The board of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW GLRL) will begin to explore possible name changes for the organisation in 2020.
Through membership and community engagement, the NSW GLRL plans to change its name for the new year in the hopes of creating a name that encourages inclusivity and also reflects the current, and undoubtedly tense political climate.
Speaking to Star Observer the new and incoming convenor for the NSW GLRL, Jack Whitney said that he hopes the name changes will bring the community closer together in a time of political and social turmoil, especially considering the NSW Government’s new support for mandatory testing of individuals whose bodily fluids come into contact with frontline workers.
“The aim is to make our names more inclusive and reflect the nuance nature our community and the current political climate, where the community now often stands together on many of the same issues, e.g. safe schools, the religious freedoms bill, and the HIV BBV [Blood Borne Virus] NSW Government announcement,” he said.
“The board of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby had its AGM [Annual General Meeting] last night. At this meeting, we supported to explore a name change to the organisation in 2020. The Lobby will be engaging membership and community throughout this, and we want to hear from them.
“Many community members feel that this was always going to happen after Marriage Equality, and this can be seen with other players in the field such as Equality Australia, which has a national, rather than a state focus.”
Since its establishment in 1988, the NSW GLRL has an extensive and proud history of lobbying the LGBTQI rights within Australia. Most notably, the Lobby played an extensive role in establishing the nations cultural identity by pushing for decriminalisation homosexuality and creating an ongoing lobbying space.
Today the NSW GLRL remains as “a powerful symbol of modern social reform for LGBTQI people” after making significant contributions to law reform and social change by guiding and shaping the private and public narrative of rights and reforms with diplomacy, integrity and collaboration.
Whitney sees his role and the potential name change as a chance to integrate the entire LGBTQI community into the themes of collaboration and acceptance that the current NSW GLRL stands for.
“The Lobby has a proud history, and when looking into the future, we want to be in the best position to advocate with a full heart and with the full community in mind,” he said.
“At our meeting, we were in support of exploring how our name can be fit for purpose today. This means it would reflect the diversity and similarities of our community and how we often stand together on issues that concern one, many, or all subsets.
“While I don’t have the answer to a name, I am hoping through our consultation, the community and membership have some answers. If not, we can find one together.”
The NSW GLRL’s announcement for a change of name to enhance community involvement comes as the NSW Government announces support for a plan to enforce mandatory testing of individuals whose bodily fluids come into contact with frontline workers.
However, there has not been a single recorded instance of a police officer being infected through simple physical contact way in Australia.