One in three LGBTQI Australian voters said that they have not yet decided who they will vote for or are considering switching political parties at the forthcoming federal elections scheduled to be held on May 21, 2022. 

The results of one of the largest national online surveys of LGBTQI voters conducted by advocacy group Equality Australia was released on Monday, just as major political parties started their six-week election campaign. 

One in five LGBTQI voters, who had voted Liberal, National, Labor or Greens at the 2019 elections, said they were reconsidering their vote this time. 

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“This election, candidates cannot afford to take LGBTQI voters for granted,” Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, said in a statement at the release of the survey results. 

LGBTQI Voters Sceptical of Political Parties

Equality Australia estimates that there are around 850,000 LGBTQI voters who are eligible to vote at the elections in May. Around 7,902 people, including 5,578 LGBQI people currently living in Australia, responded to the LGBTIQ+ Federal Election survey conducted in February and March 2022. 

The elections are being held months after a failed bid by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to get an anti-LGBTQI Religious Discrimination Bill passed in Parliament. The anti-LGBTQI agenda, however, continues, with Morrison on Monday backing campaigns to ban trans women from participating in female sports

Source: Equality Australia

“After a series of divisive debates focused on the lives of LGBTIQ+ people, many of our community have become sceptical of the political parties and are yet to make up their mind about who they’ll vote for,” said Brown. 

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“This election, parties and candidates must act to address issues of concern to LGBTIQ+ people if they are to win back the support of the voters they’ve lost and to build support amongst those that are undecided.”

Climate Change And LGBTQI Issues Are Important

Source: Equality Australia

Over 93.6% of the respondents said that LGBTQI issues were very important to them in making up their minds about which party to vote for at the elections. The other national issues that LGBTQI people said were important to them included, environment/climate issues (which topped the list), healthcare and the cost of living/wages. 

The community issues that LGBTQI voters said were important to them included, removing religious exemptions in anti-discrimination laws (96.9%), ending LGBTQI conversion practices (96.7%), ending unnecessary medical treatment on intersex people without their consent (94.2%), increased funding for LGBTQI suicide prevention and mental health (96.4%), counting LGBTQI people in the census (96.4%), ensuring LGBTQI inclusive government services and policies (94.8%), better access to gender-affirming health care (90.6%), better funding for LGBTQI organisations (91.6%) and seeing Australia push for LGBTQI rights globally (85.3%). 

Allies Back LGBTQI Rights

Image: Supplied

Around 74.9% of non-LGBTQI persons who participated in the survey said that LGBTQI issues were important to them while determining who to vote for at the elections. 

“This survey demonstrates that our community are deeply disappointed that federal law still allows religious schools to expel, fire or otherwise discriminate against students or staff because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that we are still subjected to harmful conversion practices that seek to change who we are,” said Brown.

According to Equality Australia, the survey showed that the community was united in ensuring equal rights for everyone in the LGBTQI spectrum.

“The survey also demonstrates that the wider LGBTIQ+ community stands with intersex people who are still subject to unnecessary medical procedures to change their sex characteristics without their personal consent.”

“The LGBTIQ+ community also stands with trans and gender diverse people in their efforts to remove barriers to accessing gender-affirming care,” added Brown.

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