Rainbow Votes

LGBTIQ+ Priorities for the 2019 Federal Election

Rainbow Votes has been established by the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby to highlight the issues that need to be addressed by any future government and to support the community to make informed decisions based on the issues that are important to them. 

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The 2019 Rainbow Votes Scorecard

Find out how the major political parties answered on the issues that matter to you.

The Issues

LGBTIQ+ Whole-of-Government Policy

  • Develop a whole-of-government National LGBTIQ+ Strategy that represents all parts of the community and the diversity that exists within it.
  • Establish a dedicated cabinet portfolio, office or branch and Commissioner with specific responsibility for LGBTIQ+ rights within government, similar to that in Victoria.
  • Develop a whole-of-government LGBTI Taskforce, including members of LGBTIQ+ community organisations.

Refugees and People Seeking Asylum

  • Expedite the resettlement of LGBTIQ+ refugees and people seeking asylum being held in offshore detention facilities in regions that cannot guarantee their safety, namely Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
  • Ensure that people involved in the assessment of refugee claims are trained on best practice in determining refugee status based on LGBTIQ+ status.

Ending Harmful Practices

  • End medically unnecessary surgery and medical procedures performed on intersex children.
  • Establish a special medical procedures advisory committee and develop guidelines to provide expert opinion to the Family Court and other statutory decision-makers and government on best practice in relation to medical interventions for people with an intersex variation.
  • Tackle the harm caused by LGBTQ religious conversion therapy, by improving regulation of counsellors and other health practitioners and ensure school chaplains are not engaging in conversion therapy.

Health and Wellbeing

  • Develop a National LGBTIQ+ Health Plan that address each part of the community and also responds to the needs of LGBTIQ+ people who are Indigenous, multicultural, multi-faith or living with a disability and neuro-diversity LGBTIQ+ people.
  • Fund Public Health Networks to train health professionals, conduct research and develop specific LGBTIQ+ health improvement projects across Australia
  • Fund individual peer support programs for intersex, trans and bisexual communities and specific research to address their health and wellbeing .
  • Continue funding for the National LGBTI Health Alliance and its programs including Silver Rainbow and the national LGBTIQ+ telephone support helpline, QLife.
  • Continue funding for LGBTI+ aged care training for residential and community care providers.
  • Ensure family violence programs are inclusive of the specific needs of LGBTIQ+ people including young LGBTIQ+ people experiencing rejection and violence in the family home.
  • Develop and fund specific LGBTIQ+ family violence programs and services to address gaps in service delivery.
  • Continue to fund community run HIV testing, sexual health prevention programs and access to PrEP.
  • Continue to fund community run alcohol and drug treatment services for LGBTIQ+ people and prevention programs.
  • Fully support LGBTIQ+ people who living with a disability or neuro-diversity to access the NDIS through inclusive assessment process and a service delivery model that is appropriate.
  • Regulate the publication of damaging conversion messages on radio and online.
  • Provide full Medicare coverage for gender affirmation treatments, including surgery, and ensure necessary hormones and hormone blockers are included in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Justice System

  • Implement a family law system, including a Family Court system, that is inclusive of and responsive to diverse family forms including rainbow families and LGBTIQ+ people in diverse relationships.
  • Change the requirement of a medical certificate to change gender on a passport or other relevant documents to a person who has known that person for more than 12 months, consistent with the passport process for verifying identity.

Data and Statistics Collection

  • Improve the Census to ensure data collection is inclusive and accurate with regards to LGBTIQ+ communities and their families, including adding questions on sexual orientation, intersex status, transgender identity, and removing the restrictions on recording non-binary genders.
  • Continue to implement the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender across departments and agencies and review the implementation of the guidelines in consultation with trans and gender diverse, and intersex groups.
  • Work with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Standards Australia to co-design a standard set of questions that can be used by researchers to identify LGBTIQ+ people in subsets of data and increase understandings about LGBTI+ people across a range of socio-economic and health research datasets.

Discrimination and Vilification

  • Remove the permanent exemptions for religious organisations in federal anti-discrimination laws.
  • Amend section 42 of the Sex Discrimination Act to remove the exemption that allows transgender and intersex sportspeople to face discrimination.
  • Introduce legislation to provide protections against vilification or hate speech directed at LGBTIQ+ people, building on existing anti-vilification laws based on race.

Education and Families

  • Review the national curriculum, particularly the National Health and Physical Education Curriculum, to ensure it is LGBTIQ+ inclusive.
  • Increase the number of inter-country adoption agreements that permit adoption by LGBTIQ+ people.

International Policy

  • Include LGBTIQ+ rights as a core part of the nation’s foreign policy agenda and appoint an Ambassador for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons.
  • Provide a directive to all diplomatic, international development and aid staff globally to include LGBTIQ+ matters in bilateral and multilateral dialogues and forums, and to publish an annual report on the work completed by diplomatic staff.
  • Use Australia’s diplomatic influence to remove criminal sanctions and stop the criminalisation of same-sex sexual relations in countries abroad.