Kirby says Australia has a good record on gay rights, but there is still room for improvement
Australia High Court Judge Michael Kirby has repeated calls for equal rights for Australia’s gay community.
Justice Kirby spoke at a function organized by the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby of New South Wales.
Justice Kirby says discrimination against the gay community is deep-seated and widespread in Australia.
He said lobby groups need to work with politicians, the media and arts practitioners to change attitudes towards the gay community.
Kirby says compared to some countries, Australia has a good record on gay rights, but there is room for improvement.
“To effect change, it’s not enough for gays to talk to each other,” he said.
He says discrimination against the gay community is reinforced by forces that are not going to disappear soon.
Kirby also criticized religious attacks on the dignity of gay people and their legal rights, saying the attacks were a sad reflection on the debasement of spirituality in the present age.
“They illustrate the inflexibility of many, mostly male, minds when it comes to reading ancient religious texts in the light of contemporary scientific knowledge,” he said.
Judge Kirby also stressed the need to remember straight people in the community who do brave things for equality and justice.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 25, 2006.