Mardi Gras

Tonight is the Mardi Gras parade here in Sydney, and I will be marching with the Amnesty Internationals LGBTQ Network (yes – quite a mouthful). Our theme this year is 7/77.  So the best frocks and jocks will be on display. If any of the blogocrats are going or watching, keep an eye out for me during the parade as I will be wearing my sling to protect my shoulder (no reb, not that other type of sling – you’re disgusting!).

There are 7 countries in the world where same-sex love is punishable by the death penalty. Those countries are: Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen and Iran.

And there are 77 countries where same-sex love is punishable by imprisonment, which include: Singapore, Malaysia,  India, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea.

Just an aside, Sparta has published a comment on the Frolyks-thread on the same-sex marriage battle in California (which I will get around to reading). 

Here is a short ad I created for Amnesty International Australia that played before each movie of the 2009 Mardi Gras Film Festival. This ad could be getting some airplay on the Foxtel broadcast tonight.

I will fill you all in on the march tomorrow, when and if I recover. And I will have more to say on the censorship of our entry into the parade by New Mardi Gras.

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59 Responses

  1. Now look, joni, I (and I doubt I’m alone in this) have had the Mardi Gras up to my neck – I suggest a blanket ban on all participants (some of ’em really do need covering up!)…

    …seriously, I hope you have a great time (sure you will) and it all goes off (oops!) the way you hope…(great cause BTW!)…

    PS…I thought your shoulder was getting better? Sling?

  2. TB

    I know – some people should be nearly naked as they have the bodies for it (not me), and others should cover up (like me).

    And on my shoulder – I have to wear the sling if I am in crowded places (like the rugby last night – Go the Tahs) and tonight at MG parade and party. My physio will be watching and she said she will hurt me next week if I am not wearing the sling.

  3. joni, on March 7th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    If I know physio’s she’s just having you on, mate, she’ll hurt you anyway!

    Hope you have some decent walking shoes…sreb, probably wears sparkling pink, with flashing blue lights from Gucci…you, I suspect, a little more conservative (cowboy boots perhaps?)

  4. “…probably wears sparkling pink, with flashing blue lights from Gucci…” with an in-built drink fountain.

  5. Hey! I resemble that remark!!!

    In my defence, might I remind you that I was at a very sofistikated art gallery opening last nite resplendent in one of new linen suits…

    It was all very high-camp and glamorous!!

    But of course won’t be a patch on what joni’s got waiting ahead this evening.

    Apparently Joan Rivers is going to be there…

    Did anyone catch her on Sunrise the other day..?

    Mel asked her what she thought about Michael Jackson making a comeback, and her immediate reaction was “THAT BASTARD!!”

    “He shouldn’t..well you know he’s a pedophile…I mean.. an alleged pedophile…it’s just not right that he should be making money..”

    Talk about saying it like it is…!

  6. I saw Joan Rivers a few years ago in London and one of her gags was “I’ve had so many facelifts I now have a goatee”. She’s hillarious.

    The boyf is already salivating at the sights he will be viewing tonight. I just hope he doesn’t get too overstimulated.

  7. “…probably wears sparkling pink, with flashing blue lights from Gucci…” with an in-built drink fountain.

    Absolutely, joni!
    With little pumps (that’s why they call them pumps!) that work when you walk on your heels…shiraz in one shoe and …mmmm…shiraz in ‘tother.

    I notice he’s up and about early after his soiree last night…

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    sreb, that’s sufistickated, your spelling is atroshus…

    …what colour was your new linen suit? 😆

    It was all very high-camp and glamorous!!

    What about the art? Buy anything or did you just swill the fee grog?

  8. Just be wary of those little red tablets with the picture of the rabbit on them..

  9. Freudian in the extreme!

    …fee grog… obviously should read… free grog

  10. TB

    I have it on good advice that the colour of the suit is called “turtle green” which is not as hideous as it sounds.

    “What about the art? Buy anything or did you just swill the fee grog?”

    LOL!!

    Neither! I did venture up to the bar and the selection was either cask dry red, or cask dry white (unchilled). I declined.

    Little pumps that work when you walk on them?

    LOL!! I can see it now…walking around Hobart…squelch…slurp…squelch…slurp….

    🙂

  11. Time for my sofiistikated brekky, Kellogs Corn Flakes, are they still made in Oz?

  12. Didn’t Dr Kellog invent them as a cure for masturbation?

  13. You’ve taken one of those tablets already, haven’t you joni…

  14. Good luck! Hope it’s warm enough to wear thongs.

  15. o rennie, couldn’t help yourself could you!

  16. The Minister calls – now I’m retired I work seven days a bloody week…

    …that includes visiting the mad aunt in hospital (who threw her teeth at a nurse the other day…pity I wasn’t there then 😆 – although, I might have copped ’em…)

  17. LOL Kevin…. I do not think that a thong would be appropriate for me tonight. I am one of the, um, heavier gays.

  18. TB..be grateful for small mercies..at least it wasn’t the bedpan.

  19. Joni, re heavier gays. I do find this very difficult to believe..thought all you blokes looked like Jake Gyllenhaal 😉 However, I’ve seen a pic..cute nonetheless.

    Have a wonderful time won’t you!!

  20. Thanks min… we will have a splendiferous time.

    And I keep getting phone calls from people wanting to march with us. We have a limit of 200, which we think we will break and so we may have to steal some security bracelets from some other groups.

  21. joni,

    larger sonds better the heavier for that perticular night.

    Hope you have a fun night.

    the way they dress, Reb should feel like he is in queensland again

  22. Hi joni..wish I could be there. Will just have to make do with pics! (hint).

    Also joni..and crew, very big CONGRATULATIONS for all your work with Amnesty International and efforts to bring to the public’s attention the severe penalties still existing in other countries.

  23. i reacon i should win something for killing the convo.

    i feel tension but dont know why.

  24. Good article in today’s Daily Telegraph (I will never admit to reading that rag – I was referred to the story by a friend) by Justice Kirby:

    Is the Mardi Gras still relevant?

  25. Meanwhile, on the other side of town the Most Reverend Fred Vile has been joined by other members of the Christian Democrats as they imprecate ruin on tonight’s parade.

    Up until I see the gay and lesbian community marching in serried ranks in a united burlesque of the religion of peace I have no interest in the mardi gras because of the lack of courage. Why don’t we see a clearly homosexual imam wearing one of those coffee filters on his head with a message directed at the religion of peace; or perhaps a few niqab-clad lesbians holding signs saying “Will this protect me from Islam’s sex police” or something like that. Oooops! Too dangerous. Let’s just stick to mocking Christians….it’s much safer.

    For the record Stephan is a lapsed catholic. Stephan has divested himself of ALL religion.

  26. Aqua..you are such a SNAG (sensitive new age etc). Now be good and go and hug a tree (in joke between old Auntie Min and Aqua).

  27. lol Min…
    But the tree is not going to be happy about my grip.

  28. Stephan, on March 7th, 2009 at 12:39 pm Said: Up until I see the gay and lesbian community marching in serried ranks in a united burlesque of the religion of peace I have no interest in the mardi gras because of the lack of courage.

    Re lack of courage. I doubt that there is one person walking who hasn’t had to show extreme courage such as telling parents that they’re gay.

  29. Thank you Sans..Justice Kirby is one of my all time favorite people. There is no one who could have said it better.

    An excellent quote from this most excellent of people is: am not referring to tolerance, which is a very condescending emotion. But to acceptance, which is a recognition that nature and experience rejoice in differences.

    Tingles..such as when you read a simple truth.

  30. Great words Justice Kirby.

    Acceptance not tolerance.

    Now it is time for my nana-nap. It’s gonna be a long night.

  31. Bugger! Now… am I tolerant or accepting…

    Both? Well, yes, I like …or just tolerant..? no, gotta be accepting… whats the difference?… well…why should I be either?… a person is either “good” or “bad”… and all the shades between…what’s wrong with difference?… nothing… as long as it does no harm…

    Who put that bloody post up? Sans Blog… and just an occasional visitor these days but causes chaos… 😀

    …and I too have always had a great deal of respect for Justice Kirby (one of the few who deserve the title!)…

    Whew! I think the garden edges really need doing now…

  32. Good choice TB re the garden edging.

    Tolerance is (just me) such as when The Minister burns the spuds. Should you tolerate it (with furrowed brow), or should you accept it, that this is a normal part of life.

    That is..if you have confusion re tolerance versus acceptance..think of the Minister. Do you tolerate it or do you accept it? Me thinks that you are more into acceptance rather than just tolerating things 🙂

  33. Time for a nap too: I’m hitting the local pub tonight for some blues (music, that is!).

    http://www.myspace.com/bluespreachers

  34. Thanks, Min, that made it all clear! 😯

    Going to mow the backyard before The Minister returns! TTFN

  35. TB..pleased to help. Tolerance, is being iffy but putting up with it, whereas acceptance is knowing that this is ok.

    Anyway..big cheers for our friends who have had the courage to take this path.

    And quoting joni: There are 7 countries in the world where same-sex love is punishable by the death penalty. Those countries are: Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen and Iran.

    And there are 77 countries where same-sex love is punishable by imprisonment, which include: Singapore, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea.

  36. Enjoy yourself joni. I have a few mates down there who certainly will be.

    BTW, is there going to be a gay vego float? Always wanted to know that.

    “There are 7 countries in the world where same-sex love is punishable by the death penalty. Those countries are: Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen and Iran.”

    They really don’t help themselves do they? Rather than Saudi & Iran thinking of ways to bash each other perhaps they need to spend more time WAKING UP! to women & gay/lesbian rights…amongst other things.
    N’

  37. Mark Eitzel being real:

    “Johnny Mathis’ Feet”


    N’

  38. Until this sort of thing is gone forever, we need Mardi Gras and and everything else we can use:

    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77340

  39. One of my favourite gay musos:

    Bob Mould – It’s Too Late

    N’

  40. Time to start rev…ving up…gradually:

    Elton John – Philadelphia Freedom

    N’

  41. Gonna start lubricating meself w/ some brew soon:

    Bronski Beat – Hit That Perfect Beat

    N’

  42. Queer as Folk UK – It’s Raining Men

    great show. Brilliant storyline & acting. S’ & I got really caught up in the UK version. Haven’t seen US version yet.

    N’

  43. nasking, on March 7th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    What an awful clip N’, disappointed…

    This is Johnny Mathis – magic voice – enjoy!

  44. “What an awful clip N’, disappointed…”

    Unfortunately few decent clips on there from Mark Eitzel. Put it up for joni actually. Thought he might get a chuckle out of tye banter. Doesn’t do Eitzel’s voice justice tho.

    Here’s a better one from him & his band American Music Club:

    American Music Club – Western Sky


    N’

  45. How things change eh?…not.

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes(1983)

    N’

  46. Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground

    N’

  47. Grace Jones – Slave to the Rhythm

    N’

  48. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER

    Howard Jones:

    too true…here’s to looking forward…positively.
    N’

  49. Just read Justice Kirby’s article.

    We’ll know that acceptance is complete when people’s age, sexual orientation, colour, creed, religion or other things that are none of our bloody business aren’t regarded as more important than their achievements.

    I look forward to that day.

    Just a thought, the obsession with other people’s sex lives by the Fred Nileses, that ghastly Phelps creature and others of that ilk says a lot more about them than those they condemn. They are seriously creepy.

  50. Yes Jane, it is creepy when people interfere in others lives, particularly when it’s in the name of religion.

    I’ve done some checking on the first seven countries Joni mentioned above, and all happen to have the same religion based legal system (I haven’t ckecked the second group of 77 countries, but I suspect the same will apply to many of those):

    (Details from Wiki)

    Mauritania: Officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania Religions 99.84% Muslim, most of whom are Sunnis.

    Nigeria: Sharia law, used in the predominantly Muslim north of the country. It is an Islamic legal system which had been used long before the colonial administration in Nigeria but recently politicised and spearheaded in Zamfara in late 1999 and eleven other states followed suit. These states are Kano, Katsina, Niger, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Gombe, Sokoto, Jigawa, Yobe, and Kebbi.

    Sudan: The legal system in Sudan is based on English common law and Islamic law; as of 20 January 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states; Islamic law applies to all residents of the northern states regardless of their religion.

    Saudi Arabia: Several international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Committee have issued reports critical of the Saudi legal system and its human rights record in various political, legal, and social areas, especially its severe limitations on the rights of women. The Saudi government typically dismisses such reports as being outright lies or asserts that its actions are based on its adherence to Islamic law.

    UAE: As Sharia prohibits ‘sodomy’, homosexual relationships are not commonly disclosed. Homosexual behavior in public may result in imprisonment and/or deportation.

    Yemen: Islam makes up 99 percent of the population in Yemen, including Shaf’i Sunni and Zaydi Shia, but there are small numbers of the people from Yemen who are Jewish, Christian, and Hindu.

    Iran: Officially the Islamic Republic of Iran

  51. Just a thought, the obsession with other people’s sex lives by the Fred Nileses…

    I know what you’re saying there. That misquoted Shakespearian line applies to so many of them : “Me thinks thou doth protest too much”. (Actually it’s “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” -From Hamlet (III, ii, 239))

    I was talking to a Christian friend the other night and he just couldn’t answer my question: why do so many (and it is most, if not all them) Christian faiths spend so much time on homosexuality instead of homelessness & poverty, etc etc as well as all the other conveniently dismissed no-nos in the Bible.

  52. TB Queensland, on March 7th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Just for us TB..

    http://ckuik.com/Chances_Are_Johnny_Mathis

    Sigh..hug time with one’s partner.

  53. Sans..don’t get me started on the bible. It’s worthy of respect as an historical record, great poetry plus in it’s own way an accurate account of the creation of the world given that this is set in poetical form (lightening bolts strike me sent by the fundamentalists).

    But re homosexuality..one must look at it socio-economically (surprisingly). Homosexuality was not a problem for the upper classes..best example of course is King David’s love for Jonathan, this love resulting in some of the world’s best poetry.

    However, for the tribal people, this is a threat as homosexual people tend not to reproduce. When one factors in the rate of infant mortality, say only 1 in 5 children living beyond their 2nd year then all and every means were needed to ensure that blokes and gals produced babies.

    And so today we still have some sectors of society treating homosexuality as if was a threat against society..that all of society will be brought down if we dare to treat gay people equally.

    Min steps down from the soapbox.

  54. Joni,

    I have just watched your ad again. I note your appeal, “Your action will make a difference. Support Amnesty International.”

    I’ve been searching the AI websites, without success, for any campaign details regarding advocacy for homosexuals in those countries you list above.

    Can you point me to that information please? Specifically, I am interested in what they are doing or intend to do to protect homosexuals in those countries that operate under sharia law.

  55. Sans, too true. I was lead to unnerstan’ that the Christian faith was less concerned with what consenting adults did wherever they liked to do it than with helping people who are in dire circumstances, as you said.

    I believe turning the other cheek and not judging others if you don’t want a dose of judgment yourself were two other tenets of the faith. Loving your neighbour as yourself was another quality he seemed to be pretty strong about. But I can’t recall him recommending his followers to hate people for anything.

    So I really have to wonder how these purveyors of hate can claim to be Christ’s followers with a straight face.

  56. Apart from the bit where Jesus is the quintessential bridegroom and marriage is one of the graces bestowed on the Created folk, a grace which preceded ‘the fall’ and which endures still. Actually, who does what with whom and under what circumstances would still seem to be the centrepiece of a gay rights movement concerned with recognition of relational rights and obligations, but no matter.

  57. Tony

    There are a number of different actions that we get involved with. One recent action was to protest the execution of two gay men in Iran. At the recent Fair Day we had letter for three of the 77 countries for individual cases.

    If you go to http://www.amnesty.org and enter LGBT in the search you can see some of the recent actions that we have followed.

    And then there is this article from July 2008.

    (and I am still trying to recover from last night – which was a great night, we finished partying at 6am)

  58. Thanks Joni. (Perhaps a ‘hair of the dog’ is in order?)

  59. Tony

    NO NO NO!!!!!!

    Then again, I did not have too many, was just dancing.

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