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Australian foreign minister to call on Commonwealth to repeal anti-gay laws

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  1. Keep up the pressure on commonwealth leaders by by taking action here: http://www.whatspreventingprevention.org/commonwealth-must-reform-laws-to-stop-hiv/

    1. Done.

  2. Interesting to see some support from some former African leaders in this area:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15368752

    1. “…ex-UN head Kofi Annan commended Mr Mogae for taking strong action to tackle HIV/Aids.”

      Mogae is an enlightened man whose preoccupation with the well-being of his fellow human beings is authentic and most encouraging.

  3. Peter Piper 19 Oct 2011, 2:23pm

    The Aussies are thankfully setting the pace. In some countries they will have tough fight to face, but good luck to them, at least it is a start. They are often the leaders in theses important but controversial issue. Good on yer boys and gals.

    1. Great to see Kevin Rudd leading this …

      Shame the same credentials can’t be applied to Gillard

  4. Thank you Kevin Rudd and Peter Tatchell.

  5. “Australia is a global advocate of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
    Yeah right, practice what you preach Rudd
    Homophobia is widespread in Australia, especially from your own MPs and refusal to even discuss gay marriage.

  6. Exactly Tigra07, Rudd opposes same-sex marriage.

  7. Thank you! I thought I was the only one who saw the sad irony in this!

  8. I wish they were advocating this on the basis of human rights, equality and respect for diversity rather than on the basis that to legalise us will help prevent disease transmission.

    I recognise the progression in human rights which would result but am I alone in feeling slightly insulted by the insinuations and motivations of this?

    I am not trying to be a killjoy and although I think he will be speaking to people with their fingers in their ears going “Lalalalal” if even one country (or even one delegate) took note it would be progress but I feel ever so slightly that a Machiavellian approach is at work here.

    1. Part of me doesnt care on what grounds they bring it – decriminalisation is essential, regardless of what brought it about ..

      That said, I would much prefer it to be about human rights etc

    2. You’re absolutely right.
      Under the former QLD Goss government, ‘Dr. Death’ was Rudd’s nickname for slashing public spending. ‘Ol Ruddy boy and Goss gave lots of money to gay organizations but ONLY when it was connected with gay health. Not one cent went to encouraging anti-homophobia or supporting celebration of diversity. It was about confining HIV rates and sti’s in the gay communty least they should spread to the wider community. Believe me Rudd has no love for gay ppl. or any sympathy for that matter. He’s a show pony who will do anything for attention.

  9. All countries that permit homosexuality need to quit the Commonwealth.

    It’s as simple as that.

    It’s all very well asking these backward countries like Uganda; Jamaica; Malawi; Ghana etc to decriminalise gay people.

    What if they refuse (as so many of them will).

    The Commonwealth serves no meaninggul purpose in the world. It simply serves to remind us that Britain was once an empire.

    It should be a matter of enormous shame for the more civilised members of the commonwealth (UK, Canada, NZ, Australia etc) to be linked to the embarrassments that the other member states are.

  10. The Christians and the Catholic people are the ones who made gay illegal and now they spend millions to keep it illegal.

    1. Even if that is the case, its the legislators in these countries that have responsibility for the current laws and they should be changing it …

    2. “The Catholic people” are Christians (nominally at least).

  11. luke from canada 19 Oct 2011, 11:24pm

    I am sory but can i point something out here, when he was primie minister he led the charge to amend the marriage act in australia to ban marriage equality and forbid recognition of same sex marriages performed abroad aka canadian marriages. Seems a bit hypocritical to lead this but at the same time be responsible for anti-gay laws

    1. luke, you are a bit confused, It was the conservative Prime Minister, John Howard who changed the Marriage ACt to exclude same-sex couples, but the Labor opposition, at the time all voted with the Government and Rudd would have voted ‘for’ excluding marriage for same-sex couples. I doubt Rudd would even now vote for Marriage Equality. This issue is about the decriminalisation of homosexuality in many, many Commonwealth countries. Kev as Foreign Minister is backing and encouraging those possible changes.

      1. Just to clarify, homosexuality is legal in all Australian states and territories. Also, there are anti-discrimination laws in all Australian states and territories. It is Marriage Equality that is the big issue that is happening at the moment in Australia.

    2. it was actually rudd that amended 87 pieces of legislation that gave same-sex couples the same legal recognition as a heterosexual de facto couple… that’s the sticking point. We have the same rights as a straight couple that have lived together for at least 18 months.

      Also I’m cynical enough to believe that the only reason it was done was to close certain loopholes in regards to claiming government benefits, avoiding tax etc… I used to rent one of our houses from my partner to off-set his taxable income but under the changes we couldn’t do that anymore. So yes I think there was a fiscal imperative.

  12. “According to the Sidney Star Observer, Mr Rudd’s spokeswoman said: “Australia is a global advocate of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” Yeah, right. Rich coming from a politician in a country which continues to discriminate against LGBT in the area of marriage equality! Hypocrit!

  13. Tigra Robert & Drew all point out that Rudd was against gay marriage when he was Prime Minister of Australia 2007-2010, he then regurgitated the weary old bumper sticker slogan as his reason:

    “I have a pretty basic view on this, as reflected in the position adopted by our party, and that is, that marriage is between a man and a woman” (Kevin Rudd)

    I think however Rudd was/ is otherwise for legal and financial equality for gays but not for marriage equality.

    1. It’s obvious that Rudd’s position emanates entirely from a religious standpoint. He has not learned to separate religious from civil. Civil marriage does NOT mandate procreation either, no reference or invocation of any deity, no religious element whatsoever. Seems to me many of his ilk have no intellectual curiosity or grasp to discern what is religious and what isn’t.

      1. While I was staying in Australia when Rudd was Prime Minister I formed the opinion he was homophobic, I think you are right that he is/was not able to separate civil marriage from religious marriage and that his unreasonable objection to full gay equality does seem to come from his anti-gay religious beliefs.
        Whatever Rudds personal opinions are on marriage equality, if he is willing to support and encourage the decriminalisation of homosexuality throughout the Commonwealth it is a very positive move indeed and most welcome.

  14. “Australia is a global advocate of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation [except when it comes to marriage].

    “Australia encourages all countries to decriminalise homosexuality by removing all laws imposing criminal penalties for homosexual conduct” [but isn't concerned about 'homosexual conduct' like marriage or even civil unions].

  15. When it comes to the disgusting, genocidal dumps that make up most of the commonwealth, I hardly think Rudd’s position on marriage equality is of paramount importance.

    The fact tha he is asking for progress from the most backward, homophobic commonwealth states is good news.

    Now I want to see a withdrawal from the commonwealth by Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the other commonwealth states which permit homosexuality.

    The Commonwealth serves no real purpose.

    By remaining in a grouping with such murderous dumps as Uganda; Malawi; Ghana; Jamaica etc, the more civilised countries are grnating legitimacy to these horrific places.

  16. In the House of Commons Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird pledged that Canada will adopt a strong stand in defence of human rights at the summit.

    “Canada will be taking a very active role in Perth to ensure the issue of human rights is front and centre . . . and fight for human rights to ensure that Canadian values are promoted and advanced,” Baird said in question period. “And that certainly includes the right of gays and lesbians.”

  17. At least it is a start coming from Rudd, not a man who is comfortable with homosexuality. When advisor to Wayne Goss, then Queensland Premier and a friend to the gay community, Rudd was known as anti gay. So give credit where it is due although cynicism is my first reaction to anything this man says.

    1. I think it’s because Rudd is angling for a UN job

  18. Legislative action does not always translate into cultural and societal change which is in the end far more important in the day to day lives of gays and lesbians living in homophobic societies. As a Trini, I keep screaming at the top of my lungs to anyone who will hear that where we need the transformation FIRST is in the culture i.e. the schools, the churches, the public square. Our politicians do not and will not do ANYTHING that will be unpopular with the electorate. However, if you made gay-acceptance popular among the PEOPLE, our spineless politicians will certainly pass the legislation through. Where we need help is in changing the CULTURE…then the laws will follow. Not visa-versa. What changed the CULTURE in Europe? The Enlightenment! Brought about by increased prosperity and education for more people. Without that, people cling DESPERATELY to their religions and all the hateful prejudices it supports. I am convinced the reason Trinidad and Tobago is a little less homophobic than say Jamaica is because it is more prosperous, cosmopolitan and the population more educated. There are growing numbers of skeptics, agnostics, atheists, New Agers, liberal Christians instead of poor uneducated Rastas, poor uneducated Pentecostals, poor uneducated Evangelicals etc.

  19. I wish Kevin was still our prime minister instead of that red headed hag we have now

  20. Please note that this is the same Kevin Rudd who is vehemently opposed to any formal recognition of gay relationships – ie. gay marriage or even civil unions.

  21. soapbubblequeen 4 Nov 2011, 3:50pm

    I have found that most Australians, outside of Sydney perhaps, are very homophobic. It seems ingrained in their culture where women are still treated as being less equal than men, and oddly, they equate being ‘posh’, or even being British, or possibly even civilized, as being somehow connected to being gay.

  22. Jock S. Trap 6 Nov 2011, 10:38am

    Is this the same man who refused anything to do with Gay marriage?

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