Search Results: discrimination

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Thorpe comes out but homophobia is alive and well

    • Peter Maher
    • 14 July 2014
    44 Comments

    Ian Thorpe’s interview with Michael Parkinson on Sunday revealed the self silencing he believed was necessary to protect his integrity, his sporting career, and his relationship with friends, family and fans. It is still a challenge to be open about sexual orientation. Some parents blame their children for ‘insisting in being gay’, and a few priests continue to advise young people coming out to seek medical and psychological help for their ‘problem’.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Tamils flee Sri Lanka

    • David Feith
    • 09 July 2014
    22 Comments

    Many Australians regard these asylum seekers as economic refugees. But systematic discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka has existed since the country gained independence from Britain in 1948. Tamils are a minority, and are systematically and routinely treated as second-class citizens by the majority Sinhalese community. The extreme Sinhalese nationalist view regards Sri Lanka as an island sacred to Buddhism, in which non-Sinhalese have no place.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's eating Syria and Iraq

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 16 June 2014
    11 Comments

    In October 2013, Jesuit Fr Frans van der Lugt wrote about the suffering of the besieged people of Homs in Syria: 'Despite these difficulties, we keep grasping onto hope.' On 7 April 2014 he was executed outside his home. The rout of Iraqi forces in Mosul by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant must be a worry to the Iraqi authorities and the US and Western countries that have invested so much in the new post Saddam Iraq.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My intersex wake-up call

    • Barry Gittins
    • 15 June 2014
    10 Comments

    Friends of mine had their first child recently and my first, 'obvious' question — 'Is it a boy or a girl?' — was answered by a jubilant father: 'It's a girl!' Life is complex, however, and our all-too-human desires for normalcy and 'simplicity' (embodied in my automatic query) are sometimes revealed to gleam in the light of unintended prejudice. The reality for some Australians is that my question isn't always as easily answered.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Moral teaching that falls on deaf ears

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 20 May 2014
    21 Comments

    At a time when we are preoccupied with the shock and immorality of the budget, the Australian Catholic Bishops issue a direct and forceful challenge to current government policy. 'The time has come to examine our conscience.' But it seems no-one is listening.

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  • RELIGION

    Lessons from Christian camp's gay discrimination

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 30 April 2014
    29 Comments

    In April the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that a youth camp run by the Christian Brethren had discriminated illegally against same-sex attracted persons by refusing a booking from a community health service for an event for young gay and lesbian people. This is not an isolated case. It is sobering that churches often seem to need the courts to give them lessons, if not about sex, then about hospitality and fairness.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    South Sudan warning for Australia's hate speech champions

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 April 2014
    9 Comments

    In South Sudan, hate speech broadcast on a local FM radio station earlier this month led to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians in a massacre based on ethnicity. Local UN officials are now calling on authorities to 'to take all measures possible to prevent the airing of such messages'. Meanwhile in Australia, the Government is attempting to give legal sanction to the kind of hate speech that incited to the South Sudan massacre.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • MEDIA

    Racial hatred laws 20 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    5 Comments

    In 1994, a year before the Parliament enacted the present section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, I wrote in Eureka Street: 'At this time, in this part of the world, thought-police armed with criminal sanctions are not the answer' to racial discrimination. Senator Brandis has now circulated a proposal to amend the existing provisions. What he has produced is the racial hatred law you have when you don't want a racial hatred law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 03 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia

    • Ray Cassin
    • 27 March 2014
    23 Comments

    The Howard Government's radical-right tendencies emerged gradually. By contrast, the Abbott Government has already sent multiple signals that it is intent to radically remake the political fabric. While the restoration of knighthoods to the national honours system is merely a wacky emanation of the prime ministerial psyche, the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are corroding basic principles of constitutional democracy.

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  • RELIGION

    South African lessons about racial discrimination

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2014
    7 Comments

    The South African experience suggests racial discrimination begins with the appropriation of wealth and power by one racial group and its consequent suppression of other groups in order to extend its wealth and power. If we are to address racial prejudice and discrimination we need to examine the way in which wealth and power are distributed and protected in society. In Australia, they are being concentrated increasingly in fewer hands.

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