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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Australia Senate 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 Senate has approved a bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Lawmakers approved the measure by a 43-12 vote margin. The Australian House of Representatives will now consider the bill.

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Australia votes YES to same-sex marriage

By : Jeremy Williams
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Australians have overwhelmingly said they support marriage equality in a two-month national postal survey. The results were released Nov. 14.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost 62 percent of registered voters responded yes to the survey which asks Parliament to consider a bill to legalize same-sex marriage by the end of the year. Nearly 38 percent of Australians voted against marriage equality.

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Australia’s croc hunter is unlikely gay-rights champion

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – As a self-described straight crocodile hunter from the country’s rugged and socially conservative far north, Australian lawmaker Warren Entsch doesn’t fit many people’s mold of a gay-rights activist.

But if results of a nationwide postal survey this week reveal that most Australians want same-sex marriage legalized, it is Entsch – from the country’s leading conservative party, no less – who plans to introduce legislation that could make it a reality as soon as December.

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Macklemore wades into Australia’s same-sex marriage debate

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – U.S. rapper Macklemore is wading into Australia’s same-sex marriage debate by vowing to sing his marriage equality anthem “Same Love” during a weekend rugby final.

Benjamin Haggerty, whose stage name is Macklemore, will be headlining the pre-game entertainment in Sydney on Sunday at the National Rugby League Grand Final, the Australian version of the Super Bowl.

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Australians’ support of gay marriage weakens in new poll

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Support for legalizing gay marriage in Australia has weakened just as a national postal ballot asks voters where they stand on the contentious issue, according to a new opinion poll.

The government said Monday it has sent ballots to all of Australia’s more than 16 million voters asking whether the nation should lift its prohibition on same-sex marriage. Results of the balloting that began Sept. 12 will be announced Nov. 15.

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Australian court dismisses challenge to gay marriage survey

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s highest court cleared the way Sept. 7 for the government to conduct a public survey on whether gay marriage should be legalized.

Gay rights advocates had argued in the High Court that the government didn’t have the power to conduct the 122 million Australian dollar ($97 million) postal survey without Senate approval, but the court dismissed that challenge.

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