Exemptions and faith based services

I hear from a lot of people who want information for religious organisations that believe they are exempt from laws protecting LGBTI people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. There are no such exemptions – since changes to the Sex Discrimination Act, see summary below and link here: sexdiscrimnationactamendment

“From August 2013 it became unlawful under federal law to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. The changes also mean that same-sex couples are now also protected from discrimination under the new definition of ‘marital or relationship status’ (this was previously ‘marital status’). …The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013 (Cth) (SDA Amendment Act) inserts the new grounds into the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SDA). Most states and territories have some form of protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the SDA Amendment Act introduces more inclusive definitions and addresses gaps such as a lack of coverage for acts or practices of the federal government. It also qualifies the exemptions for religious organisations to the effect that it does not apply to conduct connected with the provision of Commonwealth-funded aged care services. It also includes the new ground of intersex status which is not covered by any other law.”

Baroness of Balaclava

Catherine: Today Alice’s Garage and Switchboard Victoria launched a beautiful film paying tribute to Richard James. Richard was a wonderful gay man who created The Baroness of Balaclava to challenge the invisibility of older gay men. The Baroness marched in Mardis Gras chanting “We’re gay, we’re grey and we wont go away.” The film was made for Senior’s Festival (funded by Victorian Senior’s Festival and City of Port Phillip) which celebrates the contributions of seniors. We have come such a long way in terms of recognising LGBTI elders historical experiences and service needs – this film now reminds us that LGBTI elders make significant contributions that need to be celebrated. Richard was famous for adding oompfh to Senior’s Festival – with the launch of this film today for Seniors Festival he continues to do so. Thanks to Chris Franklin from Franklin Image for the beautiful film.

LGBTI Dance Club

LGBTI Dance Club 

LGBTI elders and their allies are invited to a week of stylish movement classes with All The Queens Men. No dance experience needed as we will teach you all the moves. At this daily dance club, held at Melbourne’s Substation, you can learn a different dance style from line dancing to a partnered waltz. These classes will culminate with a final social gathering at the end of the week in which all are invited to come together, share afternoon tea and chats, dance and celebrate LGBTI older people.

You can attend one dance class or come along for the whole week. Afternoon tea will be provided. For more information, visit seniorsonline.vic.gov.au

When Dance classes: Monday 24 October – Friday 28 October 2016 Each day 4pm – 5pm

Where The Substation, 1 Market Street Newport VIC (2 minutes walk from Newport Train Station) 

Free event, bookings required

Bookings Tristan Meecham – tristan@allthequeensmen.net
0421 572 221

LGBTI elder abuse

Jill: The submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on older LGBTI people’s experiences of elder abuse written by Dr Catherine Barrett, is confronting but essential reading. For those working within aged care, for those who know or care for older LGBTI folk, it is even more essential reading. Catherine has asked me to circulate the submission in order to use the information to lobby for more recognition of the abuse of LGBTI elders within our communities.

We need to be mindful of the experiences that some LGBTI people have to endure in life, and hopefully do something about trying to lessen their burden. That each of us has the power to support and bring some sense of care and justice for victims of abuse when it has happens is obvious – be it listening to their stories, giving a kind smile, or something more. It is my hope that our awareness of all forms of abuse means we can start to think of preventative measures we might initiate or contribute to in order to reduce the incidence of abuse in our LGBTI communities and for people in the community in general. You can read the Submission here: LGBTIsubmissionAlicesGarage

First IFA-LGBTI Symposium

Jill: From 21 to 23 June 2016, the International Federation on Ageing [IFA] held their Conference in Brisbane. For the first time ever we presented an LGBTI Symposium. It was successful to the extent that LGBTI communities are now officially on the agenda for the next IFA Conference in Canada in 2018. On the Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Catherine Barrett, Brian Day O.A.M., Pauline Crameri (Val’s Cafe) and I presented papers at the Symposium. We addressed the Federal Government’s National Strategy for LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care. Dr. Barrett addressed the Strategy and its development. Brian and I then shared our personal histories of then and now about our lives – to help explain why LGBTI communities have been given a “special needs” status under the legislation. Pauline then spoke about the implementation of the strategy. Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE in the USA chaired the Symposium. On Thursday morning Mark Hughes, Samantha Edmonds, Angela Littleford, and JR Latham presented papers on various aspects of life impacting on our communities, while Michael Adams presented an overview of LGBT older adults in the USA. After our presentations on Wednesday, we celebrated Brian’s 76th birthday that very day, and his award in the Queens’s Birthday Honours list [far better that a Queen get the award then rather than on Australia Day] of an Order of Australia Medal. We had two rainbow birthday cakes that set the tone for helping to celebrate Brian’s award and birthday.

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GRAI in Perth

Catherine: I’m currently in Perth for a workshop with GRAI, an amazing organisation established in 2005 to advocate for LGBTI Elders (for more information click here). Today I met with some gorgeous men from Prime Timers, an organisation providing social activities for mature gay and bisexual men (for more information click here). Also did a radio interview today on RTR with Paul Van Leishaut-Hunt (pictured here with June Lowe, chair of GRAI). I feel a strong sense of community in Perth – and feel this means there are good connections for LGBTI Elders. I am hopeful some of the wonderful Elders I met here will become bloggers.IMG_4521.JPG

Just do it !!

G’day. I’m Jill from Queensland and I’m here to help. Not many folk like doing paperwork concerning death or failing cognitive abilities through illness or accident; many leave it too late. This is also important for older LGBTI people. Some folk are even superstitious with regard to talking of death and dying, or serious illness. But it is vital for everyone over 18 years of age to complete a will, a power of attorney (either enduring or, at least a general power), and an advance health directive. Each document can be changed when your individual circumstances change; nothing is set in concrete – unless you lose capacity, i.e. your cognitive ability fails you. In fact, the documents should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the content is current and relevant to you plus that it contains your wishes.

Remember that with superannuation, most people will have something to cover in a will so that the person / people they want to get their assets and money actually get it. If there was an accident with a third party insurance claim, or there is a major health problem, then it becomes even more essential.

Explanations for the forms and the process are on the government sites on the internet. Read up on each of them. Relating to the Queensland situation you can download the Advance Health Directive, complete it with your medical practitioner and then get it witnessed. Download the Enduring (or General) Power of Attorney read it carefully, complete it or get some legal help, then have it signed and witnessed. The Public Trust Office can assist with making wills, as can your legal representative.

Having your paperwork completed is worth it to save your loved ones and/or friends the heartache of not knowing what to do should anything happen to you. If you don’t have the conversations, the completed documents will hopefully ensure your wishes are carried out. This is a picture of me on the left.TeaCosy-21