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Gay Asylum Seekers In Australia Could Be Resettled In Anti-Gay Papua New Guinea: READ

Manus island PNG

Several gay asylum seekers in Australia who fled persecution in their home countries could be resettled in Papua New Guinea (PNG), where homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, reports Time.

The asylum seekers are currently being held by Australian immigration on Manus Island in PNG, where they could eventually live permanently.

The Guardian claims to have seen six letters written in Farsi by four gay Iranian men in the detention center which appear to detail persecution in their home country and the fear of being resettled in PNG. The authenticity of the letters has not yet been confirmed.

In a suicide note to his mother, one of the men wrote:

Camp“I couldn’t return to Iran and be executed by the Iranian government. Hence living in PNG was not any better, because being gay is considered a crime in PNG as well, and the punishment for such crime is 14 years imprisonment.

“I am so sorry that I was born gay. I never meant to hurt you, mum.

“I wish our boat had sunk in the ocean and stopped me living the most painful year in my life.

“I thought Australia and its people would be my protector, but they taught me otherwise.”

The Guardian also obtained a copy of a Salvation Army orientation presentation shown to asylum seekers on Manus which shows a picture of two men kissing with a large red cross through it. The presentation warns:

“Homosexuality is illegal in Papua New Guinea. People have been imprisoned or killed for performing homosexual acts.”

According to Graeme McGregor, Amnesty Australia’s refugee-camp coordinator, the human rights group has “consistently raised the issue of gay men on Manus” with Australian immigration but “never had a clear response."

Ben Pynt, director of Humanitarian Research Partners, says there are around 36 gay men detained at Manus and several others who are too afraid to reveal their sexual orientation.

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said in December he was unaware of any claims of homosexuality among Manus inmates.

Morrison has also denied allegations in a December report by Amnesty International that detainees at the facility have been told that anyone found engaging in homosexual acts will be reported to the PNG police.

Earlier this year the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees raised concerns about the living conditions for asylum seekers being held at the Manus Island detention center.

Read two of the asylum seekers' letters, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Asylum Seekers In Australia Could Be Resettled In Anti-Gay Papua New Guinea: READ" »


Former Australian PM Julia Gillard: Gay Marriage is Coming to 'Most Parts of the Developed World'

Gillard

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who opposed same-sex marriage during her tenure, tells Channel 9 News this week in an interview ahead of the publication of a new memoir that she has accepted it will be a reality, ABC News reports:

She told Channel Nine she now accepted things would change.

"I've got what may be in the modern age a kind of old-fashioned, feminist view about, can we take the traditional institution of marriage and stretch it? Or do you create some other way of solemnising relationships and recognising them as of worth and status?" she said.

"When I was a young feminist I would've said overwhelmingly the gay community was on that track too, but things have changed.

"I accept the course of human history now is that we are going to see same-sex marriage here and in, you know, most parts of the developed world."

Though she was pressured heavily while in office and may even have a "valuable lifetime commitment" to a gay man, Gillard was steadfast in her opposition to marriage equality.

Australia's current Prime Minister Tony Abbott also opposes gay marriage.


Australian Football League Axes Partnership With Brunei Airlines Over Country's Anti-gay Laws

Afl

The Australian Football League has nixed a sponsorship deal between its European affiliated league and Brunei's state airline over the country's implementation of Sharia law that includes death by stoning as a punishment for homosexuality. 

ABC News reports:

The AFL released a statement that said its European affiliate was unaware of Brunei's adoption of the laws.

"These laws are counter to everything the AFL stands for in regards to inclusion and diversity," the statement said.

An AFL spokesman said that after examining the issue, the league was now working with AFL Europe to wind up the agreement.

The spokesman said the sponsorship deal will be terminated "possibly within days, at most within a few weeks".

Gay rights group All Out, which organized a Twitter campaign pressuring the AFL to drop its sponsorship ties, praised the decision, saying:

‘This is a game changer in the push against Brunei’s proposal to mandate inhuman punishments like stoning, whipping and amputation for being gay and other offences. The AFL has taken a strong stand against homophobia today that shows the Sultan of Brunei that killing people because of who they are is not only wrong – it’s very bad for business.’

Last month we reported that Hassanal Blkiah, the homophobic Sultan of Brunei who championed the new laws, was eyeing the New York's iconic Plaza Hotel for purchase. 

[photo via AFL]


First iPhone 6 Owner Immediately Drops it on Live TV: VIDEO

Iphone6

As you may have heard there is a new iPhone coming out today worldwide. As stores opened in Australia, the media was there to capture the "iPhrenzy", interviewing the first fanboy to emerge with one of the coveted devices.

Unfortunately, the unboxing didn't go as planned.

Watch what happened, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Transgender Model Andreja Pejić Launches Documentary Kickstarter Campaign - VIDEO

Andreja pejic

Supermodel Andreja Pejić, who recently came out as a transgender woman, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a feature-length documentary on her life.

Pejić, an Australian national originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, spent time in a refugee camp near Belgrade during the Bosnian War.

The documentary Andrej(a) “will explore gender politics in-depth around the globe, and the beauty industry and its attitude towards diversity, will be a focal point.”

Writing on Kickstarter, Pejić explains:

“I hope that by sharing my humanity, pain, tears, laughter, joy, and biggest struggles on film, it will shed light on what it means to live as a transgender individual. I have always believed that differences between people should not equal divisions and I simply want to create something that could help build a bridge between my community and the rest of the world.”

Watch Andreja's Kickstarter appeal, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Sporting History Made At Gay Rugby's Bingham Cup - VIDEO

Bingham cup

Sporting history was made last week at the launch of The Bingham Cup - the World Cup of gay rugby - in Sydney, Australia.

Two Rugby World Cup-winning Wallabies captains joined senior federal politicians from every major Australian party, the International Rugby Board (IRB) publicly endorsed the event and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) adopted a range of policies aimed at eliminating homophobia.

Bingham cup 2

The IRB is believed to be the first major international sporting federation to publicly endorse a gay sporting event.

Other international sporting organisations including world soccer governing body FIFA - which came under pressure following homophobic incidents at this year’s World Cup - were challenged to follow rugby’s lead.

John Eales, the most successful captain in Australian rugby history and a board member of the ARU, said:

“We should commend and celebrate the support around the world to address homophobia and discrimination in sport. There is still a great deal of work to do, but I’m hopefully we’ll soon see a time when athletes at all levels feel comfortable being open about their sexuality and playing the sports they love without fear of discrimination.”

IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said:

“Rugby recognises sport’s wider responsibility to society and its ability to drive social change. Sport can cross barriers. Sport boosts self-esteem and Sport promotes inclusivity and celebrates diversity. We are proud as Rugby grows across every continent that the sport’s strong values of solidarity, integrity, discipline, respect and passion still make a real difference in modern society.”

Senior Australian federal cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull, a long-time advocate for LGBT equality, added:

“A person’s sexuality should be completely irrelevant whether they are playing sports or doing anything else in life.  I’m proud Australians are playing such a significant role in highlighting the need for change. We need to continue working proactively to find effective approaches to address homophobia and change sporting culture.”

The tournament, which was won by the Sydney Convicts, is named in honor of rugby player Mark Bingham who is known internationally as one of the heroes of 9/11.

Watch a report on the tournament launch and the official tournament video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sporting History Made At Gay Rugby's Bingham Cup - VIDEO" »


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