Two decades after it was established to campaign for equal rights, the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) is set to vote on a name change for the organisation. The new name proposed is Victorian Pride Lobby to reflect the work it does with the spectrum of communities with diverse gender and sexualities.

First mooted in 2019, the process will conclude with a vote at a Special General Meeting likely to be called in the middle of the year. According to the Lobby, all financial members will be eligible to vote on the name change. Consultations with its members and supporters have shown that 98 % were in favour of a change in name, the Lobby said.

The organisation said that the conversation around its name is not new and there were discussions about it way back in 1997 when it was formed.

“There have been significant changes over the last 20 years in the LGBTQI community and the Lobby is actively considering how we can better reflect and be more inclusive of the community we advocate on behalf of…. Over the past decades, our work has expanded from a focus on legal rights to a broader focus on social justice and equality. We advocate with and for not just gay and lesbian Victorians, but queer, bisexual and same-sex attracted Victorians who may not use the labels ‘gay and lesbian’ to describe their sexual orientation. We value and celebrate the diversity of sexual orientations in our community. That’s why we are proposing to change our name to the Victorian Pride Lobby,” the organisation said.

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 VGLRL is not the first organisation to move for a change in its name. Australia’s oldest HIV/AIDS organisation was formed in 1983 and was called the Victorian AIDS Action Committee before changing its name to Victorian AIDS Council. Then in 2018, to mark its 35th anniversary the organisation again changed its name to Thorne Harbour Health – after two community leaders Alison Thorne and Keith Harbour.

VGLRL said it embarked on a year long process of consultation with organisations like Transgender Victoria, Rainbow Families Victoria, Bisexual Alliance Victoria, Equality Australia, Intersex Human Rights Australia as well as the Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality. Following unanimous support at its 2019 AGM, the Lobby undertook two rounds of consultation with community members and supporters.

“We will continue to work together with, and lobby on behalf of, the whole community. We do not speak in place of bi, trans and gender diverse, intersex, and asexual community members, but rather, we will continue to work alongside bi, trans and gender diverse, intersex, and asexual organisations to achieve positive social change for the LGBTQI community,” said VGLRL.

You can email your feedback to the lobby about the proposed name change to info@vglrl.org.au.

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