Monday, 17 June 2013
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
That the Senate—
(i) that 17 May is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on which individuals and organisations are encouraged to take a stand against sex and gender based prejudice in the community, and
(ii) the physical and psychological harm caused by harassment and discrimination, including much higher rates of anxiety, depression, self harm and suicide in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community compared with the general population; and
(b) calls on senators and other members of Parliament individually to commit to the 'No to Homophobia' campaign pledge to always stand up against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and to promote this campaign within the Australian community.
I note that this motion has been moved late because it was left over from the last session.
Thank you. Irrespective of the substantive merits of this motion, the government does not support it on procedural grounds with respect to point (c). The motion seeks to direct senators on how to interact with their communities on a particular issue. I do not think the senator herself would be comfortable promoting the views of other members of this place within her community if it were imposed upon her. It is for these reasons that the government will not be supporting the motion.
Thank you. I am perplexed as to the minister’s comments, because there is no (c) as printed in the Notice Paper. All I can assume is that perhaps the minister is referring to (b), which 'calls on senators and other members of Parliament individually to commit to the ‘No to Homophobia’ campaign'. If you cannot bring yourselves to do that, you are even more gutless than we thought.