LGBTIQ+ advocates disappointed with Labor conference outcomes

Rights advocates say Labor’s national conference has improved its LGBTIQ platform but failed to include key reforms, relegating them to the status of resolutions.

The draft national platform submitted to Labor’s national conference at the end of March erased many of the LGBTIQ commitments from previous platforms.

After lobbying from just.equal and Rainbow Labor it is understood some LGBTIQ commitments were re-instituted, including vilification protections, improvements to the Fair Work Act, references to HIV, and recognition of LGBTIQ homelessness and mental health issues.

But key reforms such as banning coercive intersex surgeries, improved access to health care for trans folk, and better discrimination protections for LGBTIQ school students were not included. Instead, it appears they were included in conference resolutions that have less clout.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said it’s disappointing that the party had stripped so many issues from their official document.

“So many commitments were stripped from Labor’s platform and so few have been put back in, that it feels like the LGBTIQ community has been short changed.”

“I congratulate Rainbow Labor for getting as much as it could from the ALP national conference, but there is clearly resistance within some sections of the Labor Party to full-throated support for LGBTIQ equality.”

“Labor is yet to stand clearly and firmly against the resurgent prejudice experienced by LGBTIQ Australians ever since the marriage postal survey, and the longer it delays the more vulnerable LGBTIQ people will suffer.”

Croome said the next opportunity for Labor to show its allyship was in its election policies.

“Labor has another chance before the election to show LGBTIQ Australians its support for inclusion and equality when it issues its election policies.”

“We will be watching closely to see if it issues LGBTIQ election policies that address the full range of community concerns.”

In a 2019 interview with OUTinPerth, shortly after he became the Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese outlined his desire to dramatically reduce Policy Statement saying the party had more chance of electoral success if it had a much simpler and straight forward policy agenda.

“At the moment the ALP platform is about 340 pages long. Nobody is reading 340 pages. You’ve got to go online to find it.” Albanese said as the party looked over it’s unexpected election defeat.

The Labor leader said removing large chunks of the policy platform was a regular process.

“It happened after the ’96 election, it happened after the ’04 election – it happens every 10 years, people add things in, nothing gets taken out, it gets bigger and bigger.” he told OUTinPerth.

OIP Staff

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