Anti Discrimination Laws

The Australian Senate has referred the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013 for inquiry and report. The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is inquirying into extending the protection from discrimination to the new grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. The bill also seeks to provide discrimination protection for same-sex de facto couples. 

Action: Saltshakers asks people to make a submission to the inquiry. The submission period closes 26 April 2013. The committee will make its report on 17 June 2013. For info on how to make a submission and on the inquiry visit here. 

POSTED 27 Mar 2013
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DLP Moves to Remove Abortion Medicare Funding

The Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan has introduced a motion in the Senate in late February to ban funding of abortions “procured on the basis of gender selection” – a practice widely occurring overseas and “likely to be happening here”.

The Health Insurance Amendment (Medicare Funding for Certain Types of Abortion) Bill 2013 will likely be introduced into parliament this month.

The Australian Christian Lobby has urged the parties to allow the bill to be debated.

See story published in the Sydney Morning Herald “Senator pushes to remove funding for abortions” by Lenore Taylor, Feb 27.

POSTED 8 Mar 2013
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Christian Aged Care providers target of new Anti Discrimination Bill

The exposure draft of a national Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill was released Nov 20, 2012 and follows on from public consultation into a discussion paper on the anti discrimination bill.

According to a press release from Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Penny Wong, the bill includes religious exemptions as under the current scheme, except in relation to aged care whereby Commonwealth funded aged care providers will no longer be permitted to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. “This change is consistent with the introduction of protection against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination and in recognition that aged care services become a person’s home,” the press release states.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the release of the exposure draft of a national Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill. Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs  said in a press release that she particularly welcomed the inclusion of protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon said the project fullfilled a Labor election committment to introduce “sexual orientation and gender identity as protected grounds of discrimination, heralding a significant and overdue reform in this area”

For AHRC press release click here.

For Penny Wong and Nicola Roxon press release click here.

The Bill is now the subject of a Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry allowing community feedback before it is introduced into Parliament,

To read the Bill, to read earlier submissions on a discussion paper and for ways to let your views known  click here. 

For further information about this project, please contact the department or 02 6141 3424.

The Association for Reformed Political Action, FamilyVoice and other groups had written submissions on a discussion paper that came prior to the bill being formulated.

For more details about the Bill, the dangers of it and ways that you can get involved visit the Saltshakers webpage on it here. Submissions are due 21 December 2012.

POSTED 6 Dec 2012
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Anti-Discrimination Laws

Attorney General Robert McClelland and Minister for Finance and Deregulation Penny Wong launched a public discussion paper on Sept 22, 2011 to seek community views on the consolidation of Federal antidiscrimination laws. Senator Wong said: “As part of this project, the Government is also delivering on its commitment to introduce prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The Australian Sex Party is drafting a submission and has Christians in its sights. It is calling for people to come to them with stories of religious groups that have discriminated against them based on their sexuality and is asking people to comment on whether they think religions should be allowed to discriminate. They want to include these stories in their submission.

 For discussion paper:

Submissions should be sent to the Attorney-General’s Department via email: (preferred method), fax: 02 6141 4925 or mailed to:

Assistant Secretary
International Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Branch
Attorney-General’s Department
Robert Garran Offices
3-5 National Circuit

The submissions will inform the development of exposure draft legislation, which will be released for further public consultation in early 2012. Submissions on the discussion paper can be made until 1 February 2012.

POSTED 23 Dec 2011
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Gender Neutral Sweden

A pre-school in Sweden has banned gender terms. Instead of referring to children as ‘him’ or ‘her’ or boys and girls the staff addresses them as ‘friends’. The colour of toys and books have been carefully chosen so that the children don’t fall into gender stereotypes. For story:

POSTED 2 Jul 2011
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