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Ending discrimination: equal marriage

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Printed and authorised by Senator Christine Milne, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600. Page 1 of 2

The Greens have a vision of a caring Australia, where every person is able to realise their highest aspirations, free from discrimination in our laws and in our minds. That's why the Greens have always stood up for full equality for LGBTI Australians, and always will.

It was Christine Milne's Bill that decriminalised homosexuality in Tasmania in 1997, after more than a decade of community campaigning and through successful negotiations with other parties.

Bob Brown was the first openly gay political party leader in Australia, and our MPs around the country have been at the forefront of campaigns for the rights of LGBTI people, from local stands against discrimination to human rights issues worldwide.

Now, only the Greens are resolute in standing for full equality for LGBTI people in Australia. Every Green MP has voted for marriage equality, every time it has come before a Parliament.

Only the Greens are standing up for genuine equality laws, to stop religious schools, hospitals and homeless shelters from turning LGBTI Australians away or firing them because of their sexuality or gender identity.

Only the Greens are proud to stand with the LGBTI community worldwide. We celebrate wins on the path to equality, and advocate for the rights of sexuality and gender-diverse people still denied freedom from violence and persecution.

Voting Green is a profound statement for equality. Electing Greens to a strong position in Parliament guarantees that Australians will always have a voice to always stand up for what's right.


The Australian Greens have always known that inequality in our marriage laws is a matter of discrimination, plain and simple.

In 2004, when Labor MPs voted with John Howard's Coalition to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, the Greens stood proud to vote for equality.

The first Bill that our South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced into Parliament was for marriage equality. Since then, every time the issue has come up for a vote, every Green MP has voted for equality - every time.

We're now closer than we've ever been before, thanks to tireless advocacy driving changes across the community, in the Parliament, and in the hearts and minds of everyday Australians. But the old parties still hold LGBTI Australians back from equality nationwide.

The Labor Party's decision to allow its members to vote for discrimination in our laws will stop Australia from achieving marriage equality. During the last vote on equality, more than 47% of Labor MPs voted to keep inequality in our marriage laws - nearly half.

While the Prime Minister's recent conversion to the side of equality is welcome, Labor is still committed to giving its MPs free reign to vote against equality - and that will only hold Australia back.

Tony Abbott's outdated views on LGBTI Australians are well-known. "Threatened" by same-sex attracted people, he has banned the few Coalition MPs who support marriage equality from voting for it.

Only the Greens are standing unequivocally for marriage equality in Australia, no ifs ands or buts - and we'll keep advocating for it, in Parliament and on the streets, until it's a reality.

ENDING DISCRIMINATION EQUAL MARRIAGE The Greens’ plan for equality for LGBTI Australians

Printed and authorised by Senator Christine Milne, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600. Page 2 of 2

> EQUAL UNDER THE LAW Under federal law, LGBTI Australians can still be legally discriminated against because of who they are by religious organisations - including schools and hospitals.

That means that a student can be legally expelled from school for having same sex parents, or transgender person legally denied healthcare, or an LGBTI couple in need legally turned away from a shelter. This in Australia, in 2013.

For years, the Greens have said that blanket exemptions from national equality laws for religious organisations - particularly for those receiving government funs to provide a service, like schools, hospitals and shelters - is unfair and contrary to the values of a caring society.

The Greens were at the centre of the push to reform national equality laws. Senator Penny Wright worked on the Inquiry examining the laws, hearing from LGBTI people and groups Australia-wide about discrimination they face and ways to fix it. As part of the Inquiry, she successfully secured equality protections for intersex people in Australia.

In the end, Labor joined with us to include LGBTI people in federal anti-discrimination laws for the first time. But they backed away from other major reforms, and refused to end the exemptions that keep LGBTI people unequal under the law.

Even more shockingly, the Coalition opposed any and all inclusion of LGBTI people in national equality laws, even in aged care - where sexuality- and gender- diverse Australians face special challenges.

The Greens also want to see all levels of government and the public health system respect and recognise peoples lived gender-identity, including allowing for changes to official documentation on the basis of an affidavit.

The Greens always stand up for equality under the law. We're determined to keep working for a day when an LGBTI person need no longer fear discrimination of any kind - especially discrimination sanctioned by Australian laws.

> GLOBAL ISSUES Equality means equality for everyone, everywhere. While a world free from discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender identity may seem distant, great advances in equality always have.

The Greens are a party with a global focus, tapped into a global network of Parliamentarians and activists. Worldwide, we work for equality for LGBTI people - from standing up for equality in places as diverse as Germany and Taiwan, to being the only party to vote 100% for marriage equality when the New Zealand Parliament passed it earlier this year.

Sadly, the other parties don't see things the same way. Under the cruel policies of both old parties, LGBTI refugees who arrive by boat will be deported to countries, like PNG, where homosexuality is illegal and carries a prison sentence - in PNG, up to 14 years.

Unlike the old parties, the Greens will always stand for a better way to treat refugees: as people, not as political pawns. Our plans for safe, legal, humane ways to seek asylum will always recognise that people fleeing persecution on the basis of their sexuality and gender identity deserve our protection - and that LGBTI refugees must not be forcibly resettled in places where their rights are denied.

We bring our global focus to local campaigns. This year, we brought a Bill to the Australian Parliament to recognise same sex marriages celebrated overseas in Australian law, but enough Labor Senators joined the Coalition to vote in down.

We also use our position in Parliament and in the community to provide a voice for what's right. For example, Christine Milne wrote to Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee, to raise concerns about the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Russia now that Russia has passed draconian laws against LGBTI people.

Voting Green will always get you proud advocates for equality, everywhere.