Warm Greetings from "Down Under"

Members of PFLAG our sister organisation in Australia send best wishes to all of us back home and celebrate with us the progress that has been made to achieve marriage equality in the UK.

 

Bruce and Janet Kent had the wonderful opportunity to visit Australia in November 2015 and so arranged to attend a local meeting of PFLAG our sister organisation in Parramatta a suburb of Sydney.    

                                                                                     

 THE PFLAG MEETING IN SYDNEY NOVEMBER 2015

The meeting was chaired by Committee Member, Marilyn Godfrey and Bruce and Janet immediately felt completely at home  with all the lovely people in an atmosphere so reminiscent of our own meetings here in the UK.  Many of the group were old friends, some having been active in PFLAG for up to two decades and one family were there for the very first time that afternoon with their gay son.

PFLAG Australia is travelling a very similar course to us in FFLAG here and the Sydney group were very interested to hear Janet and Bruce’s stories and how we have achieved marriage equality at last in the UK.  They are working with others towards seeing such a breakthrough in their own country. 

In fact, 2015 marks the 20 year anniversary of PFLAG in Western Sydney, founded in Parramatta in 1995 by current PFLAG committee member, Mollie Smith.   

 

Talking about her own personal story, Janet explained that after going on a long journey to acceptance of her son’s sexuality, she and Bruce were delighted that he was getting married on the Saturday after they returned from Australia.  This led to the atmosphere becoming very emotional and there were tears.  Movingly, Marilyn expressed that this was because it is not yet a reality for them in Australia.

Recent polls suggest that Australia is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world.  A poll conducted by Pew Research indicated that 79% of Australians viewed that homosexuality should be accepted by society, making it the fifth most supportive country in the world behind Spain (88%), Germany (87%), Canada and Czech Republic (both 80%).  However, the situation varies widely across the country with much more acceptance in the big cities and much less in many more rural areas.   

 

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