LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about New South Wales

March 23, 2015

Waratahs' Jacques Potgieter admits to calling two Brumbies players a 'faggot'

The Australia Rugby Union (ARU) has fined Jacques Potgieter A$20,000 ($15,560) for calling two opposing players a 'faggot.'

The New South Wales Waratahs forward admitted to using the anti-gay slur in Sunday's (22 March) match against the Australian Capital Territory Brumbies players in Sydney.

'I’m very sorry for any offense caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter,' he said.

'It was an offhand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me.'

March 6, 2015

The bank is marking this weekend’s Mardi Gras festivities with rainbow flags at branches and messages on local ATMS

To mark its own commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion – and perhaps also to acknowledge the importance of Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to the local economy – HSBC Australia has decorated some of its branches in Sydney with rainbow flags.

It has also put messages promoting LGBT diversity on ATMs and display screens across New South Wales.

The campaign has been organized through the HSBC Pride Australia Network, which has also arranged events to raise LGBT issues among employees.

February 19, 2015

New South Wales politician voted against same-sex marriage in 2013

The opposition leader in New South Wales has u-turned on gay marriage after voting against reform in the Australian state in 2013.

On becoming Labor leader in January, Luke Foley said he would keep 'an open mind' and 'continue to reflect' on the issue, which cynics saw as a non-commital halfway ground ahead of the March elections.

But today, the practising Catholic spoke in favor of overturning a federal ban on gay marriage.

January 25, 2015

Do you have an amazing photo from your adventures? Gay Star Travel wants to share holiday pics from LGBT people and allies

Home of the iconic Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, and not forgetting the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sydney seems to embody the best of everything that is quintessentially Australian.

24 year-old Sam Hawli was born and raised in Sydney. We caught up with him for his tips on how to get the most out of your visit...

What are some of the best things about living in Sydney?

January 19, 2015

New South Wales politician loses battle with cancer

Paul O'Grady, Australia's first openly gay state MP, died yesterday (18 January) in Sydney after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.

The Labor politician was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1988 to 1996. He became the first parliamentarian in the state to publicly come out in 1990.

O'Grady went on to champion LGBTI issues in parliament and invited all MPs to march with him at Sydney Mardi Gras in 1992.

January 4, 2015

LGBTI activists want Foley, who voted against marriage equality, 'to meet with same-sex couples and their children so he can hear for himself why marriage equality matters'

Marriage equality advocates in Australia are urging potential New South Wales Labor leader Luke Foley to meet with same-sex couples and their children to challenge his anti-gay views.

Foley, a committed Catholic who is preparing to be elected unopposed as leader of New South Wales Labor on 5 January, has previously voted against marriage equality, claiming this view is based on his upbringing by a single mother. 

December 5, 2014

Unlike other parts of Australia, South Australia does not allow same-sex couples or single people to adopt. Its government is now seeking the public’s views on whether to change its adoption policies

In July, the South Australia Government announced that it planned to begin a public consultation and review of its adoption laws.

Currently, South Australia does not allow either same-sex couples or single people to adopt.

This is in contrast to most other parts of Australia: New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia and Tasmania all allow adoption by gay couples and LGBT individuals, as well as same-sex step-parent adoption.

December 3, 2014

Are the gays recruiting?

Human sexuality is incredibly complex. Take away the emotional and religious hyperbole and you still find the scientific research and analysis is inconclusive.

What shapes our sexuality? Biology? Society? Or something else? Is our sexuality some sort of fixed concept or are we all somewhere on a fluid spectrum? No one has the definitive answers to these fundamental questions. Nobody knows what makes us who we are.

November 20, 2014

Liberal MP Don Harwin says the hardships he had endured as a gay man gave him the determination to pursue a career in politics

A senior Australian politician publicly came out as gay today (20 November) in an emotional speech to New South Wales state parliament.

Liberal MP Don Harwin, 50, said the hardships he had endured as a gay man gave him the determination to pursue a career in politics during the last parliamentary session of the year.

'Life is so different for [young LGBTI people today] than it was for me,' the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

November 13, 2014

New South Wales follows Queensland and Tasmania

New South Wales has become the third Australian state to recognize gay couples who have married abroad in places where same-sex unions are legal.

November 7, 2014

Installation takes a firm stance on condom use among gay men

An 18m pink condom has been erected in Sydney to promote condom use among gay men in the lead up to World AIDS day in December.

The heritage-listed Hyde Park Obelisk was sheathed yesterday night with a prophylactic printed with the message 'TEST MORE + TREAT EARLY + STAY SAFE.'

Safe sex ambassadors are also on hand offering passers-by free condoms and sexual health information.

The installation is the climax of safe sex education campaign launched by the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON) last three weeks ago.

October 16, 2014

The Legislative Assembly of the state of New South Wales has passed a private members bill that would see criminal convictions for consensual sex between men from before the legalization of homosexuality struck from their records

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) looks set to join Victoria and South Australia in quashing criminal convictions for gay and bisexual men who were prosecuted over consensual sex acts prior to the decriminalization of homosexuality in the state.

The NSW Legislative Assembly, or Lower House of the NSW Parliament, voted today in favor of a private members bill put forward by Coogee Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith – the first openly gay man to be elected to that chamber.

October 16, 2014

New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have introduced bills to repeal laws forcing married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized

Three Australian states today introduced bills to scrap laws that require married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized.

Legislation was introduced in New South Wales by Greens legislative council member Mehreen Faruqi and Independent legislative assembly member Alex Greenwich, in South Australia by Greens legislative council member Tammy Franks, and by Greens house of assembly member Nick McKim in Tasmania.

September 21, 2014

'If we were to go down that path [of a free vote], we [the MPs] are the ones that become vilified,' says Liberal Party MP Craig Laundy who now no longer supports a conscience vote on the issue

Liberal Party MP Craig Laundy, who was one of few MPs who publicly supported a free vote on same-sex marriage last year – even though he did not support same-sex marriage himself for religious reasons, has said he no longer supports MPs having a free vote.

September 19, 2014

Report finds syphilis is at an all-time high in the country, mostly among gay men

Methamphetamine use is responsible for the rise in HIV infections in the Australian state of Victoria, according to a new survey.

A survey conducted by the Prahran Market Clinic in Melbourne has shown that 84% of its patients living with HIV said ice was a significant cause for contracting the disease.

Dr Beng Eu, director of the clinic, told Gay News Network, 'I think we're surprised to the degree of the ice use that was common, but the infection of HIV was what we were expecting.

September 18, 2014

New South Wales approved the bill a day after Victoria introduced similar legislation

New South Wales today became the second Australian state to introduce a bill that will clear historical gay sex convictions, a day after Victoria introduced similar legislation.

The Parliament of New South Wales approved the bill which will be debated later this year.

Bruce Notley-Smith, the gay Liberal MP for Coogee district, introduced the legislation a week after he announced his intention to do so.

July 20, 2014

South Australia is one of the few regions of Australia where gay couples cannot adopt, but that could change following a planned public consultation on its adoption laws

The State Government of South Australia is planning a long-awaited review of its adoption laws, which will include looking at whether same-sex couples and singles will be able to adopt.

Currently, South Australia does not allow either same-sex couples or single people to adopt.

This is in contrast to most other parts of Australia: New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia and Tasmania all allow adoption by gay couples and LGBT individuals, as well as same-sex step-parent adoption.

July 7, 2014

Australia’s Sydney Convicts won their first match in a professional event against a side from Macquarie University on Sunday as Sydney prepares to host the Bingham Cup world cup of gay rugby

The Sydney Convicts gay rugby club beat Macquarie University 30 to 12 in a curtain raiser game before the New South Wales Waratah’s state Rugby Union game against the New Zealand Highlanders on Sunday at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.

The match was the first time anywhere in the world that a gay rugby club participated in a professional level rugby event, and was held as part of Sydney’s preparations to host the Bingham Cup world cup of gay rugby from 24 to 31 August with matches between 15 different countries on the 29th, 30th and 31st.

July 5, 2014

Gay rugby club the Sydney Convicts will face off against players from Macquarie University on Sunday at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium before the New South Wales Waratahs and the New Zealand Highlanders face off in the stadium

Australia’s oldest gay rugby union team the Sydney Convicts will make history when they become the first gay rugby team in the world to play as part of a professional match on Sunday as they prepare to host the Bingham Cup world championship of gay rugby.

The Sydney Convicts will play against a team from Macquarie University on Sunday afternoon ahead of the game between Australia’s New South Wales Waratahs and New Zealand’s Highlanders at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

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

June 9, 2014

Lex Watson, who co-founded the Campaign Against Moral Persecution, founded the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and was first president of the AIDS Council of NSW, has been given the Australian equivalent of a knighthood just weeks after his passing

Lex Watson, one of the most important gay rights activists in Australian history, has been honored with the Australian equivalent of a knighthood for his decades of activism on behalf of LGBTI people.

Watson was made a Member of the Order of Australia as part of the release of today’s Queen’s Birthday honors list.

May 24, 2014

The Australian Federal Police recognized as the highest-ranking public sector employer in advocating for LGBTI employees

The Australian arm of the global financial services firm Goldman Sachs topped a list of 20 organisations to be named Australia’s Employer of the Year for 2014 for recognising workplace support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

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.

May 7, 2014

Co-founder of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution, founder of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and first president of the AIDS Council of NSW, Lex Watson passed away yesterday evening but will be remembered for his decades of activism in support of his community

Lex Watson, one of the most important gay rights activists in Australian history, passed away last night after his health declined in the last few weeks.

Lex had been instrumental in the foundation of most of the LGBTI rights groups in the state of New South Wales, beginning with the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) in 1970, and was one of the first gay people to advocate openly for their rights on Australian television.