Wednesday, 10 June 2015

National report recommends urgent law reform on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex rights

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Australia continue to face unjust state-sanctioned discrimination, unacceptable levels of violence, harassment and bullying and a lack of visibility of the issues that directly affect them in accessing essential services, according to a new report released today by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Resilient Individuals: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Rights National Consultation Report was officially launched today by Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis.

The report recommends urgent law reform at all levels of government, and outlines new initiatives of the Australian Human Rights Commission on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex rights.

The report followed an extensive consultation across Australia looking at the issues faced by Australians based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

In the survey of more than 1500 people, almost 75 per cent of reported experiencing some type of bullying, harassment or violence on the bases of their gender identity or sexual orientation; and almost 90 per cent reported knowing someone who had experienced bullying, harassment or violence.

The report makes a number of recommendations for law reform at the state and territory level, notably addressing the inconsistency in State-based anti-discrimination laws. At a federal level it recommends amendment of the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to equally recognise the partnership of two adult persons regardless of gender; and for alternative options to be identified to enable children under the age of 18 to access hormone treatment, rather than requiring a Family Court Order.

For more information or to read the report visit the Australian Human Rights Commission's website.

You can watch the live launch on YouTube.