Marriage Equality has been in the spotlight, with more intensity, in recent months. The question in many people’s minds is: “How does this affect me?” Some would argue that it means nothing to them, while others are passionate about the topic which has polarised many people in communities around the world.
We are particularly lucky to have a guest speaker for this month who has been involved in Law Reform for GLBTI people since 1988.
BRIAN GREIG OAM was a founding member of the Gay Law Reform Group of WA in 1988, then established to overturn the criminal prohibitions that existed against all male homosexuality at that time.
When that was (partly) achieved in 1989, Brian remained involved in “gay rights” to help establish Gay and Lesbian equality (GALE), which then worked towards making the laws better as well as introducing anti-discrimination protections for sexuality and partnership recognition for same-sex couples. Brian was the main GALE spokesperson during the early to mid 1990’s.
In addition to this, Brian helped establish the Australian Council for Lesbian and Gay Rights (ACLGR), to bring more federal focus to law reform and the need for change in Commonwealth legislation. Brian was the WA (male) delegate to ACLGR during the 1990’s and went on several lobby trips to Canberra to meet with relevant ministers.
In May 1995, Brian was elected as a Councillor to the Town of Vincent, becoming the first openly gay person elected to public office in WA.
Joining The Australian Democrats in 1997, Brian was elected to the senate in 1999, becoming the first openly gay senator from WA and the first ever GLBTI rights advocate elected to any Australian parliament.
During his six years in federal parliament, Brian became closely (infamously!), associated with GLBTI issues and was involved in many fiery and passionate debates. This included cross examining Fred Nile in a senate committee hearing. Eventually he succeeded in changing Commonwealth superannuation laws in relation to death benefits, and was the first Federal MP to introduce same-sex marriage amendments as a way to trigger debate and expose the issue.
Brian’s first and last speeches in the senate detail and “bookend” his unique experience.
As the Australian Democrat’s spokesperson for Law and Justice, Brian was in the chamber when same-sex marriage was banned in 2004, and had responsibility for his party in speaking to the legislation and opposing it.
Brian was not successful with being re-elected in 2004 and his term ended in June 2005. Since that time Brian has been working in public relations in the private sector, as well as serving as the WA Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality.
Brian also keeps up his education and advocacy around GLBTI issues with opinion columns in local and national media.
In 2012, Brian was awarded with Australian Honours for his work in social justice for the gay and lesbian community.
Brian and his partner Keith have been together for 29 years.
Please take the opportunity to invite friends and family who you think would benefit from this discussion; this is a real opportunity to have many of those questions you may have been afraid to ask, answered; as well as a real opportunity to find out how to respond to the objections that people put up to oppose, or confuse you.
For further information please contact Graham via eMail: [email protected]
or call Graham on: 0405 285 233 or Bev on: 0407 778 201.
For further updates join us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Freedom2bPerth
Remember to invite friends and family who you think would benefit from this discussion; this is a real opportunity to have many of those questions you may have been afraid to ask, answered; as well as a real opportunity to find out how to respond to the objections that people put up to oppose, or confuse you.
We will go to “U&I 24hr Pho restaurant” for Coffee and chat after this important discussion. U&I is located on the corner of Francis and William St in Northbridge. Even if you can’t make the meeting itself please feel free to join us for coffee.
******U&I Re-opens after refurbishment on 22 June 2015.******
The Northbridge Piazza community Centre is located on the Corner of James and Lake Streets Northbridge, underneath and behind the Giant screen in the Piazza.