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Australian Liberal MP Don Harwin Comes Out as Gay In Emotional Speech to Colleagues

In a speech to the New South Wales Legislative Council today, Australian Liberal MP Don Harwin has revealed that he is gay, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Don harwinHarwin, the president of the upper house, came out in a Christmas message on the last sitting day of Parliament for the year.

In the emotional speech, Harwin said he rejoiced in the opportunities available to young gay and lesbian people today:

"Life is so different for them than it was for me. Much has been achieved since then, and perhaps my travails in less happy times gave me the determination I needed to pursue this role."

He added:

"It is remarkable how quickly public opinion has shifted and, indeed, our house has voted to support marriage equality in principle. I hope that my many friends who are waiting for the opportunity to marry will not have to wait too much longer for the Commonwealth Parliament to reform the law."

Following the speech, Harwin said he has been out to parents, friends, and work colleagues for almost 20 years. Harwin joins Labor's Penny Sharpe and Helen Westwood, Liberal Bruce Notley-Smith and independent Alex Greenwich as one of the few out politicians in New South Wales.

Last month, the New South Wales parliament passed new legislation that will allow people convicted under the country’s old laws criminalizing homosexuality to have their records expunged.


Aussie Celebs Anthony Callea and Tim Campbell Marry: VIDEO

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(via instagram)

Longtime readers of Towleroad may recall that back in 2007 an Australian Idol contestant named Anthony Callea made a splash when he came out of the closet. Callea's disclosure was followed soon after with an identical one from Australian actor and singer Tim Campbell.

Campbell and Callea met during an Australian  production of Rent, and shortly thereafter announced that they were together.

Yesterday Callea said that after seven years he and Campbell have married.

Wrote Callea on Instagram:

It's extra special today as @timcampbelltwit and I get to share the news we are married! There's a whole bunch of photos and what went on over 2 days of celebrations in this weeks Woman's Day! Yep....he liked it and definitely put a ring on it! Tune in to both Kyle & Jackie O and Jonesy & Amanda as Tim and I will be joining them on air shortly!

Woman's Day reports:

The loved-up couple, who surprised everyone when they announced they were getting married, travelled to New Zealand, where same-sex marriage is recognised, and vowed to spend the rest of their lives together in front of their parents (Cosmo and Santina Callea and Graham and Heather Campbell) and best friends – Rob and Annie Cipressi.

Following on from the intimate and simple affair, the newlyweds flew back home to Melbourne to host a dinner party for their nearest and dearest.

Australia, of course, does not yet have marriage equality.

Congrats.

Watch them performing in Rent together back in 2007, AFTER THE JUMP...

Callea and Campbell in 2007:

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Continue reading "Aussie Celebs Anthony Callea and Tim Campbell Marry: VIDEO" »


New South Wales Gay Couples' Marriages Performed Abroad Now Recognized

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Same-sex couples in New South Wales, Australia have a new option when it comes to marriage; they are now allowed to marry in other countries and have their marital status recognized by Australian state’s government (The New South Wales Registry of Births, Death and Marriages).

GreenwichNew South Wales Legislative Assembly member and marriage equality advocate Alex Greenwich (pictured) was instrumental in pushing this change through by introducing the Relationships Register Amendment, and rallying government support for it. Said Greenwich:

This change acknowledges that a growing number of NSW citizens must travel overseas to marry the person they love, while waiting for the Federal Government to legislate for marriage equality…The NSW Relationship Register will now ensure same-sex marriages conducted overseas will receive a level of protection and recognition in NSW, and I thank the Attorney-General for working with me towards this outcome.

Greenwich points to the Australian national government as the reason this legislation had to go through the New South Wales state government: “The inaction of federal governments, past and present, on marriage equality remains an embarrassing blight on our nation’s reputation for fairness, freedom and equality."


Australian Boxing Champ: Being Gay Is 'Your Choice' But Don't Show It 'When There's Kids Watching' - VIDEO

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Australian aboriginal boxer Anthony Mundine has defended the tired old argument that being gay is a choice, reports Pink News.

Mundine previously said that TV series Redfern, which features a gay aboriginal character, is “promoting homosexuality...like my dad told me GOD made ADAM & EVE not Adam & Steve.” He also made the bizarre claim that aboriginal people cannot be gay because it's forbidden in the "old culture."

Speaking on Australian television last week, Mundine defended his previous comments, saying:

“I told you I speak the truth, I got nothing against homosexuality, if you’re gay, be gay, that’s your choice, that’s your right in this day and age. But don’t exploit it on prime time when there’s kids watching and having sons come towards you and going ‘dad is that alright, for a man to kiss a man?”

According to a spokesman, although the boxer “has a lot of homosexual friends,” he “doesn’t support homosexuality.”

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Australian Boxing Champ: Being Gay Is 'Your Choice' But Don't Show It 'When There's Kids Watching' - VIDEO" »


Meet Dan and Miki, the Gay Cowboy Couple Who are Living Their Dream: VIDEO

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Dan and Miki are a gay cowboy couple living in ranching in North Queensland, Australia recently profiled by that country's SBS2 network.

3_cowboysDan lived in the city for a while trying to conform to the stereotype of what he thought a gay person was. Miki met Dan on a trip to see the country, and after getting to know one another, settled down on their farm.

The couple wakes up before sunrise to roosters, kookaburras, and curtains of mist. They feed the chickens, cows, and horses,  protect their animals from heavy storms that come over the mountains, and often find themselves covered in animal sh-t at the end of the day. And like every other couple, they bicker, fight, and make up.

It's pretty much everything that Jack Twist wanted with Ennis del Mar, but this time nobody had to quit anyone.

Check out their beautiful, bucolic story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Meet Dan and Miki, the Gay Cowboy Couple Who are Living Their Dream: VIDEO" »


New South Wales Parliament Approves Bill To Expunge Gay Sex Convictions

New-south-walesThe Parliament of New South Wales has passed new legislation that will allow people convicted under the country’s old laws criminalizing homosexuality to have their records expunged. Initially introduced by Bruce Notley-Smith, a member Australia’s Liberal Party, the bill was endorsed by members of both major parties and made it through the legislative body with no amendments or hiccups.

“These people should never have been convicted – it was wrong,” Notley-Smith told the Pink News. “[Recognising] the devastation it’s had on their lives, albeit very late in the day we can correct some of the wrongs of the past.”

Though homosexuality has been decriminalized in Australia for 30 years, the impacts of the country’s homophobic past still haunt many living there. Currently, people charged with the law before 1984 are forced to disclose their histories and personal lives as homosexuals when applying for jobs or housing

“Consensual sex between two consenting adult males should never have been considered a crime.” said Notley-Smith. “This is another step in correcting some of the wrongs of the past.”


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