#Australia

Australian Police Are Offering $1 Million For Info On 1980s Death Of Gay Man

$1 million is being offered to anyone who can provide helpful information to solve a murder from the ‘80s.

In December of 1988, 27-year-old Scott Johnson met his untimely demise. At the time, Australian police believed that Johnson, who was openly gay, had committed suicide by jumping off a beach cliff. As such, the investigation into Johnson’s death was half-hearted.

The family of the US-born mathematician weren’t convinced that Scott ended his life. They believed, and still do to this day, that Scott was murdered.

“Unfortunately, like many other gay men in the 1980s, he got tragically unlucky…assailants killed him because he was gay,” Scott’s brother Steve Johnson told reporters, according to Ten Daily.

Throughout the next three decades, Steve and his family would advocate for a thorough investigation into Scott’s death. This includes a second inquest in 2012 that resulted in an open finding and a third inquest that found that Scott fell from the cliff’s top not because of a suicide attempt but because of actual or threatened violence based on sexual orientation.

This new discovery resulted in the creation of the Strike Force Welsford three months ago. This task force, led by Detective Inspector Peter Yeomans, is trying to re-investigate Scott’s murder with an intent and focus unseen in the last three decades.

In addition, Steve flew to Sydney to join the task force and New South Wales police as they announced a monetary reward for anyone who can provide valuable information for this case.

“There is someone out there who knows the truth, they know how Scott died and there’s a million dollars on the table for you to have the courage to come forward and help us solve this crime,” said NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller at the press conference.

“Someone knows what happened to Scott, either because they were present or because they heard of what happened from others who were present,” added Steve Johnson.

“It is likely that those who were involved in Scott’s death would have bragged about it given the culture of gay-hate among groups in Sydney at the time.”

“It’s 30 years to the day since Scott’s death. I encourage anyone who has any information to come forward and provide it,” he said.

“It’s horrendous to believe that these people are still out in our community – existing, living, free, while Scott … has died a terrible death.”

Australia's Labor Party Pushes Forward With Anti-Discrimination Bill For Gay Teens

The Australian Labor Party is working to protect LGBTQ students.

Recently, both major parties in Australia were in agreement over creating new anti-discrimination laws so religious schools couldn’t target gay students. Unfortunately, those bipartisan negotiations came to a standstill after the Liberal/National coalition government insisted that religious schools should be able to make students go to church.

According to Australian news site Stuff, the Labor Party has come through with new anti-discrimination legislation anyway.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was the one to propose the new bill, which was celebrated by Labor Party members.

"I'm happy to have a discussion about how we ensure that we preserve the capacity of religious schools to teach the tenets of their faith," Labor Senator Penny Wong told the ABC.

"Nothing in the bill that is being proposed by the Labor Party stops that."

But as the Labor Party rises to protect LGBTQ youth, so too does their opposition. The Senate has decided to delay the vote on the Labor Party’s bill, according to the New Castle Star. In response, Wong stated that this move by conservative politicians was an “outrage.”

"Call an election instead of lying the way you have about this issue," Senator Wong told parliament.

Conservative opposition to the bill claims that it does block religious schools from enforcing rules like students attending chapel. The delayed vote is then allegedly to give room for altering the bill.

"We support it with reasonable amendments to ensure that for example religious schools can provide appropriate rules for the proper conduct of their schools," said Senator Cormann.

While Australian lawmakers have come to yet another standstill, the Labor party is pushing with all its might to protect LGBTQ youth from discrimination. They just have to get over the hurdle of their conservative peers.

Watch: A Catholic Student Earns Applause From His School After Coming Out

A viral video of a gay teen being accepted by his catholic school is warming our hearts.

SBS News has shared the video of a young man coming out to more than 1,500 peers and students at one of the most elite Catholic schools in Sydney, Australia.

After standing behind the podium at St. Ignatius’ College, senior Finn Stannard remarked, “I have been working towards this speech for four years.”

The reason? Stannard says it’s because he’s gay.

Stannard revealed his sexuality to his school in order to share the struggles he has experienced within it's walls. Specifically, he says he had to deal with anti-gay jokes and rumors in the school’s hallways. He also shares how that experience affected his home life and encouraged a disability to be open with his family.

 “When I said it, I just felt this energy pass through me and I felt – that was the first time I’d really been proud of who I was. I could announce it to all these people who were before me…Life was easier living as the straight eldest son. I had spent so long behind the façade of a confident, heterosexual man that I wasn’t sure if I knew how to be me. I think that’s really the biggest reason I made sure I got up onto that stage and gave the speech. I don’t think anybody should have to go through the feeling of loss that I felt like I’d gone through.”

Part of the reason Stannard came out was because he couldn’t bare any more time “hiding behind a mask.”

The other part was because he knew there had to be other LGBTQ students at his school. In fact, he shared with SBS News that he was later thanked by other students who were also struggling with their sexualities.

Since then, Stannard has been a role model for the school’s staff and students, and has even taken his boyfriend to the school formal.

If you want to watch his full speech, you can check it out at this link here.

h/t: SBS News

Australia's 'White Magazine' Shuts Down After Denying Same-Sex Wedding Inclusion

White Magazine, an Australian wedding magazine, has shuttered after facing backlash for not including same-sex couples in the publication.

Founders Luke and Carla Burrell announced in a blog post that White Magazine would be shutting down after 12 years due to pressures following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia at the beginning of the year.

 

Celebrating love and relationships – rather than selling products – has always been White’s message.

Last year the Australian law was changed to allow same-sex couples to marry. Since then we have been asked repeatedly why our magazine had not yet featured all couples.

Like many people, we have had to reflect on our beliefs, not to judge ourselves or others, but to intentionally make space for new conversations. It’s a long and continuing journey, it’s not black and white, there are so many grey areas that need to be explored. Our greatest mandate is to love and the biggest question we’ve continued to ask ourselves throughout it is, how do we best love?

 

Interestingly, the Burrell's version of 'best love' was to not allow same-sex weddings to be included in their publication.

Writing they have "no desire but to love," the Burrells say they had hoped to have "space to work through our thoughts and feelings."

But they claim a campaign was launched against them and they've lost sponsors due to their one-sided position on the issue.

"We hope that one day soon our society can learn to accept people’s differences and different points of view and love each other no matter what," they write in closing. "That’s where real positive change begins."

The irony here for me, as an LGBTQ advocate, is the Burrells continue to pretend they didn't 'take a side' when clearly they did. They chose to not accept people's differences.

Instead, they made the decision to ignore those same-sex couples who celebrated the happiest day of their lives.

And regarding losing sponsors, this would seem to me to be the free market at work. Folks don't like ugly.

Lara Hotz, a gay photographer who had shot three covers for the magazines, was one of those who chose to boycott the publication.

“It appears they are happy to take money, content and photographs from LGBTQI advertisers and contributors, but are yet to support and represent us in the same way as heterosexual couples are represented in the magazine,” Hotz told BBC News.

The Facebook post drew mixed results for the publishers. 

Some expressed concern for the magazine's freedom of speech. But others saw the Burrells' position as not too loving.

"It doesn't seem to me that your agenda is just to love, it seems like your agenda is just to love straight people," read one comment.

In the end, statements of "How do we best love?" and "We’re not about sides, we’re about love, patience and kindness," ring false for people running an admittedly secular publication who ultimately chose discrimination over equality.

This post represents the opinions of the author and not those of Instinct or other contributors.

(h/t Washington Blade)

Sydney Police Looking For Man Whose Grindr Date Jumped Off His Balcony

Sydney police are investigating a situation in which a man fell off his balcony on Sunday and was impaled on a table leg.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a 37-year-old man, whose identity is being withheld, was injured after falling off the balcony of his Brisbane street apartment around 4 p.m.

Police are now investigating the situation and are asking for the help of the general public. The authorities have also released footage of a man they believe had immediate contact with the victim.

According to the police, the two probably met through a dating app, most likely Grindr. The man in the video arrived empty-handed, was most likely there during the fall, and left with a bag in his possession.

"We're very, very clear [the other man] was in the apartment at the time of the fall," said Detective Superintendent Gavin Wood.

"The fall is horrendous. That's the best way to put it," he added. "This man's life has been significantly compromised. In terms of the enormity of it, I don't think you can get much worse.”

That said, the police say that they don’t believe the man in the video pushed the victim. Instead, they believe the injured man jumped of his own volition.

NSW Police say that they want to interview the man in the video as he may have crucial information about what went on inside the apartment.

Wood also added that people using dating apps should be especially cautious of who they interact with.

“Know who you are meeting, where you’re meeting them, what their intentions are and perhaps establish some safeguards beforehand such as providing close friends with those details," he said.

If anyone has any helpful information that can lead to the man in the video, call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.

Instinct Insta Hottie of the Week: Australian Beauty Phoenix Keating

It’s not that often you come across a guy with a genuinely unique look. And that’s why our latest Hottie of the Week stands out.

The closest comparison is maybe Freddie Mercury in his prime, but with softer features and an even more chiseled physique.

We don’t know a whole lot about Phoenix. He’s Australian, he doesn’t really ever have clothes on in his Instagram posts (which is great!)—and that’s about all we’ve got at the moment. Boy if he isn’t nice to look at!

Be sure and follow Phoenix on Instagram for more: @keenixfeeting​

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Still love this shoot by @smphotoanddesign for @adonmagazine so much

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@lukeographyau

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Eshays. @hologramcityla

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Had the best shoot with @theboyproject !! Stay tuned for more awesome images

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Loving this promo vid for the @homostash event at Manchester Pride!

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@xanderwil for @hologramcityla

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Throw back to my shoot for @adonmagazine by @smphotoanddesign

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Just literal heaven.. Ibiza is turning it the fuck ON.

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SHEET FACED MATE

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I sheet you tf not... @samsclicks007

A post shared by Phoenix (@keenixfeeting) on

 

 

Authorities Are Looking for a Man Who is Urging People to "Bash a Gay Today"

Last week residents from a neighborhood in Sydney were receiving homophobic letters from Jesus blaming LGBTQIA people for the drought and recent hail storm. Now this week another suburb of Sydney is seeing some more hate with the recent appearance of homophobic graffiti. According to news.com.au two witnesses, Laura Hunter and April Long, encountered an older man spray painting a wall with the words “BASH A GAY TODAY”.

When they approached the man and confronted him for heinous act, he shared with them that he had been robbed by a gay man once. The man covered his face with a hat and simply walked away, but not before being photographed by the witnesses.

Others are also claiming that this phrase is being seen in other areas of Alexandria in Sydney

 

 

Authorities are investigating the homophobic graffiti and searching for the man responsible for the hate speech.

h/t: news.com.au

 

What Would You Do If You Got a Letter From Jesus?

Last year when Australia voted YES for marriage equality, it was one of the biggest victories in LGBTQ history! Shortly after, residents began marrying, even before the 30-day waiting period necessary for couples to start exchanging vows. But of course, not everyone has been thrilled with the idea of marriage equality being the law of the land down under—not even the Man upstairs, apparently.

According to Junkee, residents of one of Sydney’s neighborhoods have been receiving notes from Jesus himself—allegedly—blaming them for the troubles the region has been experiencing. Things like droughts and hail storms are all because of gay marriage.

 

 

These letters began showing up in mailboxes last week.

One resident, Nick Smith, posted his letter on Twitter:

 

 

Smith shared with Junkee:

I opened it because the envelope was hand addressed to ‘resident’ which is rare. The handwriting screams ‘I’m in my 70s’. It was a not great reminder of the postal survey last year and the sort of views which were aerated at the time. It was an all-around crappy time for me and my friends. Sharing it on social and having a laugh about it is a privilege.

Don’t you think Jesus would have known his name?!

The letter reads:

Sydney, 

Do you know why I have dried up your state? You chose the curse last year when your nation collectively decided to vote “YES” to that which I abhor. I have judged and removed that wicked Prime Minister, who gave you the evil desires of your heart, as I said I would through my servant, when writing to your City Council last year. Tell your mayor to humbler herself, left I unleash my fury on her, for inciting such wickedness.  

I have a cup of judgment prepared for your city. The recent hail storm was your warning to turn from wickedness. Plead with your government, reverse your shameful marriage laws glorifying sodomy and adultery, ban fornication, pornography and prostitution, stop killing your unborn children. Ban remarriage and unjustified divorce, or I will bring hail in a violent form of destruction and death and delight to brake your pride. Ask your sister Hobart, what I did to her in May, for rejecting my words.

I Yeshua/Jesus Christ am Eternal life. I bring life and blessing to those who walk upright and curses and death, to those who hate me. Choose who you will serve, but know that I have told you, through my servant.

Jesus, The Messiah.

There you have it. Jesus has spoken.

h/t: Junkee

HIV+ Man Sentenced To Over 4 Years In Prison For Knowingly Infecting His Boyfriend

An Australian man has pleaded guilty to infecting his former boyfriend with HIV.

Martin Peter Jaksic was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2010. But he never shared that news with the man he would soon meet and go on to date for six years even though he was fully aware of the risks.

In a Sydney courtroom on Wednesday, Jaksic pleaded guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily hard to his former boyfriend.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 31-year-old told the court in a letter than he had been in denial after receiving his own diagnosis and admitted that what he had done to the victim was “cowardly and unthinkable.”

Judge Peter Zahra showed no sympathy for Jaksic saying, “The offender’s conduct was a gross betrayal of trust and a contemptible and callous disregard for the victim’s life.”

“At all times (he) would have been aware of the grave risk of the victim suffering serious illness which had the potential to be life-threatening,” the judge added. “The continuing effect of the harm caused to the victim is incalculable.”

The former boyfriend shared in his victim impact statement that due to his infection he now faces “internal wounds and emotional struggles” that will never heal.

The ex-boyfriend told the court that when he entered into what he believed to be a “close and loving” monogamous relationship more than 6 years ago, Jaksic did not share his HIV status.

Even though the couple had unprotected sex during their relationship, Jaksic never suggested using condoms or any other protection.

The victim added that after trusting Jaksic during their six year relationship, he nows sees him as someone who behaved “dishonestly, callously and ruthlessly.”

Jaksic was arrested at the airport in January 2016 attempting to flee Sydney.

He received the maximum sentence of four years and six months in prison.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 24 states in the U.S. have laws which specifically require persons who are aware that they have HIV to disclose their status to sexual partners.

Penalties vary from state to state with some treating the transmission of HIV as a felony and others as a misdemeanor.

There has been a movement, however, in recent years to repeal these HIV-specific laws due to the success of antiretroviral therapy which can bring viral levels down to undetectable.

In that the CDC’s current medical policy is that “undetectable=untransmittable,” many feel those who are HIV+ but undetectable shouldn’t be prosecuted in the same manner as they once were at the height of the epidemic.

The REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act was introduced in Congress in 2011. The legislation would call for a review of all federal and state laws involving the criminal prosecution of people for HIV-related offenses.

(h/t Sydney Morning Herald)

Australia's 'Neighbours' Celebrates Marriage Equality With First Same-Sex Wedding

Who doesn’t love a good wedding?

Long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours has made headlines as the show celebrated the series’ first-ever same-sex wedding.

Check out a recap on the love story between “David” and “Aaron” below:

 

 

In the 33-year run of the popular show, 42 couples have said ‘I do.”

And a Neighbours wedding is always a big to-do.

Back in 1987, pop star Kylie Minogue was a cast member who saw her character, “Charlene,” get hitched to longtime love “Scott” in a TV event that garnered more than 20 million viewers in the UK alone.

It wasn’t until March of this year that fans of the show even got anything close to a gay sex scene.

But marriage equality finally arriving in the ‘land down under’ this past January, it was clearly time for Australians to see a same-sex TV couple take a trip down the aisle.

The wedding scene was filmed in May, and according to Gay Star News, the two actors who play “Aaron” (Matt Wilson) and “David” (Takaya Honda) were thrilled to be involved in the groundbreaking TV event.

“We are both ecstatic to be part of this huge moment and it stands alone as the highlight of my career,” said Wilson, 29. “This storyline means a lot to me, my friends and to all the fans who love Aaron and David.”

Honda, 30, reflected on his character’s journey with pride: “It is an absolute privilege to be part of what is and what will be a historic moment in Australian television.”

“There have been so many parts of David’s story that have given me a great sense of pride – from discovering Paul Robinson was his dad, to his coming out to now marrying the man of his dreams.”

And the fans were delighted with the TV nuptials. Check out just a few of the tons of supportive tweets during the happy event.

 

 

 

 

 

(h/t Gay Star News)

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