On This Gay Day: The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea was founded

Did you ever hear of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea?

In 2004 one of the most creative protests against Australia’s ban on same-gender marriage was launched.

A tiny uninhabited island in the Coral Sea was proclaimed The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea. Activist Dale Parker Anderson was proclaimed the Emperor of the protest nation.

The protesters then declared war on Australia because of the recent ban on same-gender marriage introduced by the Howard government. They chose Handel’s Zadok the Priest as their national anthem, and released some colorful postage stamps. The nation claimed to be 100% homosexual and their main camp was named Heaven after the famous queer nightclub in London.

They even set up a website, sadly now defunct, to tell the world about their new kingdom.

….and then everyone kind of forgotten about it for many years, until Liberal Senator Eric Abetz brought it up during a Senate Estimates hearing in 2017.

As Australia’s slow journey towards achieving marriage equality crawled along, Senator Abetz, who was an outspoken voice against allowing same-gender marriage, spent some time in parliament grilling different government department’s over displays of the Pride flag.

The Tasmanian senator quizzed officials from the Department of Finance about the protocols for flying a rainbow flag within a government building.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Senator Abetz said he had heard reports of the rainbow flag, which is a symbol of the gay and lesbian community, being displayed within the foyer of the Department of Finance.

Senator Abetz said because some employees of the Department of Finance may be opposed to marriage equality it was only proper that an equal opportunity be given to a group arguing for the marriage laws to remain in their current state.

“To cut to the chase, there was the rainbow flag on display in the lobby which, believe it or not, some people see as an activist flag for a particular cause in relation to an issue of whether or not we should change the legislation on marriage and some people of course support that cause, others don’t.

“If that is allowed, then one imagines that the Marriage Alliance banner should be flown equally,” Senator Abetz said, demanding to know who had permitted the rainbow flag to be flown within the Finance department.

“If you allow one side of the debate, then you need to allow the other side and that is why I sought to determine upfront who is responsible for making these determinations.” the senator said.

The Senator then went on to describe the flag as the symbol of a “hostile nation”. Which, because everyone had completely forgotten about the foundation of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Choral Sea thirteen years earlier, provided one of the more memorable moments of a Senate Estimates hearings.

Senator Abetz told Liberal colleague Senator Mathias Cormann that the island nation was at war with Australia, suggesting it was similar to the Western Australia separatist declaration of Hutt River Province.

“This particular flag, you will realise, is the flag of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, that declared war on Australia and you Senator Cormann would understand they did the same as Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province and now this is their official flag,” Senator Abetz said.

“Of course, it is the flag of a hostile nation if we are to believe them, having declared war on Australia. I dare say that wasn’t the reason it was flown…” the Senator added.

OIP Staff

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.

Tags: , ,