Calls for the appointment of an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner

Just.Equal Australia has written to minor parties and cross-benchers urging them to support a national LGBTIQA+ human rights commissioner.

The Federal Government is amending the Australian Human Rights Commission Act to ensure commissioners are appointed on merit, but Just.Equal Australia wants the reform to go further with the appointment of a stand-alone LGBTIQA+ human rights commissioner.

Until now LGBTIQA+ human rights have been dealt with by other commissioners including the Human Rights Commissioner and the AHRC President.

Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Brian Greig (pictured), said there was a clear need for a specific commissioner to cover LGBTIQA+ issues.

“Given there are already commissioners for race, sex, age, indigenous people, people with disability and children, the absence of an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner sends the message that discrimination against us matters less.”

“At a time when there are increasing attacks on the rights and dignity of LGBTIQA+ Australians it is more important than ever for there to be a Commissioner who has the time, resources and expertise to defend our human rights.”

“Voting for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner would be an important way for Federal Parliament to show its support and allyship for the LGBTIQA+ community after too many years of Government-sponsored attacks on our rights.”

“We have written to all minor parties and crossbenchers who support LGBTIQA+ human rights with a request for them to move or support an amendment establishing a stand-alone LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner.

Brian Greig said Just.Equal Australia supports the Government’s move to make the appointment of commissioners transparent and merit-based.

“We were and remain opposed to the appointment of Lorraine Finlay as Human Rights Commissioner because she supports the weakening of LGBTIQA+ human rights under cover of religious freedom.”

“We successfully advocated for Ms Finlay not to hold the LGBTIQA+ portfolio, as her predecessors did, but questions remain about the transparency of her appointment.

“Her appointment was an example of why the entire appointment process must be reformed.” Greig said.

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