Article Title:Priority issues
Category:Features
Author or Credit:GayNZ.com
Published on:20th June 2011 - 11:08 am
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:10503
Text:Rainbow Wellington has released a list of its priority issues for the November election. It's looking for feedback – so have a read here so you can have your say. • The need to make progress on the extension of rights of adoption by same sex couples on the same basis as mixed sex couples. This is a glaring instance of the remaining discriminations against gay lesbian and related citizens • The need to provide for same sex marriage. We have now been surpassed by a number of other developed countries in this regard. At the very least the status of those same sex couples married in other jurisdictions will need to be clarified in law, given the significant international movement of people and the need of New Zealand to attract skilled professionals to our work force. We should be making it easier for them to come here on their own terms and not put unnecessary obstacles in their way through a lack of clarity as to their status • The need to complete and speed up the implementation of the 2008 Human Rights Commission Report To Be Who I Am. Transgender and intersex citizens continue to suffer discrimination in a range of ways and there is no justification for this situation to continue. • The need to grapple comprehensively and realistically with the problem of homophobic bullying in schools. Mouthing pious platitudes or assuming that this will be swept up by general anti-bullying initiatives will not wash. There are specific problems linked to unacceptable rates of adolescent suicide here which must be addressed • The reinstatement of the compulsory student levy for membership of student associations so that these associations can continue to provide guidance and assistance schemes, in particular to gay and lesbian young people in a manner accountable to those people • The reversal of no appeal ninety day workplace legislation which has significant potential for discrimination against lgtbi new employees • The reinstatement of the right of prison inmates to vote in accordance with our international commitments. In past decades lgtbi citizens have found themselves in prison deprived of their rights to vote for those who ultimately changed that situation and so we feel strongly and sympathetically towards others similarly deprived, and note with alarm the ease with which civil rights can be removed for reasons of ignorance and prejudice subsequent to their instatement. • The reinstatement of the right to silence in alleged criminal matters. In the past when homosexuality was criminalised this was a major line of defence by gay men and we do not wish to see it undermined for others who are guilty of no crime. Rainbow Wellington says the list of issues reflects its campaigning activities over the last year or so, and lists those issues which the Board thinks should be included in any discussions with the political parties in the run-up to November’s election. "We would like to get feedback from our members and from other interested parties and groups as to whether these are also the issues you would want us to raise. And of course, whether there are any others you would want to add," it says. "We are planning to hold a meeting nearer the election date where you can contribute your views in person on the issues. In the meantime, this first step will be a useful introduction to setting the agenda." Please send any reply to us at gapnz@hotmail.com or info@rainbowwellington.org.nz, or on Facebook. GayNZ.com - 20th June 2011    
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