Politicians from across the NSW Parliament are being encouraged to show their support for LGBTI people with the launch of a new “friendship group” backed by the Coalition, Labor, Greens and independent MPs.

The Parliamentary Friendship Group for LGBTIQ held its first meeting today attracting around 30 members.

It comes a day after NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton said she would investigate the implications for the state following the publication earlier this month of the Human Rights Commission’s “state of the nation” report on the issues affecting the LGBTI community.

The report found three quarters of LGBTI people had experienced direct discrimination.

In response to a question from Sydney state independent MP Alex Greenwich, Upton said it was clear LGBTI people faced significant challenges in NSW and Australia as a whole.

“The government will closely review this report, and I as Attorney General will work to ensure that all members of our community will have justice that is fair and equal,” she said.

Coogee state Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith, who has described the NSW Parliament – which has six openly gay members – as “the gayest parliament in Australia,” will chair the new parliamentary friendship group.

“This group will build to support the LGBTIQ community and provide a forum for MPs to hear about issues often not talked about in Parliament,” said Notley-Smith, who is openly-gay.

“Whether it is homophobic bullying in schools, access to adequate medical treatment for transgender people, or ending unnecessary surgeries performed on intersex infants.”

The new body will run alongside the already established LGBTI cross-party working group on LGBTI issues but be open to all politicians and staff.

Openly gay MPs Alex Greenwich and Penny Sharpe from Labor will be key players on the new group as will Greens’ MP for Newtown, Jenny Leong.

“I look forward to finding ways for the LGBTIQ community to connect and have their voice heard in the NSW Parliament,” Sharpe said.

Meanwhile, a motion to support recent efforts solve the suspected murder of three gay men has won unanimous support in the NSW upper house.

Nationals upper house NSW MP Trevor Khan moved the motion to congratulate the government on its announcement that substantial rewards will be offered for information into the killings of John Russell, Ross Warren, and Gilles Mattaini.

All three fell to their deaths and disappeared off the Bondi-Tamarama headlands, well known beats in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, in the 1980s.

The mens’ families are firmly if the belief the deaths are the result of gay hate crimes,

“It is a phenomenal step forward for the House as a whole to agree to this motion,” Khan said.

“Previous Parliaments would have found it contentious, though it is a remarkable reflection of the positive and contemporary view the House takes on this matter of significant importance,” he said.

Yesterday, the NSW lower house unanimously called on  the Federal Coalition to allow MPs to have a free vote on any subsequent marriage equality legislation.

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