Title: Life Goes On... Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 14th November 2016 - 11:29am1479076140 Article: 18965 Rights
As disgusted as one might be at the appalling US federal election result, elsewhere in the world there are some bright sparks of hope and progress for LGBTI communities. Let's examine each of these in turn. In Australia, the Liberal National Coalition sent its doomed plebiscite to the Australian Senate for 'ratification.' As the Coalition does not dominate the Senate, it voted it down. While the Coalition's 'liberal' elements claim that they 'want' marriage equality, they refuse to refer the matter to a free parliamentary vote and state that it will now be delayed for several years. Or, until the Coalition's slim House of Representatives majority is eroded away to nothing, and it is forced to call another general election. Which, on current polling, it will lose. A plebiscite would have exposed Australian LGBTI communities to a barrage of anti-LGBT propaganda, as occurred in Ireland. One pressure group, the Australian Marriage Forum, imported material from the extremist US Christian Right pressure group "Mass Resistance" for that purpose, until the Senate put its foot down. One more time...human rights and civil liberties must never be exposed to the vagaries of manipulative authoritarian populists. The continued stalemate is corroding Malcolm Turnbull's 'progressive' reputation. He is now polling as poorly as Tony Abbott, his predecessor, before he was dumped. In Canada,the new transgender rights bill has sailed through its second reading in the House of Commons and is on the way to the Justice select committee. Finally, the Canadian transgender community is set to receive the same equality, rights and obligations as the rest of the LGBTI communities in that country. Given that Australia, Britain and Canada will shortly all have trans-inclusive anti discrimination laws, why is New Zealand still the odd country out? Granted, thanks to the courageous Dakota Hemmingson, we now know that the Crown Law Office opinion of a decade ago adequately covers the transgender community's employment rights, although accommodation rights and service provision discrimination remain to be tested. It may be the miaow without a cat, but isn't it time the cat was incorporated into the picture? In Taiwan, a marriage equality bill has passed its first reading and seems set to pass its procedural stages. If this does indeed happen, and there is no reason to believe that it will not, Taiwan will become the first Asian nation to introduce and pass marriage equality legislation. One imagines that mainland Chinese LGBT marriage equality activists are watching their former province with keen interest in their own quest to bring that reform to the Peoples Republic of China. As heartbroken as US LGBTI communities are at this tragic time, the above developments indicate that across the rest of the world, LGBT legislative reform and human rights are still alive and kicking. Craig Young - 14th November 2016    
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