When our society values diversity and celebrates difference, all of us benefit. We're standing with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer communities in the fight for equality and inclusion, and we have a plan to keep LGBTIQ rights firmly on the agenda.
The Greens have been campaigning for marriage equality for more than a decade. We have listened to the community right from the start, and we've acted with courage and decency even at a time when both major parties were campaigning against this important reform. We are the only party that has voted for equality at every opportunity – every MP, every vote, every time.
The Australian Greens stand with with the majority of LGBTIQ people in opposing the plebiscite. Polls consistently show that over two-thirds of all Australians support ending discrimination in marriage, exposing the plebiscite as nothing more than a delaying tactic which will only serve to give a megaphone to hate and LGBTIQ-phobia. Adding insult to injury, some Coalition members have openly stated they won't be bound by the public’s decision – a blatant slap in the face to the LGBTIQ community who will be exposed to a divisive and hurtful hate campaign for nothing.
The postal plebiscite will cost $122 million, not counting indirect costs to the economy. The easiest, simplest, quickest, most effective, least costly and least harmful way of ensuring equality in marriage is through a vote in Parliament, like the Greens have been calling for.
The Greens believe that the education of our young people on respect, inclusion and celebrating diversity is incredibly important. The Safe Schools Coalition aims to help schools become more inclusive spaces for LGBTIQ people, who are at significantly higher risk of negative mental health outcomes than their peers.
While the government’s far-right backbench and various groups like the Australian Christian Lobby continues to peddle lies and misinformation about this critical program, the Greens are standing with young people, academics, community groups and schools to protect the Safe Schools Coalition.
The Greens have also long advocated for qualified mental health counsellors in schools as an alternative to school chaplains.
Equal Under the Law
Our anti-discrimination laws offer good protections to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities, but they come with very broad exemptions for religious organisations.
Successive governments have refused to abolish these exemptions, which would allow a religious hospital to refuse to employ a bisexual nurse, a faith-based shelter to turn away a transgender person in need or a religious school to expel LGBTIQ students. The Greens have fought against these exemptions at every opportunity in federal and state parliaments and we believe they should be eliminated. Anti-discrimination laws should apply to everyone.
Equality for Families
The Greens are working hard to change laws so LGBTIQ couples can access assisted reproduction techniques such as IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). Although some states allow LGBTIQ couples to access IVF, it is still illegal in South Australia and illegal for male couples in Western Australia.
The Greens know that families are families regardless of gender identity or sexuality, and believe that LGBTIQ parents should be equally recognised by Australian law.
The Greens are committed to law reform allowing LGBTIQ couples across Australia to adopt children. In recent years some states have passed legislation allowing same-sex couples to adopt, however, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory are all lagging behind. Even in states allowing adoption, discrimination still exists, with faith-based adoption agencies able to turn LGBTIQ couples away. The best interests of children are upheld when discrimination against LGBTIQ couples is removed. The Greens will continue fighting to achieve full adoption equality.
BLOOD AND MARROW DONATION
The Greens believe that discrimination has no place in medical policy, therefore eligibility to donate blood or marrow should not be determined by a person’s sexuality. HIV screening and medical standards have come a long way since the ‘blood ban’ was implemented, meaning there's no reason willing donors should be turned away when their blood is safe.
PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS (PrEP)
The Greens are committed to better access to HIV-prevention medication PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis), also known as Truvada. PrEP is an effective HIV prevention tool, and in May 2016 it was finally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. With this approval, PrEP is now available for purchase, but the price is prohibitive without a listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Limited trials were launched in some states to provide high-risk groups access to this medication, and the Greens are now calling for PrEP to be listed under the PBS to help lower HIV infection rates.
The Greens recognise that LGBTIQ people have been marginalised when it comes to accessing aged-care services. We want to ensure the needs of LGBTIQ people are included in all training and planning aspects of aged care. The Greens will keep working closely with GLBT Rights in Ageing (GRAI) to end discrimination on the basis of sexuality, gender and intersex status and improve aged care for LGBTIQ people.
A disproportionate number of LGBTIQ Australians experience negative mental health outcomes compared to non-LGBTIQ people. The Greens are the only party committed to increasing mental health funding, with money for programs ranging from the employment of more mental health nurses to providing more support accommodation in regional Australia.
Transgender, Gender Diverse and Intersex People
SUPPORT FOR INTERSEX PEOPLE
The Greens believe no person’s body should be stigmatised, and that the rights of people with intersex variations must be upheld. We support the rights of intersex people to bodily integrity, including consent to medical or surgical interventions. In the case of children, any medical intervention should wherever possible be deferred until the child is able to give full and informed consent. The Greens also want to ensure that high quality support services are available to intersex people and their families.
HEALTH CARE FOR TRANS YOUNG PEOPLE
Transgender and gender diverse young people seeking hormone treatment are currently required to submit a complicated application to the Family Court for approval, even when everyone agrees that it is in their best interest. The process can take years and cost thousands of dollars, and is out of reach for many. The Greens believe that young people should not be subjected to such arduous processes to access the care they need.
The Greens want to see all levels of government and the public health system respect, recognise and affirm people's lived gender identity, including allowing for changes to official documentation. We want to ensure that intersex, transgender and gender-diverse people are able to alter their sex or gender on all identity documents, consistent with how they live and identify, and irrespective of their marital status.
LGBTIQ REFUGEES/PEOPLE SEEKING ASYLUM
Australia continues to send refugees and people seeking asylum to Nauru and Manus Island, including people who have fled their home country because of LGBTIQ-phobic persecution. These countries are not safe for LGBTIQ people – for example, Papua New Guinea punishes gay men with up to 14 years imprisonment. Unlike the old parties, the Greens will always stand for a better way to treat refugees – and our plans for safe, legal and humane ways to seek asylum recognise that people fleeing persecution on the basis of their sexuality and/or gender identity deserve our protection. LGBTIQ refugees must not be forcibly resettled in places where their rights are denied.Only the Greens will bring every man, woman and child to Australia.
Funding health and education programs through our foreign aid budget is an effective way to promote an inclusive regional community. Shamefully, successive governments have slashed Australia’s aid budget, including contributions to the HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program (HAARP) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Funding for education programs to promote inclusion of LGBTIQ communities has also repeatedly been cut. The Greens want to see funding of our foreign aid program lifted to the UN standard of 0.7% of national income, and are calling on the Australian Government to lead the world in combatting international human rights abuses against LGBTIQ people.
Greens elected to state and territory parliaments are leading the charge to reform discriminatory state laws, including overturning archaic 'gay panic' defenses and ensuring that historic criminal convictions for homosexuality are removed from people’s records.
Your Greens spokespeople for LGBTIQ issues in each state are:
- ACT – Caroline Le Couteur MLA
- NSW – Jenny Leong MP
- SA – Tammy Franks MLC
- TAS – Andrea Dawkins MP
- VIC – Sam Hibbins MP
- WA – Alison Xamon MLC