Yes, Yes, Yes

The same-sex marriage survey results are in, and the yes votes have it with a total of almost 62%. There was an extraordinary rate of participation in the survey with a pretty even spread across all age groups. Not a single state had a majority no vote. You can check out all the sexy data here, including how your electorate voted. It’s interesting to note just how many of the ‘no’ campaigners come from electorates who largely voted yes. Tony Abbott‘s electorate, for example, had a 74% yes vote.

So what now? Turnbull says he expects the legislation to pass by Christmas, but that’ll be harder than it sounds. The Liberal National Party faces in-fighting from its conservative arm, which wants to ‘protect religious freedom’ by allowing celebrants and other businesses to refuse the right to serve gay weddings without facing discrimination laws. The conversation, as you could expect, has become ridiculous at many points, and to be honest I’ve lost track. I think we’re now debating if a wedding cake can be gay. So standby on that one.

For a deep dive on Australia’s history with the same-sex marriage debate, click here.

Parliament bleeds dual citizens

We’re still trying to sort out the dual citizenship mess. (You can catch up here and here.) The Senate lost independent Senator and big personality Jacqui Lambie this week, as well as Senate President Stephen Parry. The House of Representatives lost John Alexander, driving the government into even more of a minority.

Turnbull and Shorten have agreed to move forward with a ‘disclosure’ process, forcing all politicians to publicly disclose their citizenship status by early December. If the whole thing seems ridiculous, you’re not alone. But a change to the Australian constitution where the dual citizenship law sits means a referendum. And we’ve just had an unofficial referendum of sorts – the same sex marriage vote. And there’s a significant move by indigenous rights activists for are referendum to alter the constitution to formally recognise indigenous people but Turnbull’s been shady on. For Turnbull to have a referendum on dual citizenship (which would open up a public debate about race) and NOT on indigenous recognition (which would ALSO open up a public debate about race) would be…complicated.

Labor is pushing forward more aggressively in the wake of so many Liberal losses. The departure of John Alexander has triggered a by-election in the seat of Bennelong, and Labor has announced it’ll run their popular candidate Kristina Keneally in an attempt to win the seat and shift the balance of power in the House of Reps.

Yes, this’ll keep going.

Manus

Last week, Papua New Guinea officials forcibly removed around half of the men who are refusing to leave the now closed Manus Island detention centre. 300 remain.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has ratcheted up pressure on Australia to accept their offer of taking 150 refugees, but Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says this will only encourage illegal boat arrivals and people smuggling. In a rare moment of disagreement between the two countries, Arden has gone so far as to hand over almost three million dollars to the the Papua New Guinea government to provide ‘essential services’ to Manus Island.

The stand-off is ongoing.

The Future and coal

At a UN climate summit in Germany, 19 countries have re-newed their alliance to end their dependence on coal, with new commitments coming from New Zealand, Mexico, Denmark and Angola. The UK and Canada lead the charge – UK’s dependence on coal is down to just 2%. Australia and the US are noticeably absent in the deal, claiming that coal supports more jobs. Canada’s environment minister disagrees, saying the renewable energy sector already employs 250,000 people in the US, compared to just 50,000 in coal.

Australia’s most recent energy policy, the ‘NEG’ is explained here.

Zimbabwe

After 35 years of ruling Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has been overthrown by his military. There had already been a great deal of debate over who who succeed Mugabe, who is 93 years old. The military says Mugabe and his family are safe, and are going after corrupt politicians around Mugabe, who are allegedly perpetuating social and economic inequality.

On the street, the situation is described as ‘uncertain’ but relatively safe. The military have moved quickly and with precision, limiting violent outbreaks and casualties. The military has said it felt forced to move after the state media refused to publish comments made by the military.

The situation in Zimbabwe is complicated, and in a less busy time we would publish a deep dive on the issue. Standby to read this sometime in December. But in the meantime…

Queensland Election

Pressure is mounting on the Labor Party as Queenslanders head to the polls on the 25th of November. We’ll do a final round up of everyone’s policies next Tuesday, but you can read about how to vote and some of the issues surrounding the election here. One Nation continues to poll higher than expected.

Giants of Hollywood Fall

In the wake of famed movie producer Harvey Weinstein facing allegations of years of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour, other victims of high-powered sexual harassment are coming forward. Kevin Spacey faces multiple allegations. Louis CK confessed to multiple counts of inappropriate behaviour after allegations were published by the New York Times. They are the most high-profile of dozens of men working across Hollywood who now face allegations. Their careers are in meltdown. Kevin Spacey’s role in an about-to-be-released film are being re-shot with a new actor. In the space of 48 hours, Louis CK lost his publicist, his movie distribution deal, his job as executive producer on four television shows, and Netflix pulled all of his content from their service.

How much is Jesus worth?

A portrait of Jesus by Leonardo DaVinci sold at auction for around $400 million. The ‘masterpiece’, titled Salvator Mundi, was discovered less than a decade ago. When Leonardo was asked for his opinion on the sale, he didn’t say anything because he’s dead. But there’s rumours going around that Jesus didn’t actually sit for the painting. He’s such a hard guy to pin down. Also, he’s suspiciously white for an Arabian man…

Leonardo_da_Vinci_(attributed_to)

Photo at the top by Mike Bowers, Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.

A quiet word

This year, I’m raising money for Movember. Movember do important and valuable work in raising the profile of men’s health. A man dies from suicide every minute. And blokes are generally dying from largely preventable diseases.

It means I’m growing a particularly porn-y mo, and would love your support. For pictures of my stupid face, and to make a donation, click here. I’d be ever so grateful.

If you like this blog, share it around.

See you next week for the QLD election.

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