Labor revolt on gay marriage

The Australian

Julia Gillard has agreed to consider overturning the government's support for an Australian Greens' plan that would open the way for the nation's first same-sex marriage laws after an angry revolt by Labor MPs. Only 24 hours after Labor announced its support for Bob Brown's proposal to water down the commonwealth's veto over territory laws, the Prime Minister said she had "sought further advice on the issue" and "the government may reconsider the matter". Ms Gillard faced a widespread revolt yesterday as Labor senators, led by one of her key supporters in the leadership coup last year, Don Farrell, demanded Labor overturn its support for the Greens plan.

Same-sex unions not the driver of reform, says Bob Brown

The Australian

Greens leader Bob Brown yesterday maintained his territories' rights bill had nothing to do with gay marriage, despite a growing backlash among Labor MPs who believe it has. Senator Brown yesterday attacked The Australian over its reporting highlighting that the Greens' gay marriage policy would be furthered under his territories' rights bill. "This is about the rights of the territories to determine their own future," he said. He refused to admit that the biggest territories' rights issue in the ACT was gay marriage, but he conceded the Greens wanted gay marriage laws, and said, "Let's hope so", when asked if the laws would help legalise same-sex marriage in the ACT.

Why the new 'porn norm' is hurting women

The Age

Porn is well and truly part of mainstream culture — no longer hidden behind neon-lit shop fronts and brown paper bags. With the advent of new technologies, accessing pornography is cheap, quick, easy and anonymous; in fact, it is estimated that one-third of Australian adults are consumers of porn. It is tempting to think that the majority of this material is of the lame-storyline, large-moustache, Vaseline-lens variety. However, porn that would have been labelled hard core back in the ’70s is now more likely to be considered the norm. Recent research shows that acts of aggression against women are a commonplace – indeed expected – part of the porn narrative. In defending their industry, many accuse the ‘‘anti-porn brigade’’ of focusing only on particularly violent examples of pornography. A recent study published in the journal Violence Against Women, however, has analysed the best-selling porn videos to see just how widespread and routine the degradation of women in pornography has become.

Homosexuality is a bore now so many gays are wedded to a rickety institution

The Age

Viewed from the footpaths of Darlinghurst, homosexuality looks like the most colossal fun. But it's not all Bob Fosse hunks drenched in oceans of Reef Oil, you know. On days other than the Mardi Gras parade, homosexuality can, in fact, be fairly dreary. Between bigoted bureaucrats, unkind relatives and the possibility that one might be savagely beaten on the way to the shops, homosexuality can be a bit of a bore. And, it just got more annoying. As if 100 years of oppression were not enough, now we're supposed to get married. The principal theme of Saturday's Mardi Gras parade will be marriage. For the life of me, I can't think why.

Dr Death makes suicide a laughing matter

The Punch

Jim Carrey. Ricky Gervais. Adam Sandler. Steve Martin. All well-known funny men. Well, move over, guys. Philip Nitschke, the world’s best-known euthanasia activist, is considering a career change. Life must have been pretty dreary for Nitschke lately. He has spent the last fortnight or so touring the British Isles in the dead of winter, touting his message of suicide on demand. It must be a bit demoralising to give a passionate lecture to a sea – a pond actually – of blue rinsed and bald heads in chilly local halls week after week. But things are looking up. Dr Nitschke is contemplating a career as a stand-up comedian. No, this is not, repeat, not a joke. He told the newspaper Wales on Sunday, “There is a proposal to do some sort of stage stand-up comedy. It will be comedy associated with the issues of death and dying directed more at entertainment, that’s what we are looking at.”

Wasted on the Young is a slick teen thriller for the iPhone age

Wasted on The Young, a stylised Australian teen thriller that hits cinemas today, tells the story of what happens when violence and social media collide. The film questions what happens to the power dynamics and social hierarchies that dominate teenage years in the iPhone age. The plot of director Ben C. Lucas’ first big screen outing could be drawn from a handful of violent stories that have hit the headlines in recent years.