LGBTIQ+ people’s mental health worse now than during postal survey

Advocacy group Just.equal have highlighted that the federal government is undermining its own health goals by creating a stressful situation for LGBTIQ+ people via the introduction of religious anti-discrimination laws.

LGBTIQ Australians and their allies feel the current religious discrimination and transgender debates are “payback” for marriage equality the advocacy group claim citing a recently conducted survey.

A survey conducted by just.equal, shows this is just one of the reasons LGBTIQ people feel under attack.

A survey of almost 4,500 LGBTIQ people and their allies conducted in September found over 80% currently feel worse than during the postal survey.

Now, just.equal has released the full report, including an analysis of the nearly 500 comments left by participants explaining why they feel negative.

As well as feeling the religious discrimination and transgender debates are retribution, participants said they feel relentlessly attacked and retraumatised by the current debates, with many claiming the religious discrimination debate is actually about establishing religious privilege not ending religious discrimination.

According to one participant, “The (Religious Discrimination) Bill is designed to protect those who don’t need it by those who aren’t being attacked.”

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said the report provides the government with a clear picture of what their legislative agenda is doing to people in the community.

“The hundreds of comments made in response to our survey show exactly why LGBTIQ Australians and our allies feel worse now than during the postal survey.”

“We feel the current religious discrimination and transgender debates are about revenge for marriage equality, and are motivated by animus.”

“We feel relentlessly attacked and retraumatised by the current controversies, and are particularly concerned about the impact these controversies have on vulnerable parts of our community.”

“We are deeply suspicious of the push to outlaw religious discrimination, believing it is cover for giving religious organisations and doctrine special legal rights and privileges.” Croome said.

“It is an indictment on contemporary Australian politics that a significant part of the population feels public policy is motivated by revenge against them.”

“The message to the Government is that its attack on the dignity, humanity and inclusion of LGBTIQ Australians is undermining its own stated aim of improving mental health and reducing suicide.”

“The message to Labor and other should-be allies is to speak up more because every day you are silent is another day LGBTIQ people feel alone and undefended.”

Many survey participants also expressed concern that the situation for LGBTIQ teachers and students is being made worse by the current debates, while LGBTIQ parents were concerned about their children being targets of continued prejudice.

The survey was developed in consultation with social science researcher, Dr Sharon Dane.

A copy of the survey findings, together with a downloadable copy of the full report, can be found here.

Feeling stressed about the religious freedom debates? 
Take a look at psychologist Colin longworth’s Survival Guide. 

OIP Staff, stock image. 


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