One of Labor’s three promises to the gay and lesbian community has become non-core.
Federal anti-discrimination legislation has been scrapped from the next term agenda even before Kevin Rudd has had a chance to see the inside of the Lodge.
The backdown was revealed in the party’s response to an Australian Coalition for Equality election survey.
Equality reforms to the 58 areas of financial discrimination and relationship recognition through state-based registries remain a first-term priority for Labor. Discrimination protections in areas like employment have been part of the party’s platform since 2004.
Long-time rights activist Rodney Croome said Labor could be reverting to the unofficial Hawke/Keating government policy of one item of gay law reform per term.
Shadow attorney-general Joe Ludwig had been cautious on specifics of anti-discrimination protections, like religious exemptions, saying only in government could the details be developed.
During the attorneys-general debate this week, Ludwig accused Philip Ruddock of “vacillating and prevaricating” on the simple proposition of legislative equality for same-sex couples.
“The Liberal party has moved from being a broad church to being an exclusive enclave … the time has come for a change from the bitterness and division from the culture wars,” Ludwig said.
“Kevin Rudd offers a new leadership that is about social cohesion and inclusion instead of division and scapegoating.”
ACON and the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby will provide the major parties a briefing on what is needed in federal anti-discrimination protections.
The Lobby will launch its own election survey at a family-friendly picnic at Rushcutters Bay Park, Edgecliff, from noon on Sunday 18 November.
View the ACE survey at www.movingforward.org.au.

© 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.