June 23, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 25
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Saturday, Jan 18, 2020



Rex Wockner
International News

Australia's federal government is attempting to squash a civil-union bill passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory, a jurisdiction similar to Washington, D.C.

The government has advised the Queen's representative, Governor-General Michael Jeffery, to use his power to block the law.

"We are not prepared to accept something which is a plain attempt to equate civil unions with marriage," said Prime Minister John Howard.

Australian law explicitly bans same-sex marriage.

Apparently angered by the federal move, ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell said he will rush to implement the law before the process for quashing it can be completed - so some couples can be united by then.

The ACT government also issued a direct appeal to Jeffery to ignore the federal government's plea.

The Gay Australian Coalition for Equality "utterly condemned Federal Cabinet's decision ... to override the ACT's civil unions laws as a desecration of the democracy and self-governance granted to ACT electors and the human rights of same-sex couples."


The Board of Governors of the British Broadcasting Corporation has OK'd use of the word "Gay" as a synonym for "lame" or "rubbish."

The board rejected a complaint filed against a disc jockey who said of a cell-phone ring tone: "I don't want that one, it's Gay."

Young people nowadays, the board said, routinely use "Gay" as a pejorative in contexts unrelated to homosexuality. As such, the board said, on-air hosts may do the same.

It added, however, that announcers should reflect on their use of the word because its multiple meanings could lead to "unintended offence."

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