Oz says “YES” to marriage equality — the fight for human rights continues

❝ The results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey are in. Despite the voluntary nature of the survey, 12,727,920 (79.5%) eligible Australians voted.

By a margin of 61.6% to 38.4%, Australians have said “yes” to the proposition:

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

❝ To permit same-sex marriage, parliament must amend the Marriage Act 1961…

The definition of marriage can be simply changed by removing the words “a man and a woman” and replacing them with “two people”.

Such a change will have flow-on effects throughout Australian society. For example, celebrants will be free to officiate at legal wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. State and territory authorities will be empowered to register same-sex marriages.

❝ Most significantly, same-sex couples will have equality of choice in how they want to formalise relationships. Those who choose to marry will be entitled to the legal benefits of marriage.

This will engage much of the usual anti-democratic sophistry and histrionics beloved of bigots and True Believers. One can only hope that the Australian Parliament will recognize the forward-looking spirit of this poll as meaningful – and predictive of the spirit of voters come the next election.

Most folks hope the bill sorting things out in legalese will be kept simple and to the point. Human rights are for all humans. Spirits in the sky are entitled to have their opinions voiced by folks who believe in such. They have no standing in civil liberties, civil rights.

The End of Gothamist Is a Terrible Sign for the Future of Local News


Billionaire Class Scumbag

❝ …While on my lunch break, I lost my job as editor in chief at LAist. I’d just finished a bowl of unmemorable office cafeteria chili and was sitting in the lobby of our WeWork when a coworker in New York sent me a three-word text: “Check your inbox.”…there was just a letter from our billionaire owner Joe Ricketts, informing readers that he had made “the difficult decision” to discontinue publishing DNAinfo and Gothamist, our parent site.

…With what appeared to have been the flip of a switch, 116 journalists had lost their jobs, and LAist had been shuttered—along with our four sister sites in New York, Chicago, D.C., and San Francisco, and the DNAinfo sites in New York and Chicago.

❝ The Gothamist and DNAinfo New York newsrooms had formally voted to unionize a week earlier…

❝ Gothamist, LAist, Chicagoist, DCist and SFist each fulfilled critical roles in their cities. Even as our hometown papers faced cuts and layoffs, we continued to cover local and hyperlocal news, find the relevant takeaways in hours-long public meetings, and strive to relay it all in a tone that was frank, compulsively readable, and often funny…There is a much larger loss here, one that should scare everyone (even those who’ve never read an ist site in their lives). At a time when local journalism is more crucial than ever, the closure of our sites effectively amounts to a silencing. There will now be less information for everyone, in each of those five cities.

This wasn’t a case about money. The creep who owned the sites made money on all five. Already a billionaire, Joe Ricketts plays with your money if you invest with TD Ameritrade. And cavort with his favorite politician – our fake president.

Nope. He doesn’t believe that folks who work for a living have the right to bargain collectively, to negotiate income and working conditions – even though that is a right protected by federal law for decades. He’d rather declare the companies he owns to be unprofitable – and close them down.