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We asked what matters – here’s how you responded to the 2021 Rainbow Families Survey

We asked what matters – here’s how you responded to the 2021 Rainbow Families Survey

Late last year as part of their company-wide Impact Day, Deloitte carried out some research with Rainbow Families to better understand our members and supporters. We are very grateful to the hundreds of LGBTQ+ parents who took the time to participate!

The research gave us some valuable insights into the wide diversity of family types that look to Rainbow Families for support. It confirmed our awareness that there is no “one size fits all” type of family. There are blended families, families just starting on the journey of parenthood, multi-generational families and sole parent families. Families with lesbian mums, gay dads, bi-parents and trans and gender diverse parents.

One thing that came across very strongly is the way the needs of our children changes as they navigate the milestones of growing up. Many commented that while playgroups and other community networks provided wonderful reinforcement for Rainbow Family children, entering primary school can then mean having to confront a range of challenges.

An important thing for kids in primary school according to many participants is children having confidence and pride in their family. This is helped by having connections with families “just like them”.

The teenaged years also bring new challenges as many teenagers do not want to “stick out” as different. Resources and support for teenagers are something many families are looking to access.

Many participants also highlighted the difficulties of living in regional and rural areas, where there may not be the kind of LGBTQ+ community that exists in places like Sydney.

Overall, the survey highlighted that “community”, “Inclusion” and “support” during every stage of the journey in becoming a Rainbow Family is what really matters. These are definitely front and centre of our thinking ahead for 2021 as we finalise the events, resources and other activities we’re planning.

 

 


One Nation NSW Religion Bill - What You Can Do

One Nation has introduced a bill in the NSW Parliament which contains a number of alarming provisions which could have a range of really negative impacts for our families.

In NSW, our families already can face discrimination in faith-based education and community settings.

The Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020 would expand these significantly.

  • The Bill would give protection to religious activities that vilify our families;
  • Faith-based foster-care organisations could challenge NSW Government policies that require them not to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ foster carers;
  • Faith-based organisations will be able to discriminate on the grounds of religion in employment, education and service delivery, even when receiving public funding;
  • it will be almost impossible for government and non-government employers, educators and professional and licencing bodies to foster inclusive cultures, or meet shareholder, customer or community expectations, when their employees or members use their religion privately to hurt others
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Advocacy Update

Recently, the Rainbow Families Advocacy team had a meeting with the Office of the Prime Minister in relation to our Love (Still) Makes a Family report.

This was an exciting development for us, and a great chance for us to ensure that the issues impacting our families are being seen at the highest levels of government.

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Religious discrimination bills update

Towards the end of last year, the Government released a second draft of the religious discrimination bills. For our families, these Bills are even worse than the first drafts.

While Rainbow Families strongly supports people being protected from discrimination on the basis of their religion (or no religion), these Bills would allow people and organisations to discriminate against our families by allowing discriminatory behaviour, and refusing services and accommodation. The drafts also over-ride existing anti-discrimination protections.

Along with Rainbow Families Victoria and Rainbow Families Queensland, we made a second submission to the Government about our concerns. Check it out here.

But as a community, we still need to let our elected representatives know about how these Bills will affect our families and ask them not to support the proposed legislation.

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Religious Discrimination Submission

We have been working with Rainbow Families Queensland and Rainbow Families Victoria on a joint submission into the Religious Discrimination Bill. 

We do not support the Bills in their current form

The 2nd exposure draft has not only failed to adequately address the many community concerns raised about the first exposure draft but now contains even more troubling elements that will encourage and licence others to discriminate against our families.

Because of our community’s diversity there are endless possibilities of where discriminatory comments could impact our access to health care, education, good or services in our day to day lives.

  • Our children who should not, and should never be, discriminated against because of who they are, how they were created or what kind of family they come from, a family with sole parents, divorced parents and from a rainbow family where one or more parents or carers is LGBTIQ+.
  • Any health service of any description receiving government funding should not be allowed to discriminate based on a person’s sexuality, gender diversity, family structure or relationship status.
  • Any educational institution of any description receiving government funding should not be allowed to discriminate based on a person’s sexuality, gender diversity, family structure or relationship status.
  • As lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, queer, transgender or gender diverse, non-binary community members and/or as intersex people, we should not be discriminated against based on our sex, gender identity, sexuality, relationship status including polyamorous relationships, or marital status.

 

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Australia's Family Law System

Rainbow Families has made a submission to the Federal Parliament's Joint Select Committee on Australia's Family Law System. In preparing our response, we surveyed members of our community about their experiences and views on issues as raised in the terms of reference affecting our community:

  • The financial costs to families of family law proceedings
  • The impact of family law proceedings on the health safety and wellbeing of children and families
  • Avenues to improve the performance and monitoring of professionals involved in family law proceedings

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Family Law System Submission

Rainbow Families has been invited to contribute to the Federal Parliament's Joint Select Committee on Australia's Family Law System. You might recall that there was a comprehensive Australian Law Reform Commission review of the Family Law system in 2018 which resulted in detailed recommendations. The Federal Government has not responded to those recommendations, instead agreeing to Pauline Hanson's demand for a further review of the family law system. You may have heard media about Senator Hanson's personal views about the roles of men and women in family law proceedings. In particular she has sought to minimise the impact of domestic and family violence.
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50+ LGBTIQ organisations and Allies support affirming Religious Discrimination Bill

More than 50 LGBTIQ+ and ally organisations including Rainbow Families have released a joint statement in support of an affirming Religious Discrimination Act.

Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, has called on the Government to follow through on their federal election promises and ensure that the as-yet-unseen Religious Discrimination Bill does not take Australia backwards on equality.

“We support protections from discrimination for people of all faiths, and for people who don’t hold religious beliefs, provided these laws do not sanction new forms of discrimination against others”, said Ms Brown.

“Conservative religious groups, like the Australian Christian Lobby, are trying to use this protection from discrimination as payback for marriage equality. But we cannot let their cynical politics divide us when we are seeing the rise of vilification and hate crimes against others, such as Muslim or Jewish Australians.

“Our anti-discrimination laws should be a shield against discrimination, not a sword to attack others. We call on the Parliament to ensure that protections against religious discrimination cannot be used to harm others or undermine existing anti-discrimination protections.

“Australians consistently show that we value equality. We saw it in the overwhelming majority who voted YES for marriage equality, including people of faith”, concluded Ms Brown.


 

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Every child deserves a legal parent

Rainbow Families is leading the charge with Dowson Turco Lawyers, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and Surrogacy Australia to campaign for law reform in relation to surrogacy laws and the status of parents whose children are born overseas.

Watch this space and look out for updates on our social media as we begin what will be a complex campaign for change to this important area of law in our community.