John Howard Hub

Australian PM Kevin Rudd Says He Won't Overrule Civil Unions

The Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) two previous attempts to introduce civil unions failed because former Prime Minister John Howard's government used its power to deny them.

RuddRecently-elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he won't do the same, leaving it to the individual regions to determine the matter. Said Rudd: "On these matters, state and territories are answerable to their own jurisdictions."

The Age reports: "This is despite Labor telling the Christian lobby before the election it 'did not support legislation to recognise same-sex marriage or civil unions'. Labor's federal platform is to support a nationally consistent system of relationship registers. Registers are less controversial than civil unions because they don't involve a ceremony, which Christian groups view as being too close to a wedding. Relationship registers are already in use in Tasmania and are being introduced in Victoria."

Australian Voters Reject Howard, Elect Kevin Rudd Prime Minister [tr]
Australian PM Candidate Kevin Rudd Avoids Gay Question [tr]
Australian Politico's Ear Wax Snack is International Sensation [tr]

Australian Voters Reject Howard, Elect Kevin Rudd Prime Minister


Australian voters (including those from Bondi beach, above) delivered a stinging rebuke to John Howard's policies over the weekend as they voted the nation's second-longest serving leader out of office and elected Labor Party (ALP) head Kevin Rudd (pictured with wife Therese Rein and son Nicholas, below) the nation's new Prime Minister in a decisive victory.

The changing of the guard also sent a clear message to George W. Bush:

"Rudd has named global warming as his top priority, and his signing of the Kyoto Protocol will leave the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it. Rudd said he would withdraw Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq, leaving twice that number in mostly security roles. Howard had said all the troops will stay as long as needed."

RuddAustralian gay site Same Same was optimistic that the new establishment would offer more rights and deliver better protections for gays and lesbians in the country:

"Despite the popularity of individual candidates, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby’s election survey showed that pink voters went into this election with a stark difference between the major parties on gay and lesbian equality. The ALP came out particularly stronger than the Coalition on relationship and family recognition, addressing homophobia in education and consultation with our community. On the issue of relationship recognition, the Coalition promised only superannuation death entitlements for same-sex partners of Commonwealth employees. In contrast, Labor promised comprehensive de facto equality for all same-sex couples and their children across superannuation, taxation, immigration, health and family law. Our job is now to ensure Labor delivers on this promise."

On a humorous note, the Bondi voting hunk pictured in the top photo appears to be paying homage to Rudd's recent run-in with viral video.

Labor Party Wins Big in Australia [ap]
Ruddy Good News - What The Election Results Mean For Us [same same]
Kevin Rudd's Victory Speech [adelaide now]

Australian PM Candidate Kevin Rudd Avoids Gay Question [tr]
Australian Politico's Ear Wax Snack is International Sensation [tr]

Australian PM Candidate Kevin Rudd Avoids Gay Question

Kevin Rudd, the Australian politico who appears likely to defeat PM John Howard in an election next month and was lately the subject of a humorous "ear wax" viral video, appeared on an Australian talk show but failed to answer the host's trademark query:

"All the audience wanted to see was Rove's signature question: 'Whom would you turn gay for?' Almost everyone knows giving an answer is not an admission of homosexuality but a sign that the participant is cool enough not to dismiss the question with a stammering defence. But 99.9 per cent of people are not politicians. Mr Rudd gave a run down on the helpful suggestions Rove viewers had sent to his office including Dame Edna and Kell Knight from Kath and Kim. But then came the answer: 'There's only one person for me, and that's my wife Therese.'...'Is she a man?' McManus shot back."

Rudd also disappointed the audience by refusing to describe for them the taste of ear wax.

Rudd still looks set to smash Howard in the election, and said he'll make "the fight against catastrophic climate shift" his top priority and sign the Kyoto Treaty.

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Australian Politico's Ear Wax Snack is International Sensation [tr]

Australian Politico's Ear Wax Snack is International Sensation

In a testament to the power of viral video, a piece of six-year-old footage showing Australia's opposition leader Kevin Rudd probing his ear and then placing his finger in his mouth has caused such a stir that it has been featured in newspapers the world over, as well as on The Tonight Show.

Said Rudd, who leads John Howard in the polls and looks likely to become Australia's new PM next month: "I'm really pleased about that — how did I go on Jay Leno? All of us in public and private life I'm sure would wish our behavior to be more ideal."

Australian PM John Howard Targeted in Gay Oral Sex Smear


Australia's Liberal Party is denying claims that their website was hacked after an email with a purported screencap was sent to members of the media. The screen capture featured a photo of John Howard with the caption "John Howard says: 'I like to suck dick'".

Said Howard in response to the reports: "I can assure anybody that's seen it, it's not me."

Liberal Party Federal Director Brian Loughnane denied their site had been compromised: "It has been drawn to my attention that an internet link has been circulated which creates the impression that an unauthorised text has been inserted into the Liberal Party website. This link did not in fact alter the Liberal Party website in any way. The party has taken action to disable the link."

If the "hackers" who sent the email were trying to get their message out, however, the stunt worked, as newspaper sites across Australia went ahead and published the screengrab in question.

Australian PM John Howard to Get Gay Rights Petition from 25,000

This Wednesday or Thursday, Queensland federal Liberal MP Warren Entsch will deliver Australian Prime Minister John Howard a petition signed by 25,000 people demanding that the government end discrimination against same-sex couples.

John_howardThe petition, organized by activist group Get Up! reads: "Same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as de facto heterosexual couples. I call upon you to make this first step towards equality by immediately legislating to end discrimination against same-sex couples."

The petition is being seen as a second push following the release of an official report in June from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which highlighted basic financial entitlements, tax concessions and superannuation benefits that are denied to same-sex couples under current law.

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