Growing interest in inclusion from companies, NGOs post-SSM

More Tasmanian businesses and community organisations are seeking advice on how to be more inclusive six months on from the legalisation of same-sex marriage, a leading LGBTI education and support group says.

On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2018, Working It Out executive officer Susan Ditter addressed the LGBTI community’s ongoing fight for equality.

Ms Ditter said that with marriage equality had come increased demand for services for LGBTI people in Tasmania.

​“One of the outcomes of that is that more people are coming forward and saying, ‘Yes, I am coming out’ or ‘My family member has come out’,” she said.

“And there is more demand for support, although there is increasing inclusion across Tasmania.”

Ms Ditter also said she had been contacted by growing numbers of businesses and community organisations who wanted to know how they could be more inclusive.

“​That’s really good – and it’s keeping us pretty busy,” she said.

The landmark postal survey on marriage equality saw the majority of Australians vote to change the Marriage Act.

Tasmanians voted overwhelmingly in favour of marriage equality, with each of the state’s five electorates returning a majority ‘yes’ vote.

Both Ms Ditter and long-time champion of LGBTI rights Rodney Croome agreed there was still a lot that needed to be done in order to achieve equality for all LGBTI-identifying people in Tasmania.

“All Tasmanians can take pride in the fact that we have taken great strides, going from the state with the worst laws and attitudes on sexual and gender diversity to one of the best,” Mr Croome said.

“But there is much work to be done to address inequality in the law and prejudice in the community.

“In 2018 I hope to see changes to the law that will grant full equality to transgender and intersex Tasmanians.”

In all states and territories, except South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, there are so-called forced divorce laws, which require transgender people to divorce from their partner in order to change the sex on their birth certificate.

The Commonwealth government has instructed all states and territories with these laws to repeal them before the end of the year.

Ms Ditter said Working It Out’s primary objective in 2018 would be to ensure that the state government abolished the forced divorce laws.

“That’s a pretty big goal for us to achieve by the end of this year,” she said.