George W. Bush, warmonger and homophobe, in Australia, September 8


Bush administration and gay rights; cartoon

By Farida Iqbal in Australia:

Bush: Go home homophobe!

4 August 2007

When US President George Bush comes to Sydney this year, it will be vital that we use his visit to draw attention to the ongoing struggle for same-sex marriage rights and an end to all homophobic policies. PM John Howard and Bush top the list of threats to civil liberties, including some of the most basic rights queers are still fighting for.

Same-sex marriage was banned by the Liberal and Labor parties in the lead-up to the 2004 federal election. Another federal election is coming up again this year. The queer youth suicide rate is at least as high as it was before the last election. Queer bashings are at least as common as they were before. On top of this, we are still denied the most basic of civil rights — the right to marry. Neither of the two major parties have changed their position on same-sex marriage since they banned. The right to marry is a right that the Nazis denied to the Jews. It is a right that was denied to interracial couples [in Australia] in the darkest days of genocide against Aboriginal people. The message from our federal government is loud and clear. It thinks that queer relationships are sub-human.

The attitude of the government is not the attitude of the people. A recent survey conducted by Galaxy Research revealed that 57% of Australians support same sex marriage and 71% support de facto rights for same-sex couples. Public opinion can be decisive. People power can topple the most repressive regimes.

Around the country, organisation is now well underway for the third annual August 12 national day of action to repeal the ban on same-sex marriage. Last year this national demonstration drew 3500 people across the country. More than 60 organisations have endorsed the protest so far. Events will be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Lismore, Newcastle, Perth and Adelaide.

This is an international struggle. Five countries around the world have legalised same-sex marriage, and many more have introduced civil unions. Equality between human beings is written into the US constitution. This was won through revolutionary struggle. Remember that famous bit that says “we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal”? This is why it is unconstitutional in the US to ban same-sex marriage.

The Bush and Howard governments saw where the tide of history was taking the world, and they didn’t like it. Bush has been leading the international push against same-sex marriage. He even went so far as to try to amend the US constitution so it could be banned in the US! Luckily, this effort failed. Bush is coming to Sydney on September 8 for the APEC summit. Queers will be there to protest.

Rome pro gay protests: here.

Homophobia in Italy: here.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “George W. Bush, warmonger and homophobe, in Australia, September 8

  1. With all due respect, I don’t see how Bush’s arrival in Sydney is relevant to Queers in Australia. The person against gay marriage in Australia (and any authority to change that) is John Howard, isn’t it? While I understand that they both haven’t been especially helpful in gay rights, I don’t see them actively doing anything worse than many of the other countries which will be arriving. Why only Bush and Howard, then?

    The only reason I can fathom for protesting for gay rights during APEC is that Sydney is seen as a “gay capital”, so if it was going to be anywhere it would be here. However, I think protesting at this time would probably work against gay people rather than for gay people. It’s like turning up to one of Howard’s BBQs and protesting for gay rights there: probably irrelevant given the context of the situation.

    It may actually be more effective having a “day-before-apec protest”, because, well, a lot of people have a bunch of other good reasons to protest at that time — people who are anti-globalisation for example. The media will likely tag them instead of queers.

    IMHO.

  2. Hi Sunny, the arrival of Bush in Australia is relevant to queers because the United States are the most powerful country in the world. That means that if the president there is a homophobe, as Bush is now, he can use that power against gay people all over the world; as happens now. The USA are an important battleground about issues like gay marriage; outcomes of conflicts on that there are watched eagerly all over the world.

    The USA in the 1960s might be considered the birth place of the modern gay liberation movement; and there still is a strong gay movement there. On the other hand, homophobia, including in government, is also strong there.

    You are right in saying “a lot of people have a bunch of other good reasons to protest” against Bush and Howard. However, as gay rights are human rights, ultimately neither gay rights nor those other issues like the Iraq war are completely separate issues. The Iraq war brought a Right wing climate to the USA; in which also homophobia thrives. And the invasion of Iraq by Bush dramatically worsened the situation for gay people in Iraq, many of whom were and are being killed; or have fled the country, like millions of other Iraqis.

  3. Official urges gay ethnic cleansing
    Northern deputy mayor angry over car park sex

    (ANSA) – Treviso, August 9 – A northern deputy mayor has called for “ethnic cleansing” against homosexuals in his city.

    Treviso Deputy Mayor Giancarlo Gentilini, a member of the opposition Northern League party, vented his wrath against homosexuals who were using a city car park for sex trysts by saying: “I will immediately order my traffic police to carry out ‘ethnic cleansing’ against these faggots”.

    “They can move to other cities in the region that are willing to have them but here in Treviso, there’s no place for such faggots,” Gentilini, a former mayor of Treviso, said in a local radio interview on Wednesday.

    Thursday dailies which picked up the comments also quoted the deputy mayor as saying that the same car park was frequented by wife swappers and prostitutes.

    “Residents have had enough… I will order more camera surveillance and tell police to carry out targeted checks,” Gentilini said.

    Treviso Mayor Giampaolo Gobbo stood by his deputy and predecessor on Thursday, saying he found nothing scandalous about the terms Gentilini had used.

    “Gay or not gay, the problem here is public decorum and not Gentilini’s language. Everyone has the right to express themselves in their own particular way and one of Gentilini’s characteristics is his use of politically incorrect terms,” Gobbo said.

    But the head of the homosexual rights’ association Arcigay, Aurelio Mancuso, called for the interior ministry to sanction Gentilini, saying his comments incited violence and hatred against gays.

    “Such people are not fit for public office… Gentilini’s appalling, homophobic declarations confirm what we have been saying for a long time – that an anti-gay campaign is under way in Italy,” Mancuso said.

    Gentilini’s populist party, which lobbies for devolution, has frequently caused polemics with intolerant stances against homosexuals and immigrants.

    Northern League heavyweight Roberto Calderoli, who was reform minister under the previous, Silvio Berlusconi-led government, sparked a row two years ago with his attack on a judge who acquitted five North Africans on terror charges saying that they were guerrilla fighters and not terrorists.

    “Poor Italy. Once we were a land of saints, poets and navigators but now we are the land of terrorists and illegal faggots,” Caleroli said.

    In February 2006, Calderoli was forced to quit as reform minister after he sported a T-shirt emblazoned with the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad which at the time were causing a wave of international Muslim protests.

    Calderoli’s act was followed by violent demonstrations in Libya in which the Italian consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Some 15 people were killed after local police opened fire on a crowd trying to storm the consulate.

  4. Gay ‘ethnic cleansing’ row spirals
    Treviso deputy mayor’s resignation demanded
    (ANSA) – Treviso, August 9 – Gay rights’ groups and members of the centre-left governing coalition demanded the resignation on Thursday of a northern deputy mayor who called for “ethnic cleansing” against homosexuals in his city.

    Treviso Deputy Mayor Giancarlo Gentilini, a member of the opposition Northern League party, vented his wrath against homosexuals who were using a city car park for sex trysts by saying: “I will immediately order my traffic police to carry out ‘ethnic cleansing’ against these faggots”.

    “They can move to other cities in the region that are willing to have them but here in Treviso, there’s no place for such faggots,” said Gentilini, a former mayor of Treviso.

    Homosexual rights’ associations Arcigay and GayLib called for Gentilini’s resignation, as did the Greens, one of nine parties in government.

    Arcigay Chairman Aurelio Mancuso urged the interior ministry to sanction Gentilini, saying his comments incited violence and hatred against gays.

    “Such people are not fit for public office… Gentilini’s appalling, homophobic declarations confirm what we have been saying for a long time – that an anti-gay campaign is under way in Italy,” Mancuso said.

    Environment Minister and Green chief Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, a self-proclaimed bisexual, said that “Gentilini’s uncivilised comments are an instigation to crime”.

    Family Policy Minister Rosy Bindi said that “the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ evokes tragic chapters of history which have brought death and suffering to millions of people. Nobody, and certainly not somebody with public responsibility, is authorised to use such language in such a context, generating intolerable indiscrimination”. Equal Opportunities Minister Barbara Pollastrini said that “it’s disgusting that a public official express himself in such a grave way in a civilised, democratic country like ours”.

    She called on the centre-right opposition and the Northern League to distance themselves from Gentilini.

    But Treviso Mayor Giampaolo Gobbo stood by his deputy and predecessor on Thursday, saying he found nothing scandalous about the terms Gentilini had used.

    “Gay or not gay, the problem here is public decorum and not Gentilini’s language. Everyone has the right to express themselves in their own particular way and one of Gentilini’s characteristics is his use of politically incorrect terms,” Gobbo said.

    Opposition centrist heavyweight and former minister Rocco Buttiglione, a staunch Catholic, commented: “I think that homosexuality is morally wrong but it’s another thing to say that a city should reject gays. If cities were to reject all sinners, they would be left empty”.

    Buttiglione himself created an international furore in October 2004 by describing homosexuality as a “sin”.

    He was subsequently rejected as a candidate for the post of European justice, freedom and security commissioner.

    It is not the first time that Gentilini has stirred indignation. He once suggested that immigrants disguised as hares be used as target practice for hunters, and attempted to remove all benches from Treviso’s public parks to prevent immigrants using them. Gentilini’s populist Northern League party, which lobbies for devolution, has also frequently caused polemics with intolerant stances against homosexuals and immigrants.

  5. Pingback: Australian high school students to protest Bush visit | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Donald Trump, LGBTQ friend or foe? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s