On today’s National Wear It Purple Day, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is offering free rainbow stickers to Victorian businesses and organisations who want to signal they are places that welcome and respect the LGBTI community.

The Commission has said that safe spaces for LGBTI people are particularly important now given the national debate on marriage equality in the lead up to the postal survey.

“The country has begun a national debate on removing discrimination in our marriage laws for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans or gender diverse,” Commissioner Hilton said.

“While many people are approaching the debate with respect and dignity, there are those who are seeking to drive fear and hate to divide our community.

“Already we’ve seen some people promoting hateful and inaccurate material about LGBTI people, along with attempts to conflate marriage equality with completely unrelated issues, like parenting.

“Even the most resilient of LGBTI people and the broader community may be hurt and disturbed by the things they hear throughout the debate.

“We’re offering free rainbow stickers to businesses and organisations in Victoria who want to send a message to LGBTI people that they are a welcoming space in the lead up to the plebiscite.”

The Commission supports marriage equality being decided by a vote in parliament, not a plebiscite.

“If the postal plebiscite does go ahead, the Commission will support a successful yes vote to address discrimination in our marriage laws,” said Hilton.

“The federal government should support human rights and equality for everyone.

“The human rights of a minority should not be decided by the majority in this way. Just as they do on all other legislation, our politicians should have a vote in parliament on marriage equality.

“If you feel you have been discriminated against on the basis of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you can call the Commission on 1300 292 153 or visit the website.”

The Commission encourages anyone who is struggling to get in touch with support services.

Nathen Doyle from Melbourne café Heart Attack and Vine has put up a rainbow flag sticker to signal that the business is LGBTI-friendly.

“We love all members of our community and are proud of the diversity of our staff and customers,” he said.

“We’ve put up the rainbow flag to send the message that Heart Attack and Vine is a welcoming and inclusive space for LGBTI people, particularly during this hurtful public debate on marriage equality.”

To get a free rainbow sticker for your business or organisation in Victoria, email the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

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