Every day the people we love are subject to discrimination in the workplace, in our courts, in their homes and on the streets. It seems no matter how hard we fight, victories can be few and far between. And sometimes it’s hard not to get bitter.
It has been 10 years since the NSW government moved forward on lesbian and gay issues, providing limited de facto recognition of our relationships. In the meantime other states and territories such as Western Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria keep moving closer to full equality.
However, it’s important to remember that we’re not alone in the struggle for equality and that with the vocal support of our friends, families and supportive public figures our community will continue to overcome discrimination and be treated with the respect it deserves.
While it is a powerful statement for a lesbian or gay man to stand up for their rights, it is just as important, if not more so, for our straight allies to be heard calling for equality. One Tasmanian supporter used our campaign website to write to the Commonwealth Attorney-General and demand an end to discrimination:
My sister is in a same-sex relationship -¦ She and her partner are incredibly fabulous people. They have a two-year-old daughter and another baby on the way. Changing these 58 laws would mean the world to them.
My sister is the biological mother of both of these children -¦ My sister-in-law loves that little girl just as much as my sister and that love is returned. It is horribly unfair to think that my sister-in-law does not have the same rights as other parents just because she is the same sex as my sister -¦
Just because they are both women doesn’t mean that they are any less capable of being parents -¦ they are in fact probably more capable than most. Please change these laws. My family deserves equality.
The time has come for all of us -“ gay and straight -“ to move forward with pride towards a future based on equality and acceptance.
Please encourage all your friends and family to visit www.glrl.org.au/58 and take action now.
Emily Gray and Peter Johnson are Co-Convenors of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.