Archive | Thursday , June 21 , 2012

Sydney Morning Herald Article: Gay Marriage Conscience Vote Will Stop Same Sex Marriage Becoming Legal In Australia.

June 19, 2012

Gay marriage vote on hold

Supporters of same-sex marriage are delaying a final vote in federal parliament hoping to shore up their numbers.

  • ADVOCATES of same-sex marriage accept Parliament will defeat two bills later this year calling to legalise gay marriage but believe public pressure will ultimately prevail.

The Finance Minister, Penny Wong, one of the strongest proponents for a change to the Marriage Act, said yesterday that change would come.

”I think the campaign is not going to go away because, ultimately, it’s a campaign for people’s equality,” she said.

Same-sex marriage... proponent Penny Wong believes change will come.Same-sex marriage … proponent Penny Wong believes change will come. Photo: Andrew Meares

A seven-member parliamentary committee split 4-2 against same-sex marriage yesterday with one abstention as it handed down a report which contained no recommendations, only information for all politicians to use to inform their final decision.

The committee chairman and Labor MP, Graham Perrett, along with fellow Labor MP Laura Smyth, favoured gay marriage while Liberal MPs Sharman Stone and Ross Vasta, and Labor’s Mike Symon and Shane Neumann opposed it.

The other member, the Liberal moderate Judi Moylan, gave no separate opinion.

Because both pieces of legislation are private members bills, time set aside to debate them is limited and no vote is expected until the end of this year at the earliest.

Priority will be given to the bill introduced by the NSW Labor MP Stephen Jones. The other is a Greens bill, sponsored by Adam Bandt.

”We’re short of the numbers at the moment but anything could change,” Mr Jones said.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will vote against gay marriage but has allowed Labor MPs a conscience vote. Number crunchers estimate about 36 of the 70 Labor MPs will vote for same-sex marriage while 10 to 15 are undecided and the rest will vote against.

Tony Abbott will not allow a conscience vote and all Coalition MPs are required to vote against same-sex marriage. Backbenchers can cross the floor but any frontbencher who does so would have to resign from the shadow ministry.

Mr Bandt, who will hold off on his bill until later this year or next year, said the delay between the start of debate and the final vote would be used to increase public pressure on political leaders, especially Mr Abbott, to have a change of heart.

”I’m optimistic of achieving reform within the life of this Parliament with some more discussion and more persuasion,” he said.

Parliament’s standing committee on social policy and legal affairs received a record 276,437 responses to an online survey it conducted as part of its inquiry.

Church groups and the Australian Christian Lobby have fiercely campaigned against gay marriage, despite Labor’s bill exonerating the churches and any other religious groups from having to marry gay people.

Mr Perrett, who holds a marginal Queensland seat, said ”it is important to remember that God did not write the Marriage Act”.

With public opinion polls consistently showing majority support for same-sex marriage, Mr Perrett said it was incumbent upon MPs to respond to growing public support ”by categorically opposing laws that legitimise discrimination”.

Ms Stone and Mr Vasta said the Liberals had promised before the federal election not to legalise gay marriage.

”I do not accept that the view towards marriage has changed since the 2010 federal election,” Ms Stone said.

Read more:

Blind Item: Hip Hop Star Sean “P Diddy” Combs Is Bisexual Likes Having Sex With Younger Men.

Three Men And A Hip Hop Mogul

[Gawker] Which Hip-Hop Mogul Is Not Very Discreet About His Gay Romps With Young Men? Three young men, to be exact, according to the source. They were all “summoned” to the mogul’s apartment for some downlow fun. He was very enthusiastic about giving bl*w jobs and very effeminate, which is odd, considering his rep as a ladies’ man. Our source says that he entertained his visitors “while his assistants typed on their laptops and waited for him to finish.”

Mr. Mogul doesn’t seem to mind that most in his inner circle know of his extracurricular proclivities, but he certainly doesn’t want it public. Yet.

My guess is Sean Combs the rumours have swirled for many years he is bisexual and his heterosexual image is just an illusion. Since the rap industry is very homophobic it isn’t surprising that P Diddy can’t come out of the closet.  Being gay is career suicide for a male rapper. Since Sean Combs is on the down low he can have the best of both worlds.

Sad News: Porn Star Erik Rhodes Is Dead But Is The Gay Community & Porn Industry To Blame?

An Early Death but Perhaps Not a Surprise  

Published: June 20, 2012
Richard Phibbs/Art Dept

Erik Rhodes talked of dying young for many years. Sometimes he was joking, sometimes not.

The source of their grief?

Erik Rhodes, 30, a 6-foot-4, 258-pound gay pornographic-film star who died last Thursday in Manhattan from a heart attack after a nearly decade-long career that had made him an unlikely celebrity in some New York social circles. He appeared regularly on Page Six, spent time with the designer Marc Jacobs, was profiled in magazines that had nothing to do with pornography, and shot an ad campaign for Loehmann’s.

Over the last few years, he had also been the author of a harrowing (and frequently clever) Tumblr feed, on which he detailed his escapades escorting, his rampant steroid use and his stories of winding up in psychiatric wards after crystal meth binges. (The blog was taken down last weekend, shortly after news of his death ricocheted around the Internet.)

Mr. Rhodes, whose given name was James Naughtin, was signed to Falcon Video in 2004, and became one of a handful of recognizable faces in an era when the industry was going through a painful economic contraction, thanks to online file sharing and free pornography sites like Xtube.

“The gay porn audience often looks to a hulking macho fantasy, and he provided that,” said Michael Musto, the Village Voice gossip columnist who was friendly with Mr. Rhodes. “He was Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the ‘Avengers’ cast wrapped in a gay package. And the fashion connection and the fact that he had a brain elevated him from your everyday escort-slash-porn-god and gave him texture.”

Mickey Boardman, the editorial director of Paper, said, “We would see him out all the time,” adding: “He was hilarious. He was totally self-aware, and the stories he would tell me were unbelievable.”

Mr. Rhodes grew up with his identical twin, John Naughtin, in Massapequa, N.Y., two children whose parents had a long and nasty divorce. Only Mr. Naughtin went to college, and Mr. Rhodes took a stream of low-paying jobs, working at a CVS and a sex-toy store, before moving into stripping and then pornographic films at 22.

At first, Mr. Naughtin, who is straight, was inclined to be open-minded about his brother’s new career. “I thought it was fine,” he said. “And I was a little naïve about how much money he was making. I thought, ‘If it pays the bills, why not?’ ”

But as the Web replaced video stores as the delivery mechanism for adult content, Mr. Rhodes found his salary shrinking, even while his celebrity rose. And there were other problems.

“People faulted him for doing steroids, which was the thing that allowed him to be the ideal they wanted,” said Samuel Colt, an actor who appeared with Mr. Rhodes on-screen and was a friend for the last several years of his life. “And people were always trying to push drugs onto him.”

Things went from bad to worse. Mr. Rhodes got into fights with boyfriends, and the police would be called. Famous friends like Mr. Jacobs, who did not respond to calls for comment for this article, fell away. Mr. Rhodes went from using steroids to dealing them. And then, a few years ago, he tested positive for H.I.V.

According to Mr. Colt, Mr. Rhodes found this out when he went to shoot a scene for Randy Blue, a company that requires testing. “They said, ‘Your test results came back, and you’re H.I.V. positive,’ ” Mr. Colt said. Nevertheless, Randy Blue still managed to get Mr. Rhodes to film a solo scene that day, Mr. Colt said.

As the novelty of being in pornographic films wore off, Mr. Rhodes turned increasingly to the Internet, using his Tumblr feed and his Facebook page to discuss his sense of anguish. “I feel so left out … so alone,” he wrote in a post just weeks ago.

On June 13, after a night in which Mr. Rhodes was hired along with another escort to perform for a wealthy client (according to text messages later read by his brother), the two men continued the evening on their own, having sex and doing drugs. But Mr. Rhodes quickly realized that he was not feeling well and cut the evening short.

Once home, he apparently went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead in a hospital shortly thereafter, his brother said.

For many years, Mr. Rhodes talked of an early death, sometimes joking, sometimes not. Now it was here.

Mr. Naughtin looks back with regret at the casual attitude he took when his brother told him he was going into pornography. “I wouldn’t have let him get into it,” he said. “I would say that’s not a direction that can lead anywhere good.”


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