The State’s political parties will be quizzed about their commitment to gay and lesbian rights in the lead-up to next year’s NSW state election.
The election may still be months away, but the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby is already investigating which candidates will support four key areas of reform.
Co-convenor Somali Ghosh said the Lobby would pressure parties to secure commitments to an equal age of consent for everyone, recognition of gay and lesbian parents and changes to the way the Anti-Discrimination Act allows churches and private schools to sack gay and lesbian teachers.
The Lobby also planned to ask politicians to commit to fixing the remaining pieces of NSW legislation overlooked in a round of reforms made earlier this year.
A questionnaire would be sent to political parties asking for their thoughts on the four matters.
Ghosh said the results of the questionnaire would be compiled and sent to gay and lesbian community organisations across the state in early February.
They’ll go everywhere, she said.
This is not just a Bligh election, not just a Labor election. It’s important that the major parties realise that gay and lesbian rights are an issue for a lot of voters in our community.
The bottom line is this -“ NSW has now fallen a long way behind other states in terms of gay and lesbian law reform. We want to see a commitment from all parties to achieving equality and social justice for gay men and lesbians.
Fellow Lobby co-convenor Andrew Pickles said it was time politicians moved forward and changed the unequal age of consent for young gay men.
Age of consent has been an on-going issue for our community for some time now. We’ve had in-principle support from both the premier and the leader of the opposition but now it’s time for something more, he said.
We’d like to see a firm commitment including a timeframe for legislative change that would see an equal age of consent.
The state election will be held on Saturday 22 March.