Current Affairs

Judge proves he is down with the youth

PinkNews Staff Writer May 9, 2007
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One of Australia’s most prominent out gay people has shown an unexpected talent for rapping.

Michael Kirby, a Justice of the High Court, has lived openly with his partner for the last 37 years.

Earlier this week he took to the state in Melbourne and rapped a dust with Elf Tranzporter.

The occasion was the launch of Victorian Arts Law Week and the judge chose WD Yeats’ poem , “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heavens” as the basis for his performance.

In August Justice Kirby called on all homosexual people to come out of the closet and fight homophobia and said a fear of difference was behind prejudice against the LGBT community.

“Such forces include the childish desire to erase differences in humanity and to stamp similarity and identity on everyone around us,” he said.

“Prejudices and dislike will, ultimately, only recede when gay people themselves break the spell of silence and stand up to be counted.”

The judge has always been forthright about his own sexuality, even mentioning his partner in Who’s Who.

He faced criticism for admitting to a relationship with a man before 1984, when New South Wales decriminalised homosexuality.

However, as most people now view that law as unjust, there have been no formal moves to challenge his status as one of Australia’s top jurists.

In 2002, homophobic senator Bill Heffernan used parliamentary privilege to accuse Kirby of “trawling for rent boys.”

When the senator’s evidence was shown to be false, Justice Kirby responded:

“I accept Senator Heffernan’s apology and reach out my hand in a spirit of reconciliation. I hope my ordeal will show the wrongs that hate of homosexuals can lead to.”

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