The Victorian Greens have called on the Victorian Labor Government to urgently expand the state’s anti-vilification laws, following the cancellation of yet another drag storytime event.
Monash Council was reportedly forced to cancel their upcoming event to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia after they received a tirade of anti-LGBTIQA+ abuse and threats from anti-trans and far-right groups.
The Greens say stronger anti-vilification laws would have helped prevent this, and have renewed their call on the Government to update these laws so they protect people against vilification based on gender and sexuality.
Victorian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said Victoria’s queer community was strong in the face of discrimination, but that as long as gaps existed in the law, the community would continue to face vilification.
In 2021, following an inquiry, the Government gave in-principle support to expand the state’s anti-vilification protections beyond race and religion to include vilification on the basis of sexuality, gender, HIV/AIDS status, intersex status and disability, yet to date nothing has happened.
And earlier this year, Ms de Vietri asked the Premier during Question Time whether the Labor Government would expand the laws, after neo-Nazis and anti-trans campaigners converged on the steps of the Victorian Parliament.
The Premier responded evasively, saying the issue wasn’t about “laws or funding”, and refused to commit to taking the tangible actions needed to prevent what happened from ever happening again.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:
“Our LGBTIQA+ communities in Victoria are strong and resilient. But no-one should be faced with abuse, harassment or even threats of violence simply for being who they are.
“Yet due to gaps in our laws that’s exactly what’s happening.
“My solidarity is with the Council, the community, and the drag performers who have been forced to cancel what would have been a wonderful family event.
“The Victorian Labor Government needs to update our anti-vilification laws as a matter of urgency. If equality is ‘non-negotiable’, what are they waiting for? If now isn’t the time ‘for laws and funding’, when is?"