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GREENS NSW POLICY INITIATIVE: SUPPORTING LGBTQIA+ EQUALITY

The Greens want action taken in this next Parliament to achieve the protection of rights, dignity and equality of all LGBTIQA+ people in NSW. 

For decades we have been working with and for those seeking to advance rainbow rights - both in parliament and on the streets - and we will not stop until we see equality for all. 

1. Repeal Exceptions in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act

The Greens in the NSW parliament first introduced a Bill to remove the exceptions and in-built protections for religious bodies, private education authorities and workplaces with less than 5 people employed, over seventeen years ago.

Nearly two decades on, The Greens are committing to putting forward legislation in the first 100 days to remove these exceptions and loopholes that allow for ongoing discrimination against LGBTIQA+ people. This discrimination has no place in our laws. 

Beyond this, we absolutely recognise and support the urgent need to also undertake a holistic review of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act - and are committed to ensuring the Act provides protection to bisexual, intersex and transgender people, as well as people with disability and sex workers.

2. Amend the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act to allow Self-Identification

It is unacceptable for trans, gender diverse and intersex people to be subjected to harmful barriers and damaging obstacles when it comes to being able to have ID that matches their identity.

The Greens are committed to amending Section 5A of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 No 62 to remove the clauses which relate to the requirement for proof of ‘sex affirmation procedure’ in order to amend a person’s identity documentation.

Everyone must be able to alter their sex or gender on all official documents, consistent with who they are, how they live, and how they identify, without paternalistic and draconian requirements for proof of a ‘sex affirmation procedure’.

3. Ban Conversion Practices

At both a state and federal level, The Greens have advocated for a complete ban on ‘reparative’, sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices. It is well past the time for these damaging practices to be stamped out and it is completely unacceptable that NSW is lagging so far behind in banning such a dangerous practice based on bigotry and discrimination.

The Greens categorically condemn these conversion practices and commit to working across party lines to ensure that it is banned in NSW as a priority in the next parliamentary term. We also understand that banning these practices is just the first step and are committed to ensuring ongoing support to survivors through adequate counselling and redress for the harm inflicted.

4. Self-determination for First Nations Sistergirls, Brotherboys and LGBTIQA+ community

The Greens recognise the ongoing impacts of colonisation and invasion on First Nations people, including Sister Girls, Brotherboys and all First Nations LGBTIQA+ people.

It is critical that Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations receive long term funding to support specific LGBTIQA+ services throughout NSW. Community-based and culturally safe and secure programs should be managed by, and for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. 

5. Tackle the Intersectional Discrimination faced by LGBTIQA+ people from diverse and marginalised communities

First Nations people, people of colour, as well as those who experience racism, sexism, and ableism who are also part of the LGBTIQA+ community are all subject to intersectional discrimination, are at greater risk of exclusion or face day-to-day inequities.

It is critical that adequate funding is provided for educational programs and information campaigns to facilitate and support LGBTIQA+ inclusion within other departments, including Aboriginal affairs, multiculturalism, and disability. Any such programs must be co-designed with the communities they are designed to serve.

6. Make our Schools Safe and End ‘Special Religious Education’

The Greens will make schools safe for all students and teachers by removing loopholes for discrimination as well as ensuring resourcing and resources in our schools is adequate to meet the needs of LGBTIQA+ young people. 

For too long students have been bullied simply for being themselves, with 75% of LGBITQA+ young people experiencing bullying - a figure that is unacceptably high. Shamefully this bullying is also inflicted on the community by right-wing media, politicians and shock jocks. It is critical that education on sex, sexuality, and gender identity - as well as holistic consent education - is incorporated into all levels of the school system as a core part of learning. We are committed to delivering more funding for teachers and teacher training so that they are resourced with the time and the skills to deliver this.

The Greens are committed to removing the religious bias in our schools by putting an end to ‘Special Religious Education’. School hours should not be used to support unchecked scripture teaching by unskilled volunteers. 

It is critical that the federal school chaplaincy program is replaced with qualified counsellors, teachers and specialist educators. We will work with our federal colleagues to end this program so that vital funds for education are used to employ qualified teachers to provide appropriate education including specialised education and support programs for LGBTIQ+ young people in our schools.

7. Establish a NSW LGBTIQA+ MInister

It is critical that there is whole-of-government approach to ensuring the health, well-being and equality of LGBTIQA+ people in NSW, which is why The Greens are committed to the establishment of a dedicated Ministry and Minister so that there’s proper coordination and secure funding to address the needs and concerns of this significant part of our broader community. The Greens also support the establishment of an adequately funded State Office for the Status of LGBTIQ+ People.

This Minister and Office would be able to address serious concerns regarding the lack of data about the LGBTIQA+ community as well as ensure funding and delivery of the Health Strategy.

8. Protect Trans and Gender Diverse People from Violence and Abuse 

The Greens recognise that trans and gender diverse people experience high levels of discrimination, harrassment, violence and disadvantage leading to adverse mental health outcomes and high rates of suicide. The Greens are committed to ensuring ongoing funding for support services, research, advocacy and health programs to ensure that trans and gender diverse people are fully supported in all aspects of their lives.

The Greens will do everything in our power to turn those statistics and health outcomes around.

9. LGBTIQA+ Health, Parentage and Reproductive Rights 

We recognise the harmful lifelong consequences that medical procedures performed on intersex people can have and are committed to the calls to end unnecessary medical intervention modifying sex characteristics without personal consent. The Greens have responded and committed to the 2023 election asks by Intersex Human Rights Australia.

The Greens have offered our public support for all of the 29 questions put to candidates by ACON in their NSW 2023 Election Questions. 

The Greens are committed to equal access to reproductive technologies, adoption and fostering for all members of our community. 

In addition to this, it is critical that we remove discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status in child custody cases. The Greens will seek to reform parenting laws to ensure families created through surrogacy or with co-parenting arrangements are properly recognised, as well as ensuring that there are options for fostering and adoption that do not involve religious organisations.

10.  Repeal the Mandatory Disease Testing Act 2021

The Greens strongly opposed this legislation when the Mandatory Disease Testing Bill 2020 was introduced by the Liberal-National government, an action that was disappointingly sparked by a commitment from NSW Labor. The Greens opposition led to a Parliamentary Inquiry, in which the vast majority of stakeholders voiced opposition to this Bill, but the major parties were committed to acting anyway, despite the expert advice. The Greens moved amendments to the Bill to tighten circumstances in which it could be used and we remain committed to repealing this harmful legislation in full.

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