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John Passant

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August 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



The fight for same sex marriage escalates

What a magnificent blow for equality.

Across Australia tens of thousands rallied for same sex marriage – 6000 in Melbourne, 2500 in Sydney, 1000 in Perth. As Socialist Alternative said ‘In other cities, 600 joined the protest in Brisbane, 250 in Canberra, 300 in Adelaide, 250 in Hobart, 200 in Newcastle, 100 in Lismore and 100 in Wollongong. Marches also took place in Darwin and Byron Bay.’

The rally commemorates the passage 6 years ago of John Howard’s amendments to the Marriage Act to enshrine marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Despite the fact that 60 percent of Australians support same sex marriage, Labor has continued this outrageous discrimination. Julia Gillard has confirmed she will not change the Marriage Act to recognise same sex marriage. Both the ALP and the Liberals are the enemies of sexual equality.

Wil Anderson, the MC at the Sydney rally made the point that because of the preference he was born with he can marry but that others, because of the preference they were born with, cannot. This is massive discrimination and reflects the ongoing oppression LGBTI people suffer every day.

But to change the entrenched views of the bigots in the ALP and the Coalition we will need to take the campaign to a new level. That means building even bigger rallies in November.

To me it means thinking about further action to win equal love. It is time to consider civil disobedience as a tactic in fighting the bigots of power in our society and showing them that society won’t continue in the conservative way they want.

This is not a pipe dream of a mad socialist. The gay liberation movement erupted in 1969 – a period of massive social and industrial convulsion – at Stonewall in New York when gays fought back against the attacks of the cops.

In Australia it was the same – when the cops attacked a march in 1978 to commemorate Stonewall and arrested almost 100 people. Thousands joined the demonstrations against the arrests and fought back against the cops. Eventually police ‘lost the files’ and the charges against the freedom fighters were dropped.

In addition the New South Government removed laws criminalising peaceful assembly that had been used against the protestors.  

As Liz Ross put it so well in her 2008 article It was a riot! 30 years since Australia’s first Mardi Gras:

Because for all the freedoms we have won – and there’s no doubt we have – homophobia is still a feature of today’s world, a capitalist society based on exploitation, oppression and division. Lesbians and gays continue to face discrimination, homophobic violence and prejudice. Just witness the furore over IVF rights for lesbians, suicide rates for young gays and the fact that there are 53 pieces of federal legislation that openly discriminate against lesbians and gays. [And, I would add, same sex marriage.]

Homophobia, however, isn’t just about individual discrimination. Like sexism and racism, it’s institutionalised oppression used to divide the working class and stop us from organising together against our common enemy, the ruling class.

It is the battles we fight for reforms that begin to shake the world up, that build the alliances that unite the working class in struggle and lay the basis for the kind of revolutionary change we’ll need to rid the world of capitalism for good.

Lesbians and gays in Australia have a proud history of fighting for reforms, building those alliances, demanding liberation. After the NSW Builders Labourers Federation backed victimised students in the 1970s, gays supported the BLF when it came under attack in the 1980s. More recently lesbians and gays joined the anti-globalisation protests, while union contingents march at Mardi Gras and Gay Pride protests.

As one of the badges at the time put it: “Mardi Gras was a riot – now we need a revolution!”

The time to increase the pressure and up the ante for equal love and same sex marriage has come. Let’s build on the demonstrations on Saturday and shake the comfortable unchallenged foundations of Labor and Liberal bigotry to the core.



Comment from Adrian aryan
Time August 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Can anyone explain to me the difference between a straight marriage contract and a gay marriage contract, or divorces too for that matter

Comment from John
Time August 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

There is or will be no difference. Except that in Australia gays can’t marry, straights can. So there is no gay marriage contract.

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