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A MESSAGE FROM THE SOVEREIGN

Laws are made by Governments, which whilst applying to the general public are equally binding in application and judiciary upon the Governments who made them. The following have application in assuredly expressing one of the most important principals of the foundation stones of what law is basically designed to achieve.

By the Australian Commonwealth Crimes Act it is an offence to aid or urge, verbally or in writing, the overthrow by force of the established Government of the Commonwealth, foreign government, or other government. The Government of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom is “other government”. The definition of force is law, police force, or sovereign power.

The Australian Criminal Code makes it an offence to hinder justice. Sometimes it may seem that statutory law and justice may vary, but the law stipulates that justice shall prevail. Thus if one combines a high degree of ethics and principles into his thoughts and actions, designed purely to achieve justice, then by the strict principles of law he is not committing any offence in law in so pursuing that very goal.

It is however, an unfortunate trait, shown clearly in history, that justice is not always readily meted out or achieved.

However, the purpose of life is deeply engrained in mankind. When their “natural rights” are encroached upon causing them great distress, mankind is recorded to show strong resentment and reaction to this encroachment at some point in time. The ideal in the very basics is for mankind to enjoy life in the living of it, without hindrance to themselves or to others.

May you therefore enjoy the living of life which the Creator, God has given you.

Dale R

Government Of The Gay And Lesbian Kingdom Of The Coral Sea Islands - THE TROUBLED TIMES

As a nation, Australia maintains appalling laws against gay and lesbian people. We live under a regime of apartheid. It is an apartheid not based on the colour of our skin, but on the colour of our sexuality. Homophobia is nothing less than sexual racism. But homosexuality is not a behaviour to be regulated. It is an identity to be respected. We are people, first and foremost. We work, we have lives, we love and have relationships. We are family.

Yet, despite being citizens, voters and taxpayers, lesbian and gay Australians do not have the same rights – or in many cases have no rights – to those things in life that heterosexual people take for granted. With the passing of legislation into law banning same sex marriages gay and lesbian couples can be denied access to a hospital to visit their partner if he or she is sick or injured – because they are not considered next of kin. If they should die, their partner has no legal claim to their superannuation death benefit, despite the fact that they have nominated them as their beneficiary. Gay or lesbian couples cannot claim their partner as a dependant or split their incomes for taxation purposes and, if they should separate, there is no legal mechanism to ensure fair and reasonable property settlement – they are denied access to the Family Court.

These complications are even more pronounced for the many gay and lesbian families raising children. It may come as a surprise to the government of Australia that many gay men do in fact have children and that about 30 per cent of lesbian couples either have or plan to have children. Despite this, some people still promote arguments and laws in opposition to what is the reality of many people’s lives. But the fact remains that, no matter how many obstacles you place in front of women trying to have children, those women who really want children will have children, as is their right. Heterosexual people do not have a monopoly on good child rearing practices. It is those people who really want children who make the best parents.

Gay and lesbian people fighting for compensation and superannuation death benefits find that the spirit of those acts cannot be applied to same sex relationships. And so it is with unfair stamp duty payments and other taxation imposts, property settlement, family payments and spousal recognition within the defence forces and Public Service. Gay and lesbian people seeking to be regarded as next of kin for hospital visits or funeral arrangements can find that the spirit of those acts cannot be applied to them, and the immigration process for same sex couples applies differently and to our disadvantage. The spirit does not apply here either. No, the spirit of Commonwealth legislation towards same sex relationships is decidedly mean spirited. We are excluded.

The legal recognition of same sex relationships is a human rights priority that must be addressed by the Commonwealth of Australia, it is for this reason and this reason alone that gay and lesbian activists sailed to Australia’s overseas external territory of the Coral Sea Islands and declared the territory a independent sovereign gay and lesbian Kingdom.

In his victory speech in 1998, Prime Minister Howard spoke of the need for a more caring and tolerant Australia. At their national conference in Hobart a few years ago, the Australian Labor Party unanimously passed a motion recognising the need for equality and justice for gay men and lesbians. If these parties are serious about this, then now is the time for them to act.

Discrimination against gay and lesbian people is as morally repugnant as racism or anti-Semitism. As a nation Australia has fallen behind comparable jurisdictions, such as New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, in terms of protecting the human rights of homosexual people. For as long as governments condone this apartheid, they are creating the social and political environment that leads to harassment and violence towards gay and lesbian people.

While parliaments continue to deny our relationships, deem us to be criminals, and render us to be second-class citizens without legal protections, then some people will take this as their cue to continue to treat us badly. Australian research shows that almost half of all gay and lesbian people report some form of discrimination or harassment at work, including sackings. Roughly 30 per cent of lesbian and gay people experience harassment at school. And, worst of all, 70 per cent of gay and lesbian people report being verbally abused, threatened or bashed in a public place.

The government of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom wish to take a moment now to briefly tell the story of a young man called Matthew Shepherd. Matthew was a slightly built 21-year-old student in Wyoming in the United States. About a year ago he was lured from a campus bar by two men. They drove him to a remote area outside the town of Laramie, where they viciously beat him. As he lay there bleeding, begging for his life, he was bound to a fence and left in near freezing temperatures to die. He had been beaten so badly that his limp body, when found, was at first thought to be a scarecrow. His attackers had stolen his shoes and robbed his apartment. After being struck in the head 18 times with the butt of a hand gun, he remained in a coma for five days without regaining consciousness, before dying. Matthew Shepherd was murdered because he was gay.

Before anyone in Australia is tempted to think that this could only happen in America, the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom reminds the government of Australia that no fewer than 30 men have been bashed to death in Australia in the past couple of years simply because they were gay or presumed to be so. This violence does not occur in a vacuum, it is not spontaneous.

Hatred of this kind takes years to mature within societies. It is nurtured through a culture of invisibility and fear towards gay and lesbian people and the neglect and indifference of parliaments. Each time a piece of legislation comes before the parliament and touches on human rights and human relationships but excludes gay and lesbian people and denies our relationships, it perpetuates this culture of invisibility. Each time a public figure or religious speaker denounces our existence or seeks to justify our differential treatment, it perpetuates this culture of fear.

The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom stands here today, on the dawn of this new century, as an independent sovereign gay nation, its government represents the last generation of gay and lesbian people who will tolerate the injustices of the past being carried into the future. To the thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered citizens who know the pain of abuse and discrimination and to those who have been unjustly arrested and jailed, the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom pledges it support and the support of its government.

Throughout our history many of the kingdoms founding fathers and mothers were human rights activist, and were inspired by the dedication and tenacity of small groups of people fighting for change against overwhelming odds. These groups have very few resources, other than a passion for justice and a strong desire for change. At times these groups face opposition so fierce it can lead to violence, as we have seen recently in Australia, and it is deeply personal. Yet it is these tiny community groups which change community attitudes, which in turn change laws.

The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom salutes the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group which, through a 10-year campaign, brought about the repeal of offensive anti–gay laws in that state, a state which now leads the world in sexuality education programs, and leads the nation with antidiscrimination laws. And we offer our respects to Rodney Croome and Nick Toonan, the public faces of that movement. Their legacy is a United Nations resolution reaffirming the human rights of all gay and lesbian citizens, a resolution which has shone a light into some of the darkest corners of the world and which can now be built on. We also salute the Gay and Lesbian Equality group which, after 11 years of fighting, is on the brink of achieving change. Its legacy is the shift in community attitudes it has brought about though reasoned arguments, truth and persistence.

Let us hope that as a nation Australia enters this millennium a society not simply of greater tolerance but of greater acceptance.

In June 2004 the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill Schedule 1 – Amendment of the marriage act 1969 was presented in the Australian parliament and passed into law. This legislation discriminated against same sex couples, same sex families and banned those lesbian and gay men who legally married overseas from accessing the Australian Courts to have their relationships recognised. The gay community sort legal advice, however, it soon became apparent that the community needed something more, something vitally different as much of the homophobic legislation introduced into parliament over the past 10 years that has seen the winding back of gay rights has been because of the right wing coalition of Christian lobby groups, here was a unique combination of circumstances and events.

In the past 10 years the Australian government has repeatedly attacked the gay community and has confirmed its status as one of the most homophobic governments in the western world. The Australian government has cut immigration for same sex partners, tried to ban IVF treatment to lesbians, falsely accused the openly gay High Court Chief Justice Michael Kirby of being a paedophile and stood silently by when this proved false, attacked gay families on TV, threatened to overturn the State same sex couple adoption laws, and declared marriage as being about the survival of the species.

1994: Gay activists take Australia to the United Nations and win there case that forces the government to introduce the Commonwealth Human Rights Sexual Conduct Bill that gives gay people in states like Tasmania the right to have sex in their own home.

1996: The Australian government slashes the number of “Interdependency visas”, making migration for same sex couples far more difficult.

1997: In response to the discrimination claim of a lesbian, the Australian government threatens to remove Medicare rebates for lesbians who access fertility services. In response to the case the Attorney General of Australia first threatens to amend the sex discrimination act of 1984 to exclude lesbians from fertility services and from adoption.

1998: The Australian government rejects a bill to extend superannuation to same sex couples

1999: The Australian government again rejects the same sex bill.

2000: The Australian Senate Select Committee examines the rejected superannuation bill and releases its report. The committee receives more than 1200 submissions in favour of the bill and five opposing it. The government writes a minority report and again opposes the bill. In response to a court ruling that it is unlawful to exclude lesbians from fertility services, the government tries to amend the sex discrimination act to exclude lesbians from anti-discrimination protection in this area.

2001: Widows of prisoners of war are awarded $12,000 dollars but the government claims that the 25 gay partners of the POWS will not be eligible because the government does not recognise same sex relationships. Again a bill is introduced into parliament to extend superannuation benefits to same sex couples and again the government rejects it. Asked on national radio JJJ the Prime Minister stated he didn’t think homosexuals should have the same status as heterosexuals.

2002: The government applies to have a court decision granting legal marriage status to a transsexual man and his wife reversed. The government accuse openly gay High Court Judge Justice Michael Kirby of paedophilia and forces the judge to stand down. The governments “evidence” is discredited by the Senate and whilst the Judge is reinstated the government refuses to apologise. Later in the week the Prime Minister remarks he is not tolerant of gay people. With the approval and support of the Catholic Bishops the government again tries to exclude lesbians from fertility services by amending the sex discrimination act. The government states publicly that it is opposed to same sex marriage and same sex parents. The government refuses the referral of powers from all states which would allow the Family Court to hear property disputes of same sex couples.

2003: the Prime Minister tells a radio station he opposes changing the law to grant equal status to same sex couples but says its “not an expression of discrimination”. The United Nations Human Rights Commission declares the Australia government in violation of equality and privacy rights under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights after denying a man a de facto spouse veterans pension based on his 38 year same sex relationship. The request from the UN that Australia take steps to treat same sex couples equally is ignored and when directly questioned the government says it is not bound by the ruling.

2004: The government condemns state adoption laws that allow same sex couples to adopt and considers using little used Commonwealth laws to override the state laws. The Prime Minister goes on record to say he is against gay adoption like he is against gay marriage. The government condemns the government owned television station ABC for running “a gay political agenda’ when it featured a lesbian couple on Play School. The Deputy Prime Minister says publicly that homosexuals should accept their choice of lifestyle means other life options are closed to them. The government opposers a private members bill that includes sweeping reforms for gay and lesbian rights. The government introducers its own bill, that prevents gay and lesbian couples from marring and adopting and also prevents same sex couples who are legally married overseas from accessing the nations courts. The government passes this bill into law.

June 2004: Gay activists leave the Australian mainland and sail to Australia’s nearby uninhabited external territory of the Coral Sea Islands and declare them an Independent Gay and Lesbian Kingdom and appeal to the United Nations and the International Court of Justice for recognition and support on the grounds that under international law and the United Nations Charter of which Australia is a signatory the UN rules that “an oppressed people who occupy an external overseas territory have the right to self determination and self government.”

2005: Australia removes Gay and Lesbian rights from its Human Rights Charter.

SECESSION

The decision had been made. Now to implement that decision. This difficult and exacting task was assigned to those who were capable of effecting it to a successful conclusion. A board of Administration was chosen from amongst the gay activists and from this Board Dale Parker Anderson was elected as Sovereign of the former Australian Territory of the Coral Sea Islands. This Board chose the name Gay and Lesbian Kingdom for the 1 million square mile territory they had seceded. The gay rainbow pride flag was adopted as the Kingdoms official flag and the Pink Triangle was chosen as the kingdoms coat of arms. Imagine, if you can, establishing a Government. Day dream about it for a few hours, considering every little detail and you’ll find that just as you think you can have everything organised, the carrying out of some small act brings you up against a blank wall. And to complicate things even more, there are, as it were, little wires stretched at the most unlikely spots to trip up the unwary novice.

Many ask why the Board chose a Monarchy over a Republic as the gay nation’s form of government. It was important to the Board that they source materials that could secure in there determination to protect themselves through peaceful means of law, and at the same time preserve their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia. At this stage both emotional and physical fear were very real to the gay people occupying the Coral Sea islands. An old law was discovered which applied to the Boards situation. This Law held that anyone assisting a defacto Prince to attain his office could be not be charged with treason. The Imperial Treasons Act went on further to say that anyone hindering a defacto Prince in the discharge of his Princely duties could be charged with treason. It was decided that such a law fitted their situation. Therefore the gay people, to gain added protection by law than that which they already had under international law, the Board adopted the status of an independent Kingdom rather than a republic which offered them no protection under Australian law. Thus as a Kingdom the onus would be upon any who sought to deter or in any way interfere with their ruler or his subjects.

This action was in full compliance with international law relative to a sovereign territory which has been occupied, which states that sovereignty goes immediately to a government in occupancy irrespective of how short that occupancy is. This move was released to the media with resultant bandying to and fro, pro and con. However, no action was taken at the time by Australia to interfere with or put down the Government of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands.

On June 13th 2004, the people of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom took immediate action. The Board’s name was changed to legislative assembly and its first act, called for a referendum that asked voters to take to the polls to vote on weather they wished to secede from Australia. They were confronted with a question that read: “Do you agree that the Coral Sea Island should become a Gay Sovereign State. YES or NO?”

The final referendum result were 0 votes for NO and 100 % for YES. The result of the 2004 referendum proved to be enough for the gay government, to present the issue of secession to Australia’s Governor General and to the Australian Parliament, along with copies of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom’s declaration of independence. To this end, the Gay legislative assembly submitted three questions for legal advise, which were answered in a 2004 Reference Opinion.

Question One: Under the Australian constitution, can the Gay Assembly, legislature or government of the Gay and Lesbian kingdom effect the secession of the Coral Sea Island Territory from Australia unilaterally?

Question Two: Does international law give the Gay Assembly, legislature or government of the Coral Sea Island Territory the right to effect the secession of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands from Australia unilaterally?

Question Three: In the event of conflict between domestic and international law on the issue of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands unilateral secession, which would take precedence in Australia?

With respect to Question one, the legal advice given unequivocally stated that the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands may unilaterally secede from Australia and be considered lawful in doing so. The legal advice further concluded that an overseas territory can secede from Australia and no constitution requirements would need to be amended or be negotiated. Implicitly conceding that the Australian Constitution allowed other former overseas Australian territories of Papua New Guinea, the Nauru and the Cocos Keeling Islands the right to self determination with Papua New Guinea and Nauru choosing to become independent states.

With respect to Question two: the legal advice obtained by the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom similarly held that international law does confer a right to unilaterally secede on either the citizens of the Coral Sea Islands or its representative institutions. The legal advice noted that international law, like Australian law, neither permits nor prohibits unilateral secession, and was unpersuaded by the two arguments that what “is not explicitly prohibited is implicitly permitted” and that foreign states have a duty to recognise secessions brought about by the well-established “international law of right of a people to self-determination”.

Focusing on the fact that international law places great importance on the territorial integrity of nation states, the legal advice stated that international law thus permits unilateral secession on elements the gay people of the Coral Sea Islands were an oppressed people and that the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom a colonised overseas territory. The legal advice also noted that the homosexual people occupying the Coral Sea Island Territory have endured threats to their existence and human rights. After listing numerous, areas of inequality and discrimination faced by homosexual people in all areas of Australian government legislation, law and life – as well as the various social, political, cultural, and economic rights that they do not enjoy – the legal advice found that the Coral Sea Islands did meet this criterion.

The legal advice also found that oppression to be the main argument that international law implicitly permits unilateral secession and acknowledged that various United Nations documents declare the importance of self determination in furthering its goals of global peace and stability. As before, the legal advice noted that a people are ordinarily not given the right to exercise self determination absent colonial domination, oppression or instances where an oppressor effectively barred other means of achieving independence. Under these circumstances, and aided by the facts listed above, the legal advice similarly concluded that the Gay and Lesbian people of the Coral Sea Islands had every right to secession and self determination and to declare the Coral Sea Islands and Independent Sovereign Gay and Lesbian Kingdom under international law. Therefore, the legal advice found it unnecessary to answer Question Three.

The Response
The Government of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands claimed victory following the decision on the grounds that the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom has a right to self determination as the law applies to them as they are an oppressed and colonised people who have been denied fundamental human rights.

 
 
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