Media Release
Thursday May 23rd 2024
Just.Equal Australia says the Albanese Government is missing in action when it comes to anti-LGBTIQA hate following revelations it has not said or done anything in response to ant-LGBTIQA violence and vilification since World Pride in March 2023.
In federal parliament, Tasmanian Greens’ Senator, Nick McKim, cited neo-NaziChristian Lives Matter and other extremist attacks on LGBTIQA+ people and events such as Drag Story Time, and then asked the Attorney-General’s department if the Prime Minister or Attorney-General had condemned these attacks, funded a strategy against anti-LGBTIQA+ prejudice similar to the national anti-racism strategy, or funded LGBTIQA+ groups to deal with violence and vilification similar to the $50 million announced on IDAHOBIT Day 2023 to help religious groups improve their safety?
The Department response did not cite a single public statement or funded program. It did not commit to enacting vilification protections for LGBTIQA+ people. It noted that LGBTIQA+ people can make complaints of discrimination in employment, education and services under the federal Sex Discrimination Act (although this doesn’t include faith-based workplaces schools or services). 
Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
“LGBTIQA+ Australians are experiencing an exponential increase in political vilification and violence and the Albanese Government has gone missing in action.”
“By refusing to stand up to anti-LGBTIQA+ vilification and violence, the Federal Government is saying our lives are worth less than others’.”
“We call on all those Australians who voted Yes for marriage equality in 2017 to tell the Federal Government the job isn’t done until all LGBTIQA+ Australians are safe from being vilified and attacked because of who we are.”
Mr Croome said the Federal Government is also exacerbating the disadvantage and discrimination faced by LGBTIQA+ Australians by refusing to act on the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendation to prohibit discrimination in faith-based schools.
“The longer the Albanese Government drags its feet on this issue the stronger message to those who hate us or would discriminate against us that we are legitimate targets.”
Parliamentary questions and answers below.
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668
Senator McKim’s questions:
1. Given the TERF and neo-Nazi rally against transgender people in Melbourne in March 2023, the religious fundamentalist/Christian Lives Matter riot against queer protesters in Sydney in March 2023, and ongoing right-wing extremist protests aimed at intimidating and shutting down queer and drag queen community events around the country over the past 12 months, what actions has the Government taken to address this crisis? 
a. Please cite public condemnations of anti-LGBTIQ violence and vilification since March 2023 by the Prime Minister and/or Attorney-General 
2. Will the Government commit to funding and developing a strategy against anti-LGBTIQ prejudice (similar to the current funding and development of the national anti-racism strategy)? 
3. Has the Government provided any funding to help LGBTIQ communities deal with the growth of anti-LGBTIQ violence and vilification (similar to the $50 million announced to help religious organisations improve their safety announced on IDAHOBIT in May 2023, supplemented by additional funding in October) ?
The Attorney-General’s Department’s response: 
1. Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws make discrimination on the ground of gender identity unlawful in a range of areas of public life. The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status in a range of areas of public life, including employment, education and in the provision of goods, services and facilities. Where a person’s human rights may have been breached, or they have experienced discrimination, the Australian Human Rights Commission can investigate and attempt to conciliate complaints. If the conciliation is unsuccessful, in certain circumstances parties may commence legal proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. 
2. Decisions about funding are a matter for Government. 
3. Advocacy for LGBTIQA+ rights falls within the responsibilities of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, as provided in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). As part of the 2022-23 Budget, the Government provided additional funding of $31.8 million to the Australian Human Rights Commission, including resourcing for Commissioners to undertake their statutory duties.