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[News] [Australia] Australian Government moves to ban LGBT discrimination under federal law

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  • Stephanie Stevens
    Gay Star News, UK Australian Government moves to ban LGBT discrimination under federal law Australia is moving to ban discrimination against LGBT people and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2013
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      Gay Star News, UK


      Australian Government moves to ban LGBT discrimination under federal law

      Australia is moving to ban discrimination against LGBT people and
      intersex people under national law in line with laws already passed by
      the states and religious aged care providers will not be exempt if
      they accept tax payer dollars

      31 May 2013 | By Andrew Potts


      [Photo: Mark Dreyfus]

      The Australian House of Representatives yesterday passed legislation
      that will make discrimination against LGBTs illegal under federal law.

      The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity
      and Intersex Status) Bill will make it unlawful to discriminate
      against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender
      identity or intersex status under national laws in line with laws
      already passed by Australia’s states.

      ‘These new protections are long overdue and I’m delighted we are
      bringing them one step closer,’ Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said.

      ‘The absence of these protections at the Federal level means that many
      members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
      community have been victims of discrimination when accessing
      accommodation, healthcare, and everyday consumer services.

      The Australian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Social Policy and
      Legal Affairs has tabled its report and urged passage of the Bill this
      parliamentary term.

      Dreyfus also announced that the Australian Government will seek to
      move amendments to the Bill in the Senate to insert a qualification on
      the exemption for religious organizations for the provision of
      government funded aged care services.

      This amendment would reflect the views of the Senate Legal and
      Constitutional Affairs Committee, which found ‘it is fundamentally
      important that all older Australians maintain the right to access aged
      care services on an equal basis.’

      The Committee noted that ‘in some areas of Australia there is very
      limited choice of aged care service providers, and hence does not
      agree with the argument that individuals will always be able to choose
      a non-religious service provider should they so wish.'

      Minister for Aging Mark Butler said the proposed amendments would
      ensure older couples and individuals would no longer need to worry
      about experiencing discrimination when accessing aged care services.

      ‘While most aged care service providers are accepting of residents
      regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status,
      we think there should be legal protection that ensures such
      discrimination cannot occur,’ Butler said.

      ‘When such services are provided with tax payer dollars, it is not
      appropriate for providers to discriminate in the provision of those
      services.’

      The legislation will also protect same-sex de-facto couples from
      discrimination by extending the definition of marital status in the
      Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to include relationship status.

      The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity
      and Intersex Status) Bill is intended to protect LGBT and intersex
      people while the government works to prepare its umbrella Human Rights
      and Anti-Discrimination Bill to enshrine all human rights in Australia
      in a single piece of legislation.

      However it is unknown whether the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination
      Bill will be ready before Australians go to the polls in September in
      an election that the current Labor government is expected to lose.


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      http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/australian-government-moves-ban-lgbt-discrimination-under-federal-law310513
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