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Gay Rights Page 3

Coming Out in S.A. 1960 to 2009

The international post-war rise of the civil rights movement and feminism included a growing resistance movement against legal persecution of minority groups. On 27 June 1969 a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York city, precipitated a series of riots that are celebrated worldwide as the beginning of the gay rights movement.

In South Australia after the law reforms of 1972, gay men and lesbians were able to organise and lobby relatively openly, although they continued to be subjected to vilification and threats from right wing organisations and some religous groups.

The periodical Gay Times was first published in 1972, and renamed Boiled Sweets in 1973. Early editions describe protest actions such as 'Zapping' - the act of confronting homophobic doctors. The September 1973 issue advertises Adelaide's 'Gay Pride Week' and the first 'Proud Parade', held on 15 September 1973.

In 1975 the '1346 Club' was formed by two gay households, the name chosen as being the combination of their two house numbers. The committee of men and women organised a series of events for the gay, lesbian and transgender communities, including a Show Boat cruise, the Gay Olympic Festival, the Black and White Ball, Mardi Gras by Night, and 'War in a Warehouse', which was described as "the largest gathering of gay people under one roof at any one time in South Australia". (Gay News Service, Number 6 pg.3.) The proceeds from these events were returned to community organisations such as the Gay Community Centre, Gayline and the Women's Information Switchboard.

At a meeting at the Gouger Gay Men's Centre on 11 March 1976, the Gay Counselling Service (GCS) predecessor of the present Gay and Lesbian Community Service (GLCS) was formed by three psychologists and activist, Peter Migalka. In 1985 the services provided by the GCS were considerably expanded through government funding in response to the spread of HIV and AIDS, and a centre was opened at 130 Carrington Street. The establishment of the AIDS Council of South Australia (ACSA) in 1986, allowed GCS to return to its original volunteer counselling role. As increasing numbers of women joined GCS, services to lesbians were provided and the name changed to Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service (GLCS). In 2006 the name became Gay and Lesbian Community Service, reflecting the broader role of the organisation.

On 21 June 1989, in response to reports to GLCS of police harassment of gay men, a public meeting attended by more than 100 people was held at the Box Factory in Regent Street. At this meeting Gay Community Action (GCA) was formed. At a second meeting held on 6 December 1989 the name was changed to Lesbian and Gay Community Action (LGCA). LGCA was a community development organisation producing the annual Picnic in the Park, Stone Wall commemoration celebrations, and in 1994 the Police and You report. In 1993 LGCA received an Achievement Award from the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity.  It wound up its activities in 1997.

Many of the community events that had been organised by LGCA were taken over by Feast, a annual cultural festival developed by Margie Fisher, Helen Bock, Luke Cutler and Damien Carey and first held in November 1997.

Further organised lobbying for gay law reform did not occur until 2000, with the formation of Let's Get Equal (LGE) to campaign for equal legal rights for same sex couples. The campaign received a significant boost in January 2005 when well known community advocate Ian Purcell was made a Member of the Order of Australia for "service to the community, particularly gay and lesbian people through advocacy, education, law reform and support for community events". The South Australian Labor Government introduced its Statutes Amendment (Relationships) Bill, intended to remove legislative discrimination against same sex attracted people, in early 2005. After passing in the Legislative Council it failed to complete its passage through the Lower House prior to the March 2006 election.

On 14 November 2006, the Attorney General, Michael Atkinson, introduced a revised Bill, the Statutes Amendment (Domestic Partners) Bill. This legislation amended existing legislation to include same sex couples and other couples living in non-sexual domestic relationships. The legislation passed the House of Representatives on 23 November and the Legislative Council 0n 7 December.

On 1 July 2009 Commonwealth legislative reforms affecting same-sex couples particularly relating to tax, social security, superannuation, immigration, child support and aged care came into effect. (see http://www.ag.gov.au/samesexreform

Same-sex couples continue to be discriminated against on issues of adoption of children, access to IVF, and marriage, a Commonwealth responsibility.

Adelaide night life
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Beans Bar
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Beans Bar
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Bfriend
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Boiled sweets
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Boiled sweets
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Celebrate IDAHO : International Day Against Homophobia
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Cr. A.A. Edwards dies, aged 75
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Duncan Memorial
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Duncan report closed
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Equal opportunity achievement award
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Equal opportunity achievement award
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