LGBTIQ+ group calls for multi-partisan support for ‘Equality Act’ in NSW

19 March 2022 – LGBTIQ+ group, Equality Australia, has welcomed Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich’s ‘Equality Bill’ initiative, calling on all NSW parliamentarians to join together to support removing LGBTIQ+ discrimination from NSW law. 

“Every person in our state deserves to live free from discrimination, and be protected from harm, no matter who they are or whom they love,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.   

“But in NSW, our communities are still subjected to so-called conversion ‘therapy’, trans people still face cruel and unnecessary barriers to accessing accurate identity documents, doctors are still performing unnecessary medical procedures on intersex people without their consent, and private schools and religious organisations are still able to sack, expel or deny service to LGBTQ+ people.” 

“Reforms like this can only succeed with multi-partisan support. We call on the NSW government and opposition to work with LGBTIQ+ people to progress full equality for our communities.”  

Alex Greenwich today announced the new ‘Equality Bill’ will be drafted with multi-partisan and stakeholder consultation in the lead up to the next state election and Sydney WorldPride 2023.  

“New South Wales holds a special place in the fight for equality. It’s where the trailblazing ‘78ers bravely stepped out of the bars and into the streets for the first Sydney Mardi Gras,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia. 

“But NSW has fallen behind, as other states and territories have acted to address the discrimination and harms impacting LGBTIQ+ people. The world’s eyes will be on our states’ record as we host Sydney WorldPride 2023, so we call on all parties and parliamentarians to work together to swiftly deliver these long-overdue reforms” 

Yesterday Equality Australia delivered its “Act for Equality” petition to Alex Greenwich MP. Signed by thousands of LGBTIQ+ people in NSW, co-sponsored by the NSW Gay and Lesbian Lobby and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the petition calls on NSW parliamentarians to come together to defend and advance the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community including by:  

  • Ensuring LGBTIQ+ communities have a seat at the table, by appointing a Minister for Equality; 
  • Ensuring all LGBTIQ+ people are protected under anti-discrimination laws, including by removing carve-outs that allow private schools and religious organisations to sack, expel or deny service to LGBTIQ+ people.  
  • Ending harmful conversion practices and ensuring support for survivors  
  • Removing legal barriers to ensure trans and gender diverse people can access ID that aligns with their gender  
  • Ending unnecessary medical procedures on people with intersex variations without their consent  

Equality Australia said that a Minister for Equality would act as a central point of contact within government and ensure LGBTIQ+ people are no longer left behind.  

“Just as we have ministers for other populations, LGBTIQ+ people need a dedicated point of contact to ensure that our needs and disparities in health and wellbeing are addressed by Government,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.   

Media Contact: Tara Ravens 0408 898 154, tara.ravens@equalityaustralia.org.au