A day before the election, the three main national parties promised the LGBTQI community equality and freedom from discrimination – but not to the same degree.
National LGBTQI advocacy organization Equality Australia released its Labour, Liberal and Green scorecard on Friday ahead of the federal election on Saturday May 21.
“Everyone in Australia deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and to work, study and access services without fear of discrimination,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.
“LGBTIQ+ voters told us emphatically that equality matters to them. By asking parties vying for LGBTIQ+ voter support where they stand on issues affecting our community, we ensured people can make an informed choice. We will continue to work to ensure whoever wins government takes action to advance equality for all of us.
Religious Discrimination Bill
One of the main issues this year for the community was Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill. The bill has been shelved indefinitely after Labour, Independents and five Liberal MPs voted for amendments aimed at protecting gay and trans students.
Morrison has promised to bring back the unamended Religious Discrimination Bill if his government is re-elected. The Liberals have said an amendment will be passed to the Sex Discrimination Act to protect gay and bisexual students from expulsion, but other forms of discrimination may remain. The proposed protections against expulsion will not be extended to trans students. Instead, Morrison endorsed Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler’s bill to ban trans girls from women’s sports.
Both Labor and the Greens have promised legislation to protect believers from discrimination and defamation, but not at the expense of the rights of other communities. The Greens have pledged to remove all exemptions under anti-discrimination laws for religious organizations. Labor said it would remove exemptions to protect all LGBTQI students and, to some extent, LGBTQI teachers from discrimination.
Equality Australia highlighted its survey of around 8,000 people, including more than 5,000 LGBTQI people, who said ending discrimination was a top priority.
“Our community’s top priority for whoever forms government this weekend is to end discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in faith-based organizations, including faith-based schools which may currently fire, expel or discriminate against students and staff. LGBTQ+,” Brown said.
Labor said it opposes “damaging and discredited” conversion practices and pointed to laws banning it passed by its governments in Victoria and Queensland. The Greens said they would “advocate at the state and federal levels for a comprehensive ban on restorative, sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapies.”
Liberals are silent on the question of banning conversion practices.
Counting LGBTQI people in the census
Labor and Greens supported counting LGBTQI Australians in the national census.
The Liberals said that while they supported the collection of data regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status where relevant, “decisions about data collection are ultimately up to the responsibility of agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Health and well-being of LGBTQI people
The Labor Party is committed to working with LGBTQI Australians and is advocating “to develop policy that will ensure equality before the law and strengthen Medicare so that LGBTIQ+ Australians have full access to our valuable universal healthcare system.
“An Albanian Labor government will undertake a consultation on the unique health issues and barriers to access that LGBTIQ+ Australians may face.”
Labor has pledged funding for QLife and pledged to fund mental health in the Commonwealth budget. The party said it will “provide a $200 million student wellbeing boost to get student mental health and wellbeing back on track.”
The Greens have pledged to provide $285 million in funds over four years for a national LGBTQIA+ health and wellbeing plan, including $15 million in “dedicated funding to cover costs faced by transgender people and gender-diverse to access gender-affirming health care. ”
The Liberals said LGBTIQ+ Health Australia was one of ‘peak health groups to receive funding in the third round of the Health Peak Advisory Bodies program’ and provided $7.33 million to QLife . The party said about $3 billion was earmarked for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
Domestic, family and sexual violence
The Labor Party pledged to “dedicate funding to LGBTIQ+ community organizations to employ domestic violence workers, ensuring that LGBTIQ+ people receive appropriate support in relation to LGBTIQ+ family and domestic violence”.
The Liberals said they have earmarked funds to address domestic, family and sexual violence in the Women’s Budget, which includes $104.4 million for ‘Our Watch’ “to bolster its prevention efforts for LGBTIQ+ people, women with disabilities and migrant women”.
The Greens have pledged to fund $12 billion for the upcoming National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children, which includes specialized services for LGBTQI victims and survivors.
Protecting intersex people from harm
The Greens are the only party advocating for a law banning unnecessary medical procedures undertaken without consent, on people with intersex variations.
Labor said it would review the recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2021 report and work closely with the intersex community and advocates.
The Liberals had no answers to the problems of the intersex community.
Labor promised that a ministerial task force “of community representatives, medical experts and public servants will be tasked with removing bottlenecks and getting things done to end HIV Transmission.”
The Greens have pledged to fund $53 million for WAWA’s plans to end HIV transmission by 2025.
The Liberals said his government continued to provide HIV/AIDS funds and organizations to eliminate HIV transmission.
Why should you vote for us? party locations
Liberals: “A The re-elected Morrison government will take its project from RelIserious bill on discrimination and other proposals for legislative amendments transmitted separately and sequentially to the next legislature. As the Prime Minister has already said, the Morrison government is doingands does not support LGBTIQ+ cohinversion therapy. This position has no changel.”
Green vegetables: “LGBTIQA+ issues need to be heard at the highest levels of government and implemented across all portfolios… The Australian Greens will continue to advocate for these changes in future parliaments, to ensure we can achieve real equality.”
Work: The Morrison-Joyce government has completely ignored the LGBTIQ+ community and the services they need…Labour is the main architect of Australia’s anti-discrimination legislative framework. We will continue to defend and improve this framework to ensure it is fit for purpose, accessible and promotes equality.