Has marriage equality made health care more accessible for LGBTIQ people?

SBS, 8 MAY 2018 – 11:53 AM

Some homophobia and transphobia persists in the medical profession, especially in rural areas, and even accepting doctors sometimes make assumptions about relationships that leave queer patients with sub-standard treatment.

When we’re at our most needy and vulnerable, all humans want to feel safe and accepted. Having to go back into the closet, or continually explain one’s correct pronouns, or temporarily losing contact with a partner, is the last thing a sick or injured person needs. Marriage equality legislation has made some of our relationships more visible and our rights clearer, but there are many in the LGBTIQ community for whom little has changed. Healthcare professionals need to make sure that first, they do no harm — and that means leaving prejudice behind.

Breaking Down LGBTIQ Discrimination Takes Time

By Dr Niki Vincent, the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity in South Australia, in The Conversation

Some of the recent changes to our state legislation will deliver the kind of equality so many people have longed for — but many have not lived to see. These include ways to make it easier for trans and gender diverse people to change their registered gender on documentation, including birth certificates (with their rights to privacy being maintained), and the full legal recognition of relationships regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity — including the right to access IVF and adoption.

While changing legal structures like these is a huge leap forward, it’s just the beginning of breaking down a history of discrimination and injustice for LGBTIQ people. What needs to follow now is a profound change in community attitudes that should see LGBTIQ people readily accepted across all areas of society, without fear of discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

SHINE SA & 160 others call on Parliament to recognise the will of the Australian people

The Equality Campaign, December 2017

More than 160 LGBTI organisations, leaders and supporters – including SHINE SA – have signed a statement calling on the Australian Parliament to recognise the will of the people and ensure marriage equality is passed by the end of the year.

“As organisations, leaders and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities, following the resounding YES result in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, we call for the Parliament to pass marriage equality legislation as soon as possible.

“More than 7.8 million people said YES to marriage equality. The strong YES vote delivered a loud message – discrimination against LGBTI Australians must end. It is now time for our parliament to act and pass marriage equality this year,” the joint statement says.

Signed by groups from around the country and state Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobbies as well as individuals, the statement identifies the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill (2017) drafted by Government MPs and supported by the Opposition as the best way to achieve marriage equality by consensus.

The bill reflects the principles of the Report on the Commonwealth Government’s Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill and has wide cross party support, the statement says.

 

Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey Results

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 15 November 2017

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

Of the eligible Australians who expressed a view on this question, the majority indicated that the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry, with 7,817,247 (61.6%) responding Yes and 4,873,987 (38.4%) responding No.

Nearly 8 out of 10 eligible Australians (79.5%) expressed their view.

All states and territories recorded a majority Yes response. 133 of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions recorded a majority Yes response, and 17 of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions recorded a majority No response.

Further information on response and participation within each state and territory is available through the menu:

New resources: Staying Strong During The Marriage Equality Debate

ACON, November 2017

In light of all the emotional distress being caused by the protracted and harmful  debate surrounding marriage equality, ACON has put together these resources that they hope will help everyone within the affected communities, particularly younger community members who often find themselves most vulnerable to hate speech.

  • Download the full-sized resources below:

Staying Strong PDF

Staying Strong JPG

Staying Strong Text Only PDF

  • Other ACON resources on marriage equality:

Marriage Equality Health Evidence Review

Marriage Equality Guide for Health Services

Discrimination, not same-sex parents, harms children: report

Children raised in same-sex families develop as their peers in families with heterosexual parents do, a group of senior pediatricians and adolescent health experts says.

And the group has called on the medical community to debunk “damaging misrepresentations” of the evidence being used by the “no” campaign in the postal vote on same-sex marriage, saying the real public health risk comes from discrimination.