International Day Against Homophobia targets online abuse
Challenging internet-based, anonymous abuse of the LGBTIQ community is the focus of today's International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Tony Piccolo says this year's theme - Fight the Homophobia Web Virus - aims to raise awareness of the effects of online persecution of members of the LGBTIQ community.
Mr Piccolo said the anonymity of the internet has facilitated the spread of homophobia.
"Homophobia is generally defined as being hostile to or unreasonably fearful of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer," Mr Piccolo said.
"IDAHO encourages all of us to fight against social exclusion, prejudice and discrimination.
"The web, including social media, has unfortunately become an avenue for people to anonymously spread hateful and abusive homophobic comments.
"This type of prejudice has a detrimental effect on the lives of LGBTIQ people, especially their health and mental wellbeing.
"The 2013 theme highlights the impact cyber bullying and harassment has on the community and calls for it to be stopped."
Mr Piccolo said it is disturbing that LGBTIQ Australians are more likely to attempt or commit suicide than people in the general population.
"Young people are especially vulnerable to homophobic abuse," Mr Piccolo said.
"In 2010, 61% of young Australians reported verbal abuse, 18% physical abuse and 26% other forms of abuse as a result of homophobia.
"The South Australian Government values and celebrates diversity and recognises the importance of a safe and inclusive community. I encourage everyone to support IDAHO."
The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion is developing an LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy, with help from the Rainbow Advisory Council, to ensure Government policy is inclusive of LGBTIQ people.
For more information about IDAHO and how you can get involved visit www.homophobiaday.org.
LQBTIQ Inclusion Strategy forums:
Today is the last day to register your interest for a series of forums being run by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion as part of its consultation with the LGBTIQ community.
The forums will be held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at:
- Salisbury - Monday 20 May
- Port Lincoln - Wednesday 22 May
- Noarlunga - Monday 27 May
- Port Augusta - Wednesday 29 May
- Mount Gambier - Wednesday 5 June
- Berri - Tuesday 11 June
Over the next 12 months there will be further opportunities for people to comment and share their views on the LQBTIQ Inclusion Strategy.
To register for a forum, contact +61 8 8415 4348 by 17 May 2013. For further information visit www.sa.gov.au/lgbtiq