Monday, March 14, 2011

Queer candidates stand for marriage equality


Monday March 14, 2011 - Queer candidates Paola Harvey and Rachel Evans are standing for the Socialist Alliance in the NSW state election. Harvey is standing in the seat of Keira, while Evans is standing for the legislative council.

“The federal government is dragging it's heels on marriage equality,” said Harvey, one of the founding members of Equal Love Wollongong, a community based group that campaigns for marriage equality.

“The marriage ban must be lifted, there should be no laws that discriminate against a section of society.”

“But until we win the repeal of the marriage ban federally, states can take action. NSW should take a stand for equality and legislate to become Australia's first equal marriage state.

“This year's Mardi Gras showed clearly that the queer community wants marriage equality, and that the community supports us. It was the most political Mardi Gras in years with 15 floats calling for marriage equality, and about 300,000 people attending in support.

“For too long the relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people have been classed as different and lesser under the law. Our relationships are equal and the law must reflect that,” she said.

Evans has been campaigning for marriage equality for the past six years and is one of the key organisers of Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) and one of the organisers of CAAH's marriage equality float at Mardi Gras. She has also campaigned for a public inquiry into the death of Veronica Baxter, an Aboriginal trans woman who died in an all male jail.

Evans said: “The marriage ban reinforces homophobia and transphobia in society. Just under one in three queer people will attempt suicide. Queer youth get bullied in schools, and trans people face horrific rates of violent attacks.”

“Legislating for marriage equality is a step towards ending homophobia and transphobia, it's a step towards making our society a safe and accepting place for all queers. But by itself it's not enough, we need build a movement that publically campaigns against all discrimination and against homophobic and transphobic attitudes in society.”

The Socialist Alliance campaigns for an end to homophobia and transphobia. It campaigns for full marriage equality, and equal rights for all LGBTI people in society.

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