Media Release
Thursday February 20th 2020


In the wake of a new survey showing millions of Australians are silent allies for LGBTIQ+ people, equality advocates have called for allies across society and politics to raise their voices against the Religious Discrimination Bill.

A large-scale survey of almost 1700 allies and friends of LGBTIQ+ people, selected to be demographically representative, has found that 63% (the equivalent of 10.6 million Australians) consider themselves supporters of LGBTIQ+ people.

However, the survey, released to coincide with the Sydney Mardi Gras and sponsored by Absolut vodka, also found 73% of allies identified as "silent supporters" because they were unsure how to express their support or unaware of the deep harm discrimination causes.

Spokesperson for just.equal, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, said,

"We urge silent supporters of LGBTIQ+ people to speak out now against the Religious Discrimination Bill and all discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people."

"We particularly encourage silent supporters in Parliament, from across the political spectrum, to speak out about discrimination against us in the name of religion."

"93% of LGBTIQ+ Australians say expressions of support from government are important."

"That is, in effect, almost every LGBTIQ Australian calling on our political leaders to step up & be champions of our dignity and inclusion."

The survey built on the survey techniques and findings of just.equal, which has conducted a number of large-scale LGBTIQ+ surveys since its inception in 2016.

The current survey cites just.equal's findings that 80% of LGBTIQ+ people feel as bad or worse than they did during the 2017 marriage postal survey, with 43% feel Australia is not accepting.

The current survey found 3 in 4 LGBTIQ+ Australians have experienced negativity or discrimination, with 67% modifying their behaviour to avoid such experiences.

The survey also found that these feelings of exclusion correlate with poorer mental health outcomes.

LGBTIQ+ respondents to the survey identified the following five ways allies can do more:
#1 Standing up against anti-LGBTIQ+ speech (84%)
#2 Using respectful language about the LGBTIQ+ community (81%)
#3 Being accepting and considering your own prejudices (78%)
#4 Helping LGBTIQ+ people and perspectives to be seen and heard (74%)
#5 Listening to LGBTIQ+ people (73%) #6 Expressing support for LGBTIQ+ people on social media (73%)

Lead researcher on the survey, Dr Shirleene Robinson, said,

“It is extremely encouraging to know that there are supporters of the LGBTIQ+ community all across this country. Now, more than ever, we need those voices to be active and to speak up and support their LGBTIQ+ family members and friends."

Mr Hinton-Teoh concurred,

“It is exhausting when it feels like I’m defending my place in society all the time. When allies activate in defence of my right to be me, I feel less isolated. I can get on with my life, knowing someone else sees me, my humanity and, importantly, is fighting to affirm my dignity and right to a fair and equal space in the community.”

A report on the Absolut survey can be found here:

The original just.equal research can be found here:

Just.equal's action against the Religious Discrimination Bill can be found here:
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Ivan Hinton-Teoh on 0419 124 826.