Clover and Di fix the law

Gay & lesbian

I have worked with GLBTQ communities for over 25 years to promote equality and to challenge the inaction of the major parties. I respond to community concerns and work with other progressive MPs to achieve reform.

In response to a request from Australian Marriage Equality in 2010, I will attempt state-based same-sex marriage legislation. The legal position on state marriage legislation is not clear and I am seeking expert legal advice on what is possible.

My 1997 Significant Personal Relationships Bill was blocked in NSW, but became the model for Tasmanian and Victorian laws. My first try at same sex adoption reform in 2000 gained no support in Parliament, but I persisted and last year gained majority support through a conscience vote.

I was the first Councillor publicly supporting the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in the 1980s and the first Member of the Legislative Assembly to march in the Parade in 1992. As MP, I introduced successful legislation to prohibit homosexual vilification and prepared legislation to outlaw transgender discrimination that was later picked up by the Government.

The City of Sydney provides leadership on GLBTQ issues by supporting community organisations and safety programs, particularly via our grants and GLBT project coordinator.

In 2010, the City established a new tradition of raising the Rainbow Flag at Town Hall to mark the beginning of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. The City sponsors and promotes Mardi Gras and my questions in Parliament helped secure $400,000 annual state funding for the festival, which injects $45 million into the NSW economy each year.

Following my advocacy about poor Surry Hills Police response to gay hate crimes, a new Commander was appointed who rebuilt relationships, trained officers and improved the recording of sexuality-based hate crime. The City works with police and the community to tackle street safety and reduce violence and homophobic behaviour.

I want to keep Oxford Street safe, prosperous and gay-friendly. The City of Sydney worked with local business and art institutions to develop the Oxford Street Cultural Quarter, established a rotating public art program for Taylor Square, and formed a business precincts team to liaise with local business and implement recommendations from our Darlinghurst business precinct study.

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Every year since 2007 I've hosted the Under 16s at Town Hall on Anzac Day. The Under 16s were a group of young soldiers who were only 14 or 15 at the time of the war and who lied about their age so that they could protect our country. The courage and sacrifice of all of those who serve is remarkable, but these men, who were boys when they enlisted, is truly extraordinary. I always find sharing Anzac Day with them a moving experience.

Sydney is a fast-paced city, but safety should always be our first priority. It’s not worth risking your life or someone else’s to get to your destination a few seconds faster. This week the City launched a new road safety campaign to highlight the number of accidents occurring in the city’s most dangerous areas -- the more we’re all aware of our most dangerous traffic areas, the more we can be mindful and exercise caution. Head to for more information.