Stephen Bates welcomed as Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson


LGBTIQA+ spokesperson

Just.Equal Australia today welcomed the Greens’ new LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Stephen Bates. Just.Equal spokesperson Rodney Croome also paid tribute to outgoing spokesperson, Janet Rice.

The group called on Labor to follow the Greens’ lead and reinstate an LGBTIQA+ equality portfolio.

Rodney Croome said Just.Equal looked forward to speaking with the recently-elected member for Brisbane.

“We look forward to briefing Stephen on continued discrimination against LGBTIQA+ Australians and how the Greens can work with the community to make a positive difference.

“Our focus will be on those issues identified in our election priorities survey including mental health, school inclusion, conversion practices, non-consenting intersex medical interventions, religious exemptions, Medicare coverage of gender affirmation and blood donation.

“We warmly thank outgoing LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Janet Rice, for her strong advocacy on behalf of our community.

“Janet was the Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson during one the toughest times for LGBTIQA+ people in decades.

“Not only was Janet a passionate opponent of the campaign against Safe Schools, the marriage postal survey, the Religious Discrimination Bill and numerous anti-trans campaigns, she also personally supported many LGBTIQA+ people through the darkest moments and boosted our morale when it flagged.”

Janet Rice knitting in response to Peter Dutton

“The iconic image of Janet knitting in Parliament after Government minister, Peter Dutton, told pro-marriage equality CEO’s to ‘stick to their knitting’, epitomised how Janet inspired us with her humour, warmth and strength of character.”

Trans and bi+ advocate Sally Goldner also praised Janet Rice for her contribution.

“We thank Janet for standing up for all LGBTIQA+ people. One stand-out moment was her draping of the bi flag around her shoulders on Celebrate Bisexuality Day 2018 in Parliament. This gave bi+ Australians a huge sense of feeling seen and affirmed.”

Mr Croome said the appointment of a new LGBTIQA+ spokesperson sends a message to Labor to also create a similar position.

“The Greens have shown that having an LGBTIQA+ portfolio is a valuable addition to any party.

“Labor should then follow the Greens lead and reinstate the LGBTIQA+ equality portfolio it abolished in 2019.”

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