‘A fighter for equality’: Senator Louise Pratt to retire


Labor Senator Louise Pratt against a rainbow flag
Image: Supplied

Out Labor senator Louise Pratt has announced her retirement plans from federal politics, and reflected on her years of fighting for the LGBTQIA+ community.

The West Australian says she will depart the Senate when her term expires in mid-2025.

Louise announced her decision alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday. She explained the Perth-to-Canberra flights were “getting harder and harder” with her psoriatic arthritis.

“It is much better managed when I’m not flying, not chairing estimates and not whipping in the chamber,” she said.

“Making this decision, nevertheless, has not been easy.”

The 51-year-old was first elected to the Senate for WA in 2008, after a stint in state politics. She lost her Senate seat in 2013 but was re-elected in 2016.

On Tuesday, Louise Pratt, who married her partner Rebecca Misich last year, reflected on her decades of LGBTQIA+ campaigning.

After leaving university, Louise joined the lobby group Gay and Lesbian Equality (GALE) in WA.

“Back in 1996, when I was about 24, I was campaigning to change the many hundreds of laws that discriminated against the LGBTIQ+ community,” she recalled.

“I took great heart back then from the newly-elected [Anthony Albanese] when he gave a speech to stop discrimination against same-sex couples.”

Louise went on, “I can hardly believe everything I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to over my career. On LGBTIQ+ rights, in so many different areas we’ve made a difference.

“But I have to say, nothing compares to that feeling of changing the law on marriage and then being able to get married… I love you, Bek.”

Louise Pratt is a ‘fighter for equality’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Senator Louise Pratt is “a fighter for equality” and will be missed.

“Each and every day she sought to make a difference,” Albanese said.

He said Louise Pratt “can be very proud of the role she played in advocating for marriage equality” and against LGBTQIA+ discrimination.

“It was something that Louise really campaigned for so strongly,” he said.

“In 2012, Louise and three other Labor Senators co-sponsored a bill to amend the Marriage Act and enable recognition of same-sex marriages.

“That wasn’t successful at the time, but it’s one of the events that led to that change occurring.”

 

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Labor Senator Penny Wong said her colleague has “always been a determined advocate with deep connections in the communities she represents.”

“Louise played a pivotal role in the push for marriage equality. She continues to be a proud voice for equality, particularly for trans and gender diverse people,” Penny wrote.

“She’ll be missed by many colleagues and staff but I know Louise has goals to achieve before she leaves the Senate and I look forward to continuing to work with her to advance these during the remainder of her term.”

 

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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