Advocates say that the religious freedom and discrimination debate in Australia is taking a heavy toll on the mental health of LGBTQI people, with more than 80% saying they feel worse now than during the 2017 marriage equality postal survey.

The figure comes from a survey of almost 4,500 LGBTIQ+ Australians and their allies commissioned by advocacy group just.equal.

According to the polling, 70.9% of LGBTIQ+ people believe that the primary aim of those pushing for new “religious freedom” laws is to diminish the rights of LGBTQI people.

43.5% of LGBTQI people now feel Australia is not accepting, which is almost double the percentage who felt it was not accepting before same-sex marriage was legalised.

62.2% of the LGBTQI people sampled felt vulnerable, 67.2% angry and 78.4% not respected.

97.9% of LGBTQI people believe religious organisations like schools and hospitals should not be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity as they already can in most states.

84.9% believe the media is biased against transgender people, 88% believe politicians are less interested in trans rights than they were in marriage equality, and 90% believe trans and gender diverse people are suffering as a result of this debate.

70.8% want to see much more LGBTQI advocacy from moderate Liberals. 58.7% want more from Labor MPs and 32.9% want more from the Greens.

Of the polling, just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said, It is a shameful indictment on Australia’s leaders that LGBTIQ+ Australians feel worse now than during the postal survey.” 

The message to all politicians who voted for marriage equality but are currently silent is this: your complicity with homophobia and transphobia is hurting LGBTIQ+ Australians, so speak up for our equal dignity and against religious privilege now!”

We will make sure every politician who voted for marriage equality has a copy of this survey on their desk ASAP.”

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