George Rogers, a building surveyor, thought he’d booked a totally standard flight after spending a few weeks partying in Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica. But he actually booked a seat on Qantas’ WorldPride flight which was made to bring LGBT+ people from the US to Australia for a 17-day festival.
“I had absolutely no idea it was a WorldPride flight. He told news.com.au.
“It dawned on me when check-in opened and I saw a lot of ‘colourful’ people and pride flags.” Then he was directed to Qantas First Lounge at LAX where drag Queen’s handed round rainbow flags and hats as well as free drinks.
When George boarded the flight the party continued as Quantas’ own drag queens flight attendants.
He also got to play drag bingo, take a make-up class and were given free beauty swag bags.
Rogers describes himself as an ally to the community and was “thrilled” by the happy mistake that resulted in him being on the flight. “I ended up on the gayest flight ever and I absolutely loved it,” he added.
Eighty murders, thirty unsolved cases, thousands of assaults. In the 80s and 90s, a murderous, violent epidemic grips Sydney. The attackers are united by contempt and their targets; by their sexual identities. This is the story of how a wave of vicious crime engulfed a community but was invisible to most: a tale of police ineptitude, bungled investigations and a society riddled by homophobia. It stirs up old cases in the hope that new evidence will rise to the surface and bring peace and justice to the loved ones left behind.
Detectives in New South Wales, Australia have arrested and charged a man with the 1988 hate crime murder of American math scholar Scott Johnson.
The 27-year-old’s body was discovered on December 10, 1988 near Manly’s Blue Fish Point in Sydney. At the time, Johnson’s death was seen as symbolic of authorities’ willingness to overlook hate crimes in the gay community after the PhD student’s death was initially ruled a suicide.
Today, Sydney has a thriving and prominent gay community., but in the 1980’s, however, packs of young men roamed popular meeting places for gay men, intending to beat and rob them. Gay men were told to carry whistles to call for help if they were attacked.
The Western Australia Museum in Perth, recently acquired a Gosnell’s train station toilet door with a “glory hole” and the possible exhibit piece is causing much excitement in the land down-under.
The donated “piece” was used by gay men in the Perth for covert sex at a time when homosexuality in WA was illegal.
Western Australia Museum’s chief executive Alec Coles said it was an appropriate piece to acquire because public museums needed to represent every aspect of society.
“Clearly the gay community is a very important part of Perth’s society,” he said.
“We often talk about museums as safe places for unsafe ideas.
“The places you can explore topics that are maybe controversial, sometimes contentious, sometimes even confrontational, but the kind of places they can be explored in a responsible and measured way and hopefully without rancor.”
The door was donated by Perth man Neil Buckley who saved it from destruction when the building it was in was set for redevelopment in 1998.
But not everyone is excited with the glory hole being on public display.
Tony Krsticevic, a member of of the Western Australian Parliament, says he doesn’t think it’s a “suitable exhibit” for young people.
“While it is appropriate for the WA Museum to chronicle the rich and proud LGBTI community as a significant element in the State’s history,” he says, “such an object is too tacky for display at what will be such a great new venue.”
He adds, “I’m not sure it is a suitable exhibit to be seen by school-children who will flock to the new WA Museum when it is completed
Mr Buckley said he did not think there should be a content warning for museum patrons if the door was exhibited.
“It would depend on how it is presented, I would like to think we would always be sensitive,” he said.
“We are representing diverse views of many people and diverse views of people who may be offended … and we take that into account as well.”
Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman said it was the role of WAM to document the stories of the WA’s diverse communities and preserve them for future generations.
Tim Wilson, a Liberal MP, fought back tears as he turned to the public gallery during a speech on the same-sex marriage debate and faced his long-term partner, saying: “There’s only one thing left to do; Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
Mr Bolger broke into a broad smile and mouthed the word “yes”, before MPs from all sides broke into applause.
“We’ll chuck [put] that in the memoirs and in Hansard,” said Mr Wilson, who has been engaged to Mr Bolger for nine years.
Rob Mitchell, the deputy speaker, congratulated the couple and told the chamber: “We should let Hansard note to record that was a ‘yes’, a resounding ‘yes’.”
Mr. Wilson’s proposal yo his partner comes following a national vote which found that 62 per cent of people supported the change and 38 per cent were against.
About 100 protesters blocked the entrance to the Catch the Fire evangelical ministries in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam on Saturday morning, where the controversial World Congress of Families conference was scheduled to begin. Many speakers, including the American campaigner Angela Lanfranchi, who planned to speak on the thoroughly debunked link between breast cancer and abortion, were unable to get through the gates in their cars. Their path was blocked by protesters holding signs with slogans such as “Our bodies are our property” and “Women are not incubators”. More than 30 police officers formed their own barrier on the opposite side of the gate in the quiet street of Star Crescent, located in an industrial area. It forced attendees to trickle through the gates one by one as church security struggled to establish whether they had registered. The Monty Python satirical song Every Sperm is Sacred boomed from a sound system organised by protesters. The protests were vocal, but largely peaceful. Two protesters were arrested as others chanted “What’s the charge?”
One protester managed to sneak in as a registered guest, storming the stage and pouring fake blood over herself in front of NSW MP, the Reverend Fred Nile and his wife. “We don’t want your backyard abortions,” she yelled, before being marched out. Guests at the event were visibly rattled by the breach and turned to prayer as the woman was ushered outside. But despite ongoing protests at the gate throughout the day, the rest of the conference was incident free. Controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lafranchi was one of the headline acts, pushing her research suggesting a link between abortion and breast cancer. Reverend Nile, leader of the NSW Christian Democrats, called for more Christians to get involved in politics. And Paul Hanrahan, the executive director of Family Life International Australia, used his speech to suggest abortion was worse than terrorism in Syria. “Many people lately have been upset at the terrible atrocities being committed in the name of religion in Iraq and Syria and other places. Terrorists and terrorists’ kids holding severed heads is certainly gruesome. Answer me this: how is it worse?” he asked.
On a related note from September 26th – 28th the Family Research Council hate group will be running it’s own anti-gay conference called the Values Voter Summit which will be held at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. Perhaps this year some American LGBT activist will show up and make thier presence known that they will not stand for hate parading undering the guise of politics or religion. (Yes GetEQUAL I am talking to YOU!)
Mike Huckabee has joined 79 other extremist conservatives in signing a letter blasting “sexual radicals” for their efforts to stop a planned anti-gay conference of the World Congress of Families (WCF), a group notorious for stoking homophobia and promoting harsh anti-gay propaganda and laws internationally.
In a few days the Rockford, IL-based WCF was to hold the “Life, Family, and Freedom Conference” in Melbourne, Australia. which is now in total chaos after protests and recent public knowledge have led to three changes of venue for the conference,
“It’s a mess,” Margaret Butts, one of the organisers told Guardian Australia. “We have no venue at the moment – the police are telling us it’s a safety risk because of planned protests and demonstrations. “We are frantic at the moment trying to organise something else, we’ve had four venue cancellations. I can’t talk to you because we are just too busy right now.” Guardian Australia understands that despite the prominent speakers and hundreds of people expected to attend on Saturday, organisers had not planned event security or liability insurance. The event was initially to be held at St Patrick’s parish hall in Mentone, about 20km south-east of the city. It was then moved to St Cecilia’s Catholic church in Glen Iris, but that venue also withdrew.
So the WCF has responded to those protests with a letter signed by 80 social conservatives, including Huckabee accusing “sexual radicals” of waging a “smear campaign,” The letter charges that opponents of the conference aim to “transform society into something unrecognizable to generations past”:
Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the positions of the World Congress of Families……
Attacks on the Melbourne conference and the international pro-family movement generally are an attempt at intimidation – a weapon used to stigmatize family advocates, stifle dissent and foreclose a debate…..
The goal of sexual radicals is to deconstruct marriage and marginalize the family, and thus to transform society into something unrecognizable to generations past. Like all social experiments that attempt to create a “new man,” these are doomed to failure…….
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……
Founded after a 1995 meeting between Illinois anti-gay activist Allan Carlson and two Russian sociologists, the WCF is a self-proclaimed “alliance of orthodox believers, based on their commitment to Judeo-Christian values and the natural family.” Partnering with 29 social conservative organizations – with a combined annual budget estimated at $216 million – the WCF convenes “pro-family” activists for regional and international conferences aimed at combatting reproductive freedom and LGBT equality. WCF partner organizations include a number of groups that have been labeled “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, including the American Family Association and the Family Research Council,
While the WCF’s ties to conservative groups have helped make it influential on the American right – the George W. Bush administration even sent delegates to WCF conferences in 2004 and 2007. Much of the WCF’s work has concentrated on Russia, which WCF managing director Larry Jacobs has touted as a “great ally for conservatives”. The organization has forged close ties with key Russian lawmakers and church officials in support of the country’s law banning gay “propaganda,” and planned to hold its 2014 conference in Moscow until that event was cancelled due to international tensions over Ukraine.
Moreover, the WCF has convened “pro-family” conferences in Africa, where attendees learn of the alleged dangers of contraception and homosexuality. Attendees at WCF meetings have included the first ladies of Nigeria and Uganda. Both countries have since passed harsh laws imposing 14-year prison sentences for gay sex.
Huckabee also signed a WCF letter in 2012 protesting the U.S. embassy’s participation in the Prague gay pride parade. That letter accused the American government of “aggressively promoting the ‘gay’ agenda internationally,” stating that the signers couldn’t “imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism.”
During his unsuccessful 1992 U.S. Senate bid, Huckabee called for AIDS patients to be quarantined, and he has cited “the ick factor” as one of the reasons he opposes same-sex marriage. However, Huckabee steadfastly contends that he is “not homophobic.”
In response to the video posted here and on other websites yesterday shows Sydney Australia police brutally arresting and physically abusing 18-year-old Jamie Jackson at Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras, Sydney’s Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch has released information that the reason for Jacksons arrest stemmed from the fact that he used “offensive language”
“Mr Murdoch told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the initial offence that led police to apprehend Mr Jackson was for offensive language. Mr Jackson was then charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest as a result of his interaction with the Fairfield officer and he will appear in court on April 1.
The state MP and gay rights campaigner, Alex Greenwich, said it was very concerning that a large police officer ‘‘body slammed’’ a teenage boy for swearing.
‘‘If the only thing that the individual did was use offensive language, then I think many would agree that the approach the police took to the situation and the body slam on the ground is certainly a heavy-handed approach to the matter,’’ he said.
…Mr Greenwich and the Mardi Gras board will meet with the Police Minister, Michael Gallacher, and the chair of this year’s Mardi Gras, Peter Urmson, said: “We’re not gonna let this get swept under the carpet”.
Mr Murdoch said the officer from Fairfield was still on duty pending an internal investigation.
Also troubling is the arresting officer’s order to the person filming to stop.”
In a report of a second police brutality gay activist Bryn Hutchinson said up to five police held him down and kicked him, after he ignored their instructions to not cross a road.
“I was kicked several times,” said Mr Hutchinson, the former convenor of Community Action Against Homophobia. “I was handcuffed and had my face pushed into the ground.
“I had a police officer leaning on me. I told him I couldn’t breathe. He said, ’If you can talk, you can breathe”.
Sydney LGBT activist groups are planning a march this Friday night and demanding an independent inquiry. Since yesterday more than 1500 people have responded to the march’s page on Facebook.
You can watch the video of this heinous brutality against Jamie Jackson by the Sydney Police by CLICKING HERE
Disturbing news out of Sydney, Australia as police have been accused of using heavy tactics and police brutality during last weekend’s Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras, which are being PROVED by a video uploaded to YouTube and has sparked an angry outcry for an a full formal police investigation and dismissal and criminal charges against the officers involved
The Australian gay news site Same Same reports on the story that one of that nights victim, shown in the video being savagely handled by police claims he was arrested for simply attempting to cross the road during the parade.
A witness at the scene with her two teenaged sisters says the violent actions of the officers involved left her younger siblings seriously traumatized. “They were crying while the police bashed the boy’s head into the cement,” she said. “It was horrible, disgusting behaviour.”
Another witness adds: “They picked him up by the throat and slammed him into the ground with his head hitting the ground that hard it sounded like a bowling ball hitting the ground,” she said. “This was while he was in handcuffs.”
Onlookers in the video can be heard protesting and alleging the man had been handled violently before the video started rolling. “We just saw you whack his head against the ground,” a woman can be heard to say. “His blood is on the ground”.
Another police officer instructs the person behind the camera to “stop filming, mate”. When asked why, the officer responds: “Cos I said”.