Thursday, March 21, 2013

Get rid of LGBTI discrimination- Judge


Independent (and former LNP) Queensland MP Carl Judge called in Queensland Parliament last night for the end of discrimination against LGBTI people, including in his being opposed to the proposed discriminatory changes to that State's Surrogacy Act.

 In 2008 the since removed Prime Minister issued an apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples. In his speech, Mr Kevin Rudd said—
We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations—this blemished chapter in our nation's history.
He added—
The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
In June 2012 the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice introduced the Civil Partnerships and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 in this parliament. That bill, as passed, was fundamentally designed and driven to remove the rights of same-sex couples by excluding them from state sanctioned civil ceremonies on the basis that it mimics marriage. Today as an Independent member of parliament, I declare that I do not support such laws and agree with the growing global view that we should be moving towards marriage equality. I believe that as politicians we must avoid discrimination on the basis of people's sexuality, irrespective of people being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex—LGBTI. His Honour Michael Kirby, a former High Court judge, law reformer and now human rights campaigner, has spoken against such discrimination, and medical evidence confirms that this type of discrimination is contributing towards a culture of oppression that inflicts serious health and social harm on people. Sadly, a recent research project undertaken by Dr Tiffany Jones, a University of New England School of Education lecturer, found that Queensland has the most homophobic schools in the country, with more than 80 per cent of gay and lesbian students reporting bullying—something that the responsible minister and the rest of us as politicians should be committed to addressing. It is our role to lead the way in order to right such social wrongs and address any harm being caused to people simply because of their sexuality. I do not believe being part of the LGBTI community is synonymous with being lesser or unworthy of equality in society. Accordingly, I pledge from this day forward to prevent LGBTI rights from being stolen, including if or when a discriminatory surrogacy bill is introduced, as proposed last year, by the Attorney-General for the Newman government.

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