Dads Against the Divorce Industry

DA*DI is devoted to reinstating the societal valuation of Marriage and the traditional, nuclear American Family, with particular emphasis on the essential role of FATHERS.

DA*DI offers contemporary reports and commentary on culture; its aberrations and its heroes.

Gay Pride?
On Parade

Lesbian-only festival sparks anger

September 30, 2003 - 5:10PM

A spat has broken out over a bid to exclude anyone other than female-born lesbians from attending or working at a national lesbian festival.

Organisers of Lesfest 2004, to be held at Daylesford in country Victoria, today had an exemption from equal opportunity laws revoked in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT).

The tribunal decision made earlier this month had allowed organisers to advertise for only female-born lesbians to attend or work at the seven-day conference.

But the exemption was today overturned because the organisers had failed to notify the tribunal about a complaint.

The Australian WOMAN Network (AWN), a transsexual lobby group, had applied to revoke the exemption because the term "female-born" was offensive.

Lesfest spokeswoman Anna Holland-Moore said outside the tribunal there was a difference between lesbians who were raised female and those born male.

She said the homosexual community was diverse and transsexuals had the right to celebrate their own identity.

"It's not about excluding, it's about affirmation of our identity," Ms Holland-Moore said.

"We just wanted a week together to consolidate our culture and discuss relevant issues."

She said organisers were also worried about the effect opening the festival to non-lesbians would have on their women-only ceremonies and workshops.

An internet advertisement for the January festival says it will be held on 60 hectares on which there will be "peaceful bush, big gums and lots of birdlife".

The festival will include political forums, performing arts, healing space, workshops and talking circles.

More than 150 people are expected to attend.

The exemption would have ensured even caterers were lesbians.

Boys aged over eight and non-lesbian girls over 15 were also banned from attending.

AWN co-convenor Karen Gurney said outside the tribunal that the exemption had caused "distress" among the group's members because it failed to recognise transsexuals as medically and legally women.

Lesfest organisers said they were yet to decide if they would reapply for an exemption or "just send out private invitations".


This story was found at:

Back to DA*DI's Home

Dads Against the Divorce Industry Dads Against the Divorce Industry