LGBTI advocates disappointed with Premier Mark McGowan

Community advocates are not impressed with Premier Mark McGowan’s response to their request for the WA government to introduce anti-vilification laws to protect LGBTI people.

They say they are deeply disappointed by the Premier’s response to an issue they raised with him relating to hate speech.

Earlier this month the advocates wrote to the Premier asking if he would make anti-vilification laws for LGBTI people permanent under State law, in the same way that existing anti-hate speech laws currently apply to race and religion.

Former federal senator Brian Greig, who sparked the inquiry, had wanted to know what plans the Premier had to ensure that incitement to hated against LGBTI people could not continue after the current postal plebiscite.

“The temporary three-month Federal law to prevent vilification during the same-sex survey will stop in November. Our question to the Premier, was what steps will he take to cement such a law permanently, bringing us into line with a majority of Australia’s population through New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT.

“The Premier did not answer this. It was an evasive reply to a serious question, ” Greig said.

Mr Greig said that vilification against LGBTI people in WA had been common in recent years and was highly likely to continue well after the postal plebiscite.

“If WA can have anti-hate speech laws for Race and Religion, there is no reason why we cannot have them for sexuality and gender identity,” Greig said.

In his response, Premier Mark McGowan said he was hopeful that all Western Australian would participate in the marriage debate in a respectful manner.

The Premier also said he welcomed the federal government’s introduction of anti-vilification provisions during the the period of the postal survey, but offered no response to call for Western Australia to introduce similar laws to those already existing in other states.

Graeme Watson


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