Star Observer Magazine | August 2019

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AUGUST 2019 DON’T PRAY ON US INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT’S RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION PLANS NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS SCENE PICS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT…

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AUGUST 2019 DON’T PRAY ON US INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT’S RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION PLANS NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS SCENE PICS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT FEATURES SUTTONS CITY NISSAN PLUG & PLAY NEW NISSAN LEAF AVAILABLE NOW The world’s best-selling electric vehicle* Make your day-to-day simply amazing with the new Nissan LEAF. Feel the rush of instant acceleration from the 100% electric motor, while its suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features give you a smarter, safer drive. Features include: e-Powertrain with 40kWh Battery Fully electric, zero tailpipe emissions Apple CarPlay & Android Auto™ with 8-inch touch-screen display Black leather accented seat trim~ Intelligent Key with push button start e-Pedal™ Visit your local Nissan Dealer – Suttons City Nissan and book a test drive today! Suttons City Nissan 2 Link Road, Zetland 2017 (02) 9931 3000 Suttons City Nissan suttonscitynissan.com.au Lic. No. MD14314 *Based on global EV sales data: 2010 - Jan 2019. ~Leather accented features and upholstery may contain synthetic material. SUCITY0059 05 EDITORS WHAT IS THIS “RELIGIOUS FREEDOM” DEBATE REALLY ABOUT? Andrew M Potts a private or religious school can be expelled Disagree with your church publicly on sexu- on the basis of their sexuality. ality or relationships and they may deny your Religious groups already have wide ranging child a place at their school. Speak publicly on rights to discriminate in every state but Tas- an issue they disagree with and you might be mania where the balance of competing rights out of a job. is more fair. Being able to send your children to a reli- The Australian Christian Lobby were quick gious school or to work or volunteer for a reli- to run to Israel Folau’s defence when he was gious charity is an important part of participa- sacked by Rugby Australia after repeatedly tion in faith communities for many Australians. being warned about social media posts con- And yet many people of faith disagree with demning gay and transgender people. their faith leaders on certain issues of con- But where were the Christian Lobby when scious. We know that the majority of Chris- Israel’s cousin Josiah Folau was let go from his tians in Australia supported the Yes vote in the job at a Catholic school when it was revealed postal plebiscite. that the Folau family church believes that the And people of faith who believe in the in- PUBLISHER - Lawrence Gibbons Catholic church is a “synagogue of Satan” and stitution of marriage are more likely to want its masses a “paganistic ritual” and that most their gay and lesbian siblings to participate in EDITOR - Andrew M Potts A other Christians are going to hell? that institution regardless of whether they can S THE Morrison Government It seems the right of religious people to vilify marry in their own church. WRITER/ DIGITAL continues to prepare its pack- age of bills to ensure new reli- LGBTQI people is important but the right for What has been particularly disturbing is the COORDINATOR - Laurence Barber religious people to vilify each other is less so. inside track that religious groups seem to gious freedoms and freedoms The heads of 34 Anglican schools wrote to have been given on the drafting of these bills. DESIGNER - Robert Everett from discrimination for religious federal MPs in October to urge them to retain Groups like Family Voice Australia and Free- people, many are wondering what the sudden exemptions in the Sex Discrimination Act that dom for Faith appear to have been given in- STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS - urgency is here. The Australian Constitution already prohibits allow them to sack gay teachers. side knowledge and LGBTQI advocates are Ann-Marie Calilhanna, Yet even they said there was little evidence still waiting for a seat at the table while Scott laws being made against “the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be re- that gay students or staff had been dismissed Morrison proudly poses with faith leaders at Dean Arcuri by religious schools in recent years. So why re- Parliament House. quired as a qualification for any office or public tain the exemptions if they’re not being used? If the Morrison Government would just be ADVERTISING- Ben Fingleton, trust under the Commonwealth.” There have been no significant lawsuits over What these exemptions really do is give re- more transparent about what it is planning it Aaron Little (0402 046 340) ligious leaders something to hang over their could allay a lot of fears. LGBTQI discrimination against religious bod- flocks’ heads to keep people in line. Next month will see the return of the Sydney ACCOUNTS - Wayne Nelson ies since marriage equality was legislated in They allow faith leaders to reach in and police Star Observer, and the Melbourne Star Ob- Australia in December. the private lives of the members of their faith server will also hit the streets. They will deliver PUBLISHER’S ASSISTANT - Neither has the Prime Minister delivered on his election pledge to move discrimination law communities, to punish dissent and to silence the local representation and focus that our Mike Hitch and make invisible people who are inconve- readers and advertisers deserve. amendments to make clear that no student at nient truths in the face of their doctrines. COVER PHOTOGRAPHY - Ann-Marie Calilhana RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION BILLS: A TIMELINE You can read the e-book August 2017 - Prime Minister Malcolm Turn- December 2018 - Scott Morrison announces July 2019 - Christian legal think tank Free- bull announces the date for a postal plebiscite plans for federal religious discrimination legis- dom for Faith publishes a briefing paper that version online at on same-sex marriage that costs the tax pay- er $80.5 million. lation in response to the Ruddock Review. He also promises a new “Freedom of Reli- demonstrates a level of knowledge of the gov- ernment’s plans that suggests that religious starobserver.com.au/ gion Commissioner,” despite the review recom- groups are receiving inside information not latestissues November 2017 - Australians vote over- mending against that. available to the LGBTQI advocates that are whelmingly in favour of marriage equality. “If you support a multicultural Australia, you’ll lobbying the government. December 2017 - the Australian Parlia- be a supporter of religious freedoms. You’ll un- derstand that religious faith is synonymous with “The Government will be introducing three pieces of legislation in the near future,” the Got a story idea? Email your ment votes same-sex marriage into law but so many different ethnic cultures in Australia,” briefing paper explains. tip to: Turnbull announces the terms of referenc- Morrison says. “One is a Religious Discrimination Bill. The es for the Ruddock Review into religious second is a Religious Discrimination (Conse- editor@starobserver.com.au freedom in Australia to allay the fears of the April 2019 - Rugby Australia terminates Wal- quential Amendments Bill) which will amend No campaign. labies star Israel Folau after he had repeatedly other Commonwealth legislation that is nec- been warned about breaching the code’s Code essary to be consistent with the Religious Want to buy an May 2018 - Malcolm Turnbull receives the re- port from the Ruddock Review but does not of Conduct with his social media posts con- demning gay and transgender people among Discrimination Bill.” “The third is a Human Rights Legislation advertisement? make its findings public. other groups. Amendment (Freedom of Religion) Bill. This sales@starobserver.com.au Conservative commentators quickly link the Bill will not provide for any major changes to August 2018 - Scott Morrison becomes Folau case to the need for religious discrimina- the law concerning freedom of religion. How- Prime Minister in the wake of an attempt- tion legislation. The Government announces it ever, it will make a few significant amend- star observer July 2019, published monthly and distributed free. ed leadership coup against Turnbull by will delay its religious freedom bills until after ments to the existing law, and importantly, will Peter Dutton. the election. establish the position of Freedom of Religion ABN 57 003 397 582. Email: mail@starobserver.com.au Commissioner in the Australian Human Rights | Website: www.starobserver.com.au October 2018 - the Ruddock Review’s find- May 2019 - Prime Minister Scott Morrison is re- Commission.” | Postal address: PO Box 843 Broadway, 2007. ings are made public after it is leaked to the elected, declaring it a miracle. A re-elected Mor- Reproduction in whole or part is not permitted without written permission of the editor. media. It recommends the introduction of a rison Government moves forward with drafting August 2019 - Scott Morrison meets with Receipt of manuscripts will be taken as permission to print unless the contrary is federal prohibition on religious discrimination. its promised religious freedom bills as MPs con- 21 religious leaders from the Jewish, Catho- specifically indicated. Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. No responsibility is accepted by the publisher for the accuracy of The report also recommends that religious sult with each other on the legislation. lic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Hindu, Muslim, information contained in any part of the text or advertisement in this publication. schools should retain the right to turn away Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Assyrian Advertisers are responsible for advertising copy by virtue of the Trade Practices Act. LGBTQI students and teachers on the basis June 2019 - The Australian Christian Lobby and Melkite communities, among others. Printed on paper sourced from legal and fully sustainable diverse forests that are independently certified and is fully recyclable. Supplier accredited with IS0 14001, PEFC, of the school’s religious beliefs as long as the launches a crowdfunding campaign for Israel FSC and EMAS certification. schools are up front about their policies. Folau’s legal bills that reaches $2.2 million. Fo- He is still yet to consult with any LGBTQI © 2019 Star Observer • ISSN 1837-090X • However the report also recommends re- lau is seeking $10 million in compensation from advocates to explain what he has planned moving state laws that allow teachers to be Rugby Australia. or to allay fears in the community that the sacked if they enter into a same-sex mar- Unnamed Labor front benchers tell The Aus- legislation will enshrine or expand religious riage, and it opposes business owners being tralian that they want the Opposition to support rights to discriminate rather than protecting able to discriminate against LGBTQI people the Government’s bills to win back religious vot- religious people from discrimination. on religious grounds. ers after their election loss. Independently audited by Audited Media Assocation of Australia. NEWS NSW 06 ACON REACHES OUT TO CHINESE SPEAKERS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - MIKE HITCH N SW COMMUNITY health organisa- nancial strain when accessing HIV prevention tion ACON is delivering the rapid HIV medication, PrEP. testing service a[TEST] in Mandarin to “With the movement of PrEP onto the Phar- provide easier access to sexual health maceutical Benefits Scheme, access to this information and testing to Chinese-speaking powerful HIV prevention tool has become cost- gay men in Sydney. prohibitive especially for people who don’t have Operating out of 414 Elizabeth Street, access to Medicare,” he said. Surry Hills every Thursday from 3pm to “We’re very happy to be working along- 6.30pm the Chinese Clinic offers computer- side the Kirby Institute and the NSW Ministry assisted screening self-interviews translated of Health to implement the MI-EPIC Study, a into simplified Chinese, as well as staffing Mandarin-speaking community peers and sexual health nurses. continuation of the popular EPIC-NSW Study, which is providing up to one year of free PrEP to people who are ineligible for Medicare, like COUNCILLOR WHO CEO of ACON, Nicolas Parkhill told the Star Observer that the decision to open a Manda- rin-speaking clinic was due to the social and international students.” ACON is also sponsoring the ‘When Worlds Collide’ event in late August, which aims to COMPARED RAINBOW FLAG financial barriers that Asian gay men face when accessing healthcare. “Asian gay men face a number of particular provide education and support for international students living in Sydney. “[When Worlds Collide] is a free social gath- TO ISIS FLAG COPS FINE barriers when accessing appropriate health ering for gay international students where they - LAURENCE BARBER promotion and HIV prevention, treatment and can meet and mingle with other gay interna- care,” he said. tional students. The day will include discussions A “Previous experiences of criminalisation de- around navigating identity, migration to Austra- SHFIELD councillor Julie Passas has soli’s claim of “unlawful homosexual vilification” pending on their home country, fear of disclo- lia and accessing sexual health services from been fined $2500 over verbally abus- against him. sure, visa precariousness, Medicare ineligibility, the perspective of gay international students,” ing a neighbour who displayed a rain- Passas was ordered to pay the $2500 fine – experiences of racism and isolation all affect Parkhill said. bow flag after the postal survey on less than the $10000 Comensoli sought from people’s ability to negotiate safe sex and ac- marriage equality. the tribunal. cess testing and treatment options.” To register for the event, check out the Passas, a Liberal councillor for the Inner The former Deputy Mayor will also be re- Parkhill also commented on ACON’s work Asian Gay Men’s section of the ACON West Council’s Djarrawunang ward and a for- quired to publish a formal apology in the In- towards providing healthcare for LGBTQIA+ website. mer Deputy Mayor, was found to have vilified ner West Courier stating that on “the day of international students, specifically ending fi- her neighbour Daniel Comensoli on the basis the historic ‘Yes vote’ … I publicly yelled abuse of his sexuality. at Mr Comensoli, which has been determined The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal by the NSW Civil and Administration Tribunal to upheld the complaint, in which Comensoli said amount to homosexual vilification.” that Passas had told him that the rainbow flag Passes has since said she will appeal the is “as offensive as the flag of ISIS” and that it ruling. was “offensive to my culture and religion.” The Inner West Council had previously held One of the comments was reported as hav- an internal investigation and found that Pas- ing been made while Ashfield police were at sas had been acting as a private citizen when the building to hear Comensoli’s complaint. she made the commentsand had therefore not Comensoli said that she also told him that breached their Code of Conduct. he shouldn’t be allowed to marry “until you Passas had previously been found of could breastfeed and have children.” breaching the Code in council meetings be- He also said that Passas was overheard tell- tween 2013 and 2015, with the councillor ing a neighbour that the apartment’s owners ejected from meetings and disqualification should be alerted that its tenants were “dis- from holding public office for three months. gusting people” the following day, and that A Perth rally will be held at Forrest Place from Passas had begun lobbying other tenants to 12pm on Saturday August 24. have Comensoli evicted. Canberra will hold a protest at Garema Place Passas told the tribunal that Comensoli had from 11am on Saturday August 31. fabricated the claim and “turned it into a gay Also on Saturday August 31, a Melbourne rally issue” when she claimed her issue with the flag will be held at the State Library of Victoria on revolved around strata rules for hanging ob- Saturday August 31 between 1-4pm. jects from balconies. When cross-examined, Passas said that the The LGBTI Legal Service found that over rainbow flag was “against what I believe in” 220 instances of hate speech occurred and that it was “offensive … because of what during the postal survey period in 2017. CALLING ALL GLORIAs! it stands for.” On Monday, the tribunal upheld Comen- ACON DROPS “LGBTI” - MIKE HITCH T HE annual GLORIAs (Gay & Lesbian tions to give other people a go. With Tony Ab- Outrageous, Ridiculous and Ignorant comment Awards) are back for 2019, with this year marking the tenth anniver- bott being forcibly retired maybe he will fade away from his special place at the GLORIAs.” The GLORIA’s are modelled after the annual FOR “SEXUALITY AND sary for the tongue-in-cheek event. To be held on September 25 this year, this fun event is designed to jokingly shine a light on the most offensive or silly public comments ‘Ernie Awards’ organised by Meredith Burg- mann, which for the last 20 years have award- ed the most sexist comments of the year. Last year’s GLORIAs winners had strong GENDER DIVERSE” A made against the LGBTQI community in areas ties to the 2017 same-sex marriage plebiscite, CON has adopted new language in transgender people are not being erased – we such as sport, the media, internationally and with Malcolm Turnbull, Lyle Shelton, Milo Yian- referring to the people who access will continue to use these terms in programs within the community itself. nopoulos and “Everyone who chucked a tanty its services, dropping “LGBTI” and and services where relevant – we understand Event organiser and Labor member of the because they received a text message,” from instead referring to “people who are the importance of self-determined identities to Legislative Council, Penny Sharpe said that the Yes campaign. sexuality and gender diverse” in its new Stra- those who have fought for and earned them.” this year’s awards would include a walk down While the GLORIAs successfully “take the tegic Plan looking forward to 2022. ACON also recognises that intersex is a dif- memory lane of previous winners, but unfortu- piss” out of homophobia, Sharpe hopes that “For many years, we have used the acronym ferent issue to sexuality and gender identity. nately some repeat offenders were back again one day the “the stupidity and sometimes the LGBTI to talk about our work,” the Strategic “Being intersex is distinct from being sexual- for this year’s nominations. malice that comes towards the LGBTIQ com- Plan explains. ity or gender diverse,” the Strategic Plan ex- “We will be revisiting some old favourites and munity” no longer exists. “We have received feedback from the peo- plains. of course looking to the last twelve months for “We look forward to a day when we can’t run ple we work with and for, about the limitations “Intersex is about sex characteristics, rather the ridiculous, silly and downright dangerous the awards because there is no material. We of this term. In this new Strategic Plan, we will than legal sex, sexual orientation or gender things said about the LGBTIQ community,” she are a long way off that though.” refer to people who are sexuality and gender identity. We will stand alongside intersex peo- said. diverse. We feel this term better reflects the ple as allies, affirming their right to self-deter- “There are always the usual suspects. Tony Nominations are still open so go to www. people towards whom ACON services are tar- mination and supporting the work of peer led Abbott, Miranda Devine and Lyle Shelton. We theglorias.com.au to make yours! geted.” intersex networks.” may think about banning them from nomina- “The identities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and starobserver.com.au 07 NEWS NSW AUSTRALIA’S BID FOR WORLD PRIDE 2023: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - ANDREW M POTTS A USTRALIA is one of only three coun- unique circumstances that Sydney hopes to tries around the globe that have been use to their advantage in their bid. chosen by Interpride as candidates to When previou
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