The Human Rights Commission has applauded parliament’s raising of the bi, intersex, rainbow and transgender flags to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), but has reiterated the need for progress to continue.
This year’s theme for IDAHOBIT, which is marked each year on Thursday, 17 May, is Alliance for Solidarity.
Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue, who holds the SOGISC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Sexual Characteristics) portfolio, says the move to raise all four flags will be welcomed by many.
“The raising of these flags indicates that there is commitment from our leaders to advance the issues faced by the Rainbow community, and that they stand in solidarity with them. It is that enthusiasm and commitment that we must continue to build on,” Dr Blue says.
Earlier this year, the Commission engaged with New Zealand’s Rainbow community on the human rights issues affecting them. Issues raised included discrimination in healthcare and education, violence and abuse and a lack of autonomy.
The Commission announced this morning that it will facilitate twice-yearly consultation between the Rainbow community and the Parliamentary cross-party network.
“These hui will alternate between Auckland and Wellington every six months, providing a space for the community's voices to be heard by Rainbow leaders in Parliament.
“We hope that by continuing this regular dialogue, issues facing the community can be raised and addressed more effectively with the leaders who have the power to generate change.
“It is so important that this be done in consultation with the community, the Human Rights Commission, and other experts,” Dr Blue says.