The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) has called on the political candidates in the upcoming Batman by-election to ensure LGBTI people do not face workplace discrimination.

The lobby also welcomed Labor’s $2 million promise to invest in local LGBTI health services.

“The division of Batman contains three suburbs with the highest proportion of same-sex couples in Melbourne, so it is important that candidates address the needs of LGBTI voters and that includes their rights at work,” said VGLRL co-convenor Dale Park.

“Ged Kearney has long been a champion of workers’ rights and we need her to stand up for LGBTI workers.

“Labor must commit to scrapping loopholes in the Fair Work Act that allow certain employers to fire staff based on their sexuality or gender identity.”

Park said many workers were in a position where they could be fired if they were out at work.

“No worker should face the sack for coming out at work, but there are at least 38,564 jobs in Victoria alone that a worker can be fired from if they come out,” he said.

“These include teachers, school staff, doctors and health workers. All candidates must commit to protecting the rights and job security of LGBTI workers.”

He called on all parties to commit to protecting the rights of LGBTI workers.

“Alex Bhathal and the Greens have strong policies in support of the LGBTI community, but they must commit to ensuring action on LGBTI rights is a condition of any confidence-and-supply agreement they may enter into after the next election,” Park said.

“Labor’s investment to improve the health and well-being of our community is very welcome.

“We look forward to hearing from all candidates on what their plans are to advance the rights, health, and wellbeing of LGBTI Australians.”

The Batman by-election will take place on Saturday 17 March.

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