ALHR slams Family First's stance on LGBTI medical services
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights has condemned Family First’s attempt to permit the denial of medical services to LGBTI South Australians.
Earlier this month the South Australian Parliament enacted four new laws that aim to address the rights of the state’s LGBTI community.
These include measures to recognise same-sex relationships and improve access to birth certificates for intersex and transgender people, as well as measures to allow LGBTI people to access assisted reproductive treatment procedures and LGBTI individuals and couples to adopt.
While ALHR applauded the changes, Family First member Dennis Hood issued an amendment to the state government, attempting to permit the refusal of medical services to LGBTI couples and individuals seeking reproductive treatment if a doctor “conscientiously objects”.
According to ALHR, this amendment came simultaneously with a move from Greens MLC Tammy Franks to require a public registry listing any services that refuse treatment.
“Healthcare, and in particular publicly funded healthcare, should be administered with objectivity, free from personal bias,” ALHR’s LGBTI subcommittee co-chair Kathryn Cramp said.
“Australia should not allow the denial of services to the LGBTI community and single parents based on their identity.
“No Australian should be denied equal access to lawful medical treatment on the basis of a ‘conscientious objection’, which effectively seeks to undermine anti-discrimination law.”
If passed through the House of Assembly, this bill would purport to allow discrimination under state law, although considered unlawful under the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984, Ms Cramp added.
She said ALHR calls on the South Australian Parliament to reject this amendment in its entirety.