Just Equal Australia this week renewed its call for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner following the tabling of Government legislation establishing an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
“However, the Government’s initiative highlights the lack of an equivalent Commissioner for the LGBTIQA+ community.
“The Human Rights Commission has commissioners for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, young people, older people, racial minorities and people with disability.
“The glaring omission of an LGBTIQA+ Commissioner sends the message that our rights are less important.
“This stigmatising message has been underlined by the establishment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.”
LGBTIQA+ human rights under siege
“At a time when LGBTIQA+ human rights are increasingly under siege the appointment of a stand-alone Commissioner is urgent.”
In 2016 then shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, promised to appoint an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner. However, Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, dropped the policy before the last federal election. In 2022, Labor voted down a move by the Greens and independents to establish such a Commissioner.
Brian Greig said the Government committed to appointing a stand-alone Religious Discrimination Commissioner but not an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner. However, the 2018 Ruddock religious freedom review recommended against a Religious Discrimination Commissioner.
“The Government’s priorities are inconsistent and deeply skewed when it wants to appoint a Religious Discrimination Commissioner, despite such a position having been found unnecessary and refuses to appoint an LGBTIQA+ Commissioner when such a position is long overdue.”
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