Rainbow Labor succeeded in getting the most explicit statement of support to date for LGBTI Australians in the federal ALP platform at the ALP National Conference at the weekend.

“Labor will work with LGBTI Australians and representative groups to support and engage with community and stakeholders to provide input into government decision making, including consideration of an LGBTI ministerial advisory committee,” amendment 5.17 reads.

“In addition to this, Labor will strengthen support for LGBTI people by integrating advice and support to ensure they are supported in government policy development.”

Rainbow Labor national convenor Neil Pharaoh told the Star Observer this was one of a number of firsts for the party.
“This is one of the first occasions where there has been specific mention of the LGBTI community in the party platform, as well as a mention of a ministerial advisory committee at a federal level,” Pharaoh said.

“There have been some very successful ones at state level, particularly in Victoria, but this is a real step forward from a federal level and will go to other areas of law reform such as health, education, Medicare, and other programs which have a specific focus for the LGBTI communities.

“We’d like people to consider these changes to the platform as the first step towards full equality and there is obviously more work to do, but it was a very positive step with the outcomes achieved over the conference weekend.”

The conference also voted to overturn the ban on Certificates of No-Impediment (CNIs) to wed being provided to same-sex couples.

“It’s obviously a fairly big and positive step and an opportunity to unwind the draconian legacy of the Philip Ruddock years. A firm date hasn’t been finalised but I would definitely say this is achievable in the first half of next year.”

Pharaoh thanked all those from within and without the party who had worked on the campaign for change.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved, both internally within the ALP and from our partner organisations working outside the party who have done a truly tremendous job,” he said.

“It’s now time for the LGBTI community to engage with the Liberal and National parties at a federal level and really make this an issue where all members of our community feel they can step up to their political parties and ask for marriage equality.”

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