Just.Equal urges AG to consider LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner

Just.Equal Australia has written to Federal Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, asking the Federal Labor Government to uphold its previous commitment to appointment an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner.

The move comes after Labor voted down a Greens proposal for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner during debate on the Australian Human Rights Act earlier this week.

The correspondence quotes Mr Dreyfus and Labor’s support for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner from the 2016 election campaign.

Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Brian Greig, said Labor was on the right track back in 2016.

“Labor’s support for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner was right in 2016 and it’s still right.”

“We have asked Mr Dreyfus to clarify if the 2016 commitment still applies, if not why not, and if so when Labor will introduce relevant legislation.”

“At a time when LGBTIQA+ human rights are increasingly under siege the appointment of a stand-alone Commissioner is urgent.”

Brian Greig said the amendment moved in the Lower House was at the request of Just.Equal. It is now calling for the Greens and Independent senators to pursue the issue in the Upper House.

“We won’t rest until the Government recognises that human rights abuses against LGBTIQA+ are serious enough to warrant a stand-alone Commissioner with the expertise and resources that come with such a position.”

Labor removed LGBTIQA+ focus after Anthony Albanese took over leadership

While Labor were championing LGBTIQA+ rights at the 2016 election they removed most of their policy references to LGBTIQA+ rights in the wake of their election defeat and after Anthony Albanese took over the leadership of the party.

At the time Albanese was criticised for removing the party’s Equality spokesperson and dramatically cutting down party’s policies. The tactic was described in the lead up to the next election as a ‘small target” approach to ensure there was little that the Morrison government could draw upon during the election.

In a 2019 interview with OUTinPerth Anthony Albanese denied the party was abandoning its support for LGBTIQA+ rights.

OIP Staff

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