Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Saturday, 21 April 2012

I do, but I do not.


Paused on the side of the road today I read an email urging me to complete an online poll set up by our Federal parliament on same sex marriage. There were '6 hours left' ;  I figured I'd not get much time elsewhere in my day so I sat there in my car filling out on my iPhone why I think same sex marriage should be legalised. I said with nearly 17 yrs worth of relationship I'd like to have that recognised by the state. But you know, marriage is traditionally to show the world you are committed. I think after all this time marriage would be an unnecessary 'look at us' moment and were it an option now, I'd really have to force myself to do it. Not that I'm any less committed because of it. But if the people who mean anything to me don't already get it, then a wedding isn't going to make a difference. 

I'm a little conflicted, and I don't mind suiting up for an event. But I don't know I have the energy to put into a day that isn't going to change anything I do in my life. Yes it might change the way people think of me and my relationship, but I've kind of given up on concerning myself with what people think. Do I want to be a role model? I'm not going to do something just because I think it's going to look like the right thing to do. I encourage people to make their own paths, not follow the yellow brick road. So even though I think getting married needs to be an option for me, I don't think I'm going to take it whether or not it is legalised. I want to choose not to get married, not be told I can't. 

Friday, 20 August 2010

Election Boredom

Today is (Federal) election day and I can't wait for it to be over. There has been more coverage on the mechanisms of the campaign than on the policies themselves. I feel like we're being educated on spin. The chosen topics for debate have been BORING, nauseating even and often irrelevant. Gay marriage / relationship recognition has been publicly approved, but both major political parties are ignoring that and won't support it. We are electing the whole government but it seems like there are just 2 presidential candidates. I'm just really scared we will get Tony Abbott as our new PM, who has declared himself the lovechild of prior PM John Howard & MP Bronwyn Bishop... ouch. He claims to be gay friendly - but is as likely to support anything that promotes equality for the gay & lesbian community as he is to skip a photo opportunity.

Anyway - all Aussie readers of superchilled - please vote responsibly.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Greens: the ad they should have


41 seconds

From the TV show Gruen Nation (nee Gruen Transfer) where they had an ad agency come up with an ad for and anti the greens... this is the pro one - and I love it. Unfortunately the ABC won't release it to the Greens to be used in their campaign. So here it is on the web.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Australian Democrats : I wish they got more airplay.

Democrats release GLBTI action plan: click for details.

At least someone is looking at our community as an equal part of Australia, not a minority to be kept at bay. And in this Federal election despite majority community support for gay & lesbian rights, none of the 2 major parties is interested in true equality.

I'm not quite sure why the Australian Democrats fell out of view, but they're still there, and should be a greater part of the Australian political climate than they are right now (in my opinion). The have always been strong supporters of the gay & lesbian community and remain so as detailed in today's press release. They have a stack of great policies (which are a little more sensible than the Greens', who are also similarly gay friendly, obviously) and are SO much better than the main and so conservative political parties who are putting me at once to sleep and in a state of heightened anxiety. As a gay man having Tony Abbott as a leader is really scary. I like that he exercises regularly including doing ocean swims - but that's about it.

I think we all need to vote for people like the Democrats & the Greens who treat the gay & lesbian community equally with the rest of the community, and at the same time write to our local members and aspirants to tell them that we need better representation. And not just token representation.

Links
Labor GLBTI policy: nil
Liberal GLBTI policy: nil

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Do you James take Adam to be your lawfully wedded Husband?

Are you still with [boyfriend X] ?

We've all been asked it, but I rarely hear it being asked of straight couples.
There is often an expectation of relationship splits in same sex couples. The fact that we have no formal means of being recognised doesn't encourage a sense of commitment, and I expect makes our relationships less valued. I certainly have been pissed off at weddings where my relationship has been considered inferior, even though it has outlasted many of those marriages.

And while I'm not sure about getting married personally, I'd like to be able to make that decision for myself and not have it made for me by a government or religious institution.

The Australian Greens have introduced the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009 into the Australian Senate. The Bill aims to amend the definition of marriage from a “union between a man and a woman” to “a union between two persons”. This will allow all couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, the right to marry in Australia.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee has set August 28th as the deadline for submissions for the Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009. You can make a submission to the enquiry easily following via the Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby webpage which goes into more detail about this here, and has an easy to fill out form here which you can link to and fill out online. Even if you don't personally have a desire for marriage, I think it is important that we have the possibility of choosing it and the recognition that our relationships are just as valid and valued as anyone else's.

The majority of the population is now in support of marriage equality, but I know there are going to be loads of religious groups making submissions opposing it. Don't let them win.
Have your say now.

You can also vote in the superchilled marriage poll top right.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Modelling Opinion

What is our fascination with celebrities? In the US presidential campaign there are endless celebrities supporting one or other candidate, but very few other more educated / experienced people promoted as supporting candidates. Why is it we are  more interested and more swayed by a celebrity's opinion than someone who really does know better?

Sure there are some celebrities who know their stuff and whose opinion is well respected, but the others? Why do they get the limelight? Why do we buy the magazines they fill and follow their relationships / pregnancies / diets so avidly? If a supermodel votes for one party - why should that make me want to vote for them? If a rock star calls their child 'Cherry-pie' should I call mine the same too?


It's not just about elections, it's life in general. We select the beautiful people all too often to be the ones who choose our directions. 

I guess we all want to look beautiful. We see the Abercrombie models looking great in (and out of) various clothes and we want to buy that lifestyle. The clothes are a step towards that, and perhaps following what they do will make us more like them... or at least the image of them. We want to be liked in the way it seems the celebrities are liked, and so we emulate them, do what they do, or at least what they say they do.

Of course if we look at the paths of celebrities, shown in detail in the popular press and the reality TV, we see that the image of them is frequently not the reality. Perhaps we take comfort in that, relish the fall of these 'gods', to see that we're all human after all. So why do we bother following their lives in the first place? Let's lead our own lives. Find our own paths, and be directed by those who can better guide us than the winner of the latest MTV music video award.

Life is the people we spend it with. It's talking about things that are important and funny, and mean something to us. Embarking on new adventures, sharing times and meals, of arguing the point and realising we're wrong. Being the person we want to be, in the clothes we feel comfortable in. Determining our goals and making our way towards them. Helping out the people who need us when we least can afford them the time. Above all it's about being who we are and sharing more of ourselves with those in our own worlds. 

Models and movies stars may be good for styling cues, but it's time for a wider diversity of guidance for the important parts of our lives. 

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Your Rights at Home

If you think it's time our government changed the laws to recognise that same sex couples and their families have equal humans rights to heterosexual couples, then now it couldn't be easier to make yourself heard...

The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby have created a easy to complete form which sends an automated letter to support the equal treatment of same-sex couples and their children under federal law in all the 58 areas of discrimination highlighted by the Human Rights and Equal OpportunityCommission.

Click here for the site and electronic form
Then encourage your friends and family to fill it in too.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Howard's End

So it seems we have a new Federal Government. Our conservative Prime Minister John Howard looks like he hasn't even made it into the parliament, losing his seat to former television journalist Maxine McKew.

We'll need to get used to "Prime Minister Kevin Rudd". It's a weekend of change in this end of the world. There was ample French Champagne flowing in a house filled with gay men here tonight accompanying the sense that we will have less oppression with this new government. Hopefully it will mean a lot of changes for the better in the future. Only time will tell.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Federal Election Tomorrow

I've been chatting with some friends this week - and I'm stunned by how many people don't know much about the political happenings in this country at the moment...

The main thing that worries me is that there are a lot of gay guys & girls out there who don't seem to realise that the Greens and Democrats are the only political parties (as far as I can tell) who actively support and fight for gay rights in this country. The Liberal party seems vehemently anti-gay, based on about a thousand things they've done in the past 11 years, not least of which was to force the ACT government to withdraw same sex partnership legislation. The Labor party says it cares - but I'm not really very aware of whether their heart is in it as there has not been a lot of movement from state governments of recent with this, but at least they sound better.

I'm going to go all out and recommend that at least for the upper house (senate) you consider voting green / democrat and then preference who you wish after that, because I'd much rather them have a bigger say in controlling my life than say the Christian democrat or Family First parties, because they'd have us all sent to an island and shot if the real truth were to be told.

Many of you reading this won't be in a position to vote - being foreigners and all, but do feel free to ask your Aussie friends what they're thinking and encourage them to be gay friendly in their voting.

Please feel free to debate any of this here.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Monday

Monday morning, I wake up to alarm 2. It's not looking good. I feel so completely lacking in energy I want to ignore the alarm - but sensibly it's placed away from bed so I have to get up to turn it off, and it's not nearly as pleasant as alarm 1 which is the Kylie cd which has now stopped. (I snooze to Kylie every morning - I've tried a host of different cd's but she's consistently the best wake up music for me so far... not that she actually makes me get out of the bed) . The damn beeping one wins and I'm on autopilot to the shower. Shaving next stop, a bowl of cereal and fruit eaten in front of my pc with the latest news and blog updates. London Preppy has usually posted by now and I laugh myself awake, look at the time and rush to finish the cereal I'm eating because invariably I'm running late. The garage door closes remotely and I'm testing the supercharger my German engineering has installed to delight and propel me. I wonder as to whether I should accelerate so heavily as an environmentally responsible citizen, then I look at the time and my mind moves on, to the tempo of Bob Sinclair's Love Generation. My staff smile and welcome me in, they will have told my patients that I'll be there about now, and the day is underway. I have a mix of people to see, from the superhunk blonde 25 year old with muscles that need no more defining to the middle aged woman with a work injury that she doesn't seem to want to get better, to the kids pointing at the jelly bean container that I have mixed feelings about in the glassed in cabinet.



I escape into my seriously shortened lunchtime, after spending 50 minutes removing an implanted rod from a woman's arm that is not nearly as easy at they say in the promotional material, into a scorching day. Despite my sense of reason I go running in the heat and saturate my t-shirt with a sixpack-seeking sweat, then dive into the pool with 2 minutes of my lunch time left (lunch is still back at the surgery). Work continues evenly yet intensely for the afternoon. There was one patient where think I lost count at 6 yawns - but my post prandial somnolence thankfully doesn't last too long. They were in another world anyway - so I get away with it. And for the first time in weeks I finish on time.

The supermarket is filled with my patients, one of whom is the 25 year old I'd seen earlier in the day, this time with his girlfriend - it was quite funny given the personal nature of the consultation to cross paths at almost every aisle and then again at the checkout. But I'm not complaining.

Home with the wind in my hair - a balmy evening - & collapse onto the couch with Norah Jones playing - The Frenchman spontaneously vomits on hearing her, so with him still on his way home, I'm safe - and I know I can sleep to her. A candle is lit for atmosphere, but completely wasted given I'm snoozing. The Frenchman arrives home and we prepare a dinner of roasted fish and salad and discuss the day with a volley of text messages interspersed to various third parties following up things from the weekend, and a selection of news programs dissecting the current election campaign. We were given some home baked choc chip cookies today and a third of them survive the night.

I read Single in the City and wonder why I didn't add him to my list of blogs before, then watch a man showering on Aussielicious but wonder why, and ponder what to post today - something different and innovative - because I like to be different an innovative, but I end up with a web log of my day, which is I guess what this is supposed to be in the first place. And then it's finished and I go to bed.

I have played, I don't know how many, Norah Jones songs on my ipod today because I slept through most of them.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Get Up Campaign

My tax is paying for political campaigning and I'm sick of it

I received a thick booklet from the Prime Minister in the mail today. It's about keeping my internet safe for my family, a few weeks ago there was another publication promoting the government's activities. On the TV I've seen ads in prime time slots demonstrating how the government is apparently making the workplace fairer, improving superannuation, improving health care and making a difference in climate change. They have also just recently spent multi millions of dollars on things like hospitals in marginal seats for the upcoming federal election.

Whenever any of the government is asked about when the next election is, they smile, look at the interviewer and say "some time between now and December" , and every time I feel nauseous.

My tax is being spent on advertising, publications and questionable gifts to electoral regions who are being bought, and it's bloody obvious and infuriating. The advertising is one sided - the government is telling us how good they are. We can't argue - it's just there on the tv screen, in print, and in flash ads on most of the Australian webpages I read. There's no means of discussing these things, we're being dictated to, and people who have debated the responsibility of their advertising are being attacked by the government. They are stifling debate rather than embracing it, and they have the arrogant "I know what's good for you, just sit down and shut up while I do it" attitude.

Telling us that the government is deeply committed to solving climate change issues is just laughable - what about Kyoto? A year ago they said climate change was all baloney, despite an overwhelming mass of scientific data to the contrary. And now they have the hide to say they're leading the world?

It's time we had legislation that prohibits the misuse of government advertising, curiously absent in this country but present in Canada, the US, the UK and New Zealand.

If I see another blatant political ad under the guise of a government educating the people, I'm going to scream.

Again.

Monday, 13 August 2007

A Liberal push for Gay equality?

It seems the world is square, pigs do fly, and the Australian Federal Liberal Party (well, one member of it at least) is pushing for equality!! See the Sydney Morning Herald article here.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Same-Sex Federal Law Review

The details below are summarised from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Sydney, 2007:

Federal laws breach human rights
The Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Inquiry conducted an audit of federal laws relating to financial and work-related entitlements in order to identify those which discriminate against same-sex couples and their children.

The Inquiry has identified 58 federal laws which discriminate against same-sex couples in the area of financial and work-related entitlements. Those laws breach the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Many of the federal laws discriminate against the children of same-sex couples and fail to protect the best interests of the child in the area of financial and work-related entitlements. Those laws breach the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Simple amendments will remove discrimination
It is simple to remove discrimination against same-sex couples in federal financial and work-related entitlements: change the definitions in the 58 laws listed in the report.

There is no need to rewrite federal tax legislation, superannuation legislation, workers’ compensation legislation, employment legislation, veterans’ entitlements legislation or any other major area of federal financial entitlements. There just needs to be some changes to a few definitions at the front of each relevant piece of legislation.

The Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Inquiry recommends that:
1. The federal government should amend the discriminatory laws identified by the Inquiry to ensure that same-sex and opposite-sex couples enjoy the same financial work-related entitlements.
2. The federal government should amend the discriminatory laws identified by this to ensure that the best interests of children in same-sex and opposite-sex families equally protected in the area of financial and work-related entitlements.

It seems so far the major political parties and the media have not paid much attention to these findings. The details are to be presented sequentially in most capital cities. Maybe those Aussies reading might like to contact their federal MP and ask what is happening from a federal perspective with regard to amending these laws.

For the full report in pdf form: click here
For the HREOC report website: click here
For details of your Federal MP: click here