The new ALP National Platform contains more than a dozen new mentions of the LGBTI community beyond same-sex marriage thanks to resolutions passed by the ALP National Conference in early December. 

The platform will see a greater level of inclusion and protections for LGBTIs across a broad range of policy areas.

Rainbow Labor national co-convenor Neil Pharaoh said as a result of the new platform the group was expecting to see real progress from the Gillard Government on a number of fronts in 2012.

“Rainbow Labor will start discussions with a number of federal politicians, ministers and members to start to action some of the changes that we’ve seen at National Conference in our party platform,” Pharoah said. 

“We’re hopeful we’ll be able to get these underway in 2012.”

The new platform includes a commitment under ‘Labor Values’ to address the healthcare needs of LGBTI Australians, and supports expanded discrimination provisions around freedom of expression to explicitly include sexual orientation, gender identity and relationship status.

It also commits the Labor Party to ensure all Commonwealth-funded programs adhere to state and federal anti-discrimination laws and supports a review of all Commonwealth documentation to be suitable for the needs of transgender and intersex people.

Specific transgender and intersex healthcare mentions and provisions can be found in parts 143A and 154A of the new platform.

The new platform also lists LGBTIs as a priority population with specific health needs and includes new provisions for community partnerships, support for LGBTI peak health bodies, training for healthcare workers around LGBTI issues, suicide prevention programs, LGBTI in aged care, rural communities, and consideration around Medicare and the PBS.

LGBTIs are also included in sections on the platform dealing with general men’s and women’s health, while LGBTIs have been included as a priority high-risk group for mental health.
The platform also commits the party to ensuring that legislation and regulations do not have adverse impacts on LGBTI people.

It seeks to strengthen harassment provisions by broadening the definition of what constitutes harassment of LGBTI people and mentions issues surrounding “coming out” for LGBTI Australians.

The platform also contains a Foreign Treaty commitment for the Labor Party to actively encourage the repeal of anti-gay laws around the world, particularly where the death penalty is imposed. It encourages the implementation of the actions required by the United Nations’ Yogyakarta Principles on the human rights of LGBTI people.

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