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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Big difference

Thomas McCosker is a Victorian man sentenced to two years' jail in Fiji for having consensual sex with a man. Sodomy is a crime in Fiji and yet the injustice of this case has been virtually ignored in Australia.

The difference to the Schapelle Corby case is telling. The Australian government has consistently been seen to be doing something for Corby - the effectiveness is another matter - while McCosker has been left out to dry. His supposed "crime" is undoubtedly a factor.

6 Comments:

Blogger Andjam said...

It isn't just the government that's let him down. I found that there was very little mention of the case in the media or in the blogosphere. The only mention I know of was by Richard Ackland in an opinion case.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 3:46:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

I've created a wikipedia article about him and added him to the wikipedia list of Australians in international prisons.

Sunday, August 21, 2005 1:42:00 am  
Blogger Vasco Pyjama said...

This is a tough one. I can see the point of view from both sides.

I suppose I have a number of friends in the sector that I work in who travel internationally and are gay and have consensual sex with locals. There are also people I know who have sex with married women or married men when it is an offence.

I suppose my personal feeling is that if I disobey a law in that country, no matter how ludicrous or against my beliefs it is (eg., driving in Saudi or selling chewing gum in Singapore), then I can expect myself to be subjected to the law of that country.

It is not to say that the law is morally right. I completely support advocating for reform of gay rights in Fiji. But whilst it is illegal, Australian travellers surely would only flout the law at their own risk?

Sunday, August 21, 2005 1:08:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Vasco,
I take your point. If and when one travels in a foreign country, one is indeed subjected to their laws. Fair enough. But the lack of interest or care shown by the Aussie govt is telling, dat's all...
And yes, still calling gay male sex sodomy, is, er, rather sad...

Sunday, August 21, 2005 2:45:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

What's wrong with naming sex acts after locations? What next, objections to the term "lesbian"?

Talking of different amount of interest:

Google news for Thomas McCosker: 1-5 of 5
Google news for David Hicks Australia: 1-10 of 393

Monday, August 22, 2005 10:21:00 pm  
Blogger weezil said...

Antony, I covered McCosker on my old blog back in April (http://tinyurl.com/5mke2). Sam over at Queer Penguin has also had a few words on the subject. It certainly seems that McCosker was denied proper consular assistance; malfeasance or malice? Hard telling...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 9:03:00 am  

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