Labor to appoint a new champion for LGBTI Australians

Rainbow Labor Senator Penny WongA Shorten Labor Government will appoint a full-time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission. The announcement was made at Rainbow Labor’s national day of action and campaign launch in Melbourne on Saturday.

“Labor’s LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner will be a new champion for the rights of LGBTI Australians and help build a more inclusive Australia, said Senator Penny Wong. “An LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner will ensure lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex Australians can feel safer, more secure and more included in Australian society.”

“The Commissioner will address structural discrimination, work towards ensuring our schools, workplaces, and communities are free from discrimination. It continues Labor’s tradition of removing discrimination and creating a fairer, more equal Australia.”

In its Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Rights report last year, the Australian Human Rights Commission noted, research which suggested the rate of suicide for LGBTI people is 3.5 to 14 times higher than the general population. It found that LGBTI people are at a higher risk for a range of mental diagnoses, and are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety.

“Labor is committed to eliminating all discrimination against LGBTI Australians in all forms,” said Senator Wong. That is why in government we amended the Sex Discrimination Act to cover discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender diversity as well as amending 85 laws to treat same-sex couples equally.”

“But our marriage laws still discriminate against LGBTI Australians. The Marriage Act contains one of the last forms of legislated discrimination in Australia. It’s antiquated, and it’s time it changed. So long as the law remains as it is, LGBTI Australians continue to be sent a message that their relationships aren’t equal with their heterosexual peers.”

“That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will introduce legislation for marriage equality within the first 100 days of the next parliament,” said Senator Wong.

For more information on Labor’s plan to appoint an LGBTI Commissioner, visit: www.100positivepolicies.org.au for details.

Image: Senator Penny Wong – courtesy of Rainbow Labor

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