Today, NY Senate passes Marriage Equity Act 33 -29, which enables long overdue recognition of same-sex civil marriages in New York State. I congratulate the many advocates for their commitment in prosecuting this hard fought battle for marriage equality and applaud these politicians for showing some leadership on this matter. On this day, New York leads America in taking another step forward towards full recognition of LGBTIQ Civil and Human rights. However, while buoyed by the Albany outcome the Rainbow Nation may want to take a moment to reflect on the journey from Stonewall to the present success.
Some 42 years ago, a rag tag army of the most marginalised members of the Rainbow Nation stood up to authorities and said through their action enough is enough. These heroes drag queens, transgender community, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth gave life to the battle for change. This event occurred at a time when the Nation sort change through the Gay Liberation Movement however it seems over time in seeking social respectability, the middle-class have sanitized our fight for change. Today, these marginal groups face the same discrimination from within the nation and wider community It is unclear how things have really changed.
As tomorrow and in 30 days, people will wake and the biases underpinning this discrimination will not have changed while challenged bigotry remains strong. I do not believe marriage equality is the panacea for the discrimination experienced by people who identify it is but more window dressing in the campaign for social respectability. Admittedly, many would disagree with this view however, as a queer I feel strongly that contemporary activists while well meaning have missed the reason so many have spilt blood in this battle for change and not tolerance.
We can achieve peace
I will not listen to you
I will not talk with you
I will not walk with you
We can achieve peace
You will listen to my words
You will do what I say
You will walk alone
We can achieve peace
Bibi does Washington
In this last week, Israel and President Obama have seemingly had a falling out over remarks made by the US President on 19 Mat during his US Middle Eastern policy (CSPAN Video) speech. These remarks related to terms relating to future negotiations on the Israeli – Palestinian peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took exception to these remarks seemingly causing the President a few uncomfortable political moments. However, what is strange is that the speech simply restated the existing US position on this matter with no obvious changes.
Then on May 20 Obama and Netanyahu met at the White house after their bilateral meeting the pair posed for the obligatory photo op and give some commentary on the meeting. During this event, the President seemed perturbed by the whole experience, while the PM restated his oppositional position. The evident sticking point seemed about observation of the 1967 borders proposed by the President in his speech and Israel’s manic obsession with national security.
Subsequently, the President addressed (CSPAN Video) the American Israel Public Affairs Committee ( AIPAC) 2011Policy Conference a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to government on May 22. Where he engaged in a major political fence-mending exercise, indicating that the meeting with the PM had bearing although he also restated his position of the 19/05/11 leaving no doubt, where he stood. This did not deter the PM from prosecuting his case both at AIPAC and in his address to a joint meeting of Congress (24/05) later in the week.
It sounded like Obama’s aim here to re-start the stalled Israeli – Palestinian negotiations by outlining some general principles in moving forward. The outcome for the President a definite diplomatic/political ‘slap on the wrist’ by Israel and its US allies, Netanyahu proved himself the consummate diplomat /politician. In achieving his goal to effectively, neutralise any threat to his plan from the administration with the support of allies. he Palestinian Authority shunned the PM’s position for its limited parameters for peace. Where to from here, the peace talks remain stalled, Netanyahu ensured that outcome by asserting such rigid terms that he knew the other stakeholders could or would not agree to a progression of this process.
Violence erupts on Israel’s borders (31/05/11)
Violence erupted on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, leaving at least eight dead and dozens wounded, as Palestinians marked what they term “the catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948. (ABC News Aust)
Israel seemingly has become the paranoid bully of the region today being Nakba Day it has launched a violent attack on its neighbours. This in is in no way an isolated event but another episode in an active long-term political and military campaign by Israel to neutralise any perceived Palestinian and Arab threats to its sovereignty. My thesis in a post-WWII the world seeming racked by guilt because of its inaction over Nazi Germany’s ‘Final Solution’ the Allies enabled the establishment of Israel. This has effectively seen the destruction of Palestine evident in the Nakba & other regular violent disputes between the Palestinian peoples and the State of Israel. Israel has the seeming universal backing of The West in its ongoing campaign to establish and maintain its legitimacy.
It is time for the world to take this bully to task and apply the wisdom of Solomon by dividing the land equally between the disputing parties.
I support the right of both these nations to exist as equals among other countries of the world
The week of three frying speeches
Canberra for the most part this week was preoccupied with the 2011-2012 budgets announcement, today this entry provides a brief summary with relevant links for those who may find it of interest. On Tuesday (10/05) saw Wayne Swan, our articulate Federal treasure deliver his third fiscally responsible budget, which some commentators describe as “Lean but Not Mean”. In preliminary media commentary, the Treasure and other ministers whined about the need for a tight budget requiring deep cuts to ensure a return to surplus as planned in 2012-2013. Alternately, they made several announcements that best described as policy sweeteners to defuse the growing fear among some sectors about these same potential cuts. The reality was a little different according to most commentators an evidently balanced budget emerging from the final wash up.
Welfare to work or is work welfare?
Wayne Swan: 2011-12 Budget Speech (Video)
Wayne Swan: National Press Club Address, Budget 2011-12, Part 1 & Part 2
Deputy PM & Treasure
Selling the budget –
Australian Labor (News)
A comprehensive analysis of the budget’s mental health announcements by Crikey
Federal budget 2011-12: Initial ACOSS analysis (PDF)
Australian Council of Social Services
As is our parliamentary tradition, Tony Abbott (The Coalition) and Bob Brown (The Greens) both made replies to the government’s budget later in the week (12/05).
Abbot’s reply (video) smarting middle-aged white man beaten by a woman
Brown’s reply (video) a progressive approach
Labour Day Celebration
to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest
Beatification of Pope John Paul II
On the 1ST May, Benedict XVI celebrated the Beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome this recognition propels his predecessor one-step closer to canonisation.
Beatification and canonisation of Pope John Paul II
Some argue that John Paul II beatification is premature in light of the role he played in the cover-up of abuse by priests . This raises the question whether he was an enabler of abusers or potential saint, which seems strange when the Catholic Church endeavours to take such a high moral ground on LGBT issues.
Sinner or Saint
Osama bin Laden Dead
The supposed al Qaeda mastermind of 9/11 killed in firefight with Navy Seals unit in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Osama bin Laden dead, report U.S. officials
What does bin Laden’s death mean for his victims, war on terror and the Afghan adventure. It is certain that some of bin Laden’s victims may see his death as justice for the crimes perpetrated against them by him & his ilk. While politicians generally don’t see this event as an end to the threat posed by al-Qaeda & its minions to world security so the war goes on. Does this mean Afghanistan is still unavoidable to reduce the threat of Islamism?
A message for Carnival Barkers & sideshows
Press briefing 27/04/11
Remarks by the President
(James S. Brady Press Briefing Room White House)
The White House Blog
President Obama’s Long Form Birth Certificate
(Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on April 27, 2011 at 08:57 AM EDT)
President Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate (PDF)
Certification of Live Birth (PDF).(release 2008)
Sadly, on this most sacred of days, some seek to score political points through perpetuating the ignorance of hate. @JimWallaceACL self titled Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby contribution to ANZAC Day 2011
“Just hope that as we remember Servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for – wasn’t gay marriage and Islamic!”
My questions to Jim are as follows
What Australia did the service personal fight for over the past 96 years?
Where in the Bible does it say you must hate people because of who they are?
When did bigotry, ignorance and hate become Christian values?
How do some people who claim to be Christian reconcile their hate with the words and recorded deeds attributed to Jesus?
Is homophobia & xenophobia true Australian values? is that what our service personal fought for and died for?
Lord, feel pity for these ignorant people and open their eyes to the true diversity of your creation.
Australian Christian Lobby head sorry for attack on gay marriage, Muslims