Valentine’s Day was a big day in the news for the gay and lesbian community, with Magda Szubanski coming out publicly.
On Channel 10’s The Project, Magda made the point that “We pay taxes, fight wars for this country, nurse you when you are sick, make you laugh, sing and dance for you, play netball for you, star in your movies, cook your meals, decorate your store windows and chances are gay people designed whatever it is you’re wearing”.
Magda’s point about taxes is a particularly pertinent one. Our community does pay taxes — this is one area where we do have equality! Those taxes are then distributed to schools, roads and hospitals. Our taxes are also distributed to religious organisations, through the schools and hospitals they run.
You may not be aware that these schools, hospitals and other services enjoy wide-ranging exemptions under anti-discrimination laws, allowing them, for example, to freely fire gay and lesbian staff or refuse to assist gay and lesbian clients.
The GLRL has been campaigning for many years to remove this exemption and have religious organisations that receive public funds adhere to the same anti-discrimination legislation as every other organisation.
When people ask “What do I get for my NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby membership?” and get the answer “Rights”, this is the kind of thing we are talking about.
Although you can’t see us all the time, we are tirelessly lobbying politicians and legislators to achieve substantive equality for lesbians and gays. Read more at http://glrl.org.au/index.php/About-Us/About-Us/History-Of-The-Lobby.
On a lighter note, during February and March, the answer to the above question is also, “The chance to win a case of wine valued at over $200, generously donated by Cellarmasters!”.
The lucky winners will be drawn out of a hat at our Mardi Gras thank-you event at the end of March (details to be forthcoming). To join, visit http://glrl.org.au/index.php/Get-Involved/Get-Involved/Member.
And speaking of Mardi Gras, the GLRL attended the entrant briefing for the Parade last weekend, and we’re very excited about being part of this year’s Parade — it looks like it’s going to be a spectacular evening!
The GLRL float has had quite a bit of interest already, and our quota for dancers is almost full. But there is still time to join us as a marcher and graciously wave like the Queen (pun intended) to the crowd at this iconic Sydney event.
If you’re interested in marching with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By LAINIE ARNOLD, NSW GLRL