Monday 23rd of October 2017

Malcolm Turnbull has offered Mr Howard an opportunity to contribute...



John Howard has intervened in the marriage equality debate, personally authorising a full-page newspaper advertisement calling for legal protection of religious freedoms ahead of the ballot result.

The former prime minister has used the full imprimatur of his status and office as a one-time Coalition leader in a public statement carried in The Australian newspaper on Saturday. The national broadsheet advertisement bears Mr Howard's photo and signature.

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"It is completely disingenuous to assert that going to war on this magnitude against a sovereign country like Iraq does not have consequences.

"It is precisely because the will of the people did not reflect Parliament that the people were sold a pup that, if anything, my Government asked no questions whatsoever and that Downer repeated 8,000 times in the press that "Saddam has Weapons of Mass destruction"... which he obviously had none.

"People were not fully informed about the real reason of the war: OIL... Actually PETRODOLLARS...

meanwhile, 16,094 kms from howardistan...

As they entered the golden room of Schöneberg town hall to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, Bodo Mende and Karl Kreile were only doing what tens of thousands of other couples had done before – tying the knot in front of friends and family in the southern Berlin district.

But they were also making history as the first same-sex couple able to marry in Germany, after a new law came into force which finally puts gay and lesbian couples on an equal legal footing with heterosexuals.

“After 38 years together, this is a day we’ve waited a long time for,” 59-year-old Kreile told the Guardian ahead of Sunday’s ceremony. “We’ve actively campaigned for decades for the state to recognise us as equals. and finally we are able to celebrate a day we once thought may never come in our lifetimes.”

Mende, 60, said it was a “huge honour” for the couple to be the first in Germany to marry. “I remember the shame we felt when we were turned away from a registry office 25 years ago when we confronted the registrar as part of an organised protest. They made us feel like second-class citizens.”

Instead of feeling like pariahs, Kreile and Mende were on Sunday elevated to the status of heroes. Many of those who had campaigned with the couple over the years clapped and cheered alongside them as they kissed after saying their vows and signed their marriage documents.

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