‘Stunning rebuke of the politics of division’ – LGBTIQ+ group

22 May 2022 – National LGBTIQ+ group, Equality Australia, has responded to this weekend’s election result, saying that it’s clear voters across the country have rejected the politics of division.

“This election campaign, some have tried to divide the community, using the lives of one of the most marginalised groups of people in the country in a cynical attempt to win votes”, said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.

“Politicians and commentators have spread ill-informed and alarmist views about trans people – particularly trans women and children – in an effort undermine their ability to participate equally in our society and to wind-back the hard-fought gains of the LGBTIQ+ community. 

“But last night’s result – particularly in Warringah – is a stunning rebuke of the politics of division, and another affirmation that the vast majority of the Australian community believes that every one of us, no matter who we are or whom we love, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Equality Australia conducted polling in marginal NSW seats, Wentworth and Parramatta, during the campaign, at the height of media controversy about now-deleted anti-trans tweets by the Liberal Party candidate for Warringah, Katherine Deves.

The polling found that a majority of voters in Wentworth nominated climate change, the economy or national security were their top issue that would determine how they would vote this election. In Parramatta voters nominated cost of living, health and climate change. Less than three percent of voters in both seats nominated transgender participation in sport as their top issue.

The poll found that over 75 percent of voters in both seats believed that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Australians, and the majority of people who indicated their vote would be impacted by candidate’s view on LGBTIQ+ issues said that they are less likely to vote for a candidate critical of the LGBTIQ+ community. Over 67 percent of voters surveyed said they supported new protections to prevent LGBTQ+ students and staff in religious schools being fired, expelled or otherwise discriminated against because of their gender or sexual orientation.

“Just as the unnecessary and damaging marriage equality postal survey showed, last night’s results suggest that the Australian community overwhelmingly believes that every one of us should be equal”, said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.

“The newly elected government must commit to governing for every person in Australia, and to treating every one of us with the respect and dignity we deserve.

“Our laws should protect all of us, equally. The new government must act swiftly to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in religious organisations, so that no matter who we are or whom we love, we can be free to be ourselves at work, at school or when accessing services.

“Any protections for people of faith must raise the standard for everyone, rather than undermining existing protections for others.”

Equality Australia also paid tribute to a number of outgoing parliamentarians.

“We welcome the new members of parliament, some of whom have already spoken with us about their commitment to LGBTIQ+ equality, and we pay tribute to outgoing members of parliament, including a number of gay MPs, who were integral in helping push internally for reforms, particularly on marriage equality and in support of LGBTQ+ teachers and students in religious schools. We look forward to working with all members of parliament to ensure all of us are equal under law, no matter who we are or whom we love.”

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