The Attorney-General has announced that new federal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status will commence today, 1 August 2013.
“From today, the Commission will be able to accept, investigate and resolve complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status alongside existing grounds of race, disability, age and sex,” said Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs. “We will be able to accept complaints on these new grounds, which also extend coverage to same-sex couples, for discrimination that occurred on or after 1 August 2013.”
The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013, which implements these changes in the Sex Discrimination Act, received royal assent in June 2013.
“Most states and territories have some form of protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Professor Triggs said. “The significance of these federal amendments is that they introduce more inclusive definitions and address gaps - such as where acts or practices of the federal Government have not been covered in the past – and add the new ground of intersex status.”
Professor Triggs said the Commission is now looking forward to engaging with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals and organisations, as well as the government and business sectors, to provide guidance on the rights and obligations provided by these new amendments.
The Commission has information on the changes on its website: www.humanrights.gov.au/new-protection