Dear LGBTI community,
I’ve personally seen the effects on my family and friends who live with the segregation, stigma, alienation, discriminatory government policy and biased media portrayal against the LGBTI community.
People would flourish if the services available to support them had consistent, stable funding and are managed by a group of professionals with the funding and capacity to provide genuine support — rather than support services having their funding withdrawn or significantly cut, run by people who only want to tick boxes and probably don’t really care about the lives they’re influencing. Alternatively, they can be run by supportive people who have the best intentions but don’t have the resources to provide quality support to those who need it.
Broadly speaking, I will:
• Be a conduit to genuine and constructive discussions between affected people, service providers and government
• Provide individual perspective to the government on your behalf and with engagement from your organisation and community
• Continually raise perspectives in all discussions and policies on your behalf, and with engagement from your organisation and community
Additionally, as mentioned in my Same Sex and Gender Diversity Policy, I will directly engage with the government to push for fundamental rights: same-sex and gender diverse marriage, adoption and age of consent. Also: equal access to employment, education, and mental and physical health services; and expunged criminal records — gay consensual sex acts should never have been illegal.
To assist political parties to pull their head out of the sand and take a genuine approach with the above issues and associated factors, including the distinct disproportionate representation in mental health and homelessness rates, I will work with governments to:
1. Establish a dedicated, properly-funded independent working group of appropriately-trained people who are considered professionals in their field to engage with individuals and organisations who provide services to your community, to understand, review and resolve any deficiencies with information and support availability
2. Establish easy, efficient and logical mechanisms for constructive feedback on continual service improvement as suggested by those who use the service, not as suggested by some bureaucrat who lives in an office with scarce understanding or real world experience with the issues at hand
3. Ensure all mechanisms and processes are open and transparent with strict conflict-of-interest clauses to ensure there are no “jobs for mates/lobbyists”, and that important aspects of procedure and process aren’t overlooked to allow something to be “set up for failure”
4. Ensure all relevant individuals and organisations are in the loop — those who need the services should be involved with creating or amending the services
In terms of funding-related issues relating to HIV, LGBTI and sexual education alienation, I will work with governments to provide:
1. Mechanisms to ensure appropriate funding systems are managed openly and transparently
2. Mechanisms to make sure the government doesn’t play silly buggers with community funding, hence point one may involve establishing a genuinely independent working group to once again ensure no “jobs for mates/lobbyists” and no funds are allocated based on false pretense or in attempt to “set up for failure”
3. Genuine, open, effective and efficient communication between governments, organisations and individuals
The homosexual advance defence is also unjust, and must be repealed.
The Civil Unions bill must be reinstated.
In addition, gender diverse prisoners should be afforded support and services which are appropriate to, and have appreciation for, their identity.
I will work constructively with religious and related organisations, discussing their founding principals (i.e: mutual respect, tolerance, understanding, and acceptance without judgement) to provide employment opportunities for LGBTI candidates possessing the skills and aptitude required for the job.
I fully accept and support the LGBTI community and will work with governments to establish properly funded, professionally-staffed independent groups, working directly with communities and making people aware of their full capacity to exercise their rights and receive the services, support and assistance they require to live a happy and enjoyable life anywhere in Queensland.
I want to see and will be pushing for a Minister for Gender Diversity and Sexuality, appointed by the LGBTI community.
In me you have more than a friend, you have an ally.
Note: The Star Observer has approached the incumbent MP of the gay-centric electorate of Brisbane Central, LNP’s Robert Cavallucci, to write an oped. Unfortunately he was unable to submit a piece, but he expressed his full support for the LGBTI community. You can still read a generic overview of LNP’s LGBTI policies here: http://www.starobserver.com.au/?p=131888