drummond street services and Stepfamilies Australia position on Marriage Equality
drummond street services – based on its long-held values and mission of inclusiveness and social justices recognises the right of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex employees, volunteers, clients and families, children and communities to live, work, love and be who they are; free of prejudice and discrimination.
We also know through our relationship and mental health work – how important and protective a loving relationship and home environment is for individuals and children’s mental health. This is irrespective of their gender, sexual or cultural identity.
We also recognise that enshrining human rights in law and addressing discrimination and prejudice are essential to promoting positive mental health.
This includes the right to marry the partner of their choice.
Through our mental health and family, children and community support work, we too often see the negative impacts that bullying, racism, homophobia and transphobia and exclusion has on children, young people and adults wellbeing. Our own research and broader evidence confirms the corrosive, damaging and dangerous consequences for people on their sense of self, their safety and their ability to participate and contribute fully and sometime on their willingness to live.
drummond street services takes seriously its role as a community resource, support and advocate and its positive contribution to the mental health and wellbeing of people and as well to broader community discourse.
- Our service delivery role – Our commitment to social justice and our support to those who are the most disadvantaged and marginalised or at times in their lives when they are vulnerable.
- Our community role – Supporting the expression of the collective interests, strengths and resources within communities and to address issues of concerns, needs and aspirations.
- Our political role – As an advocate and representative of those often not always visible in public policy and service design and to ensure public policy and programs are citizenfocused and as an active and positive contributor to social policy discourse.
It is in this context we are deeply concerned about the mental health impacts on the LGBTIQ communities and their families, their children and allies as part of the marriage equality and safe schools debate. It is important to emphasise and reiterate that many in the LGBTIQ community experience some of the highest rates of mental ill health, self-harm and suicide, high levels of family and community violence, homelessness, disrupted schooling, poor employment and welfare dependency.
It is not only a matter of good and just public policy that preventative efforts start with all of us and the treatment of one another but also to invest in support to ensure people – no matter their age, income, origin, faith, culture, orientation, gender or sexual identities – have the opportunity to contribute and live and love their lives and those of their significant others and their families without shame, discrimination and judgement.
Chief Executive Officer