The Victorian Greens have said the Victorian Labor Government must act now to expand the state’s anti-vilification laws, or risk trans and gender diverse communities continuing to face escalating anti-trans hate.
Earlier today, the Trans Justice Project and the Victorian Pride Lobby released a report into anti-trans hate in Australia, and its findings were heartbreaking.
Of the more than 3,000 respondents, the report found that one in two had experienced anti-trans hate in the past twelve months, nine in ten had witnessed anti-trans hate online, and one in ten had experienced anti-trans violence.
Victorian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said the report needed to be a wake-up call to the Victorian Government, who had been kicking anti-vilification reform down the road for years.
She said the queer community was strong in the face of bigotry and discrimination, but that while gaps existed in our laws, they would continue to face hate speech and vilification.
This year alone, anti-trans groups have converged on the steps of Parliament alongside neo-Nazis, members of Parliament have used their platform to spout anti-trans hate, and drag story time events have been cancelled in the face of threats from the far-right.
All of this has been done without consequence as a result of our current anti-vilification laws.
The Greens’ currently have their Racial and Religious Tolerance Amendment (Anti-Vilification) Bill 2023 before Parliament, which would amend the state’s anti-vilification laws – which currently only protect Victorians from racial and religious vilification – to include vilification on the basis of sexuality, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sex characteristics, HIV/AIDS status, personal association and disability.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:
“The Victorian Labor Government has known about the need to expand our anti-vilification laws for years now, but refused to act.
“And now we’re seeing data revealing the extent of anti-trans hate being targeted towards our trans and gender diverse communities. Hate that is growing as a result of the gaps in our laws.
“We know LGBTIQA+ communities face disproportionate levels of depression, self-harm and suicide, and it’s so often because of their experiences of hate speech and vilification.
“If equality is ‘non-negotiable’, what is the Government waiting for?
“We need to reform our anti-vilification laws as a matter of urgency, and the Greens are ready to act now.”