Victorian Parliamentarian Fiona Patten marched once again in this year’s Pride. Fiona and her party, The Australian Sex Party, have become regular faces of the march, attending the event proudly for the last 5 years.
Fiona Patten, who is Secretary of the LGBTI Parliamentary Friendship Group, has campaigned for the rainbow community on marriage equality and adoption equality over many years.
In her inaugural speech to the Victorian Parliament she said:
“I will stand together with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning community to rid our system of inequality,”.
“I will fight for better outcomes in the areas of mental and sexual health, and I believe we owe it to our children to take a different approach to sex education and relationship education in our schools. I will continue at every step I can to ensure that everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, gender, race, colour or religion, is able to live the life they choose to live without interference and in freedom.”
This year alone, her first year in Parliament, Fiona voted with the government to amend the adoption bill to explicitly allow adoption by Same-Sex Couples.
With Fiona’s vote the Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2015 did pass the upper house. However, in a disappointment that clearly shows how far Victoria still has to go, the Liberal Party pushed through an amendment allowing religious organisations to continue their discrimination against Same-Sex Couples.
“We’re suggesting that an organisation that is set up to help with the formation of new families should be entitled to deny a child the perfect home based on their religious views,” Fiona said.
“That’s not religious freedom, that’s just discrimination.”
In an effort to further progress rights for the rainbow community this year Fiona introduced a motion into Victorian Parliament calling on her parliamentary colleagues to publicly support marriage equality.
“Rallies supporting marriage equality are the most highly attended in Victoria. I am constantly being asked by constituents what the government is doing about marriage equality.” Fiona said in Parliament.
“I understand this matter can only be formalised by our federal colleagues, but I passionately urge everyone in this chamber to take a personal, public and professional stand in support of marriage equality.”