Bad fairy at the wedding: @burgewords on the curse of #MarriageEquality activism

I’D like to briefly hold your attention in this short period before marriage equality is legislated in Australia, because nobody will ever give a second thought to the years of struggle that led to this week’s resounding public vote for same-sex dignity. The concept of marriage equality first hit me like a bullet in 2004, in the moment I realised I’d been completely and utterly duped by this ‘lucky country’. My partner Jono had died suddenly just weeks before, and I was struggling with acute, identity-killing grief. I had no idea that this profound amputation would come to be treated as though it was a paper cut. Unbeknownst to me, […]

Divorced from reality: @burgewords comments on the Coalition’s #MarriageEquality problem

The Coalition will just have to take care of itself, because the political wedge has finally hit its target. AFTER the Coalition’s narrow win, the plebiscite on Marriage Equality should be getting ready to kick off, yet the same election promise has been blamed for the major swing against Malcolm Turnbull. And the paradox has all the hallmarks of failure. In one of his delayed post-victory interviews, Malcolm Turnbull conceded the plebiscite would have to be pushed ahead to 2017. His reason: “My commitment to have it dealt with as soon as practicable is there, but we… have to obtain the support of the Senate,” Mr Turnbull told Leigh Sales […]

#QuestionableDeeds in action: @burgewords in conversation with @margokingston1

WHEN I asked Margo to help me launch my non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love and my first collection of short stories Closet His, Closet Hers, Tony Abbott was still Prime Minister and marriage equality remained on the never never. When we met this week at Avid Reader bookshop in West End, Brisbane, I remarked to Margo that much had changed, although a free vote on marriage equality for same-sex attracted Australians had been traded for power by yet another prime minister. What ensued was a fascinating night of insights into the ongoing debate, the changing of hearts and minds, and the nature of writing about pain, loss and politics. […]

It’s too late for #MarriageEquality in Australia: @burgewords #CreatingWaves

IN April 2013 Guardian Australia journalist Gay Alcorn declared the culture war was over for marriage equality and confidently asserted that after “a year or two” LGBTQI couples would bask in the same connubial rights as straight Australians. She declared the debate “interminably dull” and credited lobby group Australian Marriage Equality’s (AME) latest pitch for support – via the small business benefits of allowing same-sex marriage – with triggering her boredom threshold. Because I didn’t think Alcorn’s angle helped the debate, I began a long analysis of the foot-dragging this political football has endured in Australia. Here we are eighteen months since her boredom levels peaked, and only one thing has changed: support for marriage equality in […]

Senate Bingo! The @sarah_capper column

A whole new class of players joined the Upper House this month, and with a record number of cross-benchers – 18, including the Greens – there will be deals-a-plenty and the “spin cycle” on overdrive. Cards will be kept close to chests; cards will be put out on the table; and, as the last week has shown, cards will just as quickly be taken away. While PUP leader Clive Palmer appeals to pensioners by saying he will block the Government’s $7 GP co-payment, so that “those ladies” can “have their chocolate and go to the cinema”, let’s crunch the critical numbers with a round of ‘Senate Bingo’. [Insert archaic rolling wheel of bingo […]

An LGBT silly season Storify by @burgewords

[View the story “Faith, hope and same-sex love in two hemispheres” on Storify]

Ain’t nothing like the real thing: #GriffithVotes candidates’ forum @GriffithElects reports

[clear] Video by Mark Doyle @ffrickenstein Both Bill Glasson and Terri Butler held virtual ‘town-hall’ meetings in recent days, using new technology which enabled them to talk simultaneously with audiences of 10,000 and more. These virtual meetings gave all the control to the candidates and their teams, allowed them to target particular sections of the electorate and run polls on voter intentions and priorities. They selected the questions, determined the options offered for the polls, while the audience got to listen passively, unless of course you were one of the few selected to ask a question. Well, on Wednesday night in the Griffith inner-city suburb of West End, we got […]

Wake up. Roll over. Realise this could be the last morning before Tony Abbott becomes PM

By Sarah Capper 6 September 2013 Savour the moment, but only fleetingly – the incumbent PM is not exactly shaking the sauce bottle. Momentarily think about sex appeal. Come properly awake with a flurry of gag reflexes. Turn on the remnants of ABC Rage, but suddenly have painful flashback to last week and Julie Bishop’s music choices.  Realise Beyonce’s Single Ladies and Madonna’s Like a Virgin will now forever be associated with the deputy Liberal leader in my brain. Try not think about Julian Assange’s foray into John Farnham karaoke– you don’t want to let that image or song or mullet get stuck in your head. The Voice from the Ecuadorian Embassy. The Senate […]

Jan Pukallus on poetry, free trade and politics: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 23 August 2013 For 12 years, Jan Pukallus has been running for election in Queensland – and today was a moment of celebration for the veteran campaigner: it was the first time she’d been invited for a sit-down interview by a journalist. Pukallus is the Citizen Electoral Council’s (CEC) candidate for Forde, the electorate that was catapulted into the national spotlight a fortnight ago when former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced he was taking a shot at the seat. At a candidates’ forum earlier in the week, I was struck by Pukallus’s grassroots poise on stage. It can’t be easy, I thought, to be a fringe candidate up […]

Equal Love and gay marriage law reform: Wills candidates talk to @takvera

By John Englart 18 August 2013 Gay marriage law reform, equal love, is about ending a disrciminatory practice presently enshrined in law. It would be something so easy to do and to move on to much bigger issues. Yet it lingers as an issue at another Federal election. This week Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised that if re-elected, he would introduce a bill on the issue within 100 days and allow Labor party members a conscience vote. Tony Abbott this week labelled gay marriage as “the fashion of the moment” in a radio interview. He has refused so far to similarly allow a conscience vote on the issue by the […]