Anthony Albanese wins Australian election, defeating anti-LGBTQ+ Scott Morrison
Labor’s Anthony Albanese has won Australia’s federal election, defeating anti-LGBTQ+ prime minister Scott Morrison.
Initial results from the 21 May election show that Labor will form the next government, although whether this is a majority or minority government rests on the 14 seats yet to be confirmed.
In a victory speech, Australia’s new incoming leader Anthony Albanese said: “The Australian people have voted for change. I am humbled by this victory, and I’m honoured to serve as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia.
“My Labor team will work every day to bring Australians together, and I will lead a government worthy of the people of Australia.”
“It says a lot about our great country that the son of a single mom who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown, can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” he added.
The election marks the end of almost a decade of conservative rule by the country’s Liberal party, with Morrison having been in power since 2017.
The outgoing prime minister, who voted against the legalisation of same-sex marriage, has launched attack after attack on Australia’s LGBTQ+ community during that time.
In November, 2021, Morrison introduced his Religious Discrimination Bill, which would allow the expulsion of LGBTQ+ students from religious schools under the guise of religious freedom.
Morrison has also backed calls to ban trans women from female sports, supported by vehemently anti-trans Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, who was also defeated in Saturday’s election.
Additionally, Morrison has also become known for his brutal immigration policies, backing legislation to allow indefinite, life-long detention of refugees in Australian centres, and for his indifference towards the climate crisis, specifically downplaying the impact of climate change on Australia’s devastating bushfires.
In contrast, Albanese, commonly known as Albo, campaigned on immediate action on climate change, improving free healthcare, and for the LGBTQ+ rights.
Anthony Albanese’s election is a victory, but there is more work to be done, advocates say
LGBTQ+ advocacy group Just.Equal said in a statement that Anthony Albanese’s election was cause for celebration, meaning that Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill was finally dead, and that anti-trans campaigns by conservative politicians had failed.
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Just.Equal spokesperson Sally Golder said: “The true winners in this election have been equality, inclusion and acceptance for LGBTIQA+ Australians.
“Like many Australians, we are relieved the discriminatory Religious Discrimination Bill is now off the table.
“We welcome the election of teal, Green, independent, Liberal and Labor candidates who opposed this Bill and who support greater equality and inclusion for LGBTIQA+ people.”
Golder’s fellow spokesperson, Rodney Croome, also said that the Labor party needed to go further in creating decisive policies to support LGBTQ+ rights.
“We look forward to Labor protecting LGBTIQA+ students from discrimination by faith-based schools, but it did not offer the same protections for teachers, which is something we will campaign for,” Croome said.
“We will also be pressing Labor to protect young people with variations of sex characteristics from unnecessary, non-consenting medical interventions, to provide more resources to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ people, to ensure Medicare covers the costs of gender affirmation, and to remove the current gay, bisexual and transgender blood bans.”