If you’ve been following the national news lately you’ll be aware that next week there will be a High Court decision which will advise Australians about whether we will be heading to the (postal) polls to register our views about marriage equality.
If the postal survey goes ahead the question before all of us will be about whether we agree that all Australians should have the equal right to marry.
From an immigrant and refugee women’s health perspective, MCWH wholeheartedly supports equal rights on all matters for all women. That means of course, that we also support marriage equality in Australia. Besides the compelling question of equal rights in and of themselves, the links are manifestly clear between discrimination and poor mental health, and that holds for all forms of discrimination, whether on the basis of sex, race or sexuality.
Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, and the combination of all three, prevents immigrant and refugee women from accessing the health services they need freely and without fear of negative repercussions. Immigrant and refugee women from LGBTIQ communities should not have to worry about the homophobia they might encounter when they visit a health practitioner; they should access health care confident that their intimate partner will be recognised by the system.
As Audre Lorde has stated, no woman lives a single issue life. As a result, our politics must be multi-faceted.
We support our LGBTIQ sisters and we care about their equal rights. We want all immigrant and refugee women in Australia to enjoy the greatest possible health and wellbeing throughout their lives and to share those lives with whoever they choose.