Today is International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, and I rise to stand with the LGBTIQA+ communities against the campaign of hate, this ideology of hate, that is being waged against them. This is a far-right ideology that is focused on one thing: the persecution of a minority – something we have seen time and time again throughout history. Shame on anyone in this place for giving that movement, that ideology, comfort, let alone being part of this campaign of hate.
I have been really proud to make fighting for stronger laws to protect LGBTIQA+ communities against discrimination, particularly students at faith-based schools – a priority of mine since I was first elected. But there is more to do here in Victoria. There is an urgent need right now to strengthen the state’s anti-vilification laws to include vilification on the basis of sexuality and gender identity – laws that would help prevent the appalling events in recent months from ever happening again. It has been four years since these laws were first proposed in Parliament and two years since an inquiry was completed, and all we are hearing is that there is a process and it might take another 18 months. There is clearly an urgent need for these laws. I urge the government to act.