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November 26, 2014

'I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path'

Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm today (26 November) introduced his long-awaited gay marriage bill in parliament.

The straight Liberal Democrat told the upper house that he supported gay marriage 'because I think people ought to have the freedom to choose their own life path.'

'To most people, marriage equality means the right to get married irrespective of gender or sexual preference,' he said.

'But it is much more than that; it is the right to live your life as you choose and not have the government impose a particular view on you.'

October 21, 2014

Gough Whitlam, who lead the Australian Government from 1972 to 1975 and was one of the first Labor Party leaders to champion the rights of gays and lesbians, passed away this morning aged 98

One of the first major Australian political figures to champion equal rights for gays and lesbians has passed away this morning, aged 98.

Gough Whitlam was leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1967 to 1977 and Australia’s prime minister from 1972 to 1975 – a period of incredible reform for Australia before his government was dismissed to end a constitutional crisis.

September 22, 2014

During her time as PM, she was opposed to the 'redefinition of the traditional notion of marriage'

Julia Gillard has accepted same-sex marriage will one day happen in Australia.

The former Labor prime minister opposes same-sex marriage, maintaining she believes in the 'traditional' definition of the union.

But in a new interview, she admits her views are 'old fashioned' and that marriage equality is an inevitability in the developed world.

August 29, 2014

All but one Australian Government lawmakers have pulled out of attending the anti-gay, anti-abortion World Congress of Families conference scheduled for tomorrow in Melbourne after the event struggled to find a venue over its controversial views

Australian Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has pulled out of opening and closing the controversial World Congress of Families conference in Melbourne after it was announced the event would be hosted by the controversial Catch the Fire Ministries church after at least four other venues turned organizers away.

Controversial Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, who has in the past said that same-sex marriage could lead to group marriage and the legalization of bestiality, has also pulled out of attending the event.

August 5, 2014

The 8-year-old niece of a gay couple who are the subject of a new reality show has threatened to write to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott every day this week if he does not legalize same-sex marriage

An 8-year-old Australian girl has started a letter writing campaign to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in support of her gay uncles being allowed to get married, and says she will write to him every day this week.

‘To Tony Abbott, my name is Abbey and I am 8 years old,’ she writes.

‘My unkls are gaye and we had to go to New Zeland to have ther wedding. It is going to be on TV it’s called Living with the Enemy they wont to get marred in Astralea but that’s eligle. I will write to you once a day for a week. P.S. I wold like the law changed. [sic throughout]’

August 4, 2014

Australian lawmakers will again vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and unlike last time it’s looking very likely that government MPs will have a conscience vote on the issue

Australian lawmakers will once again vote on legislation that would see same-sex couples be allowed to marry across Australia and reports indicate it is likely that MPs from the ruling Liberal-National Coalition will be allowed to vote with their consciences.

Fairfax newspapers over the weekend published articles in which several unnamed Liberal MPs said they believed the party room would decide in favor of a conscience vote - including one who is opposed to same-sex marriage.

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.

June 10, 2014

Tony Abbott gets burned by an 11-year-old who cannot understand his reasons for refusing to give gay people equal rights

An 11-year-old boy has written a kickass letter to the Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott to demand support for same-sex marriage.

Orlando Burcham, from Newcastle, New South Wales, has described the socially conservative Liberal party leader as ‘pathetic’.

Read his amazing letter in full here:

‘My name is Orlando Burcham, I am 11 years old and I would like to know why you don’t allow ‘gay marriage’ in Australia

May 7, 2014

Mike Baird, the new Liberal premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, has reiterated his predecessor’s pledge to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage for his MPs if the issue comes before the parliament

The new Liberal premier of the Australian state of New South Wales told the state parliament earlier today that he would allow his MPs to vote with their consciences if a bill to legalize state-based same-sex marriages were to come before the parliament.

Premier Mike Baird made the announcement in response to a question from openly gay independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich who wanted to know if Baird would make the same commitment on the issue that his predecessor Liberal premier Barry O’Farrell had.

March 15, 2014

Australian PM Tony Abbott stumbled over his response when a high school student asked ‘Why are you so against legalizing gay marriage?’ during a school trip to Canberra

A high school student took advantage of the chance to quiz Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on some of the important issues facing the country by challenging him on his stance on marriage equality.

Students from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in New South Wales were on a school trip to Government House when the Prime Minister went to talk to them and agreed to answer some questions.

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 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 6, 2014

Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he believes Prime Minister Tony Abbott will allow government MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage before the end of 2014

Australia’s Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he believes government MPs will be given a free vote on same-sex marriage before the year is over.

Turnbull has previously predicted that MPs from the governing Liberal-National Coalition of Prime Minster Tony Abbott would be allowed to vote with their consciences on the issue but this is the first time he has put a timetable on it.

January 23, 2014

A four-year-old advocate has written letter to Tony Abbott says gay people will be 'sad forever' if they're not allowed to get married

A four-year-old girl has written a touching letter to the Australia Prime Minister asking him to let boys marry boys and girls marry girls.

Sabrina Franco decided to pen the letter on Disney princess letter after learning how her mother’s friends were forced to go to New York to get married as it was not legal or recognized in Australia.

In addition, the young advocate asked Abbott not cut funding to, and effectively shut down, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company).

The full letter is below:

‘Dear Tony Abbott,

December 31, 2013

Liberal-National Coalition MP Warren Entsch has become the latest high profile Australian Government politician to say he believes his colleagues will be allowed a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in 2014 – adding to the pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow one

Liberal-National Coalition MP Warren Entsch has joined former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull in predicting that there will be a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in the Australian Parliament during 2014.

December 27, 2013

2013 saw many gains and set backs in the fight for LGBTI rights in Australia - GSN looks back on a year of struggle in the Great Southern Land

2013 was a tumultuous year for LGBTI rights in Australia, with significant victories on the road to reform but also significant short term obstacles put in its way.

The LGBTI community started 2013 on a bit of a high with the 2012 national conference of the then ruling Australian Labor Party adopting same-sex marriage as part of its party platform in December of 2012 – though the party stopped short of binding MPs to vote for the reform.

December 20, 2013

Edith Windsor, the Pope and Barack Obama head up our list of heroes for the LGBTI community in 2013

As 2013 comes to an end we look back at the heroes who have made the world a better place for LGBTI rights.

These are the people who have have fought for equality on a global scale and have had an influence over the past year.

From the woman who defeated DOMA to one of the most progressive religious leaders in history, from one hilarious politician fighting for rights to a diver just being himself.

Take a look at our heroes of 2013 below:

December 17, 2013

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refused to discipline Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull for his advocating for same-sex marriage despite calls from the right of his party to have him dumped from cabinet

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will not demote his Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, for his vocal advocacy for the legalization of same-sex marriage despite calls for him to be sacked from the front bench by the right of his party.

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.

November 26, 2013

Australia’s Governor-General Quentin Bryce has spoken out about the high rate of suicide among LGBTI young Australians just days after she made her support for same-sex marriage known

Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce has launched an online resource for LGBTI people by Australia’s national anti-depression initiative BeyondBlue, speaking of her concern about the high rate of suicide among LGBTI young people.

Bryce launched the Families Like Mine e-book and website in Melbourne earlier today, noting that young LGBTI Australians were 6 times more likely to commit suicide than other Australians.

November 5, 2013

The editors of the Sydney Morning Herald have called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow his MPs to vote with their consciences on same-sex marriage following a senior Government minister saying he believes his party room should revisit the issue

Australia’s most read left leaning newspaper has called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow his MPs to vote with their personal views on same-sex marriage, rather than as a block, just days after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wanted his party room to revisit the issue.

November 4, 2013

Australia’s Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he believes Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s party room will allow a conscience vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry

Malcolm Turnbull - Australia’s Communication Minister and leader of the Liberal Party while in Opposition from 2008 to 2009 - has said he believes his party room will allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

However he told Network Ten TV that he does not know whether there are the numbers in the parliament for a bill to pass.

However the MP for what is considered Australia’s gayest electorate said he did not know whether there were enough supporters in the Australian Parliament for a bill to pass.