Why NSW’s LGBTI community needs an independent MP in parliament

Why NSW’s LGBTI community needs an independent MP in parliament
Image: Sydney state independent MP Alex Greenwich.

I’M proud to be an openly-gay member of NSW Parliament and proud to represent an electorate with one of the highest number of same-sex couples and LGBTI residents in Australia.

I’ve really enjoyed building links with MPs across the political spectrum to work together on advancing LGBTI law reform.

I see an important part of my role in State Parliament as vetting all legislation to ensure it does not negatively affect LGBTI communities and individuals, as well as promoting inner-city issues like strata reform, access to schools and childcare and protecting the environment.

I represent my constituents, not a political party, and I take action on what my community cares about.

I have a strong record over a number of years achieving reform for LGBTI people — and I am passionate about continuing this work.

My bill to remove private school exemptions from discrimination laws got the Board of Studies to investigate complaints and potentially deregister schools that are not inclusive for LGBTI students.

I am committed to reintroducing the bill with protections for teachers.

I have achieved state recognition of same-sex couples who marry overseas and will continue to work with the NSW Parliamentary LGBTI Cross Party Working Group on marriage equality.

I introduced legislation to allow trans* people to change their birth certificate without forced to go through a divorce, and I am committed to trans* and intersex law reform, including providing new options on birth certificates and removing surgery requirements to register a change of sex. These reforms need to be given priority and I’ll be working with the various trans* groups, Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia and Amnesty International.

I am not afraid to stand up for what is right. I have put forward motions condemning the World Congress of Families for promoting reparative therapy and the Australian Christian Lobby for stating that smoking is healthier than being gay. I also condemned the recent TV advertisements during Mardi Gras that denigrated same sex couple families.

I work to get outcomes, not to score political points. When Mike Baird became Premier, instead of focusing on his past record, my first question in parliament to him got a commitment to allow conscience votes on LGBTI-related bills.

In addition, in response to reports of heavy-handed policing during Mardi Gras 2013, I worked with the minister, police, advocates and the Ombudsman to improve policing of future events.

I have a strong working relationship with LGBTI advocates. I work closely with the media and have been successful getting mainstream coverage of issues that affect our community.I have proven that I can work with all parties and all levels of government to get an outcome.

I don’t do deals, I don’t swap preferences and I don’t accept donations that could compromise me.

Unlike party members, the issues I promote are not determined behind closed doors based on what is strategically beneficial. I am committed to my constituents, LGBTI communities and getting reforms that will achieve equality, justice, acceptance and inclusion.

Alex Greenwich is the Sydney state independent MP and one of the NSW Legislative Assembly’s two openly-gay MPs. Twitter: @AlexGreenwich


RELATED: Looking back, looking forward — by Trvor Khan (NSW Nationals)

RELATED: Labor will help defend what has been won and advance what is left to do — by Penny Sharpe (Labor)

RELATED: How my days as a young gay man have influenced me as an MP — by Bruce Notley-Smith (Liberals)

RELATED: The push for full LGBTI equality requires Green boldness and courage — by Mehreen Faruqi (NSW Greens)

RELATED: Community organisations release NSW election survey results

RELATED: Why the gays can’t even vote straight (analysis)


You May Also Like

2 responses to “Why NSW’s LGBTI community needs an independent MP in parliament”