Victorian Pride Centre Rejects Application For ‘Lesbian Born Female’ Event

Victorian Pride Centre Rejects Application For ‘Lesbian Born Female’ Event
Image: Justine Dalla Riva, CEO, Victorian Pride Centre (left) and Nicole Mowbray of LGB Alliance Australia and Lesbian Action Group. (Images: Facebook)

The Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda rejected an application by the newly formed Lesbian Action Group Melbourne to book the premises for a ‘Lesbian Born Female’ event. 

The group applied to hold the event to celebrate International Lesbian Day on October 15, 2023 but said it wanted to exclude trans people and bisexual women

“Your request to hold an event that excludes and seeks to legally discriminate against people on the basis of their sex, sexuality and gender is inconsistent with the Pride Centre’s purpose,” Justine Dalla Riva, CEO of the Victorian Pride Centre, Australia’s first purpose-built LGBTQI community hub, wrote in the rejection letter.

Exemption To Discriminate

LAG, which published the rejection letter, claimed LGBTQI organisations were “prioritising gender identity over those with same-sex attraction.”

LAG has also applied to the Australian Human Rights Commission for an exemption from the anti-discrimination law. LAG said it needed the exemption so that the group can invite only “Lesbians Born Females” and exclude “Heterosexual, Bisexual and Gay males, Heterosexual and Bisexual females, Transgender people and Queer plus people.”

LAG co-convenor Carole Ann, in a statement, insisted the group “is not anti-trans, it is pro-lesbians who are born female.” Nicole Mowbray of LGB Alliance Australia and LAG claimed the group couldn’t “exclusively meet in a single-sex space”. 

In 2022, LGB Alliance was among the 20-odd organisations identified as ‘far-right and extremist groups’ by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE).

‘Pride Centre Is For The LGBTQI Community’

In the rejection letter, the CEO of the Pride Centre said that the group had not been completely honest about the event. 

“Your initial booking request, which resulted in a quote for services, did not indicate the nature of your event or the subsequent identification that you would be seeking an exemption from the Australian Human Rights Commission and naming the Pride Centre in your submission,” the letter said. 

“The Pride Centre exists to support the LGBTIQ+ community.  Inclusion, diversity, acceptance and belonging are essential to the organisation’s values. The VPC’s purpose is to connect, support and amplify LGBTIQ+ voices, resources, services, and groups so that our communities are cohesive, resilient and thrive,” Dalla Riva added. 

The AHRC invited public submissions on the LAG’s application for exemption. The deadline for submissions closed on August 29, 2023.

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One response to “Victorian Pride Centre Rejects Application For ‘Lesbian Born Female’ Event”

  1. The rise of the hate-filled, fear-mongering ‘LGB without the T’ movement is alarming. Thank you to The Pride Centre for remaining true to its mission of promoting inclusion, diversity and belonging for the entire LGBTIQA+ community.