Modern Discrimination highlighted: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2020

May 15, 2020

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has issued a statement recognising  the importance of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) this Sunday, May 17. 

ALHR President Kerry Weste said, “This year’s IDAHOBIT day marks 30 years since the World Health Organisation  removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. While reforms such as marriage equality in 2017 and ongoing identity document reform across the Commonwealth, states and territories mark significant progress for the rights of LGBTIQA+ Australians, the LGBTIQA+ community continues to experience discrimination domestically and globally.”

“In particular, ALHR hopes this year’s IDAHOBIT day will be cause for reflection as to how some LGBTIQA+ Australians face acute impacts of COVID-19 as a result of discrimination, disparities and differences connected with their LGBTIQA+ status. These include:

  1. Cohorts of the LGBTIQA+ community already being more likely to live in poverty or experience unemployment compared to the non LGBTIQA+ population;
  2. Social isolation in circumstances of already disproportionately high rates of anxiety, depression, suicide and self-harm compared to the non-LGBTIQA+ population;
  3. Risks associated with LGBTIQA+ people living with families or households which do not accept them or their sexuality, or gender identity; and
  4. Concerns in relation to access to inclusive healthcare. 

ALHR also remains very  concerned  by the threat the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill poses to LGBTIQA+ rights. Ms  Weste continued, “The Bill threatens to have a disproportionate impact on LGBTIQA+ Australians. If passed, it will limit the right to the highest attainable standard of health through provisions that would allow doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists and pharmacists to conscientiously object to providing types of healthcare such as IVF, HIV prevention medication and  hormone treatment. Moreover, while a Freedom of Religion Commissioner is proposed at the Federal level, there is still no LGBTIQA+ Commissioner proposed. This leaves LGBTIQA+ Australians as the only group protected by federal anti-discrimination legislation, but without a dedicated Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.”

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