This week the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby was the recipient of a bequest in someone’s will. While we cannot name this person, we would like to acknowledge their generous gift. Their donation at this time is very much appreciated.
At this point in time, the GLRL is working very hard lobbying in Canberra to achieve the best outcome possible for the gay and lesbian community under the consolidated Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination legislation. With an election looming, timing and speed are essential components of getting this legislation through the parliament.
We hear a lot about marriage equality in the mainstream and LGBTI media. Marriage equality is an important reform for our community, and one we are dedicated to achieving. However, a consolidated federal Anti-Discrimination bill is a legal reform that will arguably make just as much of a difference to the status of gay men and lesbians, and to many – especially the most marginalized in our community – it will personally make more of a difference than marriage equality.
The GLRL has been working towards this legislation for many years. This law will make a real impact on the lives of our community across the country, and is a vital change at a Commonwealth level. We don’t need to look any further than the election of the LNP in Queensland last year to see how quickly and easily state-based rights can be revoked.
And although we are lobbying to remove religious exemptions from any legislation, it is unlikely that we will achieve that at this point in time. By giving religious schools, adoption organisations and other bodies the capacity to legally discriminate against someone based on sexuality, a number of people in our community will be personally effected either through their own career, sending their children to school, healthcare and other ways.
That is one of the reasons that, even when marriage equality becomes law in this country there will still be meaningful legislative inequality for the gay and lesbian community. There will still be a lot of work to do, as there is right now.
However these other, impactful, issues receive a fraction of the donations that are given in the name of marriage equality. The NSW GLRL receives no regular government funding, and is almost entirely supported by donations, as are other gay and lesbian lobbying organizations, and I urge the community to remember that legal inequality exists in many areas of the law.
If you wish to support our campaigns by becoming a GLRL Silver Supporter, or donating to the NSW GLRL, please visit our website at http://glrl.org.au/index.php/Take-Action/Current-Campaigns/DONATE-NOW
by Lainie Arnold • NSW GLRL