New report suggests vilification & discrimination a continuing concern
A new report helped launched by federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek late last week has found many members of the LGBTI community in NSW continue to experience troubling instances of severe discrimination and vilification.
The report, Outing Injustice: Understanding the legal needs of LGBTI communities in NSW, was prepared by the Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) following a survey mid-last year of over 600 LGBTI people living in the state.
Startlingly, the report found that over 58 per cent of respondents had experienced vilification from people they did not know when in a public place, 10 per cent had experienced physical violence, while almost 24 per cent had been discriminated against inside a shop or restaurant.
Just over a quarter of survey participants also reported having experienced discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Also of concern, almost 30 per cent of transgender respondents said they felt unsafe or scared walking by themselves in their neighbourhood because of a neighbour or someone who lives near them, while a third said they felt unsafe when inside their own homes.
Launching the report on June 29 at the Darlinghurst Road offices of the ICLC, Plibersek said it was a timely reminder for LGBTI people to know their rights and how to assert them.
“We look forward to the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal discrimination laws,” Plibersek added.
“The final step against discrimination is the introduction of marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
Director of the ICLC, Daniel Stubbs, said despite a range of laws and protections brought through in recent years many LGBTI people were simply not aware of them due to reasons such as isolation and fear.
“Discrimination, harassment and vilification occurs against LGBTI people in regional and remote areas, as well as in Sydney – this research highlights the issues faced by the community and provides recommendations about steps we can take,” he said.
The report’s author, Alana Yap, meanwhile paid tribute to the many people who agreed to take part in the survey despite the difficult issues it traversed.
“The quality and outcomes of Outing Injustice is very much due to the support of LGBTI people and their organisations across NSW who responded to the survey and contributed to the research.”
The report’s release comes only a month after the Kings Cross-based centre launched the ICLC Foundation, a charitable trust which will help raise funds to provide increased legal support for the LGBTI community in Sydney and across NSW.
A copy of the report can be accessed at: http://www.iclc.org.au/outinginjustice/outinginjustice.pdf