#MarriageEquality in 2019: @burgewords says just you wait and see

After you’ve done all the lobbying, it seems what you have to do in Australia to achieve LGBTIQ equality, is wait. MARRIAGE Equality will be legislated in Australia no sooner than 2019. I know many will fly into a rage about that assertion, but let’s get real for a few moments: the current Coalition will never independently instigate a change to the Marriage Act allowing equal access to same-sex couples. Even this week, Malcolm Turnbull told us it’s a plebiscite or nothing, and despite the fact that he has no money for a public vote, he means it. Before you lose your shit at me, you need to acknowledge that the majority of the […]

Refugee activists occupy Immigration offices to #BringThemHere #Melbourne – @takvera

In a snap action refugee activists called a rally on short notice in Melbourne followed by a march and civil disobedient occupation of Commonwealth immigration offices. Online reporting by John Englart. [View the story “Refugee activists occupy Immigation offices to #BringThemHere #Melbourne” on Storify]

Gallery: Melbourne Refugee Sanctuary rally calls out to #LetThemStay by @takvera

Thousands of people rallied as part of the refugee sanctuary movement in Melbourne on Monday. Our citizen journalist John Englart was there to capture on photo the rally and the many posters present. The rally was in response to the High Court ruling on sending refugee families back to Nauru detention. The Sanctuary movement grew rapidly in response from church groups prepared to offer sanctuary to every one of these people and families to stop them being deported. It was led by the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Peter Catt. A wide range of people have come out and implored the Federal government to stop the planned deportation of 267 people […]

Anglican church offers #refugees sanctuary from @PeterDutton_MP’s “black shirts”: @jansant reports

Churches have stepped up their campaign to end Australia’s harmful refugee policies by offering sanctuary to 267 people including 37 babies, facing imminent removal to Nauru. Refugee advocates had hoped for a change in the harsh and punitive government policies under new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm), this has not eventuated. The move will draw international attention to Australia’s inhumane refugee policies as news spreads through religious communities around the globe. In a prepared statement (full text below), The Anglican Dean of Brisbane and Chair of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce said: This is a hugely significant action for any Australian church to take.  Historically churches have afforded sanctuary to […]

Keeping #MarriageEquality off the record: @burgewords comments on #NeverMarried

It felt like a cold label for what was a beautiful love affair. WHEN the South Australian government was caught out by the world’s media for its lax approach to recognising overseas same-sex marriages on death certificates, the justifiable outrage about Marco Bulmer-Rizzi being documented as “never married” to husband David resonated with many readers. One small voice of disagreement came from Marriage Alliance, a grassroots anti-marriage equality movement with a presence in Australia, in the form of a tweet defining the Bulmer-Rizzi disenfranchisement as “unusual” and criticising Australian Marriage Equality for politicising the issue. Why do @AMEQUALITY & @BuzzFeed have to exploit the unusual & sad circumstances of a death for political motives? […]

Local #IndiTalks media slams @MirabellaSophie’s “playground politics”: @Jansant reports

Sophie Mirabella (@MirabellaSophie) and Prime Minister Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) have been accused of “playground politics” during the Spirit Of Anzac launch in Wodonga on Friday, by snubbing “people’s choice” independent, Cathy McGowan MP (@IndigoCathy) and using the event to promote their party for the next federal election. The Border Mail (@bordermail) editorial said: respect for the people’s decision got a bit of a whack in Wodonga on Friday………as the people’s choice, the current member for Indi deserved a bit more respect during the official proceedings. McGowan, who the people of Indi elected as their representative at the 2013 federal election, was left out of the official party: forced to sit […]

#Aid, push factors and people smuggling #OnWaterGate – @mary_sayed comments

The latest low to which the Australian Government – current and previous – has sunk in order to push refugees out of sight and out of mind has made headline news. The major parties’ blind determination to treat refugees as inhumanely as possible seems to know no bounds. We are now refusing to allow boats to enter Australian waters on the premise that we are “saving lives”. We claim to want to put the people smugglers out of business. Yet we seem to be paying people smugglers to turn back their boats. How are we saving lives by pushing boats back to danger? What is criminal for people smugglers to […]

The making of a #MarriageEquality advocate: @burgewords extract

IRELAND’S yes vote for marriage equality kicked a rainbow-coloured goal for LGBTQI people around the globe, and while the major Australian political parties fight for ownership of the ball, this extract from an upcoming non-fiction podcast and book by MICHAEL BURGE is a reminder of how far we’ve come. Marriage, like a seed, was planted within me as a concept. IN the lead up to the 2004 federal election the issue of same-sex marriage hit the media. The year prior, various provinces followed Ontario’s lead in Canada and allowed same-sex marriages to take place. Many Australians availed themselves of this legislation since it did not require the couples to be residents, but […]

John #MalcolmFraser AC 22nd Prime Minister of #auspol: @Jansant tribute

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser (@MalcolmFraser12) has left the building, and it feels empty without him. The man who had once torn Australia apart, became a voice of reason, decency and compassion in a sea of gutter level race fuelled political strategy. A child of the squattocracy, that in the end, was the reasoned and vocal champion of progressive politics. Fraser, over a few short years, became a much loved and respected member of the Twitter #auspol family, he didn’t use the hashtag very often, but we were always listening. John Malcolm Fraser AC, 22nd Prime Minister of Australia, was a genuine beacon of humanity. He was a fearless human […]

Torture report makes @IntlCrimCourt action against @TonyAbbottMHR’s #auspol likely: @jansant reports

On Monday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, released a report (below) that found Australia in violation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). The report found multiple violations and identified the systematic nature resulting from government policy. Juan Mendez, is a survivor of torture and former special advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) in The Hague (ICC). The Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR), responded by declaring, Australians are “sick of being lectured to by the United Nations”. Abbott also claimed the United Nations would “have a lot more credibility if […]