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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1715..


Discrimination and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Paper and statement by minister

MR WOOD

(Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): Pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 28 August 2002, as amended on 3 April 2003, I present the following paper:

Discrimination and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People in the ACT-Government Report to the ACT Legislative Assembly.

MR WOOD

: I ask for leave to incorporate a related statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows:

I am pleased to table for the information of Members the Government Report to the Legislative Assembly on Discrimination and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People in the ACT.

The Government has previously stated its commitment to addressing areas of ACT legislation that still discriminate on the grounds of sexual preference or gender identity.

On 12 December 2002, I introduced the Legislation (Gay, Lesbian and Transgender) Amendment Bill 2002 as the first stage of this process. That Bill was passed by the Legislative Assembly on 13 March 2003.

The second stage, including amendments to adoption and other parenting laws, anti-vilification measures and removal of the so called "gay panic"use of the defence of provocation, involves some of the more complex issues associated with this law reform process.

The Government released an issues paper on these more complex issues in December 2002.

That issues paper was tabled in this Assembly on 12 December 2002, the same day that I introduced the Legislation (Gay, Lesbian and Transgender) Amendment Bill.

The purpose of the issues paper was to act as a platform for community consultation.

The consultation strategy for the issues paper was aimed at engaging as many interested individuals as possible.

I am pleased to say that this strategy was quite successful, with 338 people choosing to make a submission.

I would like to express the Government's thanks to all of the people who took the time to let us know their views on these important issues.

In addition, the Department of Justice and Community Safety engaged consultants O'Brien Rich Research Group to undertake a series of focus groups specifically targeted at obtaining the views of those most directly affected by legislative discrimination-that is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.


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