SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT
SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
LABOR TO APPOINT A NEW CHAMPION FOR LGBTI AUSTRALIANS
A Shorten Labor Government will appoint a full-time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Labor's LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner will be a new champion for the rights of LGBTI Australians, and help build a more inclusive Australia.
Great progress has been made in the fight for a fairer Australia but there is still more to be done.
Sadly, LGBTI Australians continue to face discrimination in many areas of life and many feel they need to hide their sexuality for fear of violence and discrimination.
In its Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Rights report last year, the Australian Human Rights Commission noted:
- Research suggests the rate of suicide for LGBT people is 3.5 to 14 times higher than the general population.
- LGBT people are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety.
As part of Labor's commitment to a more equal Australia a Shorten Labor Government will appoint a permanent, dedicated, full-time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner.
Labor wants lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex Australians to feel safer, more secure and more included in Australian society.
Labor is committed to eliminating all discrimination against LGBTI Australians in all forms.
That is why in government we amended the Sex Discrimination Act to cover discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender diversity as well as amending 85 laws to treat same-sex couples equally.
But our marriage laws still discriminate against LGBTI Australians.
The Marriage Act contains one of the last forms of legislated discrimination in Australia.
Its antiquated, and its time it changed.
So long as the law remains as it is, LGBTI Australians continue to be sent a message that their relationships aren't equal with their heterosexual peers.
That isn't right, and it isn't fair.
That's why a Shorten Labor Government will introduce legislation for marriage equality within the first 100 days of the next parliament.
Labor's new LGBTI Commissioner will be able to work towards ensuring our schools, workplaces and communities are free from discrimination too.
Only Labor will stand up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians and fight for a fairer, more diverse and inclusive Australia.
For more information on Labor's plan to appoint an LGBTI Commissioner please visit www.100positivepolicies.org.au/lgbti_discrimination_commissioner_fact_sheet.
SATURDAY, 21 MAY 2016