Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW) celebrates 25 years

Date: Sep 25, 2013

In 2013, the New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW GLRL) is celebrating 25 years of advocating for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

The organisation was set up in 1988, and since then has been leading "the fight for equality and social justice".

This fight has taken on many forms, and has resulted in legislative changes that have vastly improved the lives of those in this community, as well as their families, around the country.

In a media statement released on September 24, the NSW GLRL listed a few of its many achievements.

It is because of this organisation that anti-vilification legislation and an equal age of consent were introduced in New South Wales.

The NSW GLRL also fought for the recognition of same-sex relationships in federal legislation, and was successful. It has also passed a motion through the Legislative Council that promotes marriage equality.

Most recently, the NSW GLRL was instrumental in getting anti-discrimination legislation passed by the federal government. This was introduced on August 1 by the Attorney-General.

It basically states that a person who believes they have been discriminated against because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, or intersex, marital or relationship status can file a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The anti-discrimination legislation also removes religious exceptions "for Commonwealth-funded aged-care services".

Lainie Arnold, co-convenor of the NSW GLRL, said this list of "significant strides" toward equality will be celebrated at NSW Parliament House on October 23.

"It is a way of publicly acknowledging the many current and past members and supporters who have played an active role, and often worked tirelessly, in the fight for gay and lesbian rights in Australia," she said.

Ms Arnold added that NSW Parliament House was chosen as the venue for the quarter-century celebration to demonstrate the NSW GLRL and LGBTI community's awareness that the state's political leaders played a significant role in making these legislative changes happen.

She knows there were times when making such changes "was neither popular nor easy", and appreciates the support they gave.

However, said Dr Justin Koonin, co-convenor of the NSW GLRL, we still have a long way to go in terms of "legislative reform, public education and attitudinal change".

Craddock Murray Neumann's team of family lawyers has been supporting members of the LGBTI community for many years, offering family law advice and assisting with same-sex issues.