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New LGBTIQ alliance quizzes candidates
Mar07

New LGBTIQ alliance quizzes candidates

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 07 March 2014 10:43 Written by // Ron Hughes

ADELAIDE: Following the de-funding of the AIDS Council last year, the Gay and Lesbian Health Alliance of South Australia (GLHA) was formed by a group of concerned community members to advocate for the health and related concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people.

Spokesperson Ian Purcell told blaze despite notable advancements over the last decade, the group feels there is a need for more efforts to address health inequalities resulting from prejudice, discrimination and violence experienced regularly as part of our lives.

“In recent years there have been a number of policy setbacks for the LGBTIQ communities, such as the defunding of the AIDS Council, the InsideOut project at the Second Story Youth Health Service and the Gay & Lesbian Community Services helpline and library,” Purcell said.

GLHA has prepared an Action Plan for LGBTIQ Equality which calls for state politicians to support a revitalized agenda for LGBTIQ equality including commitments to:

•    Implement the state LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy
•    Commit to full funding for implementation of the LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy
•    Return critical LGBTIQ health and social services to community management
•    Refresh and renew the law reform agenda to support LGBTIQ equality, and
•    Support the LGBTIQ community in its advocacy agenda.

Purcell said GLHA had emailed the following parties: Labor, Liberal, Greens, Family First, Dignity for Disability, and Independents Nick Xenophon Team, Don Pegler MP (Mt Gambier), Bob Such MP (Fisher) and Geoff Brock MP (Frome).

At the time of blaze going to press responses had been received from the Greens (Mark Parnell MLC and Tammy Franks MLC) and from Labor (Ian Hunter MLC).

“The Greens have committed to full support for the Action Plan. The Greens are also highly critical of the actions of Labor in defunding important community services,” Purcell explained.

“Labor has agreed to progress a number of the issues and has agreed to meet at a Ministerial level post-election to discuss the issues further. Labor has indicated, while not opposed to community management of LGBTIQ health services, financial viability will be its overarching priority.

“Regardless of party position, there are a number of Labor MPs in marginal seats well known for their strong commitment to LGBTIQ equality, including Chloe Fox, Steph Key and Frances Bedford.”

The Greens and Labor response can be read in full on the GLHA Facebook page.

Purcell went on to say the group had not received any response from the Liberals or Family First prior to deadline.

“The Liberals have indicated they are willing to discuss these matters further and we note that there are a number of Liberals who have consistently shown themselves to be friends to the LGBTIQ communities, including Michelle Lensink, David Pisoni and Isobel Redmond,” Purcell said.

“We hope to upload their responses to the GLHA Facebook page if and when we receive them.”

Regardless of the election outcome, GLHA will be seeking to progress their action agenda with whoever forms government, Purcell said.

They will also be arranging a community forum in the near future to discuss the Action Plan and other ideas for LGBTIQ equality.

“However you vote, make sure you know who you are voting for and what their policies for LGBTIQ people are,” Purcell said.

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Ron Hughes

Ron Hughes

Ron Hughes is the editor of SA's only LGBTI magazine, blaze.

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