Anti-Discrimination Anti-Homophobia Anti-Harrasment
The VGLRL believes that LGBTIQ Victorians should be free from discrimination, violence and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Equal opportunity laws
The VGLRL is lobbying the Victorian Government to modernise the Equal Opportunity Act and ensure that any exemptions under the Act, including religious exemptions, be eliminated.
The VGLRL also believes that the Equal Opportunity Commission (link) is given increased capacity to deal with systemic discrimination and promoting a culture of non-discrimination.
The VGLRL recognises the personal cost of individuals in making complaints under current anti-discrimination remedies. Therefore, the VGLRL supports moves to make it easier for individuals to make complaints including the widening of provisions for advocacy organisations (such as the VGLRL) to make complaints on behalf of individuals.
The VGLRL is also lobbying for federal sexuality discrimination legislation. Such legislation is the missing link in Australia's framework for anti-discrimination legislation. Federal sexuality discrimination legislation can also promote the message that LGBTIQ people have an equal right to the fair go that Australians have always valued and that homophobic violence and intimidation are unacceptable in Australian society. The VGLRL has provided a submission to the Australian Labor Party's draft Sexuality Discrimination Bill. You can find a copy of our submission here (link).
Violence and harassment
The VGLRL is alarmed by the very high levels of violence and harassment reported by LGBTIQ people. This concern is exacerbated by the very low reports of hate motivated violence and harassment recorded by Victoria Police suggesting that the vast majority of hate motivated violence and harassment is not reported and that LGBTIQ people are not supported by the wider community to live freely and without the fear of violence.
The VGLRL believes that more effective action needs to be taken by Government to address the issues of violence and harassment experienced by LGBTIQ people.
Some Actions the VGLRL supports include:
Legislation to outlaw homophobic harassment.
The funding of LGBTIQ community infrastructure to support victims of hate motivated violence and to help prevent violent episodes. This would include the funding of the Victorian Anti-violence Project.
The funding of broader community social change initiatives to tackle discriminatory community attitudes and to raise awareness of unacceptable and illegal hate motivated behaviours.
The expansion of the Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) program so that there are more full time GLLOs and so that they are given the capacity to publicly report on the levels of complaints made to them.
The VGLRL is aware that family violence exists in LGBTIQ families. Therefore the VGLRL calls upon the family violence service system to accommodate our needs through the education of all family violence and emergency housing service providers about our different and special circumstances and through the provision of specialist LGBTIQ family violence services where necessary.