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News, Victoria

Victorian Government praised for strengthening anti-hate protections

Members of the community have commended Premier Daniel Andrews and the State Government for committing to strengthen anti-hate protections in Victoria.

The State Government’s response to its Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections was tabled to Parliament yesterday.

It supports making the public display of Nazi symbols illegal, as well as committing to extending anti-vilification protections to cover sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status.

Jewish LGBTIQA+ organisation Aleph Melbourne has thanked the government for its ongoing commitment to protecting all Victorians from hate and for standing steadfastly with Jewish and LGBTIQA+ Victorians.

Michael Barnett of Aleph Melbourne said that the group welcomed the important changes.

“All too often, homophobia is juxtaposed with antisemitism in wanton acts of hate, as evidenced by the attack on Cranbourne Golf Club last year and the attack on the Gardiner’s Creek Trail in July this year,” said Barnett.

Both incidents involved public vandalism that used violent homophobic and antisemitic messages.

The State Government’s Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections received submissions from a range of community members and groups and tabled its report in March this year.

“It was with sadness that Aleph Melbourne’s submission to the Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections highlighted a litany of anti-LGBTIQ+ vilification emanating from within the Jewish community,” said Barnett. 

“We hope that these reforms will see the end of such intolerance and allow those in our community who have been forced to live in the shadows to feel sufficiently empowered to come forward and live a more authentic life.

“We are also grateful to David Southwick MP for inviting Aleph Melbourne to lodge a submission to the Inquiry, which the committee found most compelling.”

The Victorian Government’s promising response to the report comes as pressure increases in other states and federally to preserve or improve anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTIQA+ people.

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