A new report has found that rainbow families in Australia face exclusion and discrimination in most of their day-to-day interactions with government.

The report, Love (Still) Makes A Family, was launched by Rainbow Families and explores the experiences of LGBTIQ+ families when accessing federal government services.

The discrimination outlined in the report includes forms that don’t reflect the make-up of rainbow families and schools that exclude children on the basis of their same-sex parents.


Rainbow Families first launched a NSW-focused report in 2017.

Rainbow Families committee member, Cathy Brown, said the newly launched report widens the original scope.

“The original report provided an evidence-based framework for our advocacy, and we wanted to replicate that at a federal level,” she said.

“We wanted to understand if families were experiencing similar concerns with federal government agencies.

“Anecdotally, parents were telling us about difficulties they’d had with Centrelink and Medicare, so we surveyed them about those experiences and put together this report to advocate on behalf of our community.

“This report is a call to action. We look forward to working with the government to make things better for all families.”

One lesbian mum said rainbow families were more vulnerable when accessing government services.

“It’s not simply the forms, which are often wrong and need amending, but dealing with government employees who need to interpret law and policy” she said.

“Being told, as I was, that the requirements for my partner and I to register our child’s birth were different because we were same-sex parents was a deeply upsetting experience.”

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