I have worked with GLBTQ communities for over 25 years to promote equality and to challenge the inaction of the major parties. I respond to community concerns and work with other progressive MPs to achieve reform.
In response to a request from Australian Marriage Equality in 2010, I will attempt state-based same-sex marriage legislation. The legal position on state marriage legislation is not clear and I am seeking expert legal advice on what is possible.
My 1997 Significant Personal Relationships Bill was blocked in NSW, but became the model for Tasmanian and Victorian laws. My first try at same sex adoption reform in 2000 gained no support in Parliament, but I persisted and last year gained majority support through a conscience vote.
I was the first Councillor publicly supporting the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in the 1980s and the first Member of the Legislative Assembly to march in the Parade in 1992. As MP, I introduced successful legislation to prohibit homosexual vilification and prepared legislation to outlaw transgender discrimination that was later picked up by the Government.
The City of Sydney provides leadership on GLBTQ issues by supporting community organisations and safety programs, particularly via our grants and GLBT project coordinator.
In 2010, the City established a new tradition of raising the Rainbow Flag at Town Hall to mark the beginning of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. The City sponsors and promotes Mardi Gras and my questions in Parliament helped secure $400,000 annual state funding for the festival, which injects $45 million into the NSW economy each year.
Following my advocacy about poor Surry Hills Police response to gay hate crimes, a new Commander was appointed who rebuilt relationships, trained officers and improved the recording of sexuality-based hate crime. The City works with police and the community to tackle street safety and reduce violence and homophobic behaviour.
I want to keep Oxford Street safe, prosperous and gay-friendly. The City of Sydney worked with local business and art institutions to develop the Oxford Street Cultural Quarter, established a rotating public art program for Taylor Square, and formed a business precincts team to liaise with local business and implement recommendations from our Darlinghurst business precinct study.
Links of Interest:
- UNSW Thurunka Queer Edition: http://rubric.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Issue-Ten.pdf
- Click HERE for my petitions on gay & lesbian issues.