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Kaleidoscope Trust Hails Australian Greens Commitment to LGBTI Human Rights

Senator Christine Milne signs pledge to uphold LGBTI rights in foreign affairs

The Kaleidoscope Trust is pleased to announce the signing of a pledge to uphold LGBTI rights in Australia's foreign relations by Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens.


Australia has a strong part to play in upholding the rights of LGBTI people. Globally there are multinational diplomatic efforts around some of the worst cases of anti-LGBTI violence and criminalisation. Closer to home, in countries where Australia exercises substantial influence, there are still laws which discriminate against LGBTI people. In Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Brunei, Bangladesh, The Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and the Aceh province of Indonesia criminal laws prohibit consensual sexual activity between men, laws which the Toonen case found to be a violation of international human rights agreements. Toonen vs Australia was  a landmark human rights complaint brought before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) by Tasmanian resident Nicholas Toonen in 1994 that resulted in the repeal of Australia's last remaining anti-sodomy laws. More widely in the region the law fails to protect LGBTI people from discrimination in employment, medical treatment, housing and goods and services. 


Speaking for Kaleidoscope Trust in Australia, Douglas Pretsell said:


We have been working with each of the main political parties in the Australian election to secure a pledge to support LGBTI rights in foreign policy and are pleased to have secured the support of the Australian Greens.


Lance Price, Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust added:


Australia has a pivotal role to play in the global and regional movement to repeal all legislation that criminalises people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.  Kaleidoscope Trust is seeking to support future Australian governments in this endeavour.

The pledge that Senator Milne signed:


We make this solemn pledge our support to the furtherance of LGBTI rights as a strong component of wider human rights through these concrete actions:


1.Australian support for initiatives at the UN and in other multilateral forums to protect LGBTI people from discrimination and persecution


2. Advocacy for the equal rights of LGBTI people in Australia's bilateral human rights dialogue 


3. Australia's active support for the removal of anti-LGBTI criminal laws in the Asia Pacific region