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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2982..


Legislation-discriminatory references

MS DUNDAS (4.44): Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Assembly calls on the ACT Government to compile a report on necessary steps to achieve equal status for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the ACT, to be provided to this Assembly before the end of November 2002. The report will include, but is not limited to:

(1) a full audit of ACT legislation detailing all instances of laws that discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people, including reference to:

(a) legislation that discriminates in language or effect, including directly, indirectly or by omission;

(b) legislation that discriminates either in the definition, or the lack of definition, of relationships including spouse, de facto spouse, family, relative, kin, parent or guardian; and

(c) the reproductive and parenting rights of the abovementioned people, including adoption, artificial conception, substitute parenting and eligibility to be recognised on a child's birth certificate;

(2) an investigation of possible means to introduce registered relationships, or Civil Unions, under Territory Law;

(3) an investigation of the introduction of anti-vilification legislation to protect the above-mentioned groups, as well as persons infected with HIV/AIDS;

(4) an investigation of the issue of explicitly excluding the defence of provocation being available as a result of a non-violent homosexual advance;

(5) an investigation of the needs of transgender people in the ACT, including whether current legislative frameworks are adequately addressing their needs;

(6) an investigation of the issue of normalising surgery for intersex adults and children; including possible legislative protection to prevent unnecessary intervention;

(7) changes in Government policy, programs or priorities that would improve outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people in the ACT; and

(8) a process for community participation and input into the report.

Mr Speaker, I rise today to call on the ACT government to help end discrimination against members of the Canberra community who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

Last year's census has shown that the ACT has the highest proportion of same-sex couples of any Australian jurisdiction who were willing to disclose this information on their census form. Nearly 2 per cent of couples without children are members of the same sex, and there are certainly many more who would have declined to reveal that information. Canberra has numerous queer venues and social clubs and a thriving queer community. As the queer lobby likes to say, "We're here, we're queer and we're not going anywhere."


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