Fri, Nov 21, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Australian political party gets ‘serious about sex’


The name may seem like a joke, but the Australian Sex Party is serious — serious about sex, their slogan says.

The country’s newest political party is also serious about a number of other issues — quashing a government proposal for a national Internet filter that would block 10,000 Web sites, instituting a national sex education curriculum and pushing for the legalization of gay marriage.

The party— launched yesterday at Sexpo, an annual sex exhibition in Melbourne — has already gathered the required 500 members and plans to register with the electoral commission next week.

While most of its members are drawn from Eros — the country’s national adult industry association — the Sex Party believes that it can attract a broader base.

“We’re concerned about the Australian government becoming a nanny state and about this conservative creep in politics,” party convener and Eros head Fiona Patten said by telephone.

Patten said that she had expected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd — whose center-left Labour Party took power nearly a year ago — to be “reasonably socially progressive.”

But she was surprised when Rudd called a May exhibit of photographs of nude teenagers “revolting.”

Patten called the federal government’s proposal for an Internet filter “the last straw” and said the party’s first goal was to alert voters to the “unprecedented censorship of legal material” encompassed by the filter.

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