Being LGBTI is not a lifestyle choice

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren MLC has dismissed Liberal MLA Peter Abetz’s criticism of a Commonwealth-funded anti-bullying program designed to protect young people who identify as LGBTI as hopelessly out of touch.

“Comments such as these can prolong and encourage bullying based on gender stereotypes,” Ms MacLaren said.

“Clearly, being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Intersex et cetera is not a lifestyle choice, or something that you ‘grow out of under the right influences’, but a fundamental aspect of personal identity.

“Young people are particularly vulnerable to attacks based on gender and sexuality; this is reflected in self-harm and suicide statistics.

“I hope the one thing that Mr Abetz’s comments achieve is more Western Australians speaking up against discrimination based on sexuality wherever they encounter it.”