Advocates call on Australia to accept LGBTIQ+ refugees

Just.Equal Australia has written to Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke, urging him to accept LGBTIQ+ refugees from Ukraine.

The move comes as the US State Department reveals invading Russian forces have a kill list that includes LGBTIQ+ community members.

“We have asked the Australian Government to make it clear that Ukrainian LGBTIQ+ refugees are welcome to Australia, given the fact they are targets of invading Russian forces,” Just.Equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said.

“The Russian Government is infamous for its anti-LGBTIQ+ laws and its police repression of the LGBTIQ+ community.”

“Australia should be a safe refuge for those whose rights and lives are under immediate threat, including LGBTIQ+ people who are targetted because of who they are.”

Ukraine still does not legally recognise same-sex relationships and there has been opposition to pride parades. However, in 2015 the Ukrainian Parliament passed an employment discrimination law for LGBTIQ+ people.

In 2016 gender affirmation for transgender people was simplified and blood donation was allowed for gay and bisexual men. A 2017 opinion poll found 56% of Ukrainians believe LGBTIQ+ people should have equal rights. Pride parades occur in most large cities

This is in contrast to Russia where public discussion of same-sex relationships is considered propaganda and banned, there are no anti-discrimination protections, pride parades are frequently disrupted, and deadly purges of LGBTIQ people continue in Chechnya.

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