The majority of Australians would support the introduction of Federal anti-discrimination laws to protect the GLBT community, a new Galaxy poll has shown.
The poll, commissioned by the Australian Coalition for Equality (ACE), found 85 percent of people supported the introduction of laws to protect Australians from discrimination on the  basis of sexual orientation and gender.
The results showed a relatively even spread of support across geographical and political boundaries ­-” 91 percent of Labor Party voters supported the push, compared to a slightly lesser 83 percent of Coalition voters. Female participants showed a slightly higher level of support for new legislation as did white collar workers and capital city dwellers.
The Australian people overwhelmingly want to live in a nation free from discrimination and our Federal laws should reflect that wish, ACE campaign co-ordinatior Corey Irlam said, adding that the figures should be a wake-up call for the Australian Parliament.
LGBTI people continue to be harrassed at school, suffer employment discrimination and are discriminated against in aged care facilities. Legislation won’t stop discrimination, but it will provide recourse for those who suffer it and send a message to the community that it is no longer acceptable.
PFLAG spokeswoman Shelly Argent agreed that anti-discrimination legislation could have an important impact on general community perceptions.
It would make people think before they act, she said. People would know that there would be strife if someone reported the discrimination. It would also give the LGBTI community the confidence to know they don’t have to accept discrimination and make them generally feel like their Government cared about them.
NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Co-convenor Benjamin Keats said the poll figures could play an important role in a number of reform areas.
With 85 percent of the Australian population supporting a removal of discrimination and inclusion of better protections, it certainly helps us in a number of areas, he said.
At the moment we’ve got the adoption inquiry, so the poll supports that push for the removal of adoption inequality. It would also support the move to national consistency on co-mothering.

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