26 Nov 2007

LGBT Australians look forward to Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras has come early as confirmation that not only that Labor won the general election but Howard has lost his seat . Gay rights have been a theme in this race. The announcement of a general election prompted evangelical groups in the country to begin campaigning against gay equality. The Labour party took the line that marriage is for heterosexuals only, and would grant legal concessions to homosexuals, but not the legal status of marriage. "On the institution of marriage itself, our view is between a man and woman and it's just been our traditional, continuing view," Mr Rudd said in October. Labour said that they will support changes to the law to remove inequities in the tax and benefits system that discriminate against same-sex couples. A report in June by Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) recommended that 58 laws need to be changed to grant gay, bisexual and lesbian Australians equal rights.

Australia's new government will issue a formal apology to Aborigines for the abuses they suffered in the past, prime minister-elect Kevin Rudd has promised. Mr Rudd, whose Labor Party swept to power in an election on Saturday, said the apology would come early in his first parliamentary term. Indigenous Australians remain an impoverished minority, with a much lower life expectancy than the rest of the population. Thousands of Aboriginal children were handed over to white families under Australian government assimilation policies from 1915 to 1969.

Sydney Mardi Gras will take place Saturday 9 February - Saturday 1 March 2008

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