ALHR Launches National LGBTI Rights Subcommittee

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ALHR is pleased to announce the launch of our new national LGBTI Rights Subcommittee

The LGBTI community in Australia continues to face varied challenges, from verbal harassment to forced medical intervention or the inability to access affordable medical care. Elsewhere, in places like the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Asia the LGBTI community is habitually subject to severe human rights abuses and widespread fear.

In Australia, conservative estimates put the LGBTI community at up to 11 per cent of the population. While same sex marriage remains at the forefront of public debate, transgender and intersex rights are fast becoming the new frontiers of LGBTI human rights.

Currently, transgender children seeking non-surgical intervention must ask their parents to make an application to the Family Court of Australia. Further, since the recognition of a third sex category in the High Court case of Norrie, there continues to be no practical recognition of non-binary people. For the intersex community, the fight to prevent unnecessary surgical intervention is key. Intersex bodies are not recognised in the legal system as birth certificates are issued to males or females and corrections for those who identify as non-binary or who were recorded as the wrong sex are not readily available.

In respect of the LGBTI community more broadly, The Australian Human Rights Commission is responsible for promoting competing human rights including freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, the right to self-determination, and the right to equality and non-discrimination. In the face of the plebiscite, the LGBTI community is confronted with public debates about same sex marriage (to the exclusion of the trans and intersex communities), children’s education, parenting and hetero-normative morals.

The LGBTI community needs lawyers from all walks of life to call out its vulnerability and advocate for progression on law reform. We need to remedy the historical, discriminatory jurisprudence that has evolved in our country’s young but turbulent history. 

It is for these reasons and more, that ALHR has beefed up its LGBTI subcommittee. The committee will dedicate intellect, passion and optimism to raise awareness, advocate for and progress LGBTI rights in Australia. 

ALHR is now looking for interested current members to join this subcommittee and play an active role in ALHR’s work in advancing the rights of the LGBTI community. In the coming months, a meeting of the new subcommittee will be held to discuss priorities and strategies for 2017 and beyond.

If you are interested in joining the subcommittee, please contact Nicholas Stewart and Kathryn Cramp Co-Chairs of ALHR’s LGBTI Rights Subcommittee, at lgbti@alhr.org.au

Please provide Kathryn and Nick with a brief explanation of your interest in the work of the subcommittee, including any relevant skills and/or experience you have in this field.

To renew your ALHR membership click here

Best wishes,

Kathryn Cramp & Nicholas Stewart, Co-Chairs LGBTI Subcommittee

On behalf of the ALHR National Committee