The Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diversity Action Plan 2012-2015 (extended to 2017) supports Council's work towards equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) residents and aims to strengthen the participation and rights of all in Darebin, regardless of sexuality, or sex or gender identity.
The Action Plan focuses on greater inclusiveness:
- internally within Council as an organisation
- in Council's services and programs
- in the Darebin community.
The plan was developed with the support of the Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diversity Advisory Committee, following engagement with the community throughout 2012, and was endorsed by Council on 6 August 2012.
Celebrating our LGBTIQ community
At Council, we celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Recognised in over 60 countries, IDAHOBIT is an annual event celebrated on 17 May, the date when the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990.
IDAHOBIT aims to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBTI rights work. For information on events for IDAHOBIT day, visit the Annual Events page.
In light of the recent announcement made by the Federal Government that a national postal survey would go ahead to gauge public sentiment on marriage equality, Darebin Council resolved at its meeting on Monday 21 August 2017 to reaffirm its support for marriage equality and support the yes campaign.
This reflects the strong position Darebin has taken to stand in solidarity with its LGBTIQ residents on this issue for a number of years. In 2015 we formally endorsed a statement calling for marriage equality, with this statement being reaffirmed in 2016 and expanded to include that marriage equality should be achieved through a direct free vote in Parliament and highlighted the harm of plebiscite to the LGBTIQ community.
Council is showing its support in a number of ways:
- The rainbow flag is flying above Preston City Hall until the current Marriage Act is changed by the federal Parliament to allow LGBTIQ Australians to marry
- A rainbow projection has been set up on the Northcote Town Hall which lights up the area at night
- We are using various platforms to communicate our support of the yes campaign to the wider community.
Our support for marriage equality reflects our commitment to a community free from discrimination, with respect and dignity for all. LGBTIQ people make up a significant proportion of Darebin's population and we have a responsibility to represent and advocate for our community. We believe that denying LGBTIQ people the right to marry sends a damaging message that discrimination is okay, and that these relationships are not as valued as others.
Australian research has measured the devastating impact of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and intersexism on people's everyday lives including on health, wellbeing and participation in community life. For example:
- LGBTIQ Australians are two to three times more likely than the general population to experience poor mental health as a direct result of the discrimination, stigma and prejudice they experience
- Almost half all LGBTIQ Australians hide their sexuality or gender identity because they fear violence or discrimination, with young people aged 16 to 24 more likely to do so than any other age group (Source:Beyond Blue).
As an official supporter of the No To Homophobia campaign since 2015 we have pledged to "Stand up to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Always." We are proud to stand in solidarity with LGBTIQ communities and their allies in support of marriage equality.
Find the Rainbow in Melbourne's North
In conjunction with Moreland, Yarra and Banyule City Councils, we have developed a map of LGBTIQ groups and networks as well as LGBTIQ friendly services across Melbourne' north. The map, Find the Rainbow in Melbourne's north, has been designed to provide LGBTIQ people and allies with accurate and reliable information.
If you have concerns about a place that has been included or if there is a group or service that you think should be included in the map, please email us.
Our Stand Against Homophobia
Council also supports the No to Homophobia campaign.
Victoria-based, but with a national reach, the No To Homophobia campaign challenges all forms of harassment and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queerpeople (LGBTIQ), whether in the workplace or in social situations.
The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic harassment in Victoria (and beyond) by empowering both LGBTIQ people and the broader community to respond to and speak out against this harassment.
No To Homophobia sends the message to all Australians that homophobic, transphobic and biphobic harassment is never acceptable. The campaign also aims to raise awareness and let those who experience unlawful harassment know that they have official avenues to respond to it, including the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the police.
Victoria Police has Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs) specifically trained to deal sensitively with and respond to the needs of LGBTIQ people.
On 3 June 2013, Council emphasised our commitment by "giving [our] word to stand up against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Always".
Council's support to marriage equality and Safe Schools Coalition
On 6 July 2015, Council passed a motion to publicly support the marriage equality campaign.
On 21 March 2016, Council officially became a supporter of Safe Schools Coalition by signing this pledge: "We believe that schools should provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students, so that they can learn, grow, and reach their full potential – free from bullying and discrimination. We pledge to stand up against homophobia and transphobia whenever we see or hear it. We are proud to support Safe Schools Coalition Australia and its work to create positive change for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families."
In signing the Safe Schools Coalition's supporter pledge, we want to express our support to Darebin schools, their LGBTIQ students and families and all of Darebin's LGBTIQ residents!
For support or to keep informed about what's going on in the LGBTIQ community, here is a list of community organisations, peak bodies, interesting initiatives and support groups.
Diversity Policy Officer
Phone: 8470 8423