Month: September 2017

Marriage equality campaigners vow to keep fighting after ‘disappointing’ ruling | The Age

Supporters of marriage equality have vowed to continue campaigning after the High Court gave a green light to the same-sex marriage postal vote. Campaigning for the “yes” vote started almost immediately after the decision was handed down on Thursday afternoon, with supporters handing out pamphlets outside the High Court and neighbouring Flagstaff railway station. But the verdict has stirred up real concerns among members of the LGBTI community who feared the debate had given rise to intolerance they had not seen in decades. Wil Strack, 52, was among the campaigners outside court and said she was “very disappointed with the decision”. “If it has to happen then now we need to go full swing into the campaign,” the Footscray woman said. “It impacts on me, I’d like to marry my partner. We had a ceremony last year with our family and friends because we got tired of waiting. “Now that we know the decision, we just really need to get on and campaign. “We’d like it to be legal, the kids would like it to be legal. We’re expecting another grandchild next year and …

Max and his three dads celebrate difference on Father’s Day | Sydney Morning Herald

This Father’s Day, seven-year-old Max will buy three presents for his three dads. Kids at school often ask Max: “Where’s your mum?” Max says he doesn’t have one. Instead he has a “special lady” who helped his dads have him. “He knows there was an egg donor and there was a surrogate. We’ve explained the process so that a seven-year-old can understand it,” says one of his fathers, Jason Schutze-Stafford. “He’s very proud of the fact that he’s got three dads in his life. It’s never been an issue for him. He’s very upfront about it.” Jason, Wayne and Brendan – Jason’s former partner who still plays a role in Max’s life – are gay dads. They brought a three-week-old Max home after what Jason described as a relatively smooth two-year overseas surrogacy process that calls for a DNA testing to ensure that Max would be an Australian citizen, and preparing passports and exit visas. “We had moments of stress but also had moments of joy, feeling really blessed that we were able to have …

Parenthood a joy for first-time dad pushing 60 | The Age

When people ask Brett Eagleton if toddler Katie is his granddaughter, he laughs. Katie, who is 20 months old, is his first child. But 59-year-old Mr Eagleton is not fazed by what others might think about his age. “People see that our bond is very strong,” he says. The disability support worker married his long-term partner, Kim, when he was 51. Kim, 36, who works at a Salvation Army store, wanted to have children, and supporting her was important to Mr Eagleton. The couple’s only concern was ensuring they had a child-friendly home. When Katie was born, it only reaffirmed their decision to have children. “It’s the most beautiful thing that’s ever happened to me in my life,” Mr Eagleton says. “It wasn’t a practical and available option for me when I was younger, so I don’t dwell upon it at all. “I’ve definitely got to maintain my health and thankfully that is the case. There are practical realities when you have a child when you’re older, but I don’t regret that I couldn’t do it; it just happened at the time when it was meant to happen.” Mr Eagleton  has become accustomed to the usual …

Metro Tunnel: New train stations should be named after location, say transport users | The Age

When it comes to naming Melbourne’s new train stations, commuters are torn between the creative and the bleeding obvious. A competition to name the Metro Tunnel’s five new underground stations has prompted a wide range of suggestions, from the culturally significant to the contemporary (hello ‘Smashed Avo’ station). But Daniel Bowen from the Public Transport Users Association said that while it might be tempting to name the landmarks after celebrities or historic figures, the monikers should, most importantly, tell people where the stations are. “These stations will be with us for decades, hopefully centuries to come, and it is important that the names help people trying to navigate their way around Melbourne,” he said. “What we don’t want is another station name like Southern Cross, which is basically meaningless – it tells you nothing about where it is in the city.” “Much easier for everyone concerned. Spencer Street was a better name than Southern Cross. Museum was better than Melbourne Central,” one reader said. “Call it where it is geographically located rather than some gimmick name that …