The year in review: What went down in December

Our trip back through the stories of 2018 ends with our review of what went down in December. The Ruddock Review was finally released, Andrew Broad created a scandal, there was no agreement on protecting LGBTI school kids, and Amanda Stoker shared her view that sexuality is something you choose.

Politics

Labor put forward legislation to protect LGBTI students in religious based schools, Penny Wong said PM Scott Morrison should just let people vote on it, the Centre Alliance teamed up with the government to shut down debate on the issue, Senator Rex Patrick said he didn’t believe gay kids were discriminated against as long as schools taught all kids that homosexuality was wrong, the Human Rights Law Centre said the delay was outrageous, Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker said she was worried about the formation of gay clubs by activist parents and children, Rodney Croome said gay kids and teachers were being used like a political football, and then it looked like the whole debate would have to wait until 2019, but then PM Scott Morrison came up with his own bill and asked Labor to allow a conscience vote on the issue, Labor said they were united in their view that discrimination was a bad thing, Rodney Croome said Morrison’s bill wasn’t any good, Barnaby Joyce said he thought schools should be allowed to expel transgender students, Tim Wilson said concerns over the bill were rubbish, John Howard said he found it all frustrating. Scott Morrison decided to release the Ruddock review – the long awaited report into religious freedom and proposed a new religious discrimination act. Morrison said the walls were closing in on religious freedom. The Law Council of Australia said a Human Rights act would have been a better idea. Lyle Shelton from the Australian Conservatives and the Australian Christian Lobby both said Morrison hadn’t gone far enough, LGBTI rights advocates said it didn’t look too bad, the Greens has concerns, Bill Shorten said the country didn’t need an election fought over religion. Philip Ruddock said his inquiry had not found much evidence of discrimination against people on the basis of their religion. Stuart Robert said he was ready to fight a war over identity issues on behalf of the ABS, the ABS said they would work with the statesScott Morrison said most people didn’t care about gender identity, .  The WA government conceded that it would manage to change the transgender forced divorce laws until 2019. The Australian Conservatives candidate Kirralie Smith said it was unfair Twitter won’t let you repetitively dead-name transgender people, and worried about outbreaks of opportunistic transgender peopleNew Idea revealed MP Andrew Broad had allegeding being using a ‘Sugar Daddy’ dating website, he resigned from his Assistant Minister position, people questioned how long National’s leader Michael McCormack had known about it, he admitted longer that he originally suggested, Broad said he would not contest the next election. It was revealed the Prime Minister’s Office has also been aware of the scandal for weeks. Labor announced they would not pursue a policy of criminalising gay conversion therapy. Queensland MP George Christensen said he was the victim of a putrid smear campaign.  Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker said sexuality was a choice.

In the news

Former US President George H W Bush died. US Vice President Mike Pence was criticised for giving a World AIDS Day speech that didn’t mention the queer community, while Perth marked the event by turning buildings bright red. An Indonesian city brought in new anti-gay laws despite homosexuality being legal in the country. The WA AIDS Council released their MIPA report. The Equality campaign rebranded as a new LGBTI rights organisation. Sydney police offered a million dollar reward for information about the death of Scott Johnson. Tumblr banned adult content. The WA Museum acquired an antique glory hole. Singapore allowed a gay man to adopt his own biological son who was conceived via a surrogacy arrangement. CJ Palmer‘s sentence was cut on appeal. Tunisia arrested young men suspected of being homosexuals.

Celebrity

Actor and director Andy Serkis said Scarlett Johansson should have been allowed to play a transgender character. Dick van Dyke showed his support for the LGBTI community. Heaps if queer people and projects won at the AACTAs. Troye Sivan scored a Golden Globe nomination. Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley died. We chatted to Missy Higgins. Dame June Whitfield, Sister Wendy, and actor Penny Cook all passed away.

Culture

We remembered disco legend Sylvester.  Styleaid was reinvented with a presentation from Hoodedwept. The Gay and Lesbian Singers of WA celebrated their 25th anniversary with an amazing concert. RuPaul announced Drag Race UK was coming in 2019. The Kransky Sisters amused us. The annual debate over Fairytale of New York commenced.  Connections celebrated their 43rd birthday with a hilarious show. Josh Thomas got a new show in the USA.  


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