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Rugby Player Voted Out Of His Club For Being Gay: VIDEO

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A rugby club in New Zealand has denied claims that a former gay player was voted out because of his sexuality, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

ClaydonNow based in Sydney, Australia, Jay Claydon says that when his teammates found out that he was gay, they held a vote behind his back to remove him from the club.

Both clubs that Claydon played for at senior level in 2006 and 2007 have refuted the player's claims.  Sources close to Claydon’s family have also backed up one of the club’s assertions and Don Fisher, a former coach at Claydon’s second club, said that there were no issues with the player who was ”a valued member of our club."

Speaking to Fairfax Media, Claydon said he discovered when he moved to Australia in 2008 that homophobic slurs were an accepted part of sporting culture and that he felt compelled to keep his sexuality secret for fear of being ostracised.

"It's such a stereotype, but at most clubs they see a gay guy and think you can't be sporty or masculine. They think that you're weak or you're not as tough as them. Even when they didn't know I was gay I'd hear the word 'faggot' all the time."

The Fairfax Media article also cited a new study, Out On The Fields, which was commissioned by organisers of the Bingham Cup, the gay rugby World Cup, which will be held in Sydney in August.

The reports revealed that 85% of gay athletes had experienced or witnessed homophobic abuse.

Last year, Claydon joined the Sydney Convicts, Australia's first gay rugby union club.

Watch the official Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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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.


Chris Martin is the Pied Piper of Sydney in Coldplay's 'Sky Full of Stars' Video: WATCH

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Chris Martin recruited the people of Sydney, Australia to give Coldplay a hand with the video for their Avicii-co-produced EDM anthem "A Sky Full of Stars".

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Marriage Equality Bill Defeated in Australia's New South Wales State

The upper house of the NSW parliament rejected a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

NswDespite initial hopes the upper house would pass the legislation, MPs voted against it by 21 votes to 19 in the Legislative Council on Thursday afternoon.

So why did the bill fail?

Mr Nile said he believed a decisive factor in the bill's defeat was Premier Barry O'Farrell's announcement that he would vote against the bill if it came before the lower house.

Mr O'Farrell revealed his support for same-sex marriage a day after New Zealand's parliament voted to change its national laws in April.

But in a statement released the night before the bill's introduction to the upper house last month, Mr O'Farrell said that while he was a supporter of marriage equality, he would not support the NSW legislation.

He argued that "only change enacted by the Federal Parliament can deliver true equality in our marriage laws".


Sydney, Australia's State of New South Wales Could Pass a Same-Sex Marriage Bill Next Week

The parliament of New South Wales will debate a marriage equality bill next week, Sky News reports:

NswThe group consisting of Liberal, National, Greens, Labor and independent members say the bill follows community and legal consultation, including a parliamentary inquiry that found NSW has the constitutional power to legislate on marriage.

Labor MLC Penny Sharpe said she will introduce the bill next Thursday.

'The community and parliament can be confident we have done our due diligence to ensure we have the strongest bill possible; one that will allow loving and committed same-sex couples to marry in NSW and one that will withstand any high court challenge,' she said.

The Australian Capital Territory passed a same-sex marriage bill earlier this week that PM Tony Abbott's government said it plans to fight.

Meanwhile, the High Court says it will address the issue tomorrow:

A High Court of Australia spokesman has confirmed the first directions hearing for the federal government's constitutional challenge to the ACT's same-sex marriage law will take place on Friday at 2.15pm.

It comes as same-sex couples say they will defy advice from the Prime Minister to delay getting married in Canberra, until the High Court has tested the validity of the ACT's new marriage law.

The federal government formally launched its challenge to the ACT's same-sex marriage law in the High Court on Wednesday.


The Drag Pussycat Dolls Hit Bondi Beach: VIDEO

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Drag queens Natasha Knowles, Decoda Secret and Little X cause a scene at Sydney's Bondi Beach.

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