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Labor platform includes LGBTIQ rights, advocates call for strong policy

The Australian Labor Party’s national conference has released its new platform on LGBTIQ issues, following lobbying by advocacy groups just.equal and Rainbow Labor.

A section of the platform document is dedicated to LGBTIQ rights, including promises to develop policy to ensure equality, fight discrimination, expand the services available to minority groups, support intersex-led organisations in advocacy, and review identification laws and go beyond binary gender options.

Labor has stated its support for understanding and respect of LGBTIQ school students and its opposition to conversion practices, as well as vowing to support international LGBTIQ human rights.

“Labor’s new National Platform re-affirms, in unambiguous terms, Labor’s core belief that [LGBTIQ] Australians deserve the same human rights protections, respect, and safety as every other Australian,” Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus told Pink Advocate

 “The Platform has been drafted to reflect Labor’s enduring values and principles and is not a detailed policy document.

 “The values and principles outlined in the Platform will inform the policies that we take to the next election and will guide the actions of an Albanese Labor Government.”

Advocates have welcomed the supports for LGBTIQ communities in the platform, but some have raised concerns that it could fail to include key reforms by “relegating” them to resolutions.

The new platform includes two resolutions submitted by Rainbow Labor.

The first resolution commits to mental health and anti-discrimination policies, removing barriers to trans healthcare, and supporting intersex people, including through banning unnecessary surgery.

The second resolution promises to follow the Yogyakarta Principles in matters of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics, along with acknowledging the Darlington Statement as a guide for intersex policy.

Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said that these points being only resolutions could give them “less clout” and detract from the party’s platform.

“So many commitments were stripped from Labor’s platform, and so few have been put back in, that it feels like the LGBTIQ community has been short-changed,” said Croome.

“I congratulate Rainbow Labor for getting as much as it could from the ALP national conference, but there is clearly resistance within some sections of the Labor Party to full-throated support for LGBTIQ equality.

“Labor is yet to stand clearly and firmly against the resurgent prejudice experienced by LGBTIQ Australians ever since the marriage postal survey, and the longer it delays, the more vulnerable LGBTIQ people will suffer.”

Croome said that the next opportunity for Labor to show its allyship will be with its election policies.

“We will be watching closely to see if [Labor] issues LGBTIQ election policies that address the full range of community concerns,” Croome said.

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