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WELCOME TO OUR ILGA OCEANIA WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE –  IOWNU No 9 – ENDING 22nd SEPTEMBER  2017.

Australia – Sydney
Monday 18th September 2017
Postal survey: gay Muslims shake off conservative image to back same-sex marriage
They are two communities that often find themselves exposed to vitriol and hate masquerading as respectful debate. Muslims and gays, unlikely bedfellows in some circumstances, know the battle scars of discrimination and prejudice.
On Monday night, in the offices of the AIDS Council of NSW, a campaigning outfit called Muslims for Marriage Equality celebrated its official launch. Its footprint is modest - founder Fahad Ali estimates 250 people have expressed interest in volunteering nationally, and the group has 1500 followers on Facebook - but its goals are somewhat grander: to shirk the conservative cloak that surrounds Islam and show the flock does not necessarily follow the leader.
Mr Ali, who is gay and a practising Muslim, concedes there is tension between his sexual identity and faith.
"The orthodox Islamic position is quite anti-gay. I think the Muslim community generally has a problem with homosexuality," he says.
Fahad Ali, founder of Muslims for Marriage Equality. 
"There's been quite a lot of abuse that I've dealt with ... ​I have been called everything from an apostate to an infidel to a hypocrite."
 
  Fahad Ali, founder of Muslims for Marriage Equality.
Fahad Ali, founder of Muslims for Marriage Equality.

Australia – Sydney
Tuesday 19th September 2017
 NSW Jewish Board of Deputies support same-sex marriage
 
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THE NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) has overwhelmingly passed a motion calling for “equal treatment under Australian law to same-sex couples who choose to marry” at its monthly plenum tonight (Tuesday).
The motion, which only one person voted against in a room filled with more than 100 people, stated that the roof body of NSW Jewry “strongly asserts that rabbis must continue to be able to conduct marriage ceremonies in accordance with Jewish law as they see fit”, “rejects any attempts to impose a belief or value system on the rabbinate”, “reaffirms its commitment to freedom of religious practice and religious education in Australia”, “acknowledges that as a matter of Orthodox Jewish law, same-sex marriage is not permitted” but then noted that “the question before Australia at the upcoming postal plebiscite is one relating to civil, not religious, marriage”.
The motion also noted that the JBOD is “committed to fighting all forms of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, homosexuality, gender and disability” and that it will support “all members of our community as they strive for equality under the law”.

New Zealand – Auckland
20th September 2017
In Defence of Pacific Sexual Minorities: Why Israel Folau is no Hero

In Defence of Pacific Sexual Minorities: Why Israel Folau is no Hero
Opinion or bigotry? Patrick Thomsen lets you know the difference.
We homosexuals have heard it all.
“Love the sinner not the sin”
“I love you, but I can’t support the lifestyle that you lead”
“I love my gay friends, but homosexuality is an abomination”
If you’re lucky enough to make it out of adolescence, somehow relatively unscathed, the best one can hope for is that the progression of one abusive and violent experience after another will enable you to wear a cloak of resilience that inoculates you against the ignorance of this world. I know we have all heard the statistics, they vary from country to country, but the overall trend stays the same no matter where in the world you are. LGBTQI+ teens are far more likely to self-harm than heterosexual teens.
For Pacific Islanders, the story of Christianity and how it came to dominate our islands is far more sinister than many of us realize, owing in part to a ruthlessly efficient pairing of Christian ideology and the forces of colonization. As a result, our Pacific communities have some of the most Christian conservative social norms on the planet, including our standards of dress, defloration ceremonies, no trading on Sundays and of course being anti-homosexual.

Australia – NSW – Bourke
Thursday 21st September 2017
Young Aboriginal LGBTI people are killing themselves. We need to protect them
Realising I’m gay was almost too much to bear through my teenage years, writes NITV journalist and Indigenous X host Allan Clarke. We need to stand up to homophobia
The small township of Bourke in far western New South Wales is a small speck of dust swimming in a vast ocean of ruby red dirt and is home to the Barkindji people since time immemorial.
Every summer a wave of heat unfurls over the region, coming in from a flat scrub thick with twisted saltbush and gum trees.
I was born and bred on this magnificent country, and summertime is one of my most cherished memories.
http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/sites/sbs.com.au.nitv/files/styles/full/public/3806.jpg?itok=3qZi6ImY&mtime=1505958208 NITV journalist and Indigenous X host Allan Clarke. We need to stand up to homophobia
The other memory that I hold from my childhood is not as endearing. Often it’s a nightmare that still wakes me in a cold sweat in the dead of night. 
It’s the memory of feeling like an alien in the country that my ancestors have been caretakers of for millennia. Of not feeling like a man, or what I thought an Aboriginal man was supposed to be.
I vividly remember starting to be attracted to other boys when I was around 12 years old. It was a feeling that made my blood run cold.
I often thought of death through my teenage years. The thought of being gay was almost too much to bear. I used to imagine all the ways I could kill myself, every conceivable scenario, what I would write on my suicide note. There was a dark jungle of confusion inside me and I couldn’t see my way clear of it.
I stood alone, frozen with fear, for a very long time at the intersection of racism and homophobia.
“Abo, faggot, poofter, coon, half-caste.” I was singled out by all and still carry scars left by volleys of verbal shots levelled at me by angry boys and men throughout those years. Even now, as I write this, a tear balloons in the corner of my eye.
It wasn’t until I moved to Sydney that I found freedom among the concrete towers and in the loving embrace of older staunch gay black men, women and sistergirls. They taught me I was exactly how I was meant to be, that we have existed in our beautiful culture since the very beginning.

Pacific – Samoa
21st September 2017
Remove shame, secrecy and silence from sex in Samoa
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Sexual abuse in Samoa must be addressed by eliminating the shame, secrecy and silence around the ‘taboo’ topics of sex and sexuality.
Speaking as a survivor of child sexual abuse and sexual assault, renowned author, Lani Wendt Young addressed common myths associated with sexual abuse, on Day 3 of the National Inquiry into Family Violence.
According to Ms. Young, her sexual abuse left her with feelings of shame, guilt and condemnation that would linger for many years to come.
She said, “I learned very young to block out what happened to me, and to minimise my abuse.”

Editor’s Note:
That’s all for this week.
If you have any queries that we might able to assist you with please contact me on kenmoala@hotmail.com   or the following people:
Rawa Karetai  - ILGA Oceania Co-Convenor – rawa@ilga.org
Ymania Brown – ILGA Oceania Co-Convenor – Ymania@gmail.com
Simon Margan – ILGA Oceania Secretary -  smargan@bigpond.net.au
Its Springtime, so get out into the fresh air and smell the roses, or the frangipani, or the wattle.
Ia manuia,
Ken Moala
Communications Convenor

 
Allan Clarke
Copyright © 2017 ILGA Oceania, All rights reserved.


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