Greens to appoint Minister for Equality, fund LGBTIQA+ health services, and end discrimination

Australian Greens

Media Release

Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice and candidate for Macnamara Steph Hodgins-May will today announce the Greens fully-costed plan for Achieving LGBTIQA+ Equality.

With the Liberals actively harming queer people, with Scott Morrison and Katherine Deves doing all they can to manufacture a culture war, and with Labor conspicuously silent on LGBTIQA+ rights, the Greens are the only party LGBTIQA+ people and progressives can rely on this election.

Under the LGBTIQA+ Equality plan, the Greens will appoint a Minister for Equality and an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner and introduce a Charter of Rights to bolster federal anti-discrimination law.

This is the first Greens election policy aiming to expand the Ministry, reflecting the party’s commitment to ensuring LGBTIQA+ people are represented and heard at the highest level of government and across portfolios.

Today, Senator Rice will join Steph Hodgins-May at the Equality Now! event at Melbourne’s Pride Centre to outline the Greens’ bold plan, which will also include funding a national LGBTIQA+ health and wellbeing action scheme, addressing the housing and homelessness crisis, and ending conversion practices.

The Greens announcement today in Macnamara reflects the party’s optimism for winning the lower house swing seat, and the belief that LGBTIQA+ voters, young people, and progressives no longer feel represented by Labor or the Liberals.

The Greens will commit over $200 million in each year over the forward estimates period with costs of the policy to be met through measures such as the billionaires tax and corporate super-profits tax, as well as reversing unfair Stage 3 tax cuts.

As stated by Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice:

“LGBTIQA+ rights are non-negotiable.

“Governments are supposed to serve all people. Instead, the Morrison government has been using queer people as a political football for years, and Labor has done a complete disappearing act on LGBTIQA+ rights.

“Since the 2019 federal election, Labor has abandoned their values and LGBTIQA+ people. Labor axed their LGBTIQA+ portfolio, and betrayed queer and other marginalised communities when they voted with the Morrison government on the Religious Discrimination Bill.

“Between the cruelty of Katherine Deves attacks on trans people, Morrison’s cynical creation of culture wars to win back ultra-conservative voters, and Labor’s deafening silence, it’s never been more important to elect strong advocates for equality and LGBTIQA+ communities in parliament.

“The Greens are the only party that voters can be assured will always fight, inside and outside parliament, for equality and human rights for everyone.

“In balance of power, the Greens will push Labor to act on the important progressive issues, and drive meaningful action on funding holistic and comprehensive health services, secure housing and safe, positive spaces in schools and other institutions for LGBTIQA+ people.”

As stated by Greens Macnamara candidate, Steph Hodgins-May:

“In the last year alone, LGBTIQA+ communities have faced discrimination and a fear-mongering campaign led by the most powerful people in the country. From the outright bigotry of the Religious Discrimination Bill the government tried to ram through Parliament with Labor’s support, to the recent attacks on trans people behind a facade of ‘protecting women’, this is a community that needs our support.

“Between the Liberals’ dangerous candidate Colleen Harkin backing in Katherine Deves and making deliberately hurtful statements about trans people, and Labor’s equivocation on protecting queer rights, it’s more important than ever to have Greens in balance of power fighting for LGBTIQA+ communities.

“Macnamara is home to the Victorian Pride Centre, and the iconic Pride March. Voters here deserve an MP who represents its values and will champion those values in Parliament.

“When it came to votes on the floor of Parliament, the Labor party voted for Morrison’s hateful Religious Discrimination Bill. If elected to the next parliament, my votes will always be to protect LGBTIQA+ rights in law, not override them.”

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