One of the major topics of this blog is anti-discrimination law, and specifically how well, or how poorly, Australia’s commonwealth, state and territory anti-discrimination laws protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people from discrimination.
A key barrier to comprehensive and effective anti-discrimination laws are the exceptions which are granted to religious organisations allowing them to discriminate against LGBTI people in circumstances where it would otherwise be unlawful.
My main post on this issue discusses how the battle to remove religious exceptions will likely long outrun the battle for marriage equality – and it is one that we must be prepared to fight:
Another key post on the issue of religious exceptions and anti-discrimination law focuses on the ability of religious schools to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and teachers in classrooms around the country:
And the third main post was written in response to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s claim that ‘homophobia is not legally acceptable in Australia’ – obviously, he was wrong, in at least two key ways:
Given the large number of posts I have written on the subject of anti-discrimination law and related issues, I have also created two pages about specific topics in this area:
The remainder of this page groups my posts on LGBTI anti-discrimination issues according to the relevant jurisdiction and, where relevant, about specific bodies or consultation processes.
Australian Human Rights Commission
Given the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has Commonwealth responsibility for implementing anti-discrimination protections, it makes sense that I post regularly about their work. Posts relating to the AHRC include:
- Response from Gillian Triggs re Responsibility for LGBTI issues at the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Australian Law Reform Commission
The ALRC was asked by Attorney-General Senator George Brandis to undertake an inquiry into ‘Traditional Rights & Freedoms’. Here are my two submissions:
This post analyses the protections offered by the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, including its protected attributes, religious exceptions and anti-vilification coverage (or lack thereof):
And this was my letter to candidates contesting the electorate of Sydney, and parties vying for the NSW Senate, in the lead-up to the 2016 Federal Election:
Most of my previous posts regarding Commonwealth law were written in the lead-up to, and immediate aftermath of, the passage of the historic Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013:
- Highs & Lows of 2013: No 2. Australia Finally Adopts Federal Anti-Discrimination Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People.
NSW was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce anti-discrimination laws covering homosexuality in 1982. However, in the 34 years since then these laws have gone from ‘first to worst’ – they do not cover bisexuality or intersex status, the religious exceptions are incredibly broad, and its vilification provisions require urgent reform:
- Submission on Alex Greenwich’s Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Private Educational Authorities) Bill 2013
- Letter to Bruce Notley-Smith re Baird Liberal-National Government Commitments on NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
Despite it’s reputation as a more progressive jurisdiction, Victoria also has one of the worst LGBTI anti-discrimination frameworks in Australia, with expansive religious exceptions and no anti-vilification coverage:
Australian Capital Territory
Finally, as part of my focus on anti-discrimination laws generally, and the need to remove religious exception specifically, I am the admin of the No Homophobia, No Exceptions Facebook page.
I also tweet regularly on these issues, using the #NoHomophobiaNoExceptions hashtag on my personal twitter account @alawriedejesus