A gay man says he has what it takes to unseat Victorian opposition leader Robert Doyle at this Saturday’s Victorian state election.
Malvern independent Norman Pollack is one of six queer candidates contesting the 30 November election.
Other gay, lesbian, bisexual and intersex candidates are Jessica Healy (Democrat, Jika Jika), Amanda George (Inde-pendent, Kororoit), Justin Car-uana (Australian Labor Party, Sandringham), Tony Briffa (Greens, Altona) and Dinesh Mathew (Greens, Prahran).
Pollack said he was confident of replacing the Liberal leader in the inner-city seat. Everyone thinks I’ve got the donkey vote but the community is disillusioned with both major parties, Pollack said.
The 37-year-old accountant will also need to beat Greens candidate Robert Trafficante and Labor’s Rolf Sorenson. Pollack said making beats acceptable was the critical gay issue he hoped to address in parliament.
We need to acknowledge that beats are part of traditional Australia, he said.
Tony Briffa, Greens candidate for Altona, is believed to be the first Australian intersex person to run for government.
While I am running what can be considered a mainstream campaign, I am a person with an intersex condition and am very much part of the GLBTI community, Briffa said.
Bisexual Democrat Jessica Healy, 18, will take on sitting Labor MP Theo Theophanous in the upper house seat of Jika Jika.
Ms Healy said her key focus in government would be IVF access for lesbians. The Democrats believe that legislation preventing lesbians from having children using assisted reproductive technology is discriminatory and should be changed, she said.
Careers adviser Justin Caruana is running for Labor in Sandringham, where he needs a 12 percent swing to beat the Liberal candidate.
The most important issue for gay and lesbian voters at this election is property rights for same-sex couples, Caruana said.
The seat of Prahran (currently held by the Liberals) is generally regarded as Victoria’s pinkest electorate, and was the site of a concerted Labor campaign during the last state election, when they ran an out and high-profile candidate in Joseph O’Reilly.
O’Reilly lost that contest, but this time around Labor is confident of picking up the seat with their candidate, (straight) local barrister Tony Lupton. The only out candidate running for Prahran in this poll is Dinesh Mathew from the Greens.
Mathew said his party had a policy that supports same-sex rights, access to IVF for lesbians and adoption rights for queer couples.
He said one goal was to remove the homosexual advance defence in murder trials.
I’m also wanting to address GLBTI youth suicide, IVF access for lesbians and single women, changing of birth certificates for transgender people, same-sex adoptions and homophobic violence, Mathew said.
The Victorian Parliament currently has only one openly gay representative (Andrew Olexander from the Liberals, for the upper house seat of Silvan), who is not up for re-election this Saturday.