It is hard to believe that it is 30 years since I finally could love who I wanted without committing a crime. I still remember been at public meetings & demos to support HLR as a student in Wellington.
Now some 30 years later I find myself in Sydney where the conservatives and religious right seem intent on dragging the Marriage equality debate on for as long as possible. Sadly the arguments are just as vile now.
I must admit I was shocked to find out about the changes in the Character Test which occurred in December 2014 and even though I live in Australia and follow politics closely I had not heard much about this change except for the odd piece on the ABC
The changes were large and meant that the character test changed to automatic cancellation of a visa and the length of time reduced to 12 months (previously 2 years). Plus reading the legislation concurrent sentences are counted separately. So two sentences of 6 months each served concurrently and you are out.
This is a good summary of the changes
This is impacting a large number of people who have lived in Australia most of their life and is already the subject of negative reports by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Congratulations Russell - PA is still one of the first sites I read no matter where I am.
I find it hard to believe it is 10 years since you launched PA and over 20 years since HardNews (I still remember discovering HardNews on BFM in 92) went to air.
I finally got to read the Mary Jane Boland "Gay Wrong" article online & then here response to Chris Lawrence's letter:
Mary Jane Boland responds: Lawrence is correct. None of the experts interviewed – including those at the Human Rights Commission – explained charitable trusts are exempt from the act. However, two questions remain: should charities remain exempt and should a minister of the Crown from any party – especially an Education Minister – support a scholarship that benefits some pupils over others?
Here response was amazing in that she basically admitted to having undertaken no research herself to find the July 2008 clarification on scholarships. I thought it might have been hard to find - but once I found the Human Rights Commission website I found the July 2008 ruling - in all it took less than two minutes to find this article.
One final check I did was see what her role at the listener was. Finding she was Deputy Editor I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.