The power of the Labor movement to change society is weakened by progressive LGBTQI youth choosing not becoming involved in the party, writes Rowan Payne.
As a young gay man interested in progressive politics it was easy enough for me to get swept up in the marriage equality debate. Like many LGBTQI youth, I was bitterly disappointed to see a Labor Prime Minister argue against marriage equality. Although I consider it such a shame to see queer youth so disengaged with the Party, I can understand it. I wasn’t sure either when I got involved with Young Labor.
As my involvement in LGBTQI politics grew, I soon realized marriage equality was only one important issue among a swath of policy areas where our community faces discrimination – in healthcare, housing, mental health, the workplace, education and legal rights. I learned about the Rudd/Gillard government’s abolition of discrimination against LGBTQI couples, from healthcare to taxation, after commissioning a report to root out discrimination faced by such couples – changing 85 separate laws in total.
I saw Victorian Labor introduce the Equal Opportunity Act that made it illegal to fire someone just for being gay. This reform was shamefully repealed by the Liberal State Government, highlighting how important Labor governments are to the protection of our rights.Read More