11 April 2022 – National LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia has warned parties and candidates to stop using LGBTIQ+ people as a political football, revealing one in three LGBTIQ+ voters is either undecided or considering changing their vote this election.
The response follows comments by the Prime Minister endorsing the Liberal party’s Warringah candidate, Katherine Deves’ efforts to ban trans women from women’s sport.
“Politicians must learn that there is nothing to be gained by refusing to stand up for LGBTIQ+ people or using debate about our lives to score cheap political points,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.
“Enough is enough. The political parties that wish to form government this coming election must commit to governing for all Australians, and to ensuring that every person in Australia can live their life, with dignity and respect, no matter who they are, or whom they love.”
Equality Australia today released a landmark survey of the voting intentions and election priorities of LGBTIQ+ people, providing an indication of the voting intentions of at least 850,000 voters, revealing that parties and candidates have an opportunity to regain support of a significant voting block by committing to act on LGBTIQ+ issues.
The survey of almost 7,800 people – including over 5,600 LGBTIQ+ people – is the first of its kind in Australia, revealing that one in three LGBTIQ+ voters is either undecided or considering changing their vote this election.
Around one in five LGBTIQ+ respondents that voted for Liberal, National, Labor or the Greens last election are reconsidering their vote this election.
Thirty percent of undecided LGBTIQ+ voters that responded to the survey live in regional areas, with the remainder in capital cities or metropolitan areas, and 94.7 percent say LGBTIQ+ issues will be important in determining who they vote for.
“This election, candidates cannot afford to take LGBTIQ+ voters for granted,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.
“After a series of divisive debates focused on the lives of LGBTIQ+ people, many of our community have become sceptical of the political parties and are yet to make up their mind about who they’ll vote for.”
“This election, parties and candidates must act to address issues of concern to LGBTIQ+ people if they are to win back the support of the voters they’ve lost and to build support amongst those that are undecided.”
The survey found that the environment / climate change and LGBTIQ+ issues are the two most important issues for LGBTIQ+ people, followed by healthcare and the cost of living and wages.
For undecided voters, LGBTIQ+ issues are the most important consideration in determining who they vote for, with the strongest support for removing religious exemptions in anti-discrimination laws, ending LGBTQ+ conversion practices and ending unnecessary medical treatments on intersex people without personal consent.
“This survey demonstrates that our community are deeply disappointed that federal law still allows religious schools to expel, fire or otherwise discriminate against students or staff because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that we are still subjected to harmful conversion practices that seek to change who we are.”
“But the survey also demonstrates that the wider LGBTIQ+ community stands with intersex people who are still subject to unnecessary medical procedures to change their sex characteristics without their personal consent.
“The LGBTIQ+ community also stands with trans and gender diverse people in their efforts to remove barriers to accessing gender affirming care.”
A copy of the Rainbow Votes report can be found here: https://equalityaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Rainbow-votes-report-002.pdf