Gays down, straights up in latest Aussie HIV figures

By : Staff Reports from The washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: (Scanning electromicrograph by NIAID via Flickr)

KENSINGTON, Australia | HIV infection rates for gay men in Australia are down sharply — 30% in five years, HIV Plus Mag reports, citing the Kirby Institute’s 2018 HIV Surveillance Report.

“It’s the lowest number we’ve seen in 18 years,” said Rebecca Guy, head professor of the institute’s Surveillance, Evaluation and Research program, in a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. Guy attributed the drop to the increase of PrEP use, regular testing and treatment efforts. PrEP is highly effective at making HIV transmission nearly impossible.

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Andy Brennan is the first male Australian pro soccer player to come out as gay

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Andy Brennan is the first male Australian professional soccer player to come out as gay.

The 26-year-old, who plays forward for the club Green Gully, made the announcement in an Instagram post.

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Australian political leaders agree gays don’t go to hell

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia. (From Wikimedia Commons)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) | The leaders of both of Australia’s major political parties agreed on May 14 that gays don’t go to hell because of their sexual orientation, as Christian beliefs rose to extraordinary prominence in the final days of an election campaign.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison opposed same-sex marriage while opposition leader Bill Shorten argued for marriage equality ahead of a national vote in 2017 that led to Australia legally recognizing same-sex unions.

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Japanese same-sex couples sue for equal marital rights

By : wire report
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TOKYO (AP) | Thirteen gay couples filed Japan’s first lawsuit challenging the country’s rejection of same-sex marriage Feb. 14, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality.

Six couples holding banners saying “Marriage For All Japan” walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo.

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AP 2018 Breakthrough: Hannah Gadsby may change stand-up game

By : Wire Report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) | Hannah Gadsby says she knows it’s meant as a compliment to be chosen as one of the year’s Breakthrough Entertainers by The Associated Press. But, as with many things, the Australian stand-up comic and actress sees the honor from a variety of perspectives.

“Like, what happens after ‘breakthrough’?” Gadsby asked. “Like, I could be a one-hit wonder or I go on to being a deserved star?” She notes: “I think I was doing really well before all this craziness around ‘Nanette.'”

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Chelsea Manning to be barred from Australia

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) | Convicted classified document leaker Chelsea Manning will not be allowed to enter Australia for a scheduled speaking tour, her event organizer said on Aug. 30.

Think Inc. said it had received a notice of intention from the government to deny Manning entry Aug. 29. The group is calling on her supporters to lobby new Immigration Minister David Coleman to allow her into Australia. While she can appeal, past precedent suggests the decision has already been made.

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Billie Jean King backs calls to rename Margaret Court Arena

By : wire report
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Billie Jean King thinks one of the main venues at the Australian Open should be renamed because of Margaret Court’s comments about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

King, a trailblazer for equality and diversity in tennis, said she had initially been a proponent of having Margaret Court Arena named in 2003 in recognition of the 24-time Grand Slam singles winner’s contribution to the sport.

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Same-sex couples in Australia begin to marry

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Same-sex couples began to legally marry in Australia on Tuesday.

SBS News reported Diana and Deanne Ribeiro tied the knot shortly after midnight local time in the Melbourne suburb of Balaclava. The Sydney Morning Herald reported Kylie and Lisa Caro — a lesbian couple who began dating in 2014 and are raising a daughter together — are among the other same-sex couples who exchanged vows on Tuesday.

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2 couples tie knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Lauren Price and Amy Laker. Image from Equal Marriage Rights Australia’s Facebook.

SYDNEY (AP) — Two female couples tied the knot in Australia’s first same-sex weddings under new legislation allowing gay marriages.

January 9 had been expected to be the first possible date for same-sex weddings due to a four-week waiting period since the landmark law was passed. But the two couples were married in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday after being granted permission to waive the notice period.

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Australia House of Representatives approves same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Australian House of Representatives on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a bill that would extend marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The vote took place less than a week after the bill passed in the Australian Senate by a 43-12 vote margin.

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Lawmaker proposes during Australian same-sex marriage debate

By : wire report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian lawmaker giving a speech on same-sex marriage proposed to his gay partner Monday during Parliament’s debate on a bill that is expected to soon legalize marriage equality across the country.

Tim Wilson, a 37-year-old lawmaker in the conservative coalition government, was among the first lawmakers to join the House of Representatives debate and toward the end of his speech popped the question to his partner of seven years Ryan Bolger, who was watching from the public gallery.

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American’s fatal fall off Sydney cliff ruled gay hate crime

By : wire report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Almost three decades after the naked body of an American mathematician was found at the base of a Sydney cliff, a judge ruled Thursday that he was the victim of a gay hate crime.

It was the third coronial inquest — a court-like proceeding held after unusual deaths — to investigate the circumstances surrounding Scott Johnson’s fatal fall at North Head on Dec. 8, 1988.

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