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Same-sex marriage push in Australia

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Two bills calling for the legalisation of gay marriage were introduced to Australia’s parliament on Monday in a move campaigners said would add momentum to the push for equality.

The private member’s bills, introduced by left-leaning Greens lawmaker Adam Bandt and Stephen Jones from the ruling Labor party, take to three the pieces of legislation now before the parliament calling for gay marriage rights.

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Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young brought a similar bill in the upper house in September 2010 which is now being examined by a legislative inquiry.

None of the bills have enough support to pass into law but rights campaigners said their introduction, which follows Labor’s reversal of its official policy to pro-gay marriage in December, showed the tide was turning.

“The Jones bill demonstrates the immense momentum behind reform,” said Alex Greenwich, convenor of the Australian Marriage Equality lobby group.

“Three months ago the Labor Party was officially opposed to reform and now we have a Labor member leading the way towards equality.”

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He described Monday’s events as a “milestone on the road to equality”.

Greenwich said rights advocates wanted both Jones and Bandt’s bills to be examined by the Senate committee looking into Hanson-Young’s bill so that “the best possible legislation can be developed and put forward”.

Jones said there would not be a debate or vote for some months yet.

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In Australia marriage is mandated by federal legislation, so although civil same-sex unions are recognised in five states, the couples are not seen as “married” by the federal government.

All the same, same-sex couples have equal rights with heterosexual couples in areas such as pension schemes and medical benefits.

Until December there had been bipartisan opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia and though Labor’s official platform has changed, the party agreed to vote on conscience rather than in bloc, meaning there is presently little prospect of legal change.

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard opposes gay marriage, and the conservative Liberal-National coalition has made clear that its members will be expected to uphold the current heterosexual definition of marriage if a vote is called.

“Our position is clear. We believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman and that’s the way the Coalition will be voting,” said Liberal frontbencher Joe Hockey.


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Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.

The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.

"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."

"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."

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Trump campaign has 12-person ‘War Room’ toiling to fight the impeachment inquiry: report

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While the White House has bragged about refusing to start a "war room" to deal with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's administration, his campaign is footing the bill for a 12-person operation, the LA Times reported Friday.

“Some of you have criticized us for not having a war room — OK? — which we don’t by the way,” acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters.

“You don’t have a war room when you haven’t done anything wrong," he added.

By that logic, Trump's 2020 re-election campaign may fear the president did something wrong.

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‘I don’t think he knows what he’s doing’: Ex-Trump advisor rips the ‘cascading crisis’ of his ‘strategic disaster’

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President Donald Trump received harsh criticism from a former top Middle East advisor for the ethnic cleansing campaign Turkey is waging against the Kurds in Syria.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd interviewed Brett McGurk, the former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

"The truth of the matter is when President Trump announced to the world last December that we were leaving Syria and he arbitrarily cut our force reportedly in half, which is already a small force, we lost all of our leverage and influence," McGurk argued. "And he really threw it out the window on this call on October 6th."

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