Gays launch attack on govts, churches
The gay and lesbian community last night launched a blistering attack on
state and federal governments and the
church, citing homophobic and
discriminatory policies, at the launch
of the 2001 Mardi Gras.
More than 20,000 people gathered at the
Sydney Opera House forecourt for the
first event of the month-long
festival, with entertainment from
Marcia Hines and South African group
Mardi Gras president Julie Regan told
the crowd the federal government's IVF
legislation threatened lesbians and gay
men who wanted to be parents.
"The last 12 months have shown that
the forces of discrimination and
ignorance are strong and sanctioned at
the highest level in this country,"
Ms Regan said.
"We have seen a federal government
move to legislate against single women
having access to IVF programs - a
move that threatens both lesbians and
gay men who want to be parents."
But the most scathing comments came
from gay journalistand author David Marr,
who warned state and federal governments they faced a backlash from
gay voters at the polls this year over
As Sydney prepares for the month-long
Mardi Gras festival,Mr Marr warned boys
under the age of 16 not to be caught
having sex with each other because they
"This situation comes to you courtesy
of the politicians of NSW and their
backers: the bishops of the Catholic and
Anglican churches," he said.
"It's a special little punishment for
poofters that (NSW Premier) Bob Carr and
(Opposition Leader) Kerry Chikarovski won't
do anything about.
"Yep, they've wished us well in the Mardi
Gras program but they're scared of the
Mr Marr said the churches were the only
organisations spreading hatred of
homosexuals in Australia.
"The bishops of Sydney's Anglicans and
the nation's Catholics are the only people
left lobbying politicians to make life for
us unfair, uncomfortable and perhaps illegal,"
Mr Marr warned of dire problems across the
country in this election year, and said that
in Western Australia, whichgoes to the polls
today, gay men were forbidden by law to
have sex until they were 21.
"Win or loose, there is no immediate prospect
that these elections will see the end of the
last nasty laws and the last bigoted attitudes
that still deny us the ordinary rights
of ordinary Australians."
Mr Marr also attacked the federal government's
position on IVF treatment for lesbians.
The Sex Discrimination Act Amendment Bill is due
to be debated in federal parliament next month.
"I want to say something about the Christians pushing
(Prime Minister John) Howard to ban IVF `for single
women and lesbians'," Mr Marr said.
"Don't you love that, `and lesbians', so that no-one can
miss the point - here are perverts wanting babies.
"These are the same Christians who say there must never
be abortions, never be euthanasia, because life itself
is absolutely sacred unless that life is conceived by a
The Mardi Gras season culminates in the annual parade on