Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands

Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
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The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is a micronation established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in southeast Queensland Australia.
Gay & Lesbian Kingdomof the Coral Sea Islands
Flag
Motto: tbaMusical Anthem: I am what I am
Type of entity:
Micronation
Location:
Coral Sea Islands
Area claimed:
Coral Sea Island Territory
Membership:
Gay & Lesbian people
Date of foundation:
14 June 2004
Leadership:
Emperor Dale I(Dale Parker Anderson)
Purported organisational structure:
Constitutional monarchy
Language:
English
Purported currency:
Euro
Contents[hide]
1 History
2 Emperor
3 Petition to Australia
4 References
5 External links


History

Map of the claimed 'kingdom'
On June 14, 2004, the group 'claimed' the Coral Sea Island Territory and 'seceded' from Australia after sailing to the largest island in the group and raising the rainbow flag there. One of the group's members, Dale Parker Anderson (born 1965), was declared Emperor, as Dale I. The "secession" was staged in protest at a decision to ban same-sex marriage made by the Australian federal parliament.
Since 2005 the Australian group has allegedly been embroiled in internal disputes and "secessions" by various factions. These include two American-based groups, the Gay and Lesbian Commonwealth Kingdom, headed by Jaix Broox, and the Unified Gay Tribe, led by Bill Freeman and Enrique Pérez, and the German based Gay Homeland Foundation led by Victor Zimmermann. Since none of these groups claims the territory of the Coral Sea Islands, their organisational nature, if any, is unclear.
The "kingdom's" claims are not recognised by any state, and as no permanent settlement has been established, the Coral Sea Islands remain uninhabited.

Emperor

Emperor Dale I (Dale Parker Anderson)
Emperor Dale was a member of the Gay and Lesbian Board of Administrators and at the age of 38 was elected Sovereign of Kingdom on the June 14, 2004.
Many in the gay community have asked why the Board chose a Monarchy over a Republic as the gay nation’s form of government. The boards answer to this question was that it was important to the Board that they conduct their government in a way to aid their determination to protect themselves through peaceful means of law, and at the same time preserve their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia. At this stage both emotional and physical fear were very real to the gay people occupying the Coral Sea islands. An old law was discovered which applied to the Boards situation. This Law held that anyone assisting a defacto Prince to attain his office could not be charged with treason. The Imperial Treasons Act went on further to say that anyone hindering a defacto Prince in the discharge of his Princely duties could be charged with treason. It was decided that such a law fitted their situation. Therefore the gay people, to gain added protection by law than that which they already had under international law, the Board adopted the status of an independent Kingdom rather than a republic which offered them no protection under Australian law. Thus as a Kingdom the onus would be upon any who sought to deter or in any way interfere with their ruler or his subjects.


Petition to Australia
After a June 13 plebiscite on secession that resulted in a 100% pro-secession vote, the gay government presented the issue of secession to Australia’s Governor General and to the Australian Parliament, along with copies of the Kingdom’s declaration of independence. To this end, the legislative assembly submitted three questions for legal advice, which were answered in a 2004 Reference Opinion:
Under the Australian constitution, can the Gay Assembly, legislature or government of the Gay and Lesbian kingdom effect the secession of the Coral Sea Island Territory from Australia unilaterally?
Does international law give the Gay Assembly, legislature or government of the Coral Sea Island Territory the right to effect the secession of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands from Australia unilaterally?
In the event of conflict between domestic and international law on the issue of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands unilateral secession, which would take precedence in Australia?
With respect to Question one, the legal advice given stated that the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands may unilaterally secede from Australia and be considered lawful in doing so. The legal advice further concluded that an overseas territory can secede from Australia and no constitution requirements would need to be amended or be negotiated. Implicitly conceding that the Australian Constitution allowed other former overseas Australian territories of Papua New Guinea, the Nauru and the Cocos Keeling Islands the right to self determination with Papua New Guinea and Nauru choosing to become independent states.
With respect to Question two: the legal advice obtained by the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom similarly held that international law does confer a right to unilaterally secede on either the citizens of the Coral Sea Islands or its representative institutions. The legal advice noted that international law, like Australian law, neither permits nor prohibits unilateral secession, and was unpersuaded by the two arguments that what “is not explicitly prohibited is implicitly permitted” and that foreign states have a duty to recognise secessions brought about by the well-established “international law of right of a people to self-determination”.
Focusing on the fact that international law places great importance on the territorial integrity of nation states, the legal advice stated that international law thus permits unilateral secession on elements the gay people of the Coral Sea Islands were an oppressed people and that the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom a colonised overseas territory. The legal advice also noted that the homosexual people occupying the Coral Sea Island Territory have endured threats to their existence and human rights. After listing numerous, areas of inequality and discrimination faced by homosexual people in all areas of Australian government legislation, law and life – as well as the various social, political, cultural, and economic rights that they do not enjoy – the legal advice found that the Coral Sea Islands did meet this criterion.
The legal advice also found that oppression to be the main argument that international law implicitly permits unilateral secession and acknowledged that various United Nations documents declare the importance of self determination in furthering its goals of global peace and stability. As before, the legal advice noted that a people are ordinarily not given the right to exercise self determination absent colonial domination, oppression or instances where an oppressor effectively barred other means of achieving independence. Under these circumstances, and aided by the facts listed above, the legal advice similarly concluded that the Gay and Lesbian people of the Coral Sea Islands had every right to secession and self determination and to declare the Coral Sea Islands and Independent Sovereign Gay and Lesbian Kingdom under international law. Therefore, the legal advice found it unnecessary to answer Question Three.
The Government of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands claimed victory following the decision on the grounds that the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom has a right to self determination as the law applies to them as they are an oppressed and colonised people who have been denied fundamental human rights.


References
"Mini-states Down Under are sure they can secede", by Nick Squires, The Daily Telegraph (UK), 24 February 2005.
"If at first you don't secede...", by Mark Dapin, The Sydney Morning Herald - Good Weekend, 12 February 2005, pp 47-50

External links
Official website of the Kingdom