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Down on down under. (reader forum).

Australia does indeed have a vibrant and dynamic gay and lesbian community, situated in a broader urban culture of tolerance. But Dan Allen's article ["Life in Oz," September 3] does its readers a disservice by not also noting that Australia currently has a virulently antigay federal government and prime minister, still discriminates in many states against gay men and lesbians in the provision of fertility services, and actively excludes our community from relationship property laws. You need only look to Australia's near neighbor New Zealand for a very different government. New Zealand has a prime minister who recently apologized for the discrimination and oppression of gay and lesbian people by previous governments, has an openly gay cabinet minister and the world's first transgendered member of parliament (elected by a rural farming community), and has all of the progressive social policies of Australia and more. Australia will put on a great Gay Games, but let's not forget about the broader political environment there.

Bryan Patchett, Tucson, Ariz.
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Author:Patchett, Bryan
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Previous Article:Games we play. (reader forum).
Next Article:Mideast conflict. (reader forum).

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