Australian Equality Party launches with Pride
A new voice for LGBTI communities in Australian politics launches at this year's Pride March and is set to take its messages of marriage equality and an end to discrimination to the national Senate.
The Australian Equality Party (AEP) aims to win its first senate seat for Victoria in the next Federal election, before going on to contest senate and lower house seats at local, state and federal elections.
AEP Convenor and potential Senate candidate Jason Tuazon-McCheyne told gaynewsnetwork it is time there was an independent, gay voice in the federal parliament.
“There are gay people who vote Liberal or for the Greens but who are frustrated that our needs are not being looked after very well,” he said.
“Labor may be slightly better and the Greens obviously are our friends but it's really an opportunity for LGBTI people that, come the next election, there is someone you can vote for who will be in the house of review, which is what the Senate is there for.”
He said the AEP will be a gay representation that will not have to compromise when advocating for LGBTI issues.
“There can be someone inside the parliament to talk to other politicians about these issues that effect all parts of our community and work alongside the other organisations that work so brilliantly from Rainbow Families to the Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby to Australian Marriage Equality.”
Tuazon-McCheyne was a founder of Australian Marriage Equality. He also started the Midsumma Vows and has been, as he calls it 'non-legally' married to his husband for 14 years. They have an eight-year old son through a surrogacy arrangement.
A former Christian minister Tuazon-McCheyne has also experienced discrimination because of sexuality when his employer found out he was gay. Although exceeding the key performance indicators he was fired while still on a three month probation period, having later found out the truth behind his sacking from another employer.
Tuazon-McCheyne said that, although the AEP is “unashamedly” for LGBT issues, if elected to the Senate in two and half year's time the party will have a human rights approach to other policies.
“We have a constitution and have worked hard to give the party solid foundation and think that Pride March is quite symbolic for us to launch the party.
“We really need our 500 members to be a fully registered party and want to get every gay and lesbian person and their family and friends to join so we can spend the next two and half years working alongside everybody for change.”
Tuazon-McCheyne joins AEP members marching for the first time under the party banner at Pride March this Sunday.
For further information visit the AEP website