Happy 2013 to everyone! Now that Christmas and New Years celebrations are behind us, and we’re all enjoying the tennis season in Australia, it’s time for the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby to get back to work!

One of our focuses for the start of this year will be lobbying federal politicians on the proposed consolidation of anti-discrimination laws. As we mentioned last year, in November and December we met with a number of politicians and worked up a strategy going forward.

Submissions on the Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 closed on the 21st December 2012, and we received information that anti-equality parties had been making large numbers of submissions. In response to this we emailed our members and mailing list and encouraged as many people as possible to make a submission supporting equality for gay, lesbian, trans and intersex communities. And we want to say “Well Done” to everybody who made a submission.

This issue will be a big one for the community in 2013, so we will be staying in touch with everyone on our mailing list about what we’re doing, and what you, the community, needs to do to fight for the best possible Bill we can get.

The GLRL’s position on the consolidated anti-discrimination bill is that we support the passage of this bill, including the shifting of the burden of proof. We also made a number of recommendations. Our full report can be accessed via the Senate LACA website at number 387; all submissions are available here for the public to read.

2013 will be an election year, which means the timing of the passage of this Bill might be crucial, so we encourage everyone to get on board and do your part in the fight for equality. There will also be a role for the community to play in the election, and there will be opportunities for the gay and lesbian community to secure commitments from all sides of politics.

Check out our website for more information on what we got up to in 2012, and pop back often to see what events are unfolding at the GLRL throughout the year (glrl.org.au).

We hope you all have a successful 2013!

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