In protest against the Australian Gay Marriage ban, a group of Queensland men have declared remote Cato Island a Gay and Lesbian Kingdom.
Gold Coast businessman Dale Anderson claims to be the emperor of the newly-formed Gay and Lesbian Kingdom. His Emperorness declared Cato Island in the Coral Sea as an independent nation.
“If we can pull this off, we’ll be our own country and have gay marriages and all those other things we want to do.”
A talk by activist Rodney Croome in Brisbane sparked the unconventional move. At the time, Rodney correctly predicted the government’s stance on gay marriage under then-Prime Minister John Howard.
The Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of Cato Island
Dale Anderson and a group of his subjects chose Cato Island for the Gay & Lesbian Kingdom. His Emperorness describes the uninhabited landmass about six hours by boat from Gladstone as a symbolic battleground.
“No one lives there, so we thought we’d attack the government on a different angle.”
On June 14th, the kingdom forwarded a declaration of independence to prominent politicians.
While the Greens and Democrats responded with form letters, there was no acknowledgment from other officials including the PM and the Governor-General.
Despite opposition from the Australian government, Anderson insisted that the group’s claim to Cato Island was legitimate due to the government’s anti-gay laws.
Territorial compensation for Gay & Lesbian Kingdom
Referencing laws similar to those employed in the landmark Mabo ruling, Emperor Dale I contended his regime’s case warranted the application of ‘Unjust Enrichment’.
That law asserts that compensation should be provided for something wrongfully taken.
He further explained that denying equal rights, whether in marriage, superannuation, hospital visits, adoption, or IVF treatments, formed the basis of the claim.
Emperor Anderson, who claimed to have no political affiliations, described his appointment as the result of necessity.
“No one else would do it.”
However, he emphasized the seriousness of the cause and the group’s determination to force the government to address it.
The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom’s plans include the production of camp postage stamps and a ‘pink dollar’ currency.
Anderson acknowledged that attracting tourists to Cato Island might prove challenging. Even getting tourists onto the island could sometimes prove impossible. Due to a lack of a harbour, boats would need to anchor off the reef while waiting for favourable conditions.
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