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Home > News > 2020 > May > Time to unite against discrimination: IDAHOBIT 2020

Time to unite against discrimination: IDAHOBIT 2020

Topics : Equity

Proud_to_be_Union_-_IDAHOBIT.pngThe International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) will be held on 17 May.

It is a day to stand in solidarity with the LGBTIQ+ community and to acknowledge the challenges and discrimination they face.

In Australia, LGBTIQ+ people are far more likely to experience depression with 24.4% affected, compared to 6.8% of people in the general community.

LGBTIQ+ young people are particularly likely to face adversity, with 75% experiencing some form of discrimination, 61% experiencing verbal abuse and 19% experiencing physical bullying.

Fostering inclusion in schools is critical to protecting LGBTIQ+ staff and students from discrimination and mental health pressures.

IEUA-QNT Organiser and Equity Committee member Caryl Rosser said it was important to use our collective voice to support vulnerable members of our community from adversity.

“LGBTIQ+ people who are facing adversity often feel isolated, fearful of speaking out and perceive that there is limited support available to them,” Caryl said.

“It’s critical that as a union and as a movement committed to the principles of social justice, we do all that we can to protect LGBTIQ+ members from harm.”

Show your support for IDAHOBIT

Our union has produced a special rainbow solidarity display frame on Facebook and printable poster to celebrate IDAHOBIT.


Discrimination more likely to impact LGBTIQ staff

Under the federal Sex Discrimination Act, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexuality or relationship status. Protections also exist under the Queensland Anti-discrimination Act and Northern Territory Anti-discrimination Act

However, exemptions do exist for particular entities, including faith-based schools, to discriminate against employees in certain circumstances.

Our union believes that schools do not need these exemptions to operate effectively and that staff should not be discriminated against on the basis of their personal lives.

We have stated this position across multiple submissions to the ongoing federal review of religious discrimination law.

For individual members concerned about discrimination at work, our union’s industrial team is available to provide confidential advice and support, in alignment with our union’s belief that LGBTIQ+ members are entitled to safe workplaces, free from discrimination.

To get in touch with our union’s industrial team, phone 1800 177 938 or email industrial@qieu.asn.au   

The importance of visibility

LGBTIQ+ members have reported the significance of visibility and inclusion in the workplace.

One member stated, “If you look around your workplace and see no rainbows, no safe space signs on offices, classrooms or email signature blocks, no staff members with rainbow lanyards or pins, or no other identifiably out staff members, there is every chance that staff and students will be feeling that they may not be welcome to be as unguarded as their heterosexual peers. 

“Union solidarity is about making work safe, fair, and rewarding - for all of us.”

Our union encourages members to support their LGBTIQ+ colleagues by acknowledging IDAHOBIT and promoting the values of inclusion at work.

History of IDAHOBIT

17 May marks a significant historical event. On that date in 1990 the World Health Organization approved a new classification of diseases and related health problems, which no longer listed homosexuality as a diagnosis. 

Since 2004, 17 March has been recognised as IDAHOBIT, a day to champion inclusion and build a better world for the LGBTIQ+ community.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.