In the lead up to elections in South Australia on March 19, advocacy group  SA Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) on Wednesday released its scorecard to help voters decide on where the major parties stand when it comes to LGBTQI rights and issues. 

The 2022 SA Election LGBTIQA+ Policy Scorecard aims to hold political leaders to account and chart out a long-term plan for advancing LGBTQI rights in South Australia. 

Advertisement
SA was the first state or territory in Australia to decriminalise homosexuality in 1975. However, since then, according to activists SA has fallen behind when it comes to LGBTQI law and policy reforms. 

‘We Are Taxpayers’

“It’s particularly encouraging to see all parties commit to improving the representation of LGBTIQA+ people in government policies,” SARAA’s Policy and Project Officer, Kelly Vincent said in a statement.

“It is not uncommon for our needs to not be mentioned in policy at all unless the policy is LGBTIQA+-specific. But we are taxpayers and human beings and our needs and wants are as valid as anyone else’s. We need to be seen and guaranteed equal protection under the law in all policy areas from jobs, to healthcare, to education,” said Kelly.

In 2021, SARAA in partnership with Equality Australia surveyed around 600 LGBTQI South Australians on the issues that matter to them. Earlier, this year the organisation wrote to all the major parties and then drew up the scorecard based on an assessment of the parties’ policies. 

The Score Card

SA Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA)’s election scorecard. Image: Supplied

Here’s where the major parties Liberal, Labor and Greens stand on LGBTQI issues. 

  • Ban conversion practices 

Liberal: The Marshall government is “assessing workable legislative options for the banning of conversion therapy in health settings”. Does not mention religious settings.

Labor and Green:  Supports ban on conversion practices. 

 

  • Close loopholes in anti-discrimination laws that allow religious institutions to discriminate

Liberal: Attorney general presented a bill that would narrow exemptions in the Equal Opportunity Act and make it unlawful “for schools to expel students for being gay, or for aged care facilities to refuse admission to a same-sex couple.”

Labor: No response

Greens: Support removing exemptions for faith-based institutions in the Equal Opportunity Act.

 

  • LGBTQI inclusive health, education and community services

Liberal: Commits to making mainstream health and community services safer and more inclusive for LGBTIQA+ people, provide better support for and inclusion of LGBTIQA+ students and resources for teachers and leaders supporting them and provide comprehensive and LGBTIQA+ inclusive sexual health and relationship wellbeing education in schools.

Advertisement

Labor: Will strive to make public health and community services more inclusive for LGBTQI people, and provide better support for LGBTQI students and better resources for teachers and their leaders. 

Greens: Supports safer and inclusive health, education and community services for LGBTQI community.

 

  • Improving LGBTQI representation in government strategies

Liberal, Labor and Greens: Support improving LGBTQI representation in government strategies. 

 

  • Count LGBTQI identities in data and statistics

Liberal:  Will consider applying guidelines that recommend collecting better and more inclusive data to support LGBTQI communities. 

Labor: Will count identities accurately.

Greens: Support the inclusion of LGBTIQA+ identities and questions in the collection of data and statistics, including in the national census.

 

  • Improve access to gender-affirming healthcare

Liberal: Will implement a state-wide model for care of trans, gender, diverse and gender non-binary people. 

Labor: Supports improved access to health care for trans and gender diverse South Australians. 

Greens: Back the plan of their Federal counterparts to make gender-affirming healthcare a permanent part of Medicare. 

 

  • Ending medically unnecessary treatments on intersex people without their consent

Liberals: Oppose

Labor: No response.

Greens: Support ban on unnecessary medical treatments on intersex people. 

 

  • Strengthen HIV and STI Prevention and Support

Liberal, Labor and Greens: Support the measure. 

 

“LGBTIQA+ people across Australia are still reeling from the recent debate on the federal Religious Discrimination Bill. At a time when our very right to access essential services without discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity is up for debate, it is especially vital that we keep political candidates accountable and keep our communities informed about who is willing to stand with us,” added Kelly. 

SARAA said that it “looks forward to working with whoever forms the government to continue building an LGBTIQA+ healthy, safe and inclusive South Australia.”

 

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.