developed, however as you are a Y these regressed and ‘other parts’ developed instead, whereas a females ‘other parts’ develop internally.

    I hope that the pre-nup reading is helping.

  37. Min

    Totally correct.

    James

    This book would not be one produced by a religious organisation would it?

  38. I’m just going on an interesting book I read recently (forced upon me as a precondition to marriage)…

    Forced by whom? It doesn’t sound very factual.

  39. Shane, horrific.

  40. Sorry, stand corrected. Sex is determined at conception. However, there is what is described as a “burst” of testosterone (for men) or oestrogen (for women) in the early stages of the pregnancy the quantity of which affects sexuality. The book is by Allan and Barbara Pease. It’s called “Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps”. I can’t speak for its accuracy but it made a lot of logical sense to me. I don’t see any sign of it being religious, quite the opposite in fact.

    I want to say something here. Joni and Min, you’re probably the only two who will read this now and it’s not really directed at you but it goes some way to explaining just why I get so frustrated at times (and I realise I frustrate others). It is so easy to simply explain away the opinions of others with a simple pigeon holing of what they are about. He’s a leftoid, she’s a RWDB or a wingnut. He’s a religious nut. I am no sexist. About 3 years ago, for a short while, I dated a steaming hot Latin American girl, around 10 years my junior, who, if I made a token romantic gesture once a month or so would do anything for me. She had low expectations financially, and would have happily cooked, cleaned, done all the traditional “women” things to “keep her man happy”. To this day, if I knocked on her door and asked, she would marry me on the spot. I cannot fathom why, but that is simply the fact of it. Instead, in a few weeks time, I’m marrying an argumentative, independant, intolerant, lawyer who expects me to cook, clean, better myself through further study, stay fit, you name it. If I were a sexist pig, surely I’d have just gone with the first one. Problem is, the second one stimulates me intellectually and has frustratingly high expectations of me. So, I must seek equality. The thing is, I need to know why. Sure men and women are equal, so why doesn’t she behave the same way and why are so many irrational things so bloody important to her? Because we are equal, but different. I’m a long way from a saint, but I think a lot of people could do a lot worse than spend a bit of time finding out why. Why are gay men gay? Why was Iraq so important? If there weren’t any weapons why did Saddam spend so much time creating the impression that there were? Why didn’t Costello challenge when he had the chance? Why did a seemingly nice bloke like Howard become so attached to power? Why do so many from the left harbour so much hate for conservatives, particularly religious conservatives when I, whilst no longer being religious myself, never saw any of the stuff for which they are damned when I was growing up. The answers simply aren’t as simple as “Howard was a rodent” or “Costello was spineless and lazy” or “Bush was just trying to get oil for Haliburton and Howard had his nose up Bush’s arse” or “Christians aren’t capable of rational thought”. Too many smart Christians out there for that. Why are Christians and Jews so evil yet Muslims so misunderstood?

    I don’t know. What I do know is that I read my history and I know that when in the past this extreme left, intolerant, atheist dogma has reared its head, it has spelt trouble in a way that no religious dogma could pretend to compete with. What I also know is that tolerance cannot be selective. Another thing I know is that behavioural and cognitive change isn’t something that can be forced, but must be nurtured, and nurturing starts with understanding. I’m here, not just to sprout off my opinion, as I love to do, but to try to understand what I struggle to make sense of. I get pissed off when that leads to pigeon holing and dismissal. I’ve met Peter Costello. I don’t agree with everything he says or does but I do know that he has a deep sense of social conscience. I’ve seen it, experienced it, and listened to him articulate it in a way that is simply undeniable. The Vic Attorney General will be at our wedding. Another good bloke with a deep sense of social welfare. It’s not a party political thing for me, just a questioning of why.

    Rant over.

  41. Shane. Women being deliberately raped and so the only way that they can receive atonement is to present themselves as martyrs. Horrific.

  42. James

    That was not a rant at all. It was a carefully constructed reply and I really thank you for it.

    I do not doubt that Costello believes passionately about what he does.

    I also think that extremism from both sides – in fact all sides is not constructive. And I think that most here are not extreme at all.

    This is one thing that I love about ALL the people here (well, maybe not all). They are all wanting to learn, listen and grow. We may differ but I still think we respect each others opinions.

    I can understand perfectly about “steaming hot Latin American(s)”…. my ex was from Ecuador (joni drifts off into happy thoughts).

  43. A wonderful rant James…and I do mean this.

    The burst of testosterone effects penile growth, however this is in the last trimester of pregnancy, but this is due to the fact that the foetus is a male and this is the cause of a congenital abnormality. This person, in spite of this congenital abnormality is no more likely to be gay than the general population.

    There is certainly no study which suggests that gay males are in any way deficient down below.

    James, are you going through pre-nup stress. Why, why and double why!

  44. Thanks, Joni, and I try to limit those happy thoughts……

    Min, I don’t think it’s pre-nup stress. I just have a (sometimes unhealthy) need to know why. I quite honestly don’t think it’s good enough to just dismiss her as “another crazy chick” when her positions make no sense to me. So someone recommended I read that book, that’s all. It’s just about being able to better understand stuff, and I found the book particularly interesting. It explained more about myself than her as well. Turns out that I’m not the dirty perve I always thought I was. 🙂

  45. James

    I read your rant and thought it was great. Many questions posed and many I agree with.

    I will say that yes I am scathing about Peter Costello and John Howard but mainly over the last few years of their reign as I voted for them as well.

    I am also scathing about Kevin Rudd when I feel the need as well.

    The ones I fail to understand are those that would vote for a certain party even if that party cut their arm off.

    Or belong to a religion and not practice the morals in their daily lives but preach the standards at the pulpit on the sabbath.

    You and I may agree and disagree many times James and become frustrated with each other. I will however, never drag the argument to be a personal attack on yourself. I attack politicians over their policies and their hypocrisy, not their personal life as it doesn’t affect me,

  46. James, it is ok to have romantic thoughts about ex’es..we all do it. Just never mention it to your future missus or else she will have to think that you are always comparing her to this standard. Too much ‘honesty’ isn’t useful.

  47. The thing is, I need to know why. Sure men and women are equal, so why doesn’t she behave the same way and why are so many irrational things so bloody important to her?

    If it’s any consolation, she’s probably thinking the same about you. She sounds like she has high standards perhaps even a bit obsessive? But also sounds like she invests a lot of herself in her work and your relationship and she expects you to do the same – no sitting around watching TV and being (s)mothered for you James! Shape up or ship out. BTW, I wouldn’t call her ‘important’ things irrational if I was you!

    I don’t think that you have trouble deciding where you stand, you argue for mediocrity, for the middle ground and seem frightened of strongly held views on both sides (although your own conservative arguments on religion and politics are heated and forcefully and aggressively put IMO, which belies your ‘finding out why’ reasoning – it would seem you’ve already made up your mind).

    You might disparage the extremists or radicals but one thing that I do know is that they are the agents of change. The radicals educate others and bring the issue to attention, these loud voices won’t be drowned out or ignored like the quiet ones are, if that means ‘trouble’ or conflict, so be it. The ‘establishment’ will always try and shut down anything that threatens their own power and control.

    What I do know is that I read my history and I know that when in the past this extreme left, intolerant, atheist dogma has reared its head, it has spelt trouble in a way that no religious dogma could pretend to compete with.

    Trouble? It’s because religious dogma is so entrenched in society that other views are not allowed to be heard. The trouble comes from the religious organisations and those who protect them (governments etc) who have vested interests and enormous sums of taxpayer funded $ to protect. Organised religion will ruthlessly and aggressively defend their turf. The ‘trouble’ comes from the religious institutions, not those who want to have their legitimately held views respected and acknowledged in society too.

  48. kittylitter, on February 5th, 2009 at 11:29 am Said:
    The thing is, I need to know why. Sure men and women are equal, so why doesn’t she behave the same way and why are so many irrational things so bloody important to her?

    If it’s any consolation, she’s probably thinking the same about you. She sounds like she has high standards perhaps even a bit obsessive? But also sounds like she invests a lot of herself in her work and your relationship and she expects you to do the same – no sitting around watching TV and being (s)mothered for you James! Shape up or ship out. BTW, I wouldn’t call her ‘important’ things irrational if I was you! ”

    I should clear up that my reasoning for “researching” these types of thought processes is not out of any disrespect for the boss, but to get an understanding in my own mind. “Irrational” should read “seemingly irrational”. She is obsessive, but no more than any other. We all have our obsessions, I think I have described one of my own in all of this.

    With the religion thing, I guess I respond (I would say assertively) because there seems to be so much hatred coming from the atheist argument. And so much ridicule and contempt for those of a religious bent. I suspect this might have something to do with the amount of power weilded by the Catholics in the lead up to the Split in the 1950s. Maybe they did have too much influence but thank heaven they did at the time, it was that alone that wrested control of the ALP back from the Communists.

  49. Oh and trouble was a reference to Stalin, Pol Pot, and Chairman Mao. There was no religious dogma attached to them.

  50. If it’s any comfort, James, I have also read and seen a few tv programs about the testosterone shot which also is thought to be responsible for producing masculine women. There is a name for the condition which eludes me. The women aren’t gay but have quite few masculine traits like not being able to find the sugar even if it’s in front of their noses (lol) and generally pursue and succeed in, careers which are male-dominated.
    None of what I read or saw had any contribution from religious sources and I’d go so far as to say they’d hate to have to admit that being gay is not some great sin, but a perfectly normal result of genetic and hormonal influences which produces a lovely mix of different people. Homogeneity sucks, IMO.
    I do disagree with your idea that “there seems to be so much hatred coming from the atheist argument”. You only have to look at fundies of any stripe to find an extraordinary amount of spittle-flecked hatred directed at anyone who doesn’t conform to their rigid views.
    I don’t think too many atheists have resorted to torture, burning at the stake and suicide bombing as a means of making a point. Please enlighten me if you know of an atheist version of the Inquisition.

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