Greens call on Labour to urgently support Members Bill to protect Human Rights of Rainbow communities

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party spokesperson for Rainbow Communities Dr Elizabeth Kerekere is calling for the Labour Party to support her members bill to protect the rights of takatāpui, in particular, trans, intersex, and non-binary people. Their support would strengthen the likelihood of the bill bypassing the biscuit tin process and passing into law.

This comes as several Rainbow flags are hoisted up at Parliament this morning for IDAHOBIT (International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia). It follows on from earlier this year when the Greens successfully called for the urgent ban of conversion therapy in Aotearoa New Zealand and Dr Kerekere’s petition received almost 160,000 signatures in one week.

“I have worked within the Rainbow community for decades because time and time again our community have been overlooked and hurt because of who we are”, says Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.

“In my maiden speech I announced my member’s bill to protect the rights of all our Rainbow whānau under the Human Rights Act. This is a Te Tiriti o Waitangi issue and a health and well-being issue that urgently needs addressing.

“Labour have decided they will not support my bill because they plan to do it themselves inside their work on hate speech. However, consultation is not expected to start for several months. So, yet again, Rainbow rights are put on the backburner by Labour.”

“Ending discrimination and prejudice against takatāpui and all Rainbow communities is my priority.

“The Human Rights Act 1993 currently does not specifically acknowledge the intersectional discrimination and violence experienced by trans, intersex and non-binary people. Adding “gender identity” to grounds of prohibition was identified by the Human Rights in 2007. Adding “gender expression” and “sex characteristics” to protect non-binary and intersex people was identified by the Intersex Roundtable Reports of 2016 and 2017. This was reiterated in the Human Rights Commission in the Prism Report in 2020. No further consultation is necessary. The community are quite clear on this.

“I will make sure there is justice for our whānau who are discriminated on a daily basis just for who they are.

“We cannot delay this bill any longer. I call on Labour to support this bill in full so we can hope to bypass the biscuit tin process and get it passed.

“I want to ensure the amazing people I have worked with, who have shared their stories see the change they deserve and for our young people to grow old.”

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