Australia Hub

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


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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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.”

Comedian Josh Thomas Destroys Homophobic Australian MP on Live TV: VIDEO


The Q&A show on Australia's ABC network puts punters, politicians, and pundits together in their studio to discuss the issues of the week on live television.

Monday night's show featured Josh Thomas, the creator and star of Please Like Me, alongside homophobic Australian MP Bob Katter.

The fireworks began when Katter, who has denied the existence of gay people in his region of northern Queensland, was asked by an audience members about the mental health issues that young gay and lesbian people struggle with because of people like him.

Watch it all go down, AFTER THE JUMP...

And if, for some reason, you missed our TV writer Bobby Hankinson's excellent interview with Josh Thomas back in August, make sure to check it out HERE.

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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...

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


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


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]


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