Michael Kirby has been open about being gay since 1999, when he came out in Who's Who in Australia by naming Johan van Vloten as his long-term partner. Van Vloten, who migrated to Australia from the Netherlands in 1963, has lived with Kirby since 1969. Kirby has often spoken publicly in support of gay rights. While President of the International Commission of Jurists he encouraged that organisation to give more consideration to human sexuality as an aspect of human rights, and as an Anglican he has expressed disappointment at his church's stance on gay rights. In 2002, at the Sydney Gay Games VI, Kirby was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. "The movement for equality is unstoppable. Its message will eventually reach the four corners of the world," he told a crowd of 35,000.
In 2006, he attended the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal, presiding over the Asia-Pacific Plenary.
In November 2007, Kirby accused the Anglican and Catholic archbishops of Sydney, Peter Jensen and George Pell respectively, of hindering the acceptance of gay people in Australian society, stating that homophobia was "reinforced even to this day by religious instruction, and it has to be said, religious instruction from the two archbishops of Sydney". Kirby also expressed disappointment in his "minority of one" status among his High Court of Australia colleagues, and indicated that "some of the justices perhaps have less liberal views than I have".
Michael Kirby is an Australian retired judge, jurist, and academic who is a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from 1996 to 2009. When AIDS came along, he and his partner became involved and this was code language for his sexuality. Formally, they announced their relationship in Australian Who's Who in 1999. Van Vloten, who migrated to Australia from the Netherlands in 1963, has lived with Kirby since 1969. Kirby has often spoken publicly in support of gay rights.
In both 2009 and 2010, Kirby was selected by readers of samesame.com.au as one of the 25 most influential gay Australians.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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