LGBT Equality Bill Is Now Open For Consultation: Here’s Why You Should Fill The Online Survey

LGBT Equality Bill Is Now Open For Consultation: Here’s Why You Should Fill The Online Survey
Image: Out Gay Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich (centre) with LGBTQI community members. Image: Supplied

Eight months after the omnibus LGBTQI Equality Bill was introduced in NSW Parliament, it is now up for public consultation. LGBTQI advocates have urged the community to fill out the online survey before it closes on April 14

“The NSW Legislative Assembly unanimously voted to progress the LGBTIQA+ Equality Bill to the parliament’s Community Services Committee,” out gay Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, who introduced the proposed legislation in Parliament last year, told Star Observer.

Greenwich said the public consultation would “allow stakeholders, the LGBTIQA+ community and our allies to share why the reforms covered in my bill are so important to the safety and well-being of our community”. 

The Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023 proposes to amend around 20 laws in NSW that impact the state’s LGBTQI community. 

Online Public Survey On Equality Bill Closes On April 14

“The Bill was introduced by the Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, to improve protections for LGBTIQA+ people against discrimination in a range of areas,” Clayton Barr, Chair, NSW Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Community Services, said in a statement. 

“Members of these communities still experience discrimination in NSW and one of the things the Committee will be looking at is ways to improve their safety and wellbeing,’ Barr said, adding, “As the Bill proposes to amend 20 different laws, it’s important that we hear from a range of stakeholders.”

The online survey, which is open till April 14, allows community members to have their say about the importance of law reforms. According to the committee, in addition to LGBTQI community organisations, it will also seek the views of government agencies, civil society groups, health organisations and churches. 

Securing LGBTQI Rights In NSW

LGBTQI activist group Pride in Protest said while it did not agree with some provisions, it was important for the community to participate in the survey to “help secure queer and trans rights in NSW.”

“Right now, NSW is the most conservative state on queer rights,” said Pride in Protest, in a post on social media. 

“There are parts of this Bill we don’t 100% agree with-bits that don’t go far enough, or that propose solutions that aren’t what we’d propose. But we understand how important the protections are that this Bill will bring, how long our community has waited for them, and how much our safety is at risk every day this Bill is delayed. We need the Bill passed, now,” added Pride in Protest, which has put together a guide for the community to fill out the survey. 

What Is The Proposed Equality Bill?

Greenwich spearheaded the drafting of the Bill and introduced it in Parliament in August 2023. “The legislation covers a wide range of reforms including removing discrimination in schools, allowing trans people to access accurate identity documents, modernising our laws to protect sex workers, and removing other outdated discrimination against our community,” said Greenwich. 

The omnibus bill initially also included legislation to ban so-called anti-gay conversion therapy. Earlier, this year, NSW’s Labor government introduced its own Bill to ban conversion practices – the Bill was passed in parliament in March 2024

Greenwich introduced the Bill in Parliament saying it represented “the most holistic LGBTIQA+ reforms in the history of NSW.

“Now is the time to move NSW forward in the protection and recognition of the LGBTIQA+ community,” Greenwich told his fellow MPs.

Fill out the online survey for the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023 here. 

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