Call for LGBTIQ+ allies to raise voices against Religious Discrimination Bill

A new survey released to coincide with Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras has found that 73% of allies identify as ‘silent supporters’ of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The survey conducted by Absolut questioned 1700 allies and friends of LGBTIQ+ people, found that 63% of Australians consider themselves supporters of the LGBTIQ+ community.

However, 73% of those allies called themselves ‘silent’ supporters, as they were unsure how to express their support or unaware of the effects of discrimination.

Spokesperson for advocacy group just.equal, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, is calling on these allies to speak up against discrimination and the government’s proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.

“We urge silent supporters of LGBTIQ+ people to speak out now against the Religious Discrimination Bill and all discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people,” Hinton-Teoh said.

“We particularly encourage silent supporters in Parliament, from across the political spectrum, to speak out about discrimination against us in the name of religion.”

“93% of LGBTIQ+ Australians say expressions of support from government are important.”

“That is, in effect, almost every LGBTIQ+ Australian calling on our political leaders to step up & be champions of our dignity and inclusion.”

Lead researcher Dr Shirleene Robinson said that is extremely encouraging to know that there are supporters of the LGBTIQ+ community all across this country.”

“Now, more than ever, we need those voices to be active and to speak up and support their LGBTIQ+ family members and friends.”

The survey was built upon survey techniques and findings of just.equal, which has been conducting large scale surveys of Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community since 2016.

The data also showed that 3 in 4 LGBTIQ+ Australians have experienced negativity or discrimination, with 67% modifying their behaviour to avoid such experiences.

“It is exhausting when it feels like I’m defending my place in society all the time,” Hinton-Teoh continued.

“When allies activate in defence of my right to be me, I feel less isolated. I can get on with my life, knowing someone else sees me, my humanity and, importantly, is fighting to affirm my dignity and right to a fair and equal space in the community.”

LGBTIQ+ respondents to the survey suggested five ways that allies can work with the community.

These include standing up against anti-LGBTIQ+ speech, using respectful language, considering your own prejudice, helping raise up LGBTIQ+ people and perspectives, and expressing support on social media.

OIP Staff