The federal election is only days away, and the question remains, what will a Government headed by Tony Abbott or Julia Gillard mean for the LGBTI community?
Over the election campaign, the commitments to a ‘fair go’ and ‘family values’ have dominated the voting agenda. Yet this rhetoric continues to eclipse the struggles that plague sexual and gender minorities.
It seems disingenuous for a Government, with a vested interest in regulating marriage and family, to deny same-sex couples the ‘legitimating’ environment of marriage to raise their children. After all, there are more than 4300 children living in same-sex families in Australia struggling for legal recognition.
However, what is promising is the ALP and Liberal Party’s commitment to anti-discrimination laws. This is important as same-sex couples continue to be poorly treated in aged-care accommodation and sex and gender diverse people still struggle to have their identities legally recognised.
The Labor Government is committed to a ‘human rights framework’, which will include the harmonisation of anti-discrimination laws into a single Act, which will incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity.
While the Coalition will scrap the proposed framework, George Brandis SC, Shadow Attorney-General, mentioned he would support the introduction of federal sexuality and gender identity anti-discrimination legislation.
Regardless of what form legislation takes and which party introduces it, it is essential that individuals be protected against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Whatever the election outcome, the federal Government must ‘move forward’ to remedy the current limits to relationship recognition and discrimination protection for sexual and gender minorities.
info: The GLRL will host an election party this Saturday (August 21) at Forresters Hotel in Surry Hills, from 7pm. Entry is a $10 donation. All proceeds will support our social justice work post-election.