Before thousands of Mardi Gras Fair Day revellers today in Sydney, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW) officially launched its 58 ‘08 campaign – demanding equality for same-sex couples and their children in 58 federal laws by the end of 2008. The campaign coincides with the launch of a new website (www.glrl.org.au/58) which allows supporters to take instant, simple action for equality.
Co-Convenor Emily Gray said today, “The response to the 58 ’08 campaign has been instant. Within hours of the campaign website going ‘live’, personal stories of discrimination have already been delivered to the Federal Attorney-General. Lesbian and gay Australians are telling the federal government in their own words that they demand equality, and 2008 is the year for it.”
Politicians and community leaders showed their support for the launch of the 58 ’08 campaign by planting a pink heart for equality at the GLRL’s annual Sea of Hearts event. Federal, state and local politicians, including Federal Minister for Housing Tanya Plibersek MP, NSW Minister for Women Verity Firth MP, Penny Sharpe MLC, Helen Westwood MLC, Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP and Cr Chris Harris, joined with community leaders, including ACON President and Vice-President Mark Orr and Kate Connors, Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service Convenors Rochelle Oshlack and Tim Errington, and Learn-To-Include series author, Vicki Harding and her partner Jackie Braw.
The 58 ’08 website (www.glrl.org.au/58) features a ready-to-send letter to the Federal Attorney-General, which can be easily customised by community members with their own personal stories and details. The letter is automatically generated and sent to the Attorney-General once simple details are completed.
“The website means that we can demand equality using our unique voices and stories, but the message will be strong and unified,” added Co-Convenor, Peter Johnson.
“These 58 laws we want changed cover all aspects of our lives, from the taxes we pay, to our workplace and health care entitlements, and even to what happens to our children if we split up. They show that equality is an essential, everyday right for all Australians”.