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News, Western Australia

Rainbow Futures WA working to advance LGBTIQA+ rights

Rainbow Futures WA has elected its inaugural Steering Committee and launched on Sunday, three years after Australia’s historic marriage equality survey result.

The first priority of Rainbow Futures WA is a renewed state-wide focus on LGBTIQA+ rights in the next term of government.

Formed with the support of existing LGBTIQA+ organisations to establish an effective advocacy body, Rainbow Futures WA is launching a Rainbow Votes campaign to help community members decide who to vote for with information about parties’ policies and track records.

The campaign also aims to define the Western Australian community’s priorities for reforms and services in the next term of government and hold parties accountable for their policies towards the LGBTIQA+ community.

Interim chairperson Misty Farquhar said that the recent transphobic comments by Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas are “a timely reminder that the fight for equal rights and equal dignity is far from over”.

“WA has a vibrant LGBTIQA+ community full of talented, dedicated people in a myriad organisations, many of whom are doing a fantastic job with few resources,” said Farquhar.

“Our community, however, can’t reach its potential without a coordinated and consistent approach from the government.

“There are currently too many vulnerable people slipping through the cracks.”

A forum and information session on Sunday gave community members a chance to meet in person and shape the agenda of the group going forward.

“In the year 2020, it should not be legal to sack a teacher for being bi or expel a student for being trans,” said Farquhar.

“It should not be legal to deny help to someone in crisis because of their gender identity or sexuality or force someone to undergo conversion practices the United Nations describes as torture.

“But this is legal in WA today.

“All political parties need to acknowledge this and commit to putting an end to this discrimination.”

An online survey developed in collaboration with Equality Australia for all community members and friends will launch soon.

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