On International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and days before the Federal elections, the National Union of Students (NUS) Queer/LGBTQIA+ Department have called on candidates and MPs to pledge that they would help address discrimination against the community. 

The election campaign has seen increasing attacks on the LGBTQI community, especially transgender people. Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to sack Warringah candidate Katherine Deves over her now deleted anti-LGBTQI tweets, and endorsed Senator Claire Chandler’s bill to ban trans women and trans girls from participating in female sport.

Morrison has also vowed that if his government is re-elected he would bring back the unamended Religious Discrimination Bill, without protections for gay and trans students.

‘We Cannot Afford To Be Ignored’

“We don’t need a Federal Parliament that will discriminate against us or accept this as the status quo, we need a Parliament that will proactively take action to address these issues and the discrimination that the LGBTQIA+ community faces,” NUS Queer/LGBTQIA+ Officer, Jordy Duffey, said in a statement. 

Duffey said that many political parties have failed to consult the LGBTQI community on issues that are important to them. “We cannot afford to be ignored. This election is pivotal as it is clear from the track record of the current Morrison Government that addressing LGBTQIA+ issues has not been a priority.”

The NUS Queer/LGBTQIA+ Department has identified issues that they want the next Federal Parliament to address. 

This includes a commitment to dump the Religious Discrimination Bill; remove religious exemptions in anti-discrimination laws; enact a national law to ban conversion practices; recognise LGBTQI people in the next national census; support a legislative duty of care in the university sector; support amendments to the Fair Work Act to include trans, gender diverse and intersex Australians; address the issue of queer homelessness;  support making changing gender markers on documents easier and support making gender affirming care more accessible. 

‘Morrison Has Ignored Our Needs’

According to Ella Hickey, NUS Queer/LGBTQIA+ Officer, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ignored the needs of the community. “2022’s IDAHOBIT day, happening days before an election, must be seen as a day for the LGBTQIA+ community to advocate for our issues,” said Hickey. 

“For many of us, elections feel like the only time that politicians listen to us. During this election, we’ve been sure to take advantage of this to push the changes the community needs. The LGBTQIA+ community deserves a better, more receptive government.”

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