My name is Lainie Arnold, and I am the new female convenor for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.

I have been a volunteer with the GLRL for the past five years, including two years as a committee member and organising the GLRL’s Mardi Gras season and float in 2009.

Many you have probably been involved with the GLRL at some point, whether it be participating in our Mardi Gras float, attending one of our community forums, planting an ‘All Love is Equal’ heart at Fair Day or answering one of our surveys.

I’m sure you all know the successes the GLRL has achieved in the last few years include adoption and surrogacy laws, equal rights for same-sex couples and their children in federal entitlements and parental status for co-mothers in NSW.

What you might not know is that the GLRL is a small, member-funded, community organisation. We receive no ongoing funding from government or external bodies. The GLRL relies on our members to keep us doing our work and achieving legislative change.

But we don’t want to just fight for the rights of gays and lesbians on your behalf — we want to be truly representative of your views. And the best way to get your views across is to become a member.

What does your membership get you? As a member you will be able to participate more actively in setting the GLRL’s agenda and ensuring we are truly working for the community. You will also be able to vote for the GLRL Committee, or run yourself, or be part of one of the GLRL’s working groups including our marriage; events, volunteers and fundraising; and IT/website working groups, free entry to our regular networking events, discounted entry to our Mardi Gras float, and you will stay informed about our current campaigns.

With improved recognition of same-sex couples and their families, you might think the work has been done, but there are still areas of legislation that need to be amended to remove discrimination against our community. Even when rights are won, the GLRL still plays a valuable role in educating the community and helping people to enforce their rights.

It’s easy to become a member. Visit our website at www.glrl.org.au and click through ‘Get Involved’.

This year the GLRL will be running a membership drive. We want you to become a member this year, and every year, because we need you to continue fighting for you.

By LAINIE ARNOLD, NSW GLRL

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