On the eve of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBIT), the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) is calling on all parties to make a commitment to end discrimination and harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Australians.
The lobby group is working with other community organisations on a joint campaign on LGBTI rights in the lead up to the federal election. “Now is the chance for our political leaders to make a clear commitment to achieve equality for LGBTI people,” said VGLRL Co-Convenor Rachael Hambleton.
This could include taking action to reduce high of violence and harassment against LGBTI students in school; increasing engagement with the LGBTI community through a Commissioner with specific responsibility for LGBTI rights and a party spokesperson on issues relating to the LGBTI equality; or action to address the mental health of LGBTI people, including the provision of ongoing funding for the national LGBTI telephone support helpline, Q-Life.
“IDAHoBIT is a great opportunity for the parties to make an announcement that will help reduce the discrimination and harassment that LGBTI Australians still face,” said VGLRL Co-Convenor Sean Mulcahy.
In recent days, the Australian Catholic Bishops Association and the Australian Christian Lobby’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton have made their views clear on political issues affecting LGBTI Australians. “I am delighted that Mr Shelton is talking about this being a rainbow election. I have every confidence that everyday Australians and our political leaders will support equality for LGBTI people,” said Mulcahy.
With the electoral rolls to close soon, the lobby group is also urging the LGBTI community to Enrol for Equality. “With an early federal election looking increasingly likely, it’s important that all LGBTI people – especially those who have or are about to turn 18 – enrol to vote,” said Mulcahy.
“By enrolling now and making sure those around you are enrolled too, you can help us show the Government that Australians everywhere believe in fairness and equality for LGBTI people – and will vote for it.”