Friday June 2nd 2023
Labor betrays LGBTIQA+ community with weakened draft platform
Just.Equal Australia has condemned Federal Labor's decision to weaken the already sparse LGBTIQA+ commitments in its national platform.
LGBTIQA+ advocate, Alastair Lawrie, has raised the alarm, pointing out that Labor's draft 2023 platform has dropped its commitment to protect LGBTIQA+ people from vilification, while re-affirming Labor's commitment to prohibit religious vilification.
Mr Lawrie has also noted that Labor has dumped a commitment to affordable health care for trans and gender diverse people, and its commitment to support intersex people and their advocates.
Just.Equal Australia spokespeople, Rodney Croome and Sally Goldner, described the weakening of Labor's platform as a betrayal.
"At a time when vilification against our community is on the rise it is a betrayal for Labor, a party with a supposedly strong commitment to social justice and equality, to drop its commitment to national LGBTIQA+ anti-vilification protections", Mr Croome said.
"Just.Equal's voter survey after the 2021 federal election found many LGBTIQA+ people who voted Labor in 2019 deserted to the Greens in 2021 due to Labor's weak record. It seems Labor's leadership is intent on accelerating that trend."
Mr Croome said the weak draft platform comes at a time when the Albanese Government has delayed a report into discrimination against LGBTIQA+ students and staff in faith-based schools and appears to be retreating from its pre-election promise to count LGBTIQA+ people in the next Census.
Sally Goldner said she is deeply disappointed Labor has weakened its commitment to trans and gender diverse people at a time when anti-trans discrimination and hatred is at fever pitch.
"Labor has caved in to the bullies by abandoning its commitment to affordable health care."
"We need stronger leadership from the Government if we are to stem the tide of anti-trans hate."
"It is also very disappointing to see Labor back down from its previous commitments to the rights of intersex people, especially as jurisdictions like the ACT move toward greater protection of those rights."
Ms Goldner repeated Just.Equal's call for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.
"An LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner will be a key voice on our issues to government and will help prevent future backsliding", she said.
Mr Lawrie described Labor's weakened platform as so "generic and bland" it is almost "meaningless".
He also urged concerned LGBTIQA+ people to write to the platform consultation.
Earlier this year, Just.Equal released a survey of LGBTIQA+ voting patterns at the last two elections. It found that 1 in 5 LGBTIQA+ people who voted Labor in 2019 switched to the Greens in 2021. It also found LGBTIQA+ issues were among the main drivers of this trend, including Labor's support for the Morrison Government's Religious Discrimination Bill that would have rolled back existing LGBTIQA+ discrimination protections."
For Alastair Lawrie's analysis:
To write to Labor's platform consultation:
To see Just.Equal's election survey:
For a copy of thios statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Sally Goldner on 0407 946 242 or Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.