LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Australian government

July 17, 2014

Australian government minister Kevin Andrews will open and close the World Congress of Families next month after it had to be moved from Russia after conflict broke out in the Ukraine

Leading Australian Government figures are endorsing a far-right anti-gay international conference of ‘family vales’ groups being held in Melbourne next month.

The 8th World Congress of Families had originally been scheduled to be held in Moscow but US and European sanctions against Russia over the crisis in the Ukraine forced organizers to hastily reschedule the event for Melbourne.

Conference organizers had praised the Russian government over its treatment of LGBTI people and ban on so-called gay propaganda to minors.

July 14, 2014

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has said that he would be willing to give the Australian Government his support for its reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas for refugees if it allows its MPs a conscience vote on his gay marriage bill

Newly minted libertarian Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has said he is prepared to trade his vote to the Australian Government to pass one of its planned reforms if Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott allows his MPs to vote with their consciences on his marriage equality bill.

July 11, 2014

Freshly minted Australian micro-party senator David Leyonhjelm says he will put forward a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry after mentioning marriage equality in his inaugural speech

Liberal Democratic Party David Leyonhjelm plans to move quickly to fulfill an election promise to push for same-sex marriage, with reports saying he will move forward with his own bill on the issue.

Leyonhjelm is one of 8 senators from new parties that did not hold seats in the Australian Senate before July this year of who the Australian Government needs 7 to pass legislation if it is opposed by the opposition Labor and Greens parties.

July 8, 2014

Paige Phoenix has had his marriage to his wife annulled by the Victorian state government despite his passport saying he is male and living as a man for seven years but he hopes the United Nations Human Rights Committee will find in his favor

Australian transgender man Paige Phoenix will challenge his home state of Victoria’s policy of only allowing those who have undergone a full surgical genital sex change from changing their sex on their birth certificates in the United Nations after it annulled his marriage against his will.

Phoenix is recognized by the Australian Government as male and has a male passport but his state’s registry of births, deaths and marriages will not recognize him as male unless he undergoes the surgery – which could be life threatening for him due to a previous medical condition.

June 27, 2014

The first same-sex couple to be legally married on Australian soil wed today at the British consulate in Sydney but their marriage won’t be recognized by the Australian Government anytime soon

From today British consulates around Australia are allowed to marry same-sex couples where at least one of the parties is a UK citizen.

What is believed to be the first such marriage in Australia took place today around 3pm at the British consulate near Sydney’s Circular Quay and involved a Scottish Australian couple.

Peter Fraser and Gordon Stevenson married wearing matching kilts in the Fraser clan tartan after 19 years together.

April 23, 2014

A gay Muslim man from India has successfully sought asylum in Australia after a tribunal reversed an Australian Department of Immigration decision that had found he was not a victim of persecution

A gay Muslim man fleeing an arranged marriage and homophobic relatives in India has been found to be a genuine refugee and granted asylum by Australia’s Refugee Review Tribunal.

The tribunal is an appeals body that can overturn decisions about a person’s eligibility to claim asylum by the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration.

The Department of Immigration accepted that the unnamed man was gay in July of 2012 but suggested he could avoid persecution by simply moving from his home city of Hyderabad and relocating to another city.

March 18, 2014

The Australian Senate has passed a motion calling on the Australian Government to do more on the world stage to help end the criminalization of LGBTI people

Australian senators voted yesterday on a motion acknowledging the persecution of LGBTI people in many parts of the world and called on the Australian Government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to do more to combat the problem.

The motion was moved by opposition Australian Labor Party Senator Claire Moore on behalf of Labor Senator Louise Pratt and ruling Liberal Party Senator Sue Boyce at around 4.30pm in a bipartisan effort.

March 10, 2014

Liberal MP and single father Ewen Jones has criticized controversial fellow Liberal Cory Bernardi over his opposition to ‘non-traditional’ families - including those where the parents are in a same-sex relationship

A controversial Australian Government senator who once claimed same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality has been slammed in his party room over his opposition to single parents and gay and lesbian couples raising children.

Senator Cory Bernardi had been praising Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, another Christian conservative Liberal Party MP, at a party room meeting last week for sharing similar views about non-traditional families in a recent opinion column.

March 3, 2014

Australia’s deputy Opposition leader has called on Liberal and National party MPs in the government to pressure Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote and co-sponsor her bill on same-sex marriage

Deputy Australian Labor Party leader and Member for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek, has written to all MPs in the Australian Government to call on them to put pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote on her bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

February 28, 2014

Australia’s Foreign Minister has written to her Ugandan counterpart to raise her concerns about the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that jails gay repeat offenders for life

Australia has voiced its concern over the treatment of LGBTI people in Uganda but has limited leverage as it provides no development aid to the country’s government.

It was revealed in a Senate estimates committee that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had written to the Ugandan Minister for Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa on Wednesday to complain about the signing into law of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill by President Yoweri Museveni,

February 25, 2014

The parliamentary caucus of the opposition Australian Labor Party has backed plans by Sydney Labor MP Tanya Plibersek to introduce a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry

Federal Labor MP for Sydney Tanya Plibersek has announced she has received the backing of her party to move forward with a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and she is now calling for the Australian Government to allow its MPs to vote with their conscience on the issue.

‘Today, the Labor caucus endorsed my proposal to introduce a Bill for marriage equality,’ Plibersek announced earlier today, ‘It’s now up to Tony Abbott to allow his MPs a conscience vote.’

February 3, 2014

The Australian Government has chosen a teacher and author who once wrote that students should be taught to see LGBTI issues in a negative light to review the national school curriculum

The Australian Government has chosen a former teacher and author about education who once wrote that schools should reflect the views of homophobic parents to review Australia’s nation school curriculum.

Kevin Donnelly, director of the Melbourne based Education Standards Institute, was chosen alongside Professor Ken Wiltshire to conduct the review of the national curriculum and suggest changes to it.

January 24, 2014

A new review of research by the Australian Government’s Institute of Family Studies has found that kids who are being brought up in families headed by gays and lesbians do as well as their heterosexually parented peers

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released a report on the well being of children raised by gays and lesbians and found they did just as well as those raised by heterosexual men and women.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is the Australian Government's key research body in the area of family well being and provides an evidence base for developing policy supportive of the well being of families in Australia.

January 23, 2014

From 1 July Australian couples, regardless of sexuality, will be able to receive $200 worth of free relationship counseling in an Australian Government scheme designed to combat relationship breakups

Same-sex and opposite-sex Australian couples will be able to access $200 worth of free relationship counseling from 1 July this year under a new Australian Government scheme but the Australian campaign for marriage equality says if the government is serious about keeping same-sex couples together it should just let them marry.

January 3, 2014

A gay man who was born in Pakistan but who has lived most of his life in North America is being deported to Pakistan by the Australian Government despite his four year relationship with an Australian man

Ali Choudhry expects to be deported by the Australian Government on 8 January after it determined that his four year relationship with Brisbane doctor Matthew Hynd did not constitute a ‘longstanding relationship.’

‘[We] do not consider that you are in a long-standing relationship with your sponsor,’ the Immigration Department wrote to Choudhry in response to the couple's attempt to obtain a partnership visa.

Choudhry was born in Pakistan but has lived most of his life in North America and originally came to Australia on a student visa to study Zoology.

December 16, 2013

Tensions over whether to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage are leading to in-fighting among Australian Government lawmakers with Senator Cory Bernardi attacking Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his advocacy for the reform

Controversial South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has said Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull should quit the front bench of the Australian Government if he intends to continue to publicly advocate for same-sex marriage.

Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth is considered to have the largest number of gay voters of any electorate in Australia and as a result he has been one of the loudest voices for reform and for a conscience vote within Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Liberal/National Coalition government.

December 10, 2013

The Australian Labor Party has renewed its commitment to opposing a referendum that seeks to put a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage – despite voting for a motion that would have set up a Senate inquiry for that yesterday

Australia’s Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has reiterated his party’s opposition to holding a referendum on whether to ban same-sex marriage in the Australian Constitution despite his party’s senators voting for a motion to form a Senate inquiry into doing just that yesterday.

December 9, 2013

The Australian Government and Greens have joined forces to stop an attempt to initiate a referendum on gay marriage in Australia by a senator from the right wing Catholic Democratic Labor Party

Advocates for same-sex marriage in Australia have praised Liberal and National party senators in the Australian Government and senators from the Greens for joining forces to defeat an attempt to begin the process of having a referendum on same-sex marriage in Australia.

Democratic Labour Party senator John Madigan put forward a motion to establish an inquiry into holding a referendum on same-sex marriage earlier today.

December 3, 2013

The High Court of Australia has elected not to hand down its ruling on the legality of territory based same-sex marriages before couples can begin to wed in the Australian Capital Territory in a blow for the Australian Government – but the court could still find them invalid

Australia’s highest court will not hand down its ruling on the Australian Government’s challenge to a same-sex marriage law in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) until after same-sex couples have begun marrying in that jurisdiction.

Same-sex couples will be able to begin marrying in the ACT on Saturday and the court has scheduled to hand down its ruling five days after that, allowing a window in which dozens of Australian same-sex couples are likely to wed.

December 2, 2013

Australia’s highest court of appeal will hear a legal challenge to the Australian Capital Territory's same-sex marriage law tomorrow and Wednesday, as same-sex couples prepare to marry under the territory’s law on Saturday

The High Court of Australia is due to hear the Australian Government's case against the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) Marriage Equality Act on Tuesday and Wednesday, with same-sex marriages due to commence in the territory Saturday.

The Australian Government claims the law is unconstitutional and is seeking to have it repealed but the Australian Capital Territory believes it is on solid legal ground having drafted its bill on the advice of several prominent constitutional experts with a view to survive any legal challenge.

November 25, 2013

The woman who has the power to sack Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced her support for marriage equality, but her decision to go public has been attacked by an openly gay government senator

Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, has gone public with her support for gay marriage – angering the Liberal-National Coalition’s first openly gay senator Dean Smith.

Delivering the final 2013 Boyer Lecture on Friday night in Sydney, Bryce said she hoped to one day see an Australia where ‘people are free to love and marry whom they choose.’

Advocates for same-sex marriage welcomed Bryce’s comments, saying they showed the importance that the issue now had with Australians.

November 20, 2013

The New South Wales State Government has announced it will restrict the ability of schools and disability services owned by religious groups to discriminate against LGBTI people

Independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich has received assurances from the New South Wales (NSW) Government that it will ensure that LGBTIs will not be discriminated against by religious groups in the provision of services when it comes to disability care and education.

October 25, 2013

Same-sex couples will have just days to be able to marry in the Australian Capital Territory in December before the High Court hears the Australian Government’s challenge to the law

Same-sex couples will have a brief window of opportunity to begin marrying in Australia despite the Australian Government’s challenge in the High Court.

The Australian Government had sought to expedite its challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) law allowing same-sex couples to marry under territory law and the court held a directions hearing today at 2.15pm.

October 24, 2013

The High Court of Australia has bowed to the Australian Government’s request to have its challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s same-sex marriage law expedited and will hold a first directions hearing tomorrow at 2.15pm

Australia’s highest court will begin hearing a challenge to the country’s first same-sex marriage law tomorrow at 2.15pm after it agreed to expedite an Australian Government challenge to the constitutionality of an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) bill allowing same-sex couples to marry.

The Australian Government has warned same-sex couples not to try to marry until the bill’s constitutionality has been established but GSN understands many will seek to marry in the window that the law operates while the High Court of Australia deliberates on it.