Update?

Aug. 29th, 2016 07:19 pm
elfinblaze: (Batwoman)
Even though I have nothing to update with.

I just did three hours of gardening yesterday, pulling up weeds. I wanted to do half an hour, just for some peace and quiet, and it turned into three hours. Oops.

Have some good news:

- Bishop Vincent Long's 2016 Ann D Clark Lecture:
We in the church today need to examine our own attitudes and actions towards the victims of injustice and adopt what I would call a seamless garment approach. We cannot be a strong moral force and an effective prophetic voice in society if we are simply defensive, inconsistent and divisive with regards to certain social issues. We cannot talk about the integrity of creation, the universal and inclusive love of God, while at the same time colluding with the forces of oppression in the ill-treatment of racial minorities, women and homosexual persons. It won’t wash with young people, especially when we purport to treat gay people with love and compassion and yet define their sexuality as “intrinsically disordered”. This is particularly true when the church has not been a shining beacon and a trail-blazer in the fight against inequality and intolerance. Rather, it has been driven involuntarily into a new world where many of the old stereotypes have been put to rest and the identities and rights of the marginalised are accorded justice, acceptance, affirmation and protection in our secular and egalitarian society.
[Catholica repost of the lecture, with discussion.]
He also mentions refugees, divorcees, abuse victims, and other people who don't feel welcome in the Catholic Church. Let's hope Bishop Long of Parramatta is a sign of the future.

- Christian school uses Bible quote to shut down parents who complained about gay teachers
Kambala does not discriminate, positively or negatively, when hiring staff. All staff, regardless of their role, are chosen on their merit, empathy and their commitment to supporting the Christian ethos of the school.
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
Cheeky.

So let's get this straight (pun intended):

- For the past year Tanya Plibersek (Labour/opposition party) has been carrying her bill on marriage equality through the halls of parliament trying to get a co-sponsor from the ruling Liberal/National party coalition (to give it bi-partisan support).

- No one from the ruling Liberal/National coalition has been interested.

- Ireland passes marriage equality, and the leader of the Labour party (Bill Shorten) decides enough is enough, announcing his own bill with Tanya Plibersek's support.

- Liberal/National cries foul, saying (as near as I can tell) Shorten is only doing it for attention, or something.

- Best guesses say there's not enough supportive votes in parliament to pass the bill, but Shorten is pushing forward anyway.

- Prime Minister, Tony Abbott (Liberal Party), states Shorten is a meanie, and that he wants a bill with bi-partisan support. How dare the other side actually do something on their own, right?

- Warren Entch (Liberal Party) who has supported LGBT rights for a decade, decides not to support the Labour bill for unknown reasons, but instead set up his own bill, with Graham Perrett (Labour) and others from the Greens and Independant members of parliament, to give Tony Abbott exactly that scenario. "Oh yeah? You mean like this, Abbott?"

In conclusion: Australia has nothing but a bunch of little school boys in parliament. But hopefully they manage to get something decent done.

I would love it though if Australia was for once ahead of Germany. Please, please, please Australia? My other home country is being a doofus too.

Shorten's bill will be submitted to parliament on Monday (June 1st).

Yaaay!

May. 28th, 2015 08:00 am
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
What a fantastic week this is!

- The Lego I ordered on Friday afternoon arrived Monday before 8am (Shout out to Hobby Warehouse, because that was quick!)

- Ireland passes marriage equality!

- Bill Shorten actually did something hopeful for once by announcing his own bill for marriage equality. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.

Thanks Bill Shorten for pushing the case. All the cynics criticising his timing can shut the hell up and stop making me wait. And Abbott, if you don't like Shorten owning something, own it yourself. Hypocrite.

Because even if this bill doesn't pass, the fallout from this failure will be bigger than the one from three years ago. Hopefully that fallout will push a few more yellow politicians to re-evaluate. And then Senators Hanson-Young and Leyonhjelm can introduce their respective bills to push again, and go a little further.

Stop waiting, start pushing for things to happen.

Randomness

Feb. 3rd, 2015 02:22 pm
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- I'd just like to point out to the Australian government that Vietnam is now more progressive than Australia as far as gay rights are concerned. But I know it would be too much to hope that my government would feel ashamed by this news. The fuckers would probably feel proud instead.

- Sometimes it sounds like the wind howls outside my house. More often than not it's a race happening on the car race track two suburbs away! Whose brilliant idea was it to stage car races in the middle of suburbia?

- Played Elder Sign with my sister recently. First time playing, and she almost single-handedly saved the game. Meanwhile, guess who had their brains sucked out through their ear with a straw? Still favouring the dying, over here.

- This is one of the best covers of The Last Unicorn that I have ever heard. Love it!

Randomness

Sep. 26th, 2014 01:59 pm
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- I discovered a benefit to unemployment! Easiest tax I've ever done! Taxes? Check.

- Work contract signed and sent off? Check.

- I'm glad I'm not an American citizen though. The taxes sound like a nightmare. Citizenship-based taxing (rather than residency-based) is fucked up.

On the other hand, this is a fantastic scam for a country to pull! Can I recommend that Australia now pass a law declaring anyone who ever happened to be in Australia during... say... January 1971, even as a visitor, is now an Australia citizen? Because that's the law, we passed it, and we say so. Legally, even! And because those people who might now be somewhere else in the world haven't voted (which is mandatory) ever since 1971, they are liable to pay fines totalling all missed elections since then! More money from all over the world! Brilliant!

- MS stands for Microsoft. It also stands for manuscript. Which is interesting if you're a writer with multiple windows devices. (MS also stands for Mary Shelley, but that's beside the point.)

- Private Manning is suing the US military for denying her medical treatment during her incarceration.

"Every day that goes by without appropriate treatment, [Manning] experiences escalating anxiety, distress and depression. She feels as though her body is being poisoned by testosterone," the suit says.

This is actually really painful to read. Yeah, she's someone I admire because I only wish I had half her guts. The only thing I can do to help her is to share this with the note that the US military should be ashamed of themselves for this. I hope she succeeds in bringing about some change with regards to prisoners being treated humanely. Because someone has to, and as we've already seen, she's not averse to placing herself in the firing line. So, good for her.

- Aaaand one more charming story on all the ways Australia is living up to its human rights obligations as a FAILURE!

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.

Randomness

Sep. 19th, 2014 11:15 am
elfinblaze: (me writing)
- BBC article on my most despised game!! I quit playing it in a huff at age twelve and haven't played it since. I refuse to.

- What Sydney will look like once sea levels rise. You can see where not to buy land.

- Norfolk Island could be the first second Australian territory to marry same sex couples.
‘This Bill has been drafted to withstand the constitutional problems that sank last year’s [Australian Capital Territory]’s Marriage Equality Act and, should it pass, I urge the federal government to let it stand. But if the federal government has outstanding constitutional concerns these should be aired in the High Court.’

Keeping in mind that the ACT was the first territory to pass similar legislation, that resulted in a High Court challenge. The High Court nullified that legislation by finding that only the federal government had the power to make laws on marriage. State and territory governments can't make legislation surrounding marriage (gay or straight) at all. That decision still stands.

So I'm not expecting this to last. Just like federal governments in the past have nixed other territory legislation when they felt like it, this won't last. If Norfolk Island were a state it might have slightly more standing, but as it is, this is just a do-over of the ACT.

- This, however, will most likely stand: NSW introduces bill to clear historical gay sex convictions.
Under the proposed law, people convicted of consensual gay sex before 1984, when it was illegal, can apply to have their criminal records expunged.
Victoria has also introduced a similar bill.

- Chelsea Manning on the IS: How to make ISIS fall on its own sword
Based on my experience as an all-source analyst in Iraq during the organization’s relative infancy, Isis cannot be defeated by bombs and bullets... I believe that only a very focused and consistent strategy of containment can be effective in reducing the growth and effectiveness of Isis as a threat.

- Catholic Church on track to becoming a shrinking cult
Young Catholics are increasingly turned off by the attitudes and actions of some American bishops -- the failure to address the child abuse scandal, the harsh opposition to civil gay marriage, the cluelessness of church teaching on contraception, and the refusal to consider women priests.
You think?!

Oh, and my favourite bit?
The priest, in attempting to influence soon-to-be voting age seniors, told the students that single parents and adopted children are not normal.
Fuck you, priest.
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
Some of the comments on Ian Thorpe's coming out have been making me headdesk all week. Listen up, grumpy straight people (but only the grumpy ones), before you ask the media to stop reporting when gay people come out (because "it's not news"), you should be asking the media to stop reporting Fred Nile's opinion every time the issue of marriage equality is raised. Because there's not much point in not reporting positive role models, when gay teens still hear negativity and ignorance from the media on a regular basis. Let's not let the negative comments be all that we (or gay teenagers) hear and see from the media.

The Guardian Australia has more on the topic. Non-mainstream media coverage I recommend reading includes the New Matilda, The Conversation, and this Eurekastreet piece from a Catholic priest.

And on that note, Penny Wong is my hero, and this is a damning article on the state of things today.

So while I'm on the topic, I've been working on a list of QUILTBAG people who inspire me, or who have inspired me in the past:

Poppy Z. Brite, real name Billy Martin (gay, transgender), writer
Chris Colfer (gay), actor
Ellen Degeneres (gay), comedian
Samuel R. Delany (gay), writer
Darren Hayes (gay), musician
Tanya Huff (bisexual), writer
William Lindsey (gay), theologian
Jane Lynch (gay), actor
Julie McCrossin (gay), comedian
Caitlin Stasey (bisexual), actor
Magda Szubanski (gay), actor
Penny Wong (gay), politician
Virginia Woolf (bisexual), writer

Randomness

Jul. 1st, 2014 09:41 am
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- This should not be happening!
LGB people who received therapy from a medical professional were no less likely to attempt suicide than those who did not seek help, but assistance from faith-based counselors were associated with a higher suicide risk.

- Unpopular, but I would have been interested to see this (now cancelled) talk on defending honour killings. Especially because I suspect the presented argument would have been, "this is how some people justify such an abhorrent thing." This blog post keeps popping into my head, and it's got me thinking of how cultures differ, but also how remarkably similar they are. If anthropology tells us anything, it's that we aren't all that different from each other across the world.

Then again, I do like the read other people's arguments and perspectives, because I like to see where other people are coming from, even if I think they're wrong, wrong, wrong.

- And on that note, I skimmed the instrumentum laboris out of pure curiosity. It says:
110. On unions of persons of the same sex, the responses of the bishops' conferences refer to Church teaching. "... according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.'"
I find that disturbing.
It reads like: "I'm only treating you with respect because my church says I should. Not because other people are human beings and just the same as us, no, but because I imagine someone would get angry at me if I treated you how I really felt."

ETA: Oh, this is rich:
112. The responses describe a third context, one where States have introduced legislation recognizing civil unions or so-called “marriages” between homosexual persons. In some countries, the situation reflects a real redefining of marriage, where the couple is viewed only in legal terms, with such references as “equal rights” and “non-discrimination” without any thought to a constructive dialogue in the matter based on the deeper anthropological issues involved and the centrality of the integral well-being of the human person, especially the integral well-being of the children in these unions.

Excuse me, but... without any thought to... the deeper anthropological issues? No consideration of anthropological issues??! Let me tell you about anthropological issues, you pompous dicks! Anthropological issues that have nothing to do with the culture of the Catholic church, and out of which the church should butt the hell out! Yes, really! Anthropology teaches us to leave other cultures alone, and that includes secular culture! Do not talk to me about anthropology without knowing anything about it!

Anthropological issues include recognising that we are all equally human (at least since Franz Boas in the late 1800s and early 1900s). Including queer people like me! Moreover, there is actually an anthropological argument to be made for the fact that gay people are nature's babysitters (since children do better with more adults around, some adults not having their own children but helping raise children that already exist raises the ratio of adults to children in a given community). Not to mention the socio-cultural benefits gained from people who can form those interpersonal connections within the same sex and the value those connections contribute to a wider community. It might shock you to learn that Anthropology actually supports the value of queer people and their inclusion in family life. I repeat, do not talk to me about anthropology without knowing anything about it!

Ignorant, pompous asses in the church.

ETA2: There are many more pieces of head-desking hilarity further on in the instrumentum laboris, but I'm going to quit quoting them because this entry would never end. Oh man, this will be good reading...

Randomness

Jun. 21st, 2014 07:14 pm
elfinblaze: (fire dancer)
- I'm not a Coldplay fan, but their new video makes me smile. It's just so happy!

- With thanks to the weekend's Column 8: Citroën are launching a new vehicle in Australia at the moment, and it seems they didn't look into Australian English before naming it. The new model is called the Citroën Cactus.
We can picture the ads already. "The new Citroën sedan - it's COMPLETELY CACTUS!"

Then again, citron is French for lemon, so maybe it's supposed to be a pun? As in, "this lemon is completely cactus." Because that would be funny and make sense.

Ok, I'm reaching.

- I've just discovered the ABC's religion/spirituality/ethics section, and it has some great articles, like this one:
Indeed, if measured by the urgency and effort of our political engagement alone, our Christian value system might be summarised as: "It's fine if Australians live in poverty, as long as gay people can't get married."

- More on the School Chaplaincy case
The services of a chaplain or welfare worker for the objective described in the FMA Regulations is not a provision of 'benefits to students' within the meaning of s51(xxiiiA) of the Constitution.

Or as the plaintiff puts it:
The fact that it can't be lawfully regarded as a benefit to students is a cold, hard constitutional judgment. It's not philosophy. The justices are not interested in religion or not. The chaplaincy program is praised [by politicians] as being for students, families and the community, so you can't really say it's of benefit to students if its influence reaches far beyond that. It may be wonderful, but it can't go in a horse race, because it's a chicken.

Or as I would put it: It's not a benefit to students (particularly QUILTBAG and non-Christian student), therefore it breaches the Constitution.

Randomness

Jun. 19th, 2014 11:46 am
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- Latest opinion polls say that 64% of Australians support marriage equality. The site links to various polls, all of them (even the most conservative Murdoch owned ones) show well over 50% support, always somewhere between 60% and 80%. That's a massive change from when I was at university and I remember the numbers hovering around 50%. What a difference a decade makes.

- Most stupid thing I have read this week: The comments to this interesting piece, especially this one: "I am very disappointed in Hilary Clinton for expressing such a political opinion." I'm still laughing. Politicians shouldn't be political, and clearly talking about gender is too political... for a politician. Right-o.

- Hopeful news: Commonwealth funding of school chaplaincy program struck down in High Court
The High Court has upheld a challenge to the National School Chaplaincy Program, ruling the law used to maintain Commonwealth funding for chaplains is unconstitutional.

For non-Australians: in 2006, Prime Minister John Howard (the one who followed George W. Bush into Iraq), introduced the schools Chaplaincy program, which set aside money for all schools (private and public) to fund a school chaplain. This money was specifically for chaplains, and couldn't be used by a school to employ a student counsellor in a secular school instead. When Julia Gillard was Prime Minister, she expanded the program to cover secular counsellors too. Since Tony Abbott has become Prime Minister, he's restricted it again to religious chaplains.

Now the High Court has found that this whole program is unlawful. The above link has a copy of the decision. I'm trying to read the legalese and from what I can tell it came down to whether or not the commonwealth has the power to fund schools in this way, given that schools are a state jurisdiction. The High Court found that it doesn't.

Meanwhile, I'm doing the happy elfin dance. The government should never have funded religious counselling services in public schools.

Randomness

Jun. 3rd, 2014 05:45 pm
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- This is what happens when I'm allowed online way past my bedtime. I get weird. -Er. Weirder that usual.

- Another great post on the Isla Vista massacre.
How in the hell did his misogyny seem normal? How did he snow the cops last month when they did a mental heath check in? I wonder if hating women is so normalized that his kind of hate was just--a fantasy, nothing to worry about. Do we seriously live in a world where threats against women are so commonplace we don't assume they will be carried out? One wonders just what level of woman-hate makes anyone take notice. How very horrible does it need to be?

- Also, this post made me love Bill Lindsey even more than I did before. I cannot recommend his blog more highly. He is learned, wise, and compassionate, and one of the best people the Catholic church will never see.

As a gay man who has long known in his bones that homophobia is deeply grounded in misogyny, and that the cruelty practiced towards me by more than one straight male over the course of my life stems from the need to control women and put them in their place, why would I ever want to maintain toxic religious and cultural constructs that center on the supremacy of heterosexual men?

And as a queer woman and former Catholic, I completely agree with him.

- This is for anyone interested in anthropology or psychology: The Violence in Our Heads. Schizophrenia is expressed differently in different cultures. In America people hear voices urging them to violence. In India people hear voices urging them to cook or clean.
These observations suggest that local culture may shape the way people with schizophrenia pay attention to the complex auditory phenomena generated by the disorder and so shift what the voices say and how they say it.

- An Evolutionary View of Gay Genes
Rather than thinking of them as "gay genes", perhaps we should consider them "male-loving genes". They may be common because these variant genes, in a female, predispose her to mate earlier and more often, and to have more children.

I've read of this research before, but I want to keep this link to it.

Randomness

May. 24th, 2014 12:41 pm
elfinblaze: (me writing)
- I just got an SMS that said, "Hey, Sandrav, sorry about the hickey." Visualise me popping devil horns when I ask: what do I write back?

- If I get this job I've just applied for, I'm buying myself this ring to celebrate. Yes, it's expensive (10x what jewellery of that mineral is usually sold for), but I consider it a donation for a good cause. Guess which finger I'm planning to wear it on?

- This made me laugh: Urgh, that's so straight! I don't mean straight in a heterophobic way! I just mean, you know, dumb and stupid.
I didn't expect it to be funny, since it's so over the top, but that's exactly what made me glad I wasn't drinking while I watched it.
I'm always correcting my brother and sister when they say, "that's so gay." I tell them, "No, it's stupid." I know it's mostly them just slipping up with a phrase they grew up with, so I don't think badly of them for it, I just want to keep drawing attention to it, until they get used to paying attention themselves.

- I've hated Amazon since Amazonfail (which kept happening even after the initial public outcry, by the way), and this latest uproar just proves it's still a horrible business. Of course Amazon is bullying and petty. How many times does it need to be bullying and petty before people see a pattern?

Please don't buy from Amazon. I don't care who else you buy from, but Amazon is an evil company that doesn't deserve support. (This is basically how I feel.)

- I freaking love this artwork!
Jesus kneels, naked and vulnerable, as a knife-wielding soldier grabs him by the hair. War dogs bark at him like hounds of hell, baring their teeth. A leering soldier flips the finger at him while another brandishes an assault rifle. Behind them a skull stares out from a gaping black hole.
I love it because it's confronting, jarring, and throws into reality stories that many people have become desensitised towards due to pure repetition. This is what those stories would be like in reality, sans romanticisation or mythologising. They would look like Guantanamo Bay photographs.

- Wearing a Crucifix
I believe God is found among the victims of the world. God is hanging on crosses all over the world. And so I wear a crucifix to remind me, to help me see.

Randomness

Mar. 14th, 2014 10:16 am
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- March in March, this weekend.

- Boosting my faith in humanity: Australian Government MP slams colleague over opposition to gay parents
I've been a single parent, I know what it's like to do the washing at 3am in the morning to make sure the uniforms are ironed. I think it's the quality of the role model, male or female, not the sexuality of the parents that matters.
The fact that this conservative party member was applauded after speaking up, by members of the same conservative party, gives me hope.

- I haven't said this enough, but every time I see or hear a straight person speak up for my rights I want to thank them, for taking up the fight even though they don't have to, for not leaving it to queer people to carry that burden all by themselves. Because fighting all the time, every day is exhausting. So it's nice when someone fights the battle for you every once in a while. It makes me feel... important. Important enough to be defended, at least. So thank you, Allies.

- This is specific to America, but it applies in other Western countries too: We need to hold hand more, not less.
Now that it’s obvious it’s not necessarily safe to hold hands even in Greenwich Village, NYC, where gay people have been out of the closet for longer than probably anywhere else on earth, maybe it’s time we showed solidarity by holding hands MORE in protest.
I'm sceptical of Spirit Day and Wear It Purple Day, because I think wearing purple for a day is just too obscure to have any impact. Many people wear purple every day. Some people who don't know about those days will happen to wear purple on the same day. It's just not evocative, or rather, provocative enough. I'd rather have a Hold-Hands-With-A-Member-Of-The-Same-Sex Day, which is less catchy, but far more dramatic and more likely to have a lasting impact. Because that would get attention.

- In news that should be no news to anyone: Catholic Hospitals endanger women's health.
The range of women’s health care options that Catholic facilities offer is limited — sometimes, like when a pregnancy goes wrong, to a deadly degree. And while most doctors have an ethical obligation to inform patients of all their options, Catholic facilities routinely refuse to offer even abortions necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life; their doctors are also barred from telling a patient with a nonviable pregnancy that there are other, often safer options available elsewhere, lest the patient seek care at another facility. (LGBT patients may also run into problems, whether it is with hormone therapy for transgender patients or simply the right of married same-sex partners to be treated as next of kin in making health care decisions).
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- I'm now putting my Glee Squee posts up under this tag at my tumblr. Mainly cause I can't be bothered screen-capping anymore. And because there's more fandom on tumblr than on LJ these days.

- If you can't make it to Sydney, Australia, in the next two hours to watch the Mardi Gras, it will be broadcast online worldwide by SBS 2 tomorrow. My brother's going with his friends. I'm staying home where it's warm and dry, and I'll watch it on TV tomorrow.

- March in March for a vote of no confidence in Tony Abbott's government. As if any of us here had any confidence in his government in the first place, but this is the legal, official expression of despair and hopelessness and garment rending.

- The rise of torture on television.
One major difference that jumps out when you compare them is the huge amount of torture that happens in Fringe compared to the X-Files.

- On the one hand, the fact that Cardinal George Pell will head the economic and administrative affairs of the Vatican is a huge promotion. On the other hand, he goes to Rome and we (in Australia) finally get rid of him! Instead of him raising our ire in the public eye, he gets an administrative job, or as I like to think of it, confined to an office.

Now... anyone have any ideas on how we can get rid of Fred Nile or Tony Abbott while we're at it?

The News

Feb. 26th, 2014 09:32 am
elfinblaze: (me writing)
- Just in case someone else in interested, given my dislike of both Murdoch and Fairfax media, these are my favourite alternative and independent sources of news in Australia:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/
http://theaimn.com/
http://theconversation.com/au
I find good journalism and analysis on various topics at all of those. There are other independent news sites if anyone wants more, but these four are the ones I read the most often.

- Reading this made me literally feel sick, and that's not hyperbole: Senate hearing hears gay refugees in Australian run camps in New Guinea fear local laws
Asylum seekers who have been told they can never resettle in Australia and are being held in camps in neighbouring Papua New Guinea, are having their asylum claims processed under local law – which punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in jail... Amnesty International says that some of the LGBTI refugees who have legitimate claims to asylum over being persecuted for their sexuality are hiding their sexuality and making up other reasons for why they are seeking asylum because they want to avoid being prosecuted under Papua New Guinea law.
SBS touched on the story too.

This is my worst nightmare. Similarly the gay people fleeing Uganda and Nigeria right now have no where to go, because the refugee camps they reach are no more friendly to gay people than the places they left.

Some days I just despair at the world because I feel sick and helpless at all of it.

The obvious solution is to stop reading the news in general, but I just can't find comfort in ignorance either.
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
If you've been keeping up with the debates about the Sochi games, you might have heard the current Olympics being compared to the Olympics in Berlin, Germany, in 1936, when the Nazi party had already instituted laws hostile to a minority of people. At the time the Olympic Committee decided that they had too much money on the line to consider a minority of people a significant factor in moving or cancelling the games. If you've been reading the news, I'm sure you've seen people bring up the comparison now, and I'm sure you've seen people argue that it's a comparison that's inappropriate and over the top and Nazi analogies are never appropriate, etc.

I'm not Jewish, but I am German and I am queer, and from this perspective I can see both sides of the argument. I go back and forth on whether it's an appropriate analogy to make. The discussion in my head goes something like this:

- Yes, it's an appropriate analogy to make because the state has sanctioned the targeted imprisonment of minority populations in both cases.

- No, it's not an appropriate analogy to make because Russia doesn't have concentration camps that exterminate huge numbers of people (as far as we know).

- But in 1936 there were no exterminations yet either, those only started after Crystal Night in 1938, institutionalised when WWII began in 1939 and the camps got too crowded. And Russia does have hard labour prisons akin to the "work camps" of Nazi Germany before WWII. Just look at what the members of Pussy Riot endured. So the imprisonment aspect is still applicable.

- But you're not Jewish, so it's not your horror to claim.

- No, but gay people were killed by the Nazis too (among many other groups), and they are important too.

- But Nazi analogies just make you look hysterical.

- Is it hysterical if it's scarily similar? Isn't it better to remember where these mind sets can lead us?

So currently I'm leaning towards appropriate analogy.

On a related note: Meet the 7 openly LGBTI athletes going to Sochi.

Randomness

Dec. 30th, 2013 09:04 am
elfinblaze: (me writing)
Stuff that might interest some of you:

- Tinnitus discovery opens door to possible new treatment
Disruption of timing from sensory nerves underlies "ringing in the ears" that plagues millions, including many veterans.

- Tony Abbott is a Wrecking Ball.

- Surviving Anxiety.
This made me feel all anxious just reading it, but boy can I relate.

- Xenophobic tilt in Europe
Britain, France, and Austria have also been challenged by the growing popularity of the far-right movements, exposing minorities to escalating hate speech and violent attacks.

- I have a few Catholics who read this blog, so this call went out to those of you who, based on Catholic principals, want to stop the new "life in prison" law for gay people in Uganda. The link includes a mailing address for Archbishop Michael Blume in Kampala, Uganda, if you'd like to write to him.

- This is a hopeful sign: Sr. Jeannine Gramick Comments on Pope
In other words, [the Pope] wants men - priests now - who are in the trenches with the people, who are pastoral and not people who are obsessed with cultural issues.
Or to put it another way, the Pope wants bishops who talk to and know the people they lead, not some disconnected scholars in a cultural echo chamber.

I'm a 31-year-old queer woman, raised Catholic, who left the church half a lifetime ago. I'm not going back even IF the church starts making some sense on birth control, the ordination of women, abortion, and homosexuality, because I can't force myself to believe in stories that I just don't believe are true anymore. I was raised to value truth, and now the true history of the scriptural compilations keeps me from seeing them as anything other than made up metaphors and fairytales with moral lessons.

But I'm cautiously hopeful about Pope Francis. If he can institute enough changes in the church hierarchy to last beyond his leadership he'll have done enough good for more changes to come. The fact that American right-wingers hate him speaks well of him too. ^_^
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
I have a headache working my way through this legal mess, but I think I have a handle on it now.

To summarise, for anyone as lost in this whole mess as I was, especially those of you not familiar with Australian law:

cut for length )

TL;DR: The good news is that High Court found that the definition of "marriage" in the Constitution includes same sex marriage because we are all "natural people." It also means that all it will take to bring about marriage equality in Australia is an act of (federal) parliament. No need for a referendum, and harder to challenge via the courts later.

Thank you ACT government for forcing the issue. As depressing as things are, this is why discussion is important and valuable.

Now! Anyone with a lot of money feel like challenging the Marriage Act on the basis of this ruling? Cause you're on pretty solid ground right now.

Randomness

Nov. 16th, 2013 12:39 pm
elfinblaze: (quiltbag)
- I'm going to link to my tumblr again, in case anyone thinks I don't update my LJ enough. XD

- Aldi is currently selling Gingerbread House building kits. I have one. ^_^ I get to be the witch building a gingerbread house for Christmas! Woohoo!

- Sue-Ann Post made me laugh when I read her book The Confession of an Unrepentant Lesbian Ex-Mormon. She writes:
I think for many gays and lesbians who grow up in fundamentalist religions the equation goes something like this: the Church says gays and lesbians are immoral and perverted. I think I might be a lesbian so therefore I must be immoral and perverted. It may have been inherited Dutch arrogance but my line of thinking was more like this: the Church says gays and lesbians are immoral and perverted. I think I might be a lesbian but I'm not immoral and perverted. Therefore the Church is wrong about gays and lesbians.
That's pretty much how I felt about the Catholic Church and its stance on women. "The church thinks women are less important than men because they can't be church leaders or Popes. I'm a woman and I'm not less important than men, therefore the church is wrong."

- You'll have to excuse me for not being surprised:
Vote on gay marriage fails in first Australian state
A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Australian state of New South Wales has failed in a narrow vote of 19 to 21.

- Older people freaking out over "kids these days" is nothing new:
Freaking Out over Adolescent Rebellion . . . during WWII
In these days when juvenile delinquents fill the jails, when homes for fallen girls are crowded, when teenage prostitutes throng every city and run after soldiers, when smoking, drinking, immoral, criminal youth has become the greatest moral problem in America, some educators frown on discipline of any kind.

Randomness

Oct. 24th, 2013 11:49 am
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter Hermione)
- The sky isn't orange (with smoke) anymore! But I can still smell the occasional whiff of smoke. Thank goodness it's cooler today.

- I just realised I've only read 7 fiction books this year. All the others have been non-fiction.

- It's amazing how quiet the house is when Magpie is at playgroup. Normally, at home, she's a little rascal, getting into everything she's not supposed to: chewing electric cables, pulling stuff off tables, climbing on everything like a monkey, etc. Outside the house, she's a little angel. The whole family (plus various significant others) went out for lunch last weekend, and she handled the crowded restaurant so well: she never got scared or tired, and she never complained. She just looked around with interest, and sat still, eating. She was the best behaved child in the whole place.

- Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Under the new law, same-sex couples throughout Australia will be able to marry in the ACT by the end of the year. The awkwardly-named bill's title was the result of several last-minute changes made in an attempt to head off a promised High Court challenge by the Federal Government under Tony Abbot.

- And in my own state: Australian state next to move forward on same-sex marriage
A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) will be introduced in the state Upper House as soon as next Thursday and all MPs will be allowed to vote with their consciences on it.

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elfinblaze

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