ALP national plan abandons LGBTIQA+ protections

Australian Greens

Labor’s decision to significantly cut back their pre-election commitments to protect the LGBTIQA+ community must be condemned, said Australian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Stephen Bates MP.

The Australian Labor Party released their draft 2023 National Platform for consultation this week. The draft platform removes the Labor Party’s commitments to:

  • Strengthen laws and expand initiatives against discrimination, vilification and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics;

  • Expand integrated advice, health and support services available to LGBTIQ Australians, including to those with particular needs, those who are young, those who are First Nations people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those living in rural, regional and remote Australia;

  • Remove, wherever possible, barriers to accessing gender affirming healthcare services in consultation with medical experts and government;

  • That no PBS, Medicare or government services will have a discriminatory impact on the LGBTIQA+ community;

  • Support intersex-led organisations to provide support to intersex persons and their families, and advocate on intersex issues; and

  • Review documentation requirements, including the use of passports and birth certificates, as they affect transgender and intersex people, to ensure that male, female and non-binary identity can be affirmed without discrimination.

Stephen Bates MP said:

“At a time when LGBTIQA+ people, particularly the trans and gender diverse community, are being subjected to growing hate, threats and extremism, the removal of Labor’s pre-election positions are unconscionable.

“If those in Labor are so insistent that this platform is just a draft, I challenge them to publicly affirm their commitment to use all levers available to them – like convincing their local branches, state branch delegates and affiliated unions – to amend the platform.

“Between Labor’s pre-election National Platform in 2021 and today’s, we have witnessed a national hate tour and neo-nazi rally against trans and gender-diverse Australians, and attacks and threats of violence against Drag Story Times and artistry.

“We are experiencing a storm of social media abuse and harmful national debate about our right to exist and live with equality, respect and safety.

“It is deeply concerning that these changes could be the basis of Labor introducing their version of the Morrison-era Religious Discrimination Bill next year. Such a Bill could well permit, in law, vilification against LGBTIQA+ people and several other cohorts under the guise of religious freedom.

“I condemn Labor’s removal of these commitments in their new National Platform in the strongest possible terms. Our LGBTIQA+ community in Australia deserves better than Labor’s erasure of our identities and our struggles.

“This draft platform suggests that the Greens are the only party truly committed to LGBTIQA+ rights.

“LGBTIQA+ rights are non-negotiable. The Greens will always stand in solidarity against hatred and bigotry. We deserve to feel safe, respected, and valued, living our lives treated as equals and free from discrimination.”

/Public Release. View in full here.