Rainbow Families launches support guide ahead of divisive plebiscite

May 6, 2016

Rainbow Families this week launched a Plebiscite Guide, designed to protect the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ parented families during the debate and campaign for marriage equality.

The guide has useful and practical information for same-sex and gender diverse parented families, who Rainbow Families says will be targeted during a highly divisive debate for marriage equality.

“We know from campaigns such as in Ireland that families are at the forefront of the debate.  LGBTIQ parented families, and in particular the children, will be vulnerable to the harmful and hostile attacks of the ‘no’ campaign,” said Justine Maguire-Scarvelli, Co-chair of Rainbow Families.  “The fact that there have already been calls for anti-discrimination laws to be suspended during the campaign tells us just how ugly the debate is likely to become.”

Rainbow Families is opposed to a plebiscite, calling on the Federal Government to listen to the 70% of Australians who are in favour of marriage equality by resolving the issue in parliament.

“Our families and our relationships should not be subject to a popular vote following a divisive and damaging campaign,” said Ms Maguire-Scarvelli.  ”We’re still hopeful the Government will see reason, but given $160 million has been allocated to the plebiscite in this week’s federal budget, we are also realistic. We are ready to support the wellbeing of our community.”

The Plebiscite Guide is fully funded by Rainbow Families, and is the start of its marriage equality resiliency campaign, designed to minimise the harm a national debate will cause LGBTIQ parented families.  Further initiatives will be launched in the lead up to the plebiscite, to inform, educate and support rainbow families.

The Guide, launched at the Rainbow Families event for International Family Equality Day, includes a clear explanation of the plebiscite, tips for taking care of yourself and your family, and useful contacts for anyone needing extra support.  Printed copies have been distributed at the event and throughout Rainbow Families’ network throughout NSW.

The digital version of the Guide can be downloaded here.