2008 was a landmark year for gay and lesbian rights. We saw lesbian co-mothers recognised as legal parents for the first time in NSW and we saw the passing of legislation that will remove discrimination in over 80 pieces of federal law -” the most significant legislative reform for our community in the history of the Australian Parliament.
While 2009 presents us with an opportunity to reflect on the gains so far, full legal equality and social justice remains a challenging task ahead. Three of our key priorities for 2009 are:
Adoption: It is still illegal for gay and lesbian couples to adopt in NSW, even though, theoretically, for single gays and lesbians, it is not. The Same-Sex Adoption Inquiry is currently being undertaken by the NSW Government, and we are putting together the GLRL’s submission.
We are asking you, our community, to contact us if you think you are affected by adoption being denied to same-sex couples in NSW.
Education: We are developing partnerships with a range of organisations to produce an education campaign to explain how the recent federal reforms will affect you. It is important that our community is aware of, and can confidently assert, its new rights and responsibilities.
Marriage: As the recent passing of Proposition 8 in California showed, we’ve still got a lot of work to do in convincing our politicians that gay marriage won’t make the sky fall in.
Our community is a diverse one. We have Liberal lesbians and Green-voting gay stockbrokers. And just like our community, I like to think of the 2009 GLRL committee being a -˜team of rivals’. We have a public servant, a lawyer, a journalist, a maths whiz, a unionist and a CEO to name a few. We have young students who bring enthusiasm, vigour and great new ideas to the table, and we have experienced professionals who inject years of wisdom into our organisation.
As we kickstart 2009 with a bold and inclusive agenda, we want to hear from you. If you have any suggestions as to what you think our priorities for the GLRL should be, then email me, at [email protected] Our organisation is only successful because of the support and the participation of the community we represent.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.