Older Concerned Lesbians (OCL) will hold a silent demonstration outside the Queen Victoria Building on Thursday, April 16 to protest changes to Centrelink payments in light of the same-sex legislation reforms.
Protesters will be encouraged to don black clothing and armbands adorned with pink triangles to draw attention to the concerns of older members of the gay and lesbian community that the changes will unfairly disadvantage them.
This legislation comes much too late for many of us to benefit, given the discrimination people like me have experienced throughout our adult lives, OCL organiser Pearlie McNeal, 70, said.
I don’t think the legislation is not necessary or we shouldn’t have had it. I just think a grandfather clause for the number of people involved would have been a kind act.
I realise there are winners and losers and I try to look at the benefits, but what we mostly want to do is inform our community.
Although the protest will be a silent one-hour vigil, OCL have produced fliers to provide further information on people’s rights in relation to legislation changes.
I think there are many lesbians and gay men who haven’t got a clue what’s going to land on them, McNeal said.
So really we’re not thinking that we’re going to change anything but perhaps we can alert the public more because I don’t think there’s been sufficient information. I think the toothbrush advertisement is pretty short on text.
We don’t think we’re going to necessarily change the government’s mind -” I think I gave up thinking that as soon as I got a letter from [Community Services Minister] Jenny Macklin -” but you know, you’ve got to go ahead on two paths.
You know you’re not going to get anywhere but you’ve also got to hold out hope for as long as you can.

info: The demonstration against Centrelink changes will be held on April 16, at the statue outside the Queen Victoria Building, from 12.20pm.

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