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Australian Judge Compares Homosexuality With Incest And Child Abuse

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Campaigners have attacked a Sydney judge’s comparison of incest and pedophila with homosexuality as “completely unacceptable” and an insult to people who have experienced sexual abuse, reports the Star Observer.

District Court Judge Garry Neilson comments arose in the case of a 58-year-old man who is charged with repeatedly raping his younger sister in the early 1980s. 

Neilson said that in the same manner as homosexuality was once seen as taboo, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’”.

He went on to say:

“If this was the 50s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you’d invariably have, they would say it’s unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone.”

Talking to the Star Observer, New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby policy and project officer Jed Horner said Neilson’s comments made an offensive comparison between being gay and sexual offences and were an insult to survivors of sexual abuse.


Australian Olympian Swimmer Ian Thorpe Comes Out as Gay

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Australian Olympian swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out of the closet in an interview airing tonight on Australian TV, the Daily Telegraph reports:

After years of personal struggle, Olympic hero Ian Thorpe has bravely revealed he is gay.

The 31-year-old confirms his sexuality for the first time Sunday in an exclusive interview on Channel 10, telling all to veteran British interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson.

It’s understood the interview, which Parkinson has described as one of the best he has ever conducted, includes a full admission from Thorpe that he is gay despite having dated women in the past.

In the emotional sit-down shot last month, Thorpe also details the years of depression he has battled while denying his sexuality from the world. Part of that concealment included his own autobiography This Is Me, published in 2012, in which Thorpe wrote that he found questions about his sexuality hurtful.

Thorpe's sexual orientation has been the focus of the media for more than a decade, since the 2000 Olympics. Staying in the closet in the public eye for so long has to be incredibly damaging. Hopefully he's found some peace.

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Ian Thorpe is About to Be Asked for the Nth Time if He's Gay: VIDEO

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Famed Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe is once again addressing rumors that he is gay. The five time gold medalist rose to prominence at the 2000 Sydney games. Since that time he has been asked if he's gay. 

Next Sunday, Thorpe will be sitting down with Sir Gregory Parkinson for a ‘no holds barred’ interview, in which his sexuality figures prominently. Referring to a promo clip being circulated ahead of the interview, The Daily Mail comments:

In the 25 second clip, Parkinson said to Thorpe: 'You've always said that you're not gay... is all of that true?' 

The scene then cuts to an uncomfortable looking Thorpe, 31, who appears to be nervously finding his words. […]

Parkinson said Thorpe's decision that no question was off limits was brave and says he examines the good times and the bad of the Australian swimming legend.

'His fight against depression offers a unique insight into the darker side of celebrity and success,' Parkinson said in a statement released by Ten.

'What fascinates me most about Ian is that apart from the very beginning of his career, he never seemed to enjoy and celebrate his success.

Two years ago Thorpe commented that he was “annoyed” by the gay rumors. Just months later, Thorpe told a TV interviewer he wasn’t so much offended by the insinuation that he is gay as he was hurt by people not taking him at his word. As for the reasons for the speculation on his sexuality, Thorpe has long held that it is because he does not fit the typical mold of an athlete in the eyes of most.  

Watch the preview clip of the upcoming interview, AFTER THE JUMP…

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Study: Children Raised by Same-Sex Couples Healthier And Happier

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A new study from Australia's University of Melbourne suggests that the children of same-sex couples may be happier than their heterosexual couple-reared counterparts. Researchers surveyed 315 same-sex parents and 500 children, enquiring specifically about the subjects' "physical health and social well-being."

Doctor Simon Crouch, head researcher for the study, says the University found children raised by gay partners on average scored 6 percent higher than the general population, based on the study's metrics of family unity and general health.

The results specifically indicated a lessened reliance on stereotyped gender roles for gay parents. Said Dr. Crouch:

Previous research has suggested that parenting roles and work roles, and home roles within same-sex parenting families are more equitably distributed when compared to heterosexual families... So what this means is that people take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes, which is mum staying home and looking after the kids and dad going out to earn money... What this leads to is a more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and well-being.

The study also found that today same-sex parented families are still often dogged by stigma. Dr. Crouch points out this can be anything from bullying on the playground to "a letter from school addressed to Mr and Mrs."

Critics of the study include Roslyn Phillips of Family Voice Australia, an organization that promotes "Christian Family Values." Phillips said: "You've got to look beyond studies like these to what happens when the child reaches adulthood." She also questioned whether there was bias at play, pointing out that Dr. Crouch and his male partner are raising a family. In response, Crouch acknowledged his background, but pointed out he is "one of a number of researchers on the paper who come from all sorts of different backgrounds."

[h/t ABC, image via Buzzfeed, Sarah Dixley for Australian Marriage Equality]


Opera Australia Replaces Homophobic Tamar Iveri Following ‘Unconscionable’ Facebook Post

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Opera Australia has announced a replacement for Tamar Iveri, the Georgian singer who was dumped last week following comments on Facebook in which she compared homosexuals with "faecal masses".

Describing Iveri’s views as “unconscionable”, Opera Australia released her contract to perform the role of Desdemona in their production of Otello.

20140623-123328-45208391Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian will now replace Iveri in the production. Addressing concerns regarding Iveri’s other Opera Australia contracts, the company said they are following the “same due process” they underwent with her role in Otello.

In her Facebook post, which was presented as an open letter to Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili after Christian Orthodox groups violently assaulted members of a gay pride march in the capital of Tbilisi in May, Iveri wrote:

“I was quite proud of the fact how Georgian society spat at the parade … Often, in certain cases, it is necessary to break jaws in order to be appreciated as a nation in the future, and to be taken into account seriously. Please, stop vigorous attempts to bring the west’s ‘faecal masses’ in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda.”

Iveri later claimed that the post, which has since been deleted, had been written by her husband.  

However, in an interview made public by Georgian LGBTQIA,  Iveri states she wrote the original homophobic post and also makes further homophobic comments:

"On that day, as readers might have noticed I was very agitated and absolutely sincere in expressing my opinions. at the end of the status I even apologised to readers if they had found it impolite. My agitation was caused by the turmoil and accidental or deliberate promotion, propaganda, which in those days was passing through the media. My friends were calling and telling me that children were talking about gay parade all day long and that they could not take that anymore. When we do not tell them what that (gay parade) is exactly, they surf the internet and ask us to take there.”

Watch a report on the May 17 violence in Tbilisi, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Australian Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham Covers Dolly Parton’s 'Dumb Blonde': VIDEO

  Matthew mitcham covers dolly parton's dumb blonde

Procrastinating before his end-of-semester exams, Australian 2008 Olympic champion diver Matthew Mitcham performs Dolly Parton’s "Dumb Blonde" with his ukelele.

We’ve previously featured Mitcham performing "Single Ladies" on his YouTube channel.

Mitcham gained media coverage in 2008 because reporters thought he was the first openly gay Australian to compete at the Olympic Games, an honor which was actually taken by diver Mathew Helm who won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the men's 10m platform.

Watch Matthew’s performance of "Dumb Blonde", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Australian Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham Covers Dolly Parton’s 'Dumb Blonde': VIDEO" »


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