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Australian Gay Senator Speaks Out

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Openly gay Australian Senator Brian Greig used his maiden speech in the Senate September 1 to call for a national ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and for legal recognition of gay relationships.
bgreig.jpg - 5.58 K Australian Senator Brian Greig

"The Democrats' Sexuality and Gender Status Bill currently before the Senate will remove all discrimination from Commonwealth legislation as it currently applies to the sexuality of all Australians," he said. "Further, it would impose national anti- discrimination laws on the basis of sexuality or gender status and make it unlawful to incite hatred on the same grounds.

"Australia maintains appalling laws against gay and lesbian people," Greig said. "We live under a regime of apartheid. It is an apartheid not based on the color of our skin, but on the color of our sexuality. Homophobia is nothing less than sexual racism. But homosexuality is not a behavior to be regulated. It is an identity to be respected.

"As long as governments condone this apartheid, they are creating the social and political environment that leads to harassment and violence towards gay and lesbian people," he said.

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"While parliaments continue to deny our relationships, deem us to be criminals, and render us to be second-class citizens without legal protections, then some people will take this as their cue to continue to treat us badly."

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