AUSTRALIA ‘LAGGING’ IN RECOGNITION OF LGBT RIGHTS


Australia still has some way to go to be rated as a world leader in recognising the rights of the LGBT community.

While rated in the “upper echelon” of nations, Australia lags behind many countries it otherwise regards as peers such as New Zealand, the US and the UK.

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The findings are depicted in colour-coded maps, part of a report issued by Geneva-based ILGA, the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex association.

Called State Sponsored Homophobia 2016, the publication coincided with the annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) last Tuesday.

The map rates different countries according to their laws relating to sexual orientation.

Australia was praised for its effective employment protection laws and anti-discrimination legislation covering health and education.

But its recognition of same-sex unions was deemed as a “clearly inferior substitute to marriage”.

The report’s author, Aengus Carroll, told news.com.au that Australia’s lack of action was a cause for “alarm” and our legislation was “very weak … it hardly protects”.

In terms of relationships, Australia is not too hot compared to (New Zealand). Relationship recognition is uneven throughout Australia,” Mr Carroll said.

More than 30 countries now allow same-sex marriages including most of Western Europe, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay and the US.

The ILGA also launched the first ever worldwide survey of global attitudes to LGBTI people which found 68 per cent of people globally would be upset if their child came out as gay including 44 per cent of people in Australasia.