Labor responds to LGBTI+ issues just three days before election

With just three days until the election, Premier Mark McGowan has today responded to just.equal’s policy survey on LGBTI issues.

Read the full response here.

Author of the survey, Brian Greig, said it was very disappointing that the government had sat on this survey for so long, indicating that it wanted to avoid both scrutiny and media on LGBTI issues during the election campaign.

Greig described the responses as “weak and non-committal” saying as a result Western Australia remained behind other states in a range of areas without the clear promise of real change.

“On the issue of conversion practices, Labor is deferring to a proposed national code of conduct for unregulated heath care workers. This is nonsense and may never eventuate. It is also an ineffective response to conversion practices and has been dismissed by survivor groups.

“More concerning however, the McGowan Government has not addressed conversion practices in religious settings where 90 per cent of this abuse takes place, and has made no commitment to legislate an immediate and comprehensive ban such has been achieved in the ACT and Victoria and is now being considered for Tasmania.

“On religious exemptions (expelling and sacking LGBTI students and teachers), Labor says it’s waiting on a review of the Equal Opportunity Act and will respond after the election. There is no commitment to reform.

“On anti-vilification protections, Labor says it’s waiting on a review into the Equal Opportunity Act and will respond after the election. There is no commitment to reform.

“On trans and intersex law reform, Labor is shifting blame to COVID-19 for its inability to respond legislatively to ‘The Project 108 Final Report’ from the Law Reform Commission of WA. However, McGowan says he “remains committed” to this reform as started in parliament and guided by the recommendations of The Project 108 Final report.

“Finally, on Inclusive Education (Safe Schools), McGowan will not renew funding and Labor will only support the current status of online modules without interpersonal professional development and school visits.”

Greig said it was deeply disappointing that Labor was going to the election with no commitment to ban conversion practices across the board, no commitment to fund Inclusive Education and was conveniently not discussing anything about religious exemptions and anti-vilification laws until after the election.

“While there seems some good news here for people who are transgender or intersex, it’s clear that all other issues will require a strong campaign from the LGBTI community to get a re-elected Labor Government to do the right thing and bring WA up to speed with other states.

“As it stands, this is the weakest, most non-committal LGBTI reform agenda of any state Labor Party in many years.

“The danger here is that there are signs this lack of commitment and failure to seriously address LGBTI policy issues will carry over to federal Labor for the next commonwealth election.”

Greig urged all LGBTI voters to quiz their local candidates on policy and to keep LGBTI issues at the forefront of all election campaigns.

The Greens, and The Nationals responded to the survey previously.

OIP Staff

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