A report into discrimination faced by LGBTIQ+ parented families when accessing Australian Government services.

Rainbow Families has launched a report into discrimination faced by LGBTIQ+ parented families when accessing Australian Government Services.

This report is a follow-up to the 2017 Rainbow Families NSW report Love makes a family: A report into discrimination faced by LGBTIQ+-parented families when accessing state government services.

Families still face exclusion and discrimination in the most basic day-to-day interactions with the government – from forms that don’t reflect the makeup of our families to schools that can exclude our children because of who their parents are or have the right to fire us because of who we love and who we are.

Two things are clear from this report: the power of language to make LGBTIQ+ parented families feel included or excluded. Family diversity and inclusivity training would go a long way to remove barriers for our community.

In 2017, our community campaigned for marriage equality. While that battle was won, this report reveals that there is still a long way to go before members of our community experience full equality when accessing government services.

Accessing government services as a rainbow family is often difficult. Our families are more vulnerable. It’s not simply the forms, which are often wrong and need amending but dealing with government employees who need to interpret law and policy. There needs to be an overhaul of all paperwork and online forms to use neutral terms. Staff need to be trained to use inclusive words and not make assumptions. For example, they use the time ‘partner’ until the customer discloses otherwise.

Cathy Brown, a member of Rainbow Families, said: “The first Love Makes A Family report explored the experiences of our families accessing NSW Government services.

Since its launch, Rainbow Families NSW has made significant progress on several of the issues raised in that report. The original information provided an evidence-based framework for our advocacy, and we wanted to replicate that at a Federal level.

While the report shows that our families still experience exclusion at every Government level, it also indicates that things have improved for LGBTIQ families. This report is a call to action.