Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts

October 20, 2017

Australian Olympic Medallist Talks about Coming Out and Depression

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe at the 10th birthday of the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, Ultimo, Sunday, August 27, 2017. Picture: Damian Shaw/AAPSource:News Corp Australia 

ONE of the most difficult things Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe has ever done was to reveal to the public in 2014 that he was gay.
The swimmer had already told his conservative Christian family about his sexuality and their reaction was to tell him they loved him, which was exactly what he needed to hear.
But there was one moment Thorpe knew he wasn’t going to turn back from making it public too.
As Thorpe started telling a people he was going to do a TV interview, he said some advised him to “take your time to get used to being gay”.
At the age of 31, Thorpe realized there was no more time to waste and he wanted to live his life with transparency.
“I realized it had taken my whole adult life to telling the closest people to me that I was gay,” Thorpe said. “And at this point, I’m not taking a step back into the closet.”
In a speech on mental health hosted by Procore Technologies and Mates in Construction in Sydney on Wednesday, Thorpe said there was only one factor that made him regret taking so long to acknowledge his sexuality.
“I really was uncomfortable with my sexuality, I didn’t want to be gay,” he said.
“(But) I wish someone had told me this earlier — in being out, you become an example that makes it easier for someone else who may be struggling.”
Thorpe spoke candidly about his own experience with depression and said he believes wrestling with his sexual identity contributed to his poor mental health.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since I’ve been out that my life has felt like my own,” he said.
In fact, Thorpe feels better than ever.
“I didn’t realize that I could actually be well,” he said. “I thought I had to compromise on happiness — that I could probably only get to content and that’s kind of good enough.
“I didn’t realize that when you really work on it each day that there’s a possibility to live a really rewarding, fulfilling life, and a joyous life.”
Thorpe’s contentment has been hard-won and he is now worried about other Australians who may be struggling, especially as debate continues around the same-sex marriage survey.
Even though he is a prominent face of the Yes campaign, Thorpe said he was “sick of hearing about” the survey.
“I can’t get away from it (the survey), I hear about it and I’m sick of hearing about it.
“Imagine being that kid (in a family of No voters) and being isolated and being told that the way that you feel isn’t right.”
Even though younger generations are more accepting of gay relationships, Thorpe said they were still given a hard time.
“Right now if you had a 16-year-old at home that (said) ‘I’m gay’ ... would you tell them to keep it to themselves at school?
“What would be the advice you give them?”
Ian Thorpe (right) with his boyfriend Ryan Channing.
Ian Thorpe (right) with his boyfriend Ryan Channing.Source:Supplied
Thorpe said many families would probably counsel their children not to say anything to those at school because it would make their lives more difficult.
“Some of that still needs to be worked on,” he said.
When asked what people against same-sex marriage were so afraid of, Thorpe said he believes they don’t want change.
“There’s this shift in power at the moment and we have to make the decision day-to-day of what kind of world and what kind of society we want to live in,” he said.
“These decisions are happening now (and) they’re happening quickly.”
Thorpe also revealed he wasn’t prepared for the aftermath of his decision to reveal his struggles with depression in his autobiography This Is Me.
“I didn’t realize the toll it would take on me,” he said.
“I wasn’t prepared to then talk about being depressed with people ... constantly going over the same detail.
“If there’s one way, that really is guaranteed to make you depressed, it’s talking about being depressed.”
But Thorpe said he had worked really hard to feel well and to embrace his life again.
“I work on my mental health daily,” he said. “I’m not fearful of going into that kind of state again yet knowing my history, the likelihood is that it will happen again.
“But each time I’m faced with that, I have more tools to be able to manage that.”
Ian Thorpe being interviewed about mental health issues by Jeff McMullen at Procore Technologies lunch, held in conjunction with Mates in Construction.
Ian Thorpe being interviewed about mental health issues by Jeff McMullen at Procore Technologies lunch, held in conjunction with Mates in Construction.Source:Supplied
One thing Thorpe said made a difference to his life was allowing himself a day to feel down before calling his friends to ask for help.
“Once I’ve taken that control over it, usually by the time 24 hours is up, I don’t need the friends to come,” he said.
Thorpe has battled mental health issues since his teenage years and pointed out that diagnosis could also be quite difficult when athletes are training hard.
“The thing that becomes quite complicated in sport is working out why you’re exhausted,” he said.
“Is it because you have happened to have swum 120km in the last week? Or is it because you’re depressed?”
In tackling mental health Thorpe stressed the importance of encouraging an open, diverse and accepting society, workplace and community.
“Collectively when we remove some of the dignity that is in people’s lives and in their roles, we actually weaken the entire group,” he said.
The 35-year-old said his own career was proof that working as a team makes people stronger.
“For me, my best performances in my career were in relays,” Thorpe said.
“When you calculate my times in relays I should always have been able to perform better in individual races.
“But I could not find that for myself the same way I can find it for my mates.”
Ian Thorpe (right) celebrates winning Gold in the Mens 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Picture: Al Bello /Allsport
Ian Thorpe (right) celebrates winning Gold in the Mens 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Picture: Al Bello /AllsportSource:Supplied

October 6, 2017

Most Australian News Papers Believe Most of The Votes Are "Yes" For Gay Marriage

Australian newspapers are almost exclusively in support of a “yes” vote in the same sex marriage postal survey. 
Of the 11 daily metropolitan and nationals newspapers in the country, eight have published editorials since the postal survey was announced that are explicitly in favour of a “yes” response in the ballot. The Australian is the only newspaper to editorialise that it “cannot endorse such a proposal sight unseen”.
The NT News was first off the bat, dedicating its front page to the topic on August 9, the day after the postal plebiscite was announced. It ran the results of a poll showing most Territorians were in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, as well as an editorial saying that the majority of Australians supported it and lamenting the cost of a survey.
Hobart’s The Mercury followed the next day, referring to a series of editorials it ran last year in support of same-sex marriage, saying, “it is a vital move to end discrimination against same-sex couples”.
News Corp’s Daily Telegraph and The Advertiser both came down on the “yes” side in mid-September, and the Courier-Mail and the Herald Sun published editorials encouraging readers to vote “yes” in the ballot last week.
At Fairfax, The Sydney Morning Herald made its view known in Saturday’s paper, under the headline, “Why ‘yes’ deserves to win”. In Melbourne, The Age did the same on September 7, saying, “there is no justification for denying the right of two consenting adults in love to get married”. Sister paper, The Sunday Age, made the same declaration on its front page a few days later.
The Sunday Age and the NT News are the only two major daily papers to have made their declarations in bold front pages.
The Australian Financial Review‘s leader writer Luke Malpass told Crikey the paper’s general position was to support the “yes” case, but without urging readers to vote one way or the other. “We also suggest that those making the ‘yes’ case should take religious and some of the other objections to the change more seriously,” he said. The Fin first editorialised on the issue in 2015, saying, “In the end, the freedom of adults to decide should trump the other considerations, and gay marriage should be given cautious support.”
The West Australian did not respond to Crikey‘s request for comment, and does not appear to have editorialised specifically urging a “yes” or “no” vote from its readers. 

September 16, 2017

Minister Cancels Straight Couple's Wedding Because The Bride Approves in Gay Marriage for Gays

 Where do so-called Christians get their moral values? I guarantee you not from Jesus if you read everything he is known to have said. What a crooked association which is what the Gestapo did in their days. If you believe a jew should not terminate you did not go enough to be a German 'and you should then joined your friend the jews. Same thing this man and his church is doing. There is a name for it: Guilt by association and Jesus was very guilty of it.

A Victorian church refused to marry a young couple and cancelled their wedding plans because the bride-to-be expressed support for same-sex marriage on Facebook.
The 26-year-old bride and 25-year-old groom were to be married in November at their Presbyterian church, Ebenezer St John's in Ballarat, by minister Steven North. 

After a bride posted a comment on Facebook supporting same-sex marriage, a Victorian Minister called the couple to say he can't marry them anymore.

In early August, when the Turnbull government announced the postal survey on same-sex marriage, the bride posted a Facebook status declaring her support for change.
"I know it's something not everyone will agree on and that's fine but this is what I stand for and frankly it doesn't affect [sic] my relationship with [my partner] one bit," she commented. 

Days later, the couple was summoned to Mr North's office and were told he would no longer marry them, nor would they be allowed to hold their ceremony at the church.
In a letter to the bride, provided to Fairfax Media, Mr North said the views expressed in the Facebook post had "practical consequences" for the wedding.

"After the pre-marital counselling that you attended and the sermons delivered at Ebenezer on this subject, you must surely appreciate that your commitment to same-sex marriage opposes the teaching of Christ Jesus and the scriptural position practised by the Presbyterian Church of Australia and by me," he wrote.

"This conflict of views has practical consequences in relation to your upcoming wedding.
Minister Steve North, pictured in 2014, refused to officiate the wedding and banned the couple from getting married at his church.

Minister Steve North, pictured in 2014, refused to officiate the wedding and banned the couple from getting married at his church.

"By continuing to officiate it would appear either that I support your views on same-sex marriage or that I am uncaring about this matter. As you know, neither statement is correct.

"Also, if the wedding proceeded in the Ebenezer St John's church buildings, the same inferences could be drawn about the Presbyterian denomination. Such inferences would be wrong." 

Fairfax Media has spoken to the couple but has agreed not to name them, in line with their wishes. The couple did not seek media attention about the case – Fairfax Media was informed by a friend of the family.

Ebenezer St John's did not return multiple calls. John Wilson, clerk of assembly at the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, said decisions about officiating marriages were at the discretion of individual ministers. He did not wish to comment further.

But Presbyterian ministers and churchgoers are under clear directions to oppose same-sex marriage. Mr Wilson, who is also moderator-general of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, published a blog post committing the church to the "no" case and calling on attendees to campaign actively.

"There are many powerful voices clamouring to tear down what God declares to be holy. The church must not be silent on this," Mr Wilson wrote.

However, other church sources suggested the Ballarat experience was uncommon. Darren Middleton, convenor of the Church and Nation committee and a Geelong minister, said it was the first such case he had encountered.

"This is a decision for individual ministers to make. My guess is most probably would have let the wedding go ahead," he told Fairfax Media.

"It's not normally a requirement to get married that you subscribe to particular views. I would want to talk to them about their views … but that wouldn't be a bar to them getting married. That's a separate issue in my mind."

David Burke, the moderator of the Presbyterian church in NSW, also said these were matters for individual ministers but his approach would be to talk it through with the couple.

The Ballarat couple had already sent wedding invitations to friends and family but were able to find an alternative, secular venue for their November wedding. The ceremony will be officiated by a retired minister.

In an emotive written response to Mr North, the couple said they would no longer attend Ebenezer St John's church as a result of the minister's decision.

"We feel this decision is absolutely disgraceful and is a disgrace to you and all the church, especially when we have been loyal and valued members of this congregation for 10 years," they wrote
"You were made aware from the beginning of our proceedings that we had gay friends and also that people in our wedding party were gay. How could you assume that we would abandon them or degrade them with regards to same-sex marriage?

"We understand we did agree with the teachings of the church in our marriage counselling but just because we agree with that for our own lives, doesn't mean that we have to push those beliefs on others."
The church's decision had caused "a great deal of stress and upset" to both families, the couple wrote. 

Michael Koziol is the immigration and legal affairs reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based in Parliament House

Sydney Morning Herald

September 14, 2017

Twins Separated by Anti Gay Law in Australia One Can Marry the Other Can't so Neither Will

MICHAEL Jamison is a 31-year-old who has played 150 games with Carlton and can marry fiance Georgie any time he wants.
His twin brother Will, eight minutes younger, is an Australian men’s netball representative who is legally prevented from marrying partner Nigel.
So Michael and Georgie won’t marry until Will at least has the right to marry whoever he wants.
Michael and Georgie are expecting a baby daughter in early February and his stance is a small but important piece of symbolism for his brother.
They grew up together in Hamilton with Will aware by 14 he was probably gay and eventually coming out at 19.

Retired AFL footballer Michael Jamison and twin brother Will. Pic: Michael Klein

As the postal vote on same-sex marriage nears, the brothers are just another example of the increasing intersection of sport and politics.
At Tuesday’s AFLPA MVP awards Marcus Bontempelli used a speech to push the “yes” campaign, as Easton Wood, Ben Brown and Jordan Roughead wore equality badges.
Both Will and Michael Jamison feel dismayed to have to campaign so hard for what is such a basic human right.
Same-sex rights campaigner Angie Green planted the seed about waiting to marry as she stands up for gay rights for her brother Brent.
“(Georgie) and I got engaged and we never thought of waiting,” Michael told the Herald Sun yesterday.
“Once it was apparent that this really was a postal vote, it brought about the discussion.
“Angie said she is waiting and it just made sense to us. It is a thing we can do apart from ticking “yes” in the vote.
“I am not sure how Will can be so level-headed about this. I watched Q&A on Monday night and screamed at the TV. It makes me so angry. 
“I go through this whole range of feelings from embarrassment to anger to dumbfounded. I just know for a fact that it is something we will look back on in five or 10 years and we will shake our head and wonder why it took so long.”
Will Jamison is dismayed both at the lack of political courage of our national leaders and the level to which the debate has stooped in recent weeks.
“Down the track, I would like to get married but it’s more the idea that we don’t have a choice currently,’’ he said.
“It’s incredibly humbling (from Michael), it’s not something I would have asked him to do because when you find someone you want to spend your life with you don’t want to wait.
“But it’s also a testament to how ridiculous it is that this is still an issue. Two brothers who grew up together and one can get married and one can’t.”
He feels blessed at how smooth his path was to come out as gay — with a loving family, supportive environment and trailblazers who had come before him.
“It was pretty harrowing as a 14-year-old. I didn’t know what was going on and what to do about it. But as you get older you realize it’s not a phase, it’s not going away.
“Coming out was beyond easy. It was a non-issue. I could have told my parents I was going to Queensland for the weekend. My parents were just relieved I was comfortable in myself.
“But what is really upsetting is the hateful language that has been used in this debate. If it had been me when I was 14 hearing all of this and looking on social media, it would be a really awful spot.

Michael Jamieson: “I am not sure how Will can be so level-headed about this ... It makes me so angry.” Pic: Michael Klein

“But we are nearly there.”
After a decade spent inside AFL change rooms, Michael Jamison knows two things about the first gay footballer to come out.
He will be immediately accepted by his teammates and yet he will still need a level of bravery to endure the attention that will come his way.
“Footy clubs would be one of the best places to come out. But it is the outside world and social media which might be the tricky part, ‘’ he said.
“If we say we are not ready for it, it’s because of the lack of education and it’s because people are worried about what the response would be.
“I fear that might not change until someone comes out.
“And then they realize it’s not as bad as they thought it was going to be, or it might be bad but they make it easy for everyone else.
“I hope we get to the point where people do feel comfortable. I am not sure why people haven’t come out yet and I am sure those reasons are valid but I just hope there is a day soon when someone can.”

JON RALPH, Herald Sun

September 1, 2017

Australia's Gay marriage Opposition Airs Crazy Ads i.e. Boys will Turn to Girls

 A Father and his four sons. Can you tell which one or which ones are gay?
There is at least ONE gay guy in this family picture.

If a crazy lie is the best the Australian anti same sex marriage opposition can do to derail gay marriage, then just like in the US we gay human rights have won. 
All Australian have to do is looked at 20 (and counting) nations that have gay marriage and see how many boys have been turned into girls or how many parents have lost their kids. If the voting populace of Australia buys those lies then Australia still 50 years in the past. Can any Australian remember how it was there 50 years ago? 
The opposition to Gay rights, human rights can not say the truth because people won't buy it. The way crazy politicians, get into office, and crazy laws get enacted or human rights are refused is because of lies, always 100%. The hope that people be lazy or dumb and cannot read medical books or go to the computer and check things which are on neutral sites to see verify what is being said on ads is what people paying for those ads hope for. That is why ads are there to make you think and check! Not to believe. If you think about it any ad has 50% of being true and 50% of being untrue. Those are not betting numbers, which means you have to check but I'll tell you something if commercial sounds crazy like 'boys turning into girls' or that human rights put humans against each other are not true. Human rights are for everyone except those that want to abuse other humans.
The Coalition for Marriage's debut TV ad, which aired on commercial networks on Tuesday night, links marriage equality to sex education at schools.
It claims that in countries which have legalized same-sex marriage, "parents have lost their rights to choose", and features an unidentified woman who says her son was told, "he could wear a dress" to school. 

The ad, which has been uploaded to YouTube and was authorized by Sophie York of the Marriage Alliance, does not directly address the question of whether same-sex couples should be able to marry.
But it features another unidentified woman who claims: "When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas, this type of [school] program becomes widespread and compulsory." Mr Shorten, who opposed the postal survey and its plebiscite predecessor, told Fairfax Media the ad was "offensive and hurtful to LGBTI Australians and their families". 
"This is exactly what was predicted when Malcolm Turnbull decided to waste $122 million on a postal survey. He gave the green light to this rubbish," Mr Shorten said.

"This is not freedom of speech. This is freedom to hurt. I just want to tell LGBTI families that they are not on their own. Most people know this is total rubbish."
The Labor leader nonetheless encouraged Australians to participate in the postal survey and promised to "campaign hard" for a "yes" vote.

The ad also drew criticism from the executive director of the Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, who labelled it "disgraceful and dishonest".
"The people behind this ad know that the Australian people are for allowing all Australians the right to marry, so they have resorted to misleading people, to pretend this is about something else," he told Fairfax Media.
"Sadly, over the next few weeks, the Australian people will get used to this daily dose of red-herrings and lies, served up by a bucketful of cash. As the 'no' side seek to divide Australians, we will continue to seek to unite them."
The Coalition for Marriage said the women featured in the advertisement were not actors but "real mums who are bravely speaking out about their concerns".
It has since emerged that at least one of the mothers in the ad worked for Coalition MPs and Family First senator Steve Fielding.
In a statement, Ms. York said parents across Australia "are speaking to each other about the impacts of radical LGBTIQ sex and gender education programs".
She said parents had "a right to know how a change in the marriage law will affect what their kids are taught at school" because "the education departments won't tell them".
On the ABC's Q&A on Monday night, Attorney-General George Brandis – a supporter of same-sex marriage – said any bill introduced under the Coalition would contain "very strong protections" for religious freedom.
But he warned against obfuscation of the issue by opponents of same-sex marriage.
"Let us remember what this plebiscite is about. It is about one question and one question only: should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry," Senator Brandis said.
"That's it, that is the only question the Australian people are being asked to decide."
Coalition for Marriage spokeswoman Monica Doumit said she was unsurprised by Labor's response to the ad because the party wished to "punish and silence those who disagree" with its position on same-sex marriage.
Michael Koziol 

The Sydney Morning Herald

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