The National LGBT Health Alliance said it is disappointed with responses from Labor and the Coalition to its federal election survey, with only the Greens and Democrats committing to a wide number of the priority areas identified by the group.
“Overall we are disappointed that Labor and the Coalition have no plans to resource a national, joined-up and strategic approach to the health and wellbeing of GLBTI Australians,” Alliance chair Paul Martin said.
The Coalition offered the least — a recognition that amendments to Commonwealth legislation might be necessary in respect of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Highlights of Labor’s health plans included a commitment to consult with GLBTI peak bodies on key health issues; inclusion of GLBTI people in its commitment of $22.4 million in funding supporting community-led prevention activities targeting groups at high risk of suicide; support for legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender status; a pledge to include LBT women in the National Women’s Health Policy; and a commitment to audit current requirements for the recording of gender in federal Government documents.
The Alliance also recognised the Government has funded a pilot training progran for aged-care workers on GLBTI issues in NSW.
In comparison, the Greens support same-sex marriage; have committed to partner with the LGBTI community to develop a fully integrated and holistic health plan; support the funding of a national peak body for the GLBTI community sector; and support including questions on sexual and gender identity in Government-sponsored research.
They also support a roll-out of sexuality, sex and gender diversity training for health and community service workers; support recognising GLBTI seniors as a special needs group in aged care and seniors policy; and support implementation of the AHRC Sex Files report through the whole of Government.
The Greens have pledged Medicare funding for sex reassignment surgery and they say intersex people should be enabled to make their own decisions about their gender identity.
The Greens also support more investment in telephone and face-to-face support services for GLBTI people and inclusion of GLBTI people in a national suicide prevention and awareness campaign; support prevention and awareness campaigns being targeted to the needs of GLBTI people; support federal anti-discrimination law covering sexual orientation and gender identity; and want a national approach to reducing violence against GLBTI people.
The Democrats supported measures that were largely identical to the Greens but also included support for a requirement that all Government-funded services — including faith-based organisations — adopt measures to ensure inclusion of GLBTI people.
“We welcome the support of the Greens and Democrats for wide-ranging and resourced action on LGBTI health,” Alliance executive director Gabi Rosenstreich said.
“Labor has made some important commitments to build on work to date … but fails to commit to effectively resourcing the LGBTI community sector.”
Meanwhile, the Australian Coalition for Equality (ACE) has released its own scorecard which ranks the ALP, Coalition, Greens, Australian Secular Party, Social Alliance and the Australian Sex Party on topics affecting GLBTI people including health and welfare, relationships, anti-discrimination legislation and aged care.
info: Download the ACE Report Card here.