Posted by VACCHO Policy Unit on 6 September 2017
Tags: marriage equality, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, discrimination, Federal government, sistergirls, brotherboys, yes campaign, no campaign, same-sex attracted, LGBTI, equality, marriage rights, cultural safety, respect, Equality Campaign, mental distress, Mental Health, self-determination, Aboriginal Victorians, Victorian Government, Aboriginal specific wellbeing, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Aboriginal health, health and wellbeing, ACCHO, ACCO, VACCHO, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
VACCHO supports the right of every Australian to get married regardless of their gender or sexuality.
We oppose this non-binding postal survey that asks 'anyone' to determine the human rights of our LGBTI families and friends, however believe the most powerful act to effect positive change, is to vote yes.
VACCHO will be unequivocally supporting the Equality Campaign, and encouraging our Member organisations to vote yes, as well as ours and the wider community to do the same.
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTI often experience multiple levels of marginalisation and discrimination. VACCHO is significantly concerned about the implications this campaign will have on the social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTI community, their families and mainstream brothers and sisters. Already we have witnessed deplorable content generated from the No Campaign.
We know LGBTI people suffer uniquely high rates of suicidality, same-sex attracted people are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide. This statistic will be compounded in our LGBTI community, especially for our young brotherboys and sistergirls.
It saddens us that in 2017 the Federal Government can stand silent and allow this level of vilification and discrimination to occur.
Discriminatory legislation is an impediment to the LGBTI Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community achieving the highest attainable standard of health, instead this process is widening the health inequalities of First Australians.
We hope that the Parliament will respect the outcome of the Equality campaign, work swiftly to deliver marriage equality, and heal the harm.
Media enquires: Louise Carey, Director Policy - 0457 520 121