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LGBTI community and this election

by Margarita Windisch

Meet the candidates VIC Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby speech:Sunday, Nov 11 –

I want to acknowledge that we are standing on Stolen Aboriginal land and any campaign for democratic rights HAS to incorporate demands to end discrimination and institutional racism against our indigenous traditional owners. So lets get the troops out of the NT!

This is a very important election – 11 years of neo-liberalism in the form of the Howard government has brought severe hardships to our communities, send us into two wars and is criminally neglecting real action to combat climate change

A reelection of Howard would signify a mandate to continue with anti worker legislation, introduce nuclear and keep decimating public services.

It would also legitimize a government that in 2004 enshrined into law that homosexuals are second-class citizens by passing the same sex marriage ban. Now you could also argue that the ALP is no real choice for GLBTI community either as they have fully supported this ban and in fact helped introduce it. That’s why we are encouraging to vote Socialist Alliance or Green and put the ALP before Liberal. After the marriage ban was passed, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Gellibrand married a same sex couple outside the sitting ALP member’s office, Nicola Roxon, who declined to join but had been quite happy to dine with the Christian Right a week before!

How is it possible that in the 21st century, in a country that calls itself civilized, legislation can be introduced that that is reminiscent of the Dark Ages? While conservative and super catholic countries like Spain have given full same-sex marriage rights, the Howard government and the ALP have jumped into bed with our very own Christian Taliban and bigots who brand homosexuals as the moral terrorist of the 21st century and unfit to raise children. What this does is not only saying that same sex love is worthless – it is more serious than that It entrenches discrimination, feeds homophobia and reinfoces prejudice!

GLBTI youth are six times more likely to kill themselves and 85% of lesbians and gay men have experiences harassment and 1 in 4 reported physical attack. So homophobia is not just an abstract word – it is REAL and a matter of life and deat for many people!

Contrary to our backward politicians, public support for same sex marriage has increased from 38% to 55% since the 2004 ban – that is a direct result of the public campaigns run nationally for equal love rights and Socialist Alliance activists have played a role in this. Socialist Alliance helped kick of the August NDA for equal love.

Like the consistent work done by the Refugee Action Collective who helped shift public opinion after the TAMPA affair, the queer movement had swung back into action to raise issues of equal love and discrimination.

No matter who wins this election the movement needs to continue to help arrest the tide of the Christian Right and force the ALP to change legislation if they will get elected. We all know that mainstream pollies can’t be trusted (unless you are a rich business dude) – so keep up the struggle, keep up the fight.

Our policies are outlined in the hand out given to you by the Vic Gay and Lesbian Rights lobby

Our policies:

o Socialist Alliance would seek to implement the HEREOC recommendations out of the Same-Sex: Entitlements Inquiry and have the 58 federal laws removed which discriminate against same-sex couples and their families. Socialist Alliance seeks to remove state laws that discriminate against the GLBTI community as well.
o The scope of the HEREOC inquiry did not include same-sex marriage. The same-sex marriage ban is a federal law that entrenches discrimination. We would remove that too and have been campaigning for its repeal since it’s introduction.
o Remove exemptions from anti-discrimination laws for private schools, religious organisations, the insurance industry, the tax system and superannunation funds
o Legislate the right of transgender people to be issued with passports and other documents specifying the gender of their choice
o Provide social welfare (Newstart, the pension, etc) regardless of relationship status
o Adopt anti-discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI people and people living with HIV/AIDS
o Legislate against the use of non-violent homosexual “advance” as a defence of “provocation” in violent crime
o Legislate full recognition of same-sex relationships. This would include extending equal status with heterosexual de factos in superannuation, immigration, taxation, family law, industrial relations and other areas
o Guarantee the right of gay men and lesbians to adopt or foster children and end discrimination against gay men and lesbians in child custody cases
o Boost funding for LGBTI youth programs, including refuges, housing and health services, and coming out, self-esteem and suicide prevention programs
o Provide non-judgmental information about drug usage and HIV rates
o Fund education, youth, aged, health, employment and welfare programs though non-discriminatory government
o and/or secular non-profit community organisations.
o Ensure education in schools contains positive material on homosexual, transgender and intersex issues
o -Support the Pride Marches, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, film and video festivals and other queer community events; defend and extend gay, lesbian and transgender programming on the ABC, SBS and community broadcasters; work for an end to the vicious and destructive portrayal of LGBTI people in some sections of the media
o If the GLBTI community wanted to establish an advisory committee, Socialist Alliance would support such a grouping. However, the body should be independent from the government and be unequivocal about marriage rights being part of a full equality agenda.
o All refugees welcome to Australia and be given full citizenship rights
o Close all detention centres and build Refugee Help Centres for new arrivals
o Socialist Alliance will continue to fight for the freedom of GLBTI refugees such as Ali Humayun and against the homophobia of the current Refugee Review Tribunal.
o Socialist Alliance supports the Brazilian resolution and any other international resolutions that fight homophobia and attacks on the GLBTI community on an international scale.
o Boost funding to HIV campaigns that give objective, non-moralistic information about same-sex and opposite-sex experiences
o Socialist Alliance supports the campaign for a Bill of Rights which would include the rights of GLBTI people.

1 Com:

Charlotte | November 13, 2007

Check out our trailer on Gay Marriage Produced to educate & defuse the controversy it has a way of opening closed minds & creates an interesting spin on the situation: www.OUTTAKEonline.com

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