Tagged with homophobia

Born free and equal

UN Secretary-General Ban K-Moon, to ”Leadership in the Fight against Homophobia” special event in New York yesterday:

Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are targeted, assaulted and sometimes killed. Children and teens are taunted by their peers, beaten and bullied, pushed out of school, disowned by their own families, forced into marriage … and, in the worst cases, driven to suicide.

LGBT people suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity at work, at clinics and hospitals, and in schools – the very places that should protect them.

More than 76 countries still criminalize homosexuality.

I am pained by this injustice. I am here to again denounce violence and demand action for true equality.

Let me say this loud and clear: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. They, too, are born free and equal. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights.

Full text

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Shit homophobic people say

Video from Lamda Legal in the US highlighting some of the egregious garbage being spewed by hyperconservatives in that country.

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FCKH8

I love this sassy (but NSFW – lots of F-bombs) promo for FCKH8, a fundraising initiative supporting the campaign against California’s Proposition 8 anti gay marriage bill.

More info about the campaign.

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Gary Burns’ strange bedfellows

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Gary Burns is in the media again, this time weighing in on the outing of NSW Cabinet Minister David Campbell in a media sting that saw him secretly filmed leaving a gay sex club.

There has been a lot of debate in the media about the sting and Campbell’s subsequent resignation. Channel 7 have put up a couple of very flimsy arguments to support their decision to air the footage:

  1. David Campbell presents himself as a ‘family man’ by having photos of his wife and kids on his Christmas card. The public have the right to know the truth.
  2. There are suggestions (well, innuendoes really) that Campbell, who was Roads Minister, was at the sauna on the day of a major road snafu which left drivers stuck in traffic on the F3 for up to nine hours in April.

The response to the second point is simple. The NSW government has release comprehensive phone records that show that Campbell was in his office, overseeing the response to the emergency, as he should have been.

The first point requires a bit more analysis.

Continue reading

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The secret homophobic history of Sydney’s Anzac Memorial

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My favourite Australian building turns 75 today. On 24 November 1934, the Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park was officially opened. Not many people know the story of how the building’s design was altered by prudishness and homophobia.

It’s a stunning, simple and understated building that is often, and rightly, referred to as Australia’s only pure expression of Art Deco. I fell in love with the building as soon as I saw it, and when I learned more about the building while studying architecture at UNSW in the early 1980s, this deepened my appreciation.

The building was designed by architect C. Bruce Dellit (his granddaughter, Wendy Dellit, was in my year at uni) with sculptures by Rayner Hoff, who also has the distinction of being the designer of the Holden logo. Dellit’s design was the winning entry in an architectural competition, and is widely accepted as his finest work.

There is so much to love about this building. The design is classical, understated, simple and reflective. The sculptures and friezes, inside and out, are stunningly executed. The most striking is Sacrifice, the bronze, at the centre of the building.

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I have been taking visitors to see this sculpture for nearly 30 years and every one of them has been struck by the beauty and the raw emotion of the piece. A youth, deceased, lies on a shield and sword supported by a three-figured caryatid representing his mother, his sister and his wife. It’s a stark and confronting image of the tragedy of war.

And, of course, he’s naked.

The untold story is that Hoff was a gay man, and his sculptures created a scandal in unenlightened 1930s Sydney. Dellit and Hoff had to fight to see their joint vision realised, against the politically powerful (then and now) Catholic Church, who objected to the nudity. We are fortunate that the architect and sculptor got their way with Sacrifice, but unfortunately the outside of the building was never finished.

Hoff and Dellit had planned a pair of additional bronzes, one of a man and one a woman, to go on the outside of the building, on the two big plinths on the East and West sides of the building. They were also intended as nude figures.

Unfortunately the wowsers got their way and the external bronzes were never completed. Even more tragically, Hoff had actually completed the moulds for the two monumental bronzes, and these were kept in storage for some years after the building was opened, but they were eventually destroyed. All we have left are some of Hoff’s drawings.

Sydney’s Anzac memorial is one of the greatest examples of the Art Deco movement, anywhere in the world. But it is an unfinished masterpiece, and all thanks to the prudishness and homophobia of a few 1930s-era wowsers.

CC-licensed images on this post from Wikipedia

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Video Blog

This is my attempt at video blogging, made as part of a workshop at the Making Links Conference last week. It’s a response to the This is Oz anti-homophobia campaign.

Thanks to the lovely people at SYN Media for a great workshop.

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Daily Tele: Sydney’s gay heart Oxford St plays it too straight for some

IT WAS the heart of gay Sydney – but now Oxford St is going straight.

The one-time bastion of Sydney's gay community is giving way to more straight venues and is even home to the most heterosexual institution of them all – a wet T-shirt competition.

There are now just three openly gay venues along the strip – the Stonewall Hotel, The Palms and the Oxford Hotel. These are outnumbered more than three to one by straight venues such as Oxford Art Factory, Havana and Spectrum.

The change raises fears the colourful atmosphere that attracted people to what was Sydney's premier entertainment strip is being driven away.

And with the switch has come concerns of an increase in violence.

Rainbow Labor convenor Michael Vaughan said while Oxford St had always welcomed straight and gay alike, there needed to be a balance.

Automatically created from a Delicious.com bookmark.

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